You Don't Have to Run Away to Join the Circus

By Jane Geelan-Sayres
|  Friday, Sep 24, 2010  |  Updated 2:29 PM CDT
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If you've ever wanted to run away and join the circus, <a title=Farmers Branch is the perfect place to start." />

James Chippendale, NBCDFW.com

If you've ever wanted to run away and join the circus, Farmers Branch is the perfect place to start.

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If you've ever wanted to run away and join the circus, you now have the perfect place to start.

The Lone Star Circus School has been up and running for the past several years here in North Texas.

"Most everybody wants to start on the silks, then move up to the rings and trapeze and different things," said teacher Alora Scavella.

Fanny Kerwich, the founder of the school, has been performing since she was 6 years old. She attended circus school in Paris and has also been featured in the world-famous Lido and Moulin Rouge in Paris.

"Fanny is an eighth-generation circus performer," Scavella said. "She is from France, and she came over here and wanted to continue doing circus, so she developed the school, and it's slowly gotten off the ground, and now it's really starting to take off."

The school is open to anyone and everyone. Many of the students said they participate for the challenge and exercise as well as the friendships they form.

"I'm getting better," said student Lilli Erickson. "I feel like I can do something new. I'm really proud of myself, and the camaraderie is wonderful. Everyone here is really, really nice."

Much like the acts you see on Cirque du Soleil, students at the Lone Star Circus School, can spend much of their time working on the silks. And some of the students at the school are actually training to fulfill their dream of being in Cirque.

"I had been looking for circus school because I'm putting auditions together for Cirque du Soleil," said student David Lee. "This is my jump start to get started on my auditions."

Being a part of the circus school takes, dedication, drive and discipline. And for some, it's not as easy as it may look.

"When people first see it, it's like, 'Ah, it looks so easy. I can do that,'" said Scavella. "Then they come in, and it's like, 'Oh wait, this actually takes muscle. This actually takes coordination.'"

Getting There:
Lone Star Circus School
4335 N. Beltwood Parkway
Farmers Branch, TX 75244

 To learn more about Last Call host James Chippendale and the Love, Hope, Strength foundation, click here.

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