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Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Death-defying thrills are part of circus life


By KYLIE STEVENS


26 Sep, 2011

FOR those who have ever contemplated running away to the circus, be warned — it’s not all fun and games.Those who travel with Webers Circus 11 months a year insist it’s hard work and often risk injury and sometimes death each time they perform.
Wonita Weber is the only woman in Australia to perform a double somersault on the apparatus and admits her husband has dropped her several times.
Columbian thrillseeker Herwin also risks his life every time he performs the death-defying Wheel of Death without a safety belt.
He once needed stitches and was out for three months after he ‘‘cheese-grated’’ down the wheel from nine metres up.
There are 25 chances it could go wrong in front of an audience of 600 while the circus is at St Marys until October 9.
Emma Hodge performs and also makes the popcorn and fairy floss.
Webers Circus sells 25 kilograms of popcorn and sell 500 bags of fairy floss each week.
A qualified teacher, Emma also tutors four children who are part of the circus.
Circus staff say the show isn’t the same as the one it presented at Marys two years ago.
‘‘We don’t have a ringmaster,’’ Emma said.
Wonita added: ‘‘We keep the routines fresh and change the costumes every few months.’’
Her parents Rudy and Natalie Weber started up their own circus five years ago and come from long line of circus performers in Australia and Germany.
Wonita, with sisters Dakota and Wonona, are seventh generation performers.
The circus has been part of Wonita’s life for 22 years and her son River, 2, will eventually get a chance to perform before they return to a normal life when he starts high school.

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