This I Believe

Daniel - Denver, Colorado
Entered on May 7, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Most everyone has a dream. Whether it is a dream about changing the world or acquiring power and status, I am positive that everyone has a dream. For example, Martin Luther King had a dream to abolish the segregation of blacks. His dream was important, and he persevered all of his life to make his dream a reality. I can relate, because I also have a dream, and hopefully, if my dream does comes true, I can make the world a happier place.

When I was in fourth grade, a group at my summer camp put on a circus for our entertainment, and the performers were kids just like me. They were doing some tricks on a piece of fabric and a circle made of steel. I was amazed, and at that moment, I started to dream of becoming a performer in a Cirque Du Soleil production. The next year, I was old enough to attend the circus camp that inspired me. I was introduced to a variety of aerial apparatuses such as the fabric and trapeze. I continued participating and working hard at this camp for another two years. Also, during the school year, the fine arts department offered circus arts, so for the next two years, I expanded my circus vocabulary.

The summer of my 7th grade year, I attended the Aerial Dance Festival in Boulder, Colorado. This festival was set up on a college campus, and for the first time in my life, I was left alone to navigate the world. I spent days working with professionals learning skills that were very advanced and working on apparatuses that made my mom think to herself, “Why did I ever let my son do this?” Then, one of the instructors suggested that I try out for a youth circus that tours in the summer called Circus Smirkus, and right at that moment, auditioning was exactly what I decided to do.

I put together an audition tape and sent it to the Smirkus staff so they could view my artistic ability. I got a letter in the mail a week later saying that I was invited to a live audition, in Vermont. I shifted into high gear and started attending classes at the Boulder Circus Center to learn better tricks and technique. I integrated my new skills into a performance piece, flew to Vermont, gave it my best and a week later learned that I would be in for the summer of my life!

Summer arrived, and I had to be prepared for unknown expectations, but I was ready. We trained for 3 weeks and then performed 80 shows in 8 weeks. It was a summer of many emotions. It was hard to learn and put together a show in such a short time. It was also enjoyable because I was working with people who shared my dream. But there were some tough times, I tore muscles, broke toes, and bruised my body, but did I give up? No! I still performed and gave it my all.

Now, here I am, reading this essay, but that’s not all I am doing. I am making plans for the future. I want to continue my circus career, and I intend to work hard so I can audition for the elite Ecole Nationale De Cirque, in Montreal, graduate from there, and be in a Cirque production! As Nas said, “I know I can, be what I wanna be, if I work hard at it, I’ll be where I wanna be.” And that is what I am doing. Working hard to make sure my dream does come true, and this I believe.