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Local circus talent comes together for Salt City Big Top

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Posted at 10:01 PM, Jan 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 00:01:36-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Ever feel like running away and joining the circus? Well, these days you wouldn't have to run far because Utah has its own circus.

Saturday night was their first performance, and the Olympic Oval in Kearns doubled as the big top.

The show featured jugglers, performers on stilts, unicycle riders, cotton candy, clowns, and death-defying, high-flying stunts.

It was all part of Utah’s one and only circus. Darla Davis, owner of Aeris Aerial Arts, said they want to cultivate local talent.

"Our goal here is to create Salt Lake City’s own local circus, so we're going to keep pushing the name Salt City Big Top and try to grow this local circus to Utah and be able to utilize all the amazing talent that is here."

Saturday’s debut performance sold out all of the 400 available seats.

"This is Utah Flying Trapeze's first show that we've ever done like this before, so I guess maybe we are a real circus now that we've done it,” Trapeze artist Sam Ponder said.

Ponder got her start as a trapeze artist four years ago while vacationing in Santa Monica. She said after four days and six classes, she was hooked.

She and her husband now own and operate Utah Flying Trapeze. It’s a big part of the act, and so is Aeris Aerial Arts of Sandy.

"We are a circus training facility, we've got aerial acrobatics, ground acrobatics, tumbling, we have contortion classes, silk lyra straps, Russian cube, we've got everything to make little circus stars,” Davis said.

The crowd loved the show, and the artists said that affection is mutual.

Ponder said: "I love the audience, they were so excited, they look up there, they're staring up there, rapt, they're completely engaged, and how many times a day do you see people completely engaged in the moment?"

The circus plans to stage many more big events like this one, and they also hope to perform for smaller groups, such as at company and private parties.