Life a circus for Michelle
from: thechronicle.com.au NOT many people can claim that they have literally run away from home and joined the circus. But for Toowoomba resident Michelle Black it's all true. As a child Ms Black was enamoured with the Enid Blyton's stories about the circus. “I used to walk along the back fence with an umbrella,” she said. When she was 18, Ashton's Circus came to Toowoomba. Ms Black naturally attended. One thing led to another and Ms Black found herself a part of the troupe. “I ran off and joined the circus,” he said. She was taught trapeze by Hungarian circus performers and travelled not only Australia, but also Europe, South Africa and South East Asia. These days, Ms Black is a busy mum, but as she says: “You can take the girl out of the circus, but you can't take the circus out of the girl”. She has passed on her circus skills to her 11-year-old daughter, Stefanie, and her friend 15-year-old Rhiannon Thompson. Stefanie has a talent for solo trapeze (and even has a trapeze rigged up in the garage) while Rhiannon is an aerial silks performer. “Circus skills need to be passed on,” Ms Black said. “They are a dying art in Australia.” Both girls are performing in the Ashton Circus big top at the 2011 Heritage Building Society Toowoomba Royal Show. “It is a wonderful way for young people to get fit,” she said. “It is great for their fitness, balance, flexibility, mind and self esteem.” Ms Black is also currently in the process of establishing a circus school in Toowoomba. For more information or to register your interest contact Ms Black on 0438 899 415.