Review of the Summer Circus Spectacular 2014 at The Ringling; presented by The Circus Arts Conservatory of Sarasota

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Review of the Summer Circus Spectacular 2014 at The Ringling; presented by The Circus Arts Conservatory of Sarasota


By: Sherry Janes

June 25, 2014


“Step right up, folks, to the “Greatest Show on Earth!”  What could be more entertaining on the very grounds of the Ringling estate itself than the Summer Circus Spectacular 2014.  Uniquely showcased in the Historic Asolo Theater, this production incorporates all the elements of the circus arts; a stunning ringmistress, astonishing displays of strength and stamina by a world-class hand-balancing act, a trained Chihuahua, an extraordinary juggling act, a world-famous aerialist soaring high overhead, amazing split-second costume change artists, and of course, a goofy but hilarious clown.  These performers delight and thrill the audience with their spectacular feats, but there is so much more to this story, folks.

Ringmistress, Bailey Sloan, who most professionally headed up this star-studded show, happens to be a 16 year-old soon-to-be senior at Sarasota High School.  With exceptional poise, she proudly carries on the legacy of her family as a 10th generation circus performer.  Encouraged to participate in the local Sailor Circus at the age of 9 by her father, Bailey states that she immediately fell in love.  Having grown up with stories of her famous circus family, it was a natural.  Bailey is looking toward the future by possibly attending FSU, where she would have the ability to perform in the Florida State Flying High Circus while obtaining her degree.  When asked how she would explain this amazing family devotion to the circus throughout 10 generations, she says that it is all about passion.

Performing before an audience of millions, just last week on America’s Got Talent, Christian Stoinev dazzles his home town audience by his super-human feats of strength and balance, along with his well trained partner, Scooby the Chihuahua.  You will be in for a fabulous treat as you experience this great act which earned a standing ovation from the entire audience, as well as all four judges, on America’s Got Talent.  Christian was born into a circus family of aerial acts and traveled with the circus throughout his childhood.  As a 5th generation circus performer, he desires to continue the family legacy by entertaining audiences with his many talents.  Christian shared that he is grateful for the exceptional opportunity of appearing on America’s got Talent, and no matter what happens in future rounds, he will not take a moment for granted.

There are other stories amongst the talent presented, such as Sarasota’s very own, world famous aerialist and “Queen of the Air,” Dolly Jacobs, who performs a breathtakingly beautiful flight across the stage.  Discover the stories of all these world-class entertainers who proudly uphold the great traditions of this community founded on the circus arts.  Do not miss the exciting Summer Circus Spectacular 2014.

“And remember, may all your days be circus days.”


Summer Circus Spectacular at The Ringling June 17 – August 2, 2014. Presented in collaboration with The Circus Arts Conservatory of Sarasota



Sarasota Heats Up With Excitement

For The Summer Circus Spectacular 2014

SARASOTA, FL – It’s a season for excitement as The Circus Arts Conservatory proudly teams up with The Ringling, for their eighth consecutive year, to present the fabulous and affordable Summer Circus Spectacular 2014. The world-class performances take place, every Tuesday through Saturday – from June 17th to August 2nd- inside Sarasota’s Historic Asolo Theater. This one-of-a-kind production has become a celebrated summertime event on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Audiences will be delighted with hilarious clowning from Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey veteran and audience favorite, Chris “Bucky” Allison, and the masterful cube juggling of 3rd generation circus extraordinaire, Vladimir Kim. There will also be astonishing displays of physical-strength and stamina from hand-balancing expert, Christian Stoinev and his special four-legged partner, Scooby the Chihuahua. The entertainment continues as the dynamic couple, Vladimir and Olga Smirnov, perform unbelievable, split-second, quick change feats. Of course, no Summer Circus Spectacular would be complete without the graceful flight of Sarasota’s very own, world-famous aerialist and “Queen of the Air,” Dolly Jacobs, soaring high overhead.

