5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
Shenea is an acrobatic gymnast who represented the USA at the 2001 World Games, the 2002 World Championships, and the 2004 World Championships in the Mixed Pair event. After retiring from gymnastics, she joined Cirque du Soleil. This is the first year that this production of Cirque Dreams Holidaze is performing here in Boston.
SD: How did you get involved in gymnastics?
SB: I started doing gymnastic when I was 8 years old. I competed until I was 18 years old and then retired. And like every childhood dream, I ran away and joined the circus or in this case Cirque du Soleil.
SD: How did you choose hand balancer as your routine?
SB: I have always been fascinated by it ever since I was little. After watching different Cirque productions, I knew immediately that hand balancing would be my specialty.
SD: How did you get involved with the Cirque shows?
SB: My journey started with Cirque shows about 12 years ago. I was actually scouted and recruited because of my gymnastics career.
SD: How do you maintain a high level of energy for each show, when your performances are so demanding?
SB: It is really rigorous especially when you are on tour. I do a lot of yoga to kind of balance that and recover. I train an hour and half per day in acrobatics and then an additional hour or so of yoga. Like any athlete, it is really important to have off days to recover. Massages help too.
SD: What is the best part of touring in a Holiday Cirque show?
SB: It is really fun! It is great to see families come out and having a great time and making traditions. This show is very exciting and there is something for everyone.
For more information and to purchase tickets to see Cirque Dreams Holidaze, visit www.bochcenter.org. Cirque Dreams Holidaze will be playing at the Shubert Theatre December 9-11th.