Performers train for and live for the thrill of the big top and accept the dangers of the profession. For them, life is always a circus.
A horrifying accident at a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show in
"You can't think about the accident when you perform," Svetlana Gololodova, a veteran aerialist with the Cole Bros. Circus, said in an interview from
"You can't be upset and think, 'This could happen to me,' " she said. "You have to think about what you are doing."
After a weekend stint in
The shows will include a crowd-favorite act in which performer
It is the same routine that was performed at the Ringling Bros. show in
The acrobats were hospitalized, some with head injuries and neck and back fractures. A dancer on the ground also was injured.
Investigators have said a clamp known as a carabiner apparently failed, causing the collapse. They have not determined why.
Two of the injured acrobats previously worked with Cole Bros. and performed with Milanova in a three-ring hair act. Milanova, who has performed with the circus since she was a teenager, was too distraught to be interviewed.
"It's a terrible thing, the accident that they had," said
But Bale, a retired daredevil, knows all too well that failures can happen. He broke his legs and back in a circus accident 20 years ago in
"It's a sad thing, but it's part of life," said Bale, a fourth-generation circus performer.
"I have definitely fallen in love with the circus. It is hard not to," said Thomsen, 28, of
Ringling Bros. pulled the hair-hanging act from nine performances of its "Legends" show, which closed Sunday in
"We are in the business because we love it. We understand the risks we take very day," said
"The safety of our cast, staff, and crew, as well as our guests, continues to be our highest priority," the circus' parent company,
At a Friday matinee Ringling Bros. performance in
"I loved it. The aerial acts were amazing," said
"Once I heard that it was dangerous, I was glad that they got rid of it. No one wants to see anyone get hurt," he said. "There was so much other good stuff to see."
Bale said every possible precaution is taken for Milanova and all performers. Equipment is reinforced and checked daily, he said.
"I love being with the circus," he said. "The show must go on."
The Cole Bros. Circus will perform four shows at the
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