Making her professional debut as this summer’s ringmistress is the highly-regarded and locally recognized, 16 year-old, Sailor Circus Academy student, Bailey Sloan. This leading lady is a soon-to-be Sarasota High School senior, and a 10th generation circus performer, with 7 years of circus arts experience – including trapeze, high wire, cradle, Spanish web and ringmistress – under her belt. Her natural charisma in the spotlight is guaranteed to keep you engaged!

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Summer Circus Spectacular 2014

“The Summer Circus Spectacular has fast become synonymous with Sarasota in the summertime and it adds a distinctive historic element to the legacy of a community founded on the circus arts. This one-of-a-kind, intimate production is an affordable opportunity for everyone to enjoy a first-class circus performance inside the beautiful Historic Asolo Theater,” said Pedro Reis, Founder and CEO of The Circus Arts Conservatory. “It’s also an excellent way to entertain the entire family and take a break from the summer heat!”

Shows will be held Tuesday through Friday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 5 p.m. from June 17th to August 2nd. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under. For more information or to purchase tickets call the Historic Asolo Theater Box Office at 941-360-7399 or visit

* The Circus Arts Conservatory, Sarasota is home to world-class performances, excellence in training the circus arts, and community based education and humor therapy outreach programs. The organization was born from decades of circus history and today serves as a legacy to those that have set the standards for international circus artistry and athleticism. The Circus Arts Conservatory is a 501(c)3 non-profit performing arts educational organization, whose extraordinary mission underscores its commitment to sharing the entertainment, education and enrichment of the circus arts.

* The Ringling Museum is one of the largest museum/university complexes in the nation. It preserves the legacy of John and Mable Ringling, educating and enabling a large and diverse audience to experience and take delight in a world-renowned collection of fine art; Cà d’Zan, the Ringling’s historic mansion; the Circus Museum; the Tibbals Learning Center, the Historic Asolo Theater; and historic architecture, courtyard, gardens and grounds overlooking Sarasota Bay.





Interview with Sarasota-Native, 22 Year-Old Hand Balancer Christian Stoinev, to appear on NBC “America’s Got Talent”



See Christian Stoinev perform at the Summer Circus Spectacular at The Ringling June 17 – August 2, 2014. Presented in collaboration with The Circus Arts Conservatory of Sarasota


Christian Stoinev (© Christian Stoinev;



Interview questions by Don of Media, June 16, 2014



Sarasota-Native, 22 Year-Old Hand Balancer Christian Stoinev, will appear in an upcoming episode of “America’s Got Talent.” The episode is set to air next Tuesday June 17th from 8-10pm ET.



Celebrity judges Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howard Stern continue auditions around the country. Nick Cannon hosts this variety competition series which features a colorful array of hopeful future stars as they compete for a chance to perform at the famed Radio City Music Hall and win the $1 million prize.



1. Why did you choose to be a Hand Balancer versus other physically demanding acts in the circus?


Growing up, I tried many different circus arts whether it was juggling, unicycling, tumbling, and once I tried hand balancing I got pretty good at it pretty quickly so it was pretty much what came easier to me.



2. How much do you train to keep yourself in shape for performances?


I train a lot. Whether it is in the gym with weights or practicing I am pretty much at it every day. I try to spend about an hour or so practicing hand stands and then I spend about another hour working out. I love working out, but with doing so I have to make sure I keep doing hand stands to keep from stiffening up, and that way my shoulders stay stretched and able to do what I do hand balancing.



3. What were some of the challenges you encountered during your training and how was it resolved?


Honestly, the biggest challenge about training while growing up was telling people what I do, which is a sad reality. As a kid I was kind of embarrassed to tell people I was in the circus, while most of my friends thought it was really cool and awesome, I knew that the perception of circus wasn’t the best and it was sad to me because obviously I knew that it was just a perception. The way that changed was honestly growing up and through life experiences, I realized that I am no one to be judging other people for what they do, and I hope that others can respect what I do as well, and before judging people should inform themselves just like I try to do with everything. I think the greatest beauty of our world is how unique everyone is and it shouldn’t be something that is hidden.



4. What advice would you provide to to others who wanted to perform in the a circus?


For others trying to do circus I would say just go for it. Don’t hesitate and don’t think about it too much, if you want to do it just find someone who knows and can help and from there just work work work work.



5. How has being a Hand Balancer helped you in other aspects outside of performing?


Being a hand balancer has helped me outside of circus because just like I said in question 3, it is something that growing up made me feel a bit like an outlaw and sometimes you need a bad experience to learn from and become a better person and I genuinely think it did that for me.



6. What made you decide to audition for America’s Got Talent?


I went to school at Illinois State University and participated in the Gamma Phi Circus, it’s not a fraternity, it is an organization that teaches leadership skills through circus arts. And alot of the students there I truly believe can go pro and so I hope to be someone they look to as someone that did do that and that they believe in themselves and taking that risk of just saying “I’m gonna do it”.



7. What was your most memorable tour or event you performed in?


My most memorable performance was performing for our Home Shows with the Gamma Phi Circus because everyone performed for the love of it, and not for money or attention. It was the first real feel of a “team” that I ever had and it was great to perform for my teammates.



8. What are some of your favorite organizations and their websites?


Gamma Phi Circus Gamma Phi Circus – Illinois State University



9. How can fans follow your adventures online?


Fans can find me online on:


Instagram and Twitter @CAStoinev






Biography of Christian Stoinev (As of June 16, 2014)



Christian Atayde Stoinev is a fifth generation performer born on December 4, 1991 in Sarasota, Florida. With a fluency in three languages- Bulgarian, Spanish, and English – Christian has traveled the world performing in front of Princes, International audiences, and renowned public officials.


Christian Performed in his first international festival in Monaco in 2005 with his hand-balancing act with his beloved dog, Scooby. Christian would compete in his second festival just three years later. Being young was not going to stop him from succeeding, in 2005 he received the Grand Prize of Prince Rainier III, the Coupe “K Bronze” and awarded with the Coupe Foundation Turquoise presented by The French – Mexican Consul in Monaco at the International Festival “Premier Rampe” in Monaco.


​ Christian continued his international presence by performing at the 2008 Festival di Latina, where Professor Leonid Kostyuk presented him with the Special Prize of The Great Moscow State Circus. Christian’s international status has been recognized in international newspapers such as El Diario (Mexico), Nice Matin (France), Monac-Matin (Monaco), and Il Nouva (Italy).


Christian’s commitment to the performing arts began in Mexico at the age of 5. At the age of 13, Christian was one of the youngest acts in the renowned Big Apple Circus. Beginning in 2001, Christian became a company member for the Big Apple Circus, touring throughout the United States. He has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Columbus Dispatch, and The Baltimore Sun.


Although Christian has primarily focused on live performances, it has not stopped him from appearing in TV commercials and Television Specials worldwide. Whether it has been performing as the opening act on Britney Spear’s “Circus” tour, appearing on MTV en Español, America’s Got Talent, or Martha Stewart Live; Christian’s athleticism, personality, and high quality live performing skills are paramount.


Christian’s commitment to performing arts has always been in tact, but he also remained focused on his goal of earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Following his graduation from Illinois State University in May of 2013, Christian became the first in his family to graduate from college. In his four years as a college student, Christian also developed a solo hand-balancing routine that he went on to perform on tour as part of Cirque Musica shortly after graduating.


Christian’s professionalism, modesty, and respect are unique qualities that are leading him to a promising future. Christian’s main act with his partner Scooby is currently thriving within the National Basketball Association as halftime entertainment. In their first season performing for the NBA, they have already performed for the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, and Chicago Bulls, among others. As the 2013-14 NBA season continues, Christian hopes to continue succeeding within the NBA confines while also expanding his worldwide experiences as a performer.



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