Flying high and defying gravity


Senior Yoshida hangs above the trees during her performance

Flying around the stage, walking with lions, breathing out fire and hearing crowds screaming, circus performers exhibit another world of entertainment, and senior Erena Yoshida is pushing herself to be part of the world of circus.

Yoshida is an aerial arts performer who started learning gymnastics in first grade. Yoshida built interest and continued her gymnast life through her junior year.
“My parents wanted me to do gymnastics… and I really liked it, so I kept on doing it until I got injured,” Yoshida said. “I kept on injuring myself [because] my wrists and arms weren’t that strong.”

About two years ago, Yoshida started aerial arts with her former gymnastics coach, who is also a circus performer who recommended she start aerial arts. Aerial arts is a performance done in the air using an array of tools.

“I do [aerial silk],… the silk dangling in the air… and the hoop [for air performance],” Yoshida said. “[I] also do cyr wheel; that’s like a huge metal wheel that you spin around in, on the ground.”

Yoshida practices at 24 Hour Fitness and sometimes finds herself with audiences watching her practice cyr wheel.
Yoshida currently works with circus and entertainment team CIRCO Etereo and has performed with them many times. Yoshida’s performing techniques and skills amazed her fellow performer and juggler, Kyle Lee, at CIRCO Etereo.

“[Yoshida has] done numerous shows together with CIRCO Etereo,” Lee said. “[Yoshida’s] skill with cyr wheel and aerial arts is unbelievable. Even though I see her practice and perform nearly every day, I’m still amazed by [her performance].

Lee said he feels that Yoshida’s best qualities include teamwork and dedication.

“Among the CIRCO Etereo professionals, [Yoshida] is probably my favorite to work with,” Lee said. “No matter what it is, you can always count on [Yoshida].”

Not only is Yoshida a great performer, according to her friend senior Hailey Karter, but she is also a great friend and a student “She is quite a different person as a student than a performer, very quiet in class,” Karter said. “As a friend she is good to have around to talk to… She is dedicated to her passion and… [is] a very interesting person once you get to know her.”

Gaining more experience and techniques, Yoshida is currently reaching for a collaboration with a bigger entertainment group, such as Cirque du Soleil.