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Life > Experiences

You Won’t Want To Miss the FSU Flying High Circus—It’s Out of This World!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

When I first heard that FSU had a circus on campus, I didn’t know what to expect since the majority of my knowledge about them came from what I could gather from The Greatest Showman. Though it is a fantastic movie, the FSU Flying High Circus is nothing like I could’ve expected. 

With a cast made entirely up of FSU students, the circus has been an active registered student organization for over 75 years. It was originally founded in 1947 by Jack Haskin as a way “to integrate men and women when FSU became a co-ed institution and is still an activity for male and female students to participate in jointly” according to their website. FSU is one of the few universities in the country to have a circus formed entirely by students, making its eccentric shows and historic complex a bucket list item when visiting the campus.

All students who wish to join must audition at the start of the fall semester. I joined the Flying High Circus this past September as a member of the dance team and was immediately welcomed into the large cast made up of people from all backgrounds at many stages of their educational pursuits.

I wanted to join the circus initially to get more involved in the FSU community, and joining was such a unique opportunity that I couldn’t ignore. As a registered student organization, the Circus is primarily run through a student-led executive board in conjunction with faculty members, which provides students with leadership roles while still being able to perform.

With the circus, there are an endless number of opportunities to become more involved whether it’s joining an additional act, running for a position on the executive board, or learning how to rig.

Rigging is one of the most important skills you can learn with the circus. Riggers help set up and take down equipment used in all the acts from the ropes used in Spanish Web to the netting used in flying trapeze. They usually do this while another act is performing, so they must be efficient in moving the sets. The best part is that anyone can be a rigger and they’re eager to teach you anything you may need to know. 

The iconic flying trapeze act is a tradition in the circus that has been performed since the circus was founded. Members are swung through the air, and suspended before being caught by a partner, creating an exciting performance that has audiences on the edge of their seats.

The FSU Flying High Circus performs twice in the fall semester and once in the spring semester. The spring shows entitled “Cosmic” begin on April 7, and will be performing for three weeks before their grand finale on April 23. For the past 3 weeks, the cast has been rigorously preparing their show and their tent for an enthusiastic audience. 

The best part is that tickets for all circus shows are completely free with your FSU ID! Come and visit the historic FSU Flying High Circus at their upcoming show “Cosmic” by purchasing tickets here for non-FSU students. 

Joining the circus has enriched my college experience by making me a stronger performer and a more versatile one. Helping set up the tent before shows and meeting with alumni has strengthened my connection with these people. When you join the circus, you join a group of people who are passionate about performing and willing to dedicate themselves to something different from any other university. If you may be interested in trying out for the FSU Flying High Circus and performing with us, you can find more information on auditions here.

Finally, we hope to see you soon at some of our shows, and may all your days be circus days!

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Hello there! I am a current student at Florida State University looking to expand on my writing capabilities. I enjoy reading, listening to music, spending time outside, and dancing.