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In the performing arts, hitting the big time can be an elusive life goal. But for Sarah Childs, a Dallas ninth grