Hula-hooping phenom July Coronel performed in the Carson & Barnes Circus Tuesday in Storm Lake. / Photo by Dana Larsen
By April Allen
August 8, 2013
Storm Lake, Iowa--Bright sparkled costumes, pulsing exotic music, and a pair of well-trained elephants filled the star-spangled big top of Carson and Barnes Circus on Tuesday evening. The Pilot-Tribune sat down with a few of the performers who work the show ring and literally live on the road, to fine out about modern-day circus life and what actually happens behind the scenes of the magical big-top world.
Nineteen year old July Coronel can sling 50 twirling hula hoops around her slight body with a subtle wiggle. How she does this? "Practice," she smiles, adding that the circus is in "her blood."
She describes a typical day of a circus performer. "I sell tickets 9-12 p.m. then I practice for a couple hours, then shower and eat and get ready for the show. You have to love the circus to keep up with the work," says Coronel.
Coronel's family not only works in the circus in the U.S., but her larger family from her native country, Peru, owns and operates a circus in South America. She says the main difference is in the U.S. the circus only sets up in towns for one or two days while in Peru the circus stays in one spot for two to three weeks at a time. The acts differ somewhat during the show as well.