No cotton candy, tigers or clown cars here. But there are still trapeze artists, high-flying aerial performers, jugglers and dazzling acrobats! No, it’s not the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It’s the Detroit Circus!
“It has really been magical how everything has unfolded and come together,” said owner Micha Adams, who started the circus about seven years ago after being inspired by a Cirque du Soleil performance. “I started reaching out to Cirque du Soleil performers and ended up taking classes at the Philadelphia Circus School.”
Then Micha said it was coincidental that she started meeting Detroit-area performers who wanted to join in her effort to create the Detroit Circus. Her troupe includes fire performers, stilt walkers, contortionists, illusionists, belly dancers, face painters and more.
“I think we’re actually a hidden secret in Detroit because we don’t really advertise. People learn about us by word of mouth,” she said. “I don’t think people realize that we perform for both small and large events. We have performed at the Motor City Casino, but we also do birthdays, weddings and will even perform at your house!”
About 80% of Detroit Circus performances are private events. And the troupe rarely travels outside of the Detroit area to perform.
“We are just one big family,” Micha says of the nine performers in her troupe, which also offers circus arts classes at the Detroit Flyhouse Circus School. “Our classes are very popular, and they’ve consistently filled up for the past seven years now.”
The troupe members teach about 15 classes weekly, and they teach foundational circus skills such as partner acrobatics, fire performance skills, balance and team-building skills.
“Between our classes and performances, we’re really busy. We actually do about 320 shows a year,” said Micha, who runs the circus and school alongside her husband, who is also a performer. “We get to do some of the most fun events while making people happy!”
Megan Morse is a former Detroit Circus aerialist who connected with the Detroit Circus after meeting one of its hoop performers.
“I think performing at kid events was my favorite part about being in the troupe because they were so energetic,” said Megan, who is currently performing with Agora Arts in Ferndale. “I loved that all of the performers were like a family and helped each other to get better at their skills.”
She said she believes the Detroit Circus, which is based in Eastern Market, brings an artistic and creative energy to the city.
“The performers open people’s eyes to the fact that there is an artsy community in Detroit,” said Megan, who is currently enrolled in college. “I loved trying new tricks and conquering them!”
Micha said the circus performers donate a lot of their time to raising money for various area charities, including SASHA Farm, which is the largest farm animal sanctuary in the Midwest.
“We donate performance hours to the sanctuary about four times a year,” she said. “We also do a lot to support the arts community in Detroit. We love being in the city!”
To learn more about the Detroit Circus and the amazing acts, visit DetroitCircus.info.
Photo credit via http://spiltsugarphoto.smugmug.com/