Magazine

Oct 17, 2014

Cuban Kids Training For The Circus

Cuban Kids Training For The Circus

Inside an abandoned movie theater on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. Aspiring acrobats climb a rope while young jugglers toss pins back and forth, and others take turns on the trampoline or parallel bars. No one seems to mind the dilapidated conditions, at least as long as the weather is dry. Several corrugated tin laminates are missing from the roof, exposing the sky. "Ever since I was little, I always said, 'I want to join the circus,'" said 12-year-old Daniela Rodriguez, who likes training at heights. "At first I was a little scared, but not anymore." The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Cuban circus artists working abroad make a minimum of 800 euros (about $1,015) a month, and usually much more than that, a relative fortune compared to the meager salaries back home. Could Cirque du Soleil be waiting for them=

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