Here at CGM we love to celebrate Circus Girls from all walks of life. This week we set our sights on Martha Kirby; a nineteen year old aerialist currently living in St.Paul, Minnesota. She started her entertainment career dancing at the age of seven and since then has trained in many different styles such as ballet, jazz, Irish, hip-hop and modern dance. She began training in circus arts at the age of ten at Circus Juventas, a youth circus school in St.Paul, where she performed in many shows including Goldie Hawn’s Ball, American Cancer Society Gala, Circus Juventas Gala, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, and Highland Fest performances. She does many circus acts but specializes in hammock, hoops, hand balancing, character acting, static trapeze and pas de deux. Martha is currently taking time off from her circus career to focus on college but continues to train both dance & circus arts on occasion.
Ladies & Gentlemen meet
CGM: Tell us, Martha, what are you studying in college?
MK: I am a junior at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, pursuing a major in Advertising and minors in Design and Sustainability Studies.
CGM: Wow! Are you still involved in Circus at the moment?
MK: I was involved with Circus Juventas from the ages of 10 – 18. I am currently taking a break from performing to focus on my studies, however I have weekly access to train both silks and hoops in a private facility.
CGM: Why did you get involved in Circus Arts?
MK: I had been training in many forms of dance since the age of seven and I really loved performing. However, it was around the age of ten that I became interested in the idea of the circus. My parents and I searched online for possibilities until we discovered that Circus Juventas, a youth performing arts circus, was located five miles from my house! I quickly enrolled in a circus experience class to find out if the circus life was for me. I loved every minute of it. After that I continued to train, perform and eventually coach for the next 9 years… and counting.
CGM: What are your goals in Circus and life in general?
MK: In the future I hope to move to the West Coast to pursue a professional advertising career at a performing arts company or agency of some kind. I would also like to continue to perform both dance and circus arts, however if I do not end up doing either professionally I still would love to teach others and continue to train as much as possible!
CGM: What would you like to tell our readers who may think that “juggling” (no pun intended) a college education and a life in circus is seemingly impossible?
MK: It is definitely possible! I was able to train at Circus Juventas weekly, while at the same time pursuing a degree in advertising from the University of Minnesota. I think that people just need to decide what is most important to them and work hard to keep those things in their lives. No matter how difficult it may seem at the time, if you love what you’re doing, it will always be worth it!
We would like to thank Martha for her interview with CGM and wish her the best of luck in her career! ■