Written by Jenna Needham
What comes to your mind when you think of the circus? Maybe the smell of popcorn, the huge elephants, or the daring acrobats. What comes to our minds is Amirah Milanoski, a 10th grader at Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA). Amirah is trying to earn her spot under the big top.
For the past five years, Amirah has been spending 15 hours a week practicing her circus arts. Before that, she didn’t always know that she was going to take this path in life.
“I used to just think of it as a hobby and I only trained once or twice a week. After a while, I decided I really loved it and I wanted to get more serious about my training,” said Amirah.
Since then, she has signed up for classes at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA), where she has been learning to do incredible acts such as the aerial sling, duo trapeze, and the aerial rope. Her favorite act is the partner aerial.
The commitment to circus performance comes with a demanding schedule. Amirah often performs at places like SANCA, The Seattle Center, Teatro Zinzanni, Moisture Festival, and many private events. This demands a lot of her time, which is why she made the switch to WAVA this year.
“I was having a really hard time showing up and paying attention to school last year and I knew that that wasn’t going to change this year,” said Amirah. “That’s why I really appreciate the flexible schedule. I’m able to get up at a reasonable time, which gives my body time to rest between practices.”
Amirah is now looking into colleges with hopes of receiving a bachelor’s degree in circus arts, which is only offered in Canada and Australia. Her ultimate goal is to perform with Teatro Zinzanni and Cirque du Soleil.
“Mostly I’d just love to be a part of a group of talented people who love circus as much as I do,” said Amirah.
If you are in the Washington area and would like to see Amirah perform, she has two New Year’s Eve shows coming up in the Tacoma theatre district at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.