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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Circus family wows crowds

From left, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus performers and their family Olga Urias, Melvin Urias, Ramon Esqueda, Rosemary Esqueda, 13, Jodie and Erwin Urias with their children Alyssa, 6, and Geovi, 10, at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury. (Matthew S. Gunby photo)
By Gwenn Garland • Staff Writer • February 3, 2011
SALISBURY, MD -- Most families caught up in the day-to-day chaos of life with kids might think that between school, activities and playdates, life is like a three-ring circus and an icy commute can feel like a Globe of Death.
But the fact is, most parents would envy the life of a real circus family.The Urias family has performed its motorcycle stunt act for close to 100 years, wowing crowds with tricks in the steel cage know as the Globe of Death -- you can see them with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus that will be performing in Salisbury at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center tonight through Sunday. The daredevils on the motorcycles are also parents."When your kids go to play with their friends, you not only know the children they're playing with, but you also know their parents -- and maybe their uncles, cousins and grandparents," said Jodie Urias, who with her husband, Erwin Urias, performs in the act and take cares of Geovi, 10, and Alyssa, 6.
It's a life that is exciting, educational and secure for their children."I think it's the best family environment to grow up in; your family is always with you and you become really close," said Jodie's brother-in-law, Melvin Urias, 35, who grew up in the circus and is a fourth-generation performer. "And it's a really close-knit community, with a lot of other families with kids."His nephew, Geovi, agrees: "You always have people around you."And, adds Alyssa: "You have a lot of friends."Rose Esqueda, 13, travels with her father, Ramon Esqueda, who is the elephant trainer. The elephants "are kind of like my older sisters," she said.Rosie even gets to be part of the act during the pre-show, an hour before the circus begins, when people can come to meet some of the performers. ("I help Ms. Jodie," she said).Of course, it can be a little stressful to work with your family all the time. In general, "it's really brought us closer together," Melvin said. His girlfriend, Olga, is also a rider in the motorcycle act; sometimes her tour coincides with her sister and brother-in-law, who head the trained dog act.read more at:http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20110203/LIFESTYLE/102030368

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