Andres Guiterrez, NBC 5 News
Cirque du Soleil's "Kooza" comes to Dallas, bringing along a young gymnast who dreamed of being with the troupe.
Cirque du Soleil has set up a big top beneath Reunion Tower in Dallas for its new show Kooza. Cirque says Kooza combines two circus traditions -- acrobatic performance and clowning.
Hours before the curtains went up Wednesday, performers were getting ready, including former gymnast Sarah Turner from Leeds, England.
Turner started gymnastics when she was five, by age 11 she had competed in her first world championship.
She won several titles in her five years of competition, but the big top called her name.
"It was my dream, I saw one of the Cirque shows in Florida, La Nouba, when I was 12. And when I saw that show -- all through high school, all through college and university I said 'I’m going to go to Cirque du Soleil,'" she said.
Cirque du Soleil eventually expressed interest in Turner and at age 14, her dream became a reality.
Now she is one of 17 performers who use a teeter board to fly through the air and dazzle audiences.
Turner says there is a big difference between gymnastics and performing with Cirque.
"You build up to competition, then you have a rest, so it goes up and down. Whereas performing, now you have to maintain that level every day," she said. "You need to involve the audience, you need to make it entertaining."
Turner and Cirque du Soleil's Kooza will be in Dallas through October 28.