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Dancing under the Big Top
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The circus came to town last weekend with zebras, clowns, bunnies, leopards, lions, penguins, tigers and a host of entertainers wowing the crowd. 
Circus 2013 was presented by students of Paula’s Dance Academy. Paula Barnes has been putting on a recital for 28 years, and the auditorium is always filled with excited parents and relatives. 
Over 180 students work for months in preparation for the show, with additional teachers, parents and volunteers jumping in to make the two-night performance a success.
“I chose a circus theme because it was a success 14 years ago when I did it, and it is always fun and exciting,” said Barnes. “It’s fun for us, but the children love it.”
The production was divided into divisions: Welcome to the Circus, Under the Big Top, Center Ring, Step right Up, Peanuts, Popcorn, Cotton Candy; Exploding Exhibitions, Main Attractions, Goodbye Circus and the final Circus Parade featuring the entire cast. Leala Marlin was the show’s ringmaster, and the official announcer was Hamilton Hobbs.
Zesty zebras started the show off following a circus welcome from a group of talented dancers. Clowns, a balancing act, adorable bunnies, and waltzing leopards were just a few of the first features. Pink poodles amused the crowd with their antics, with the popping penguins and the dubstep mimes offering an unique form of entertainment. It was rumored the little lady lions tried to steal the show in the Friday performance with their cute antics. 
A tasty tribute was paid to circus vendors, spectators and clean up crew. The tiny cotton candy dancers brought smiles to the crowd, as well as the lollipop dancers and the pom shakers.
Main attractions featured the veteran dancers dancing ballet to “Skyfall,” and students as tigers, elephants, brass monkeys and Scottie dogs.
“The recital highlight for me is seeing the students enjoying the production,” said Barnes. “I want it to be memorable, where they can always look back on those fun times, remembering what part they played, and recalling those memories.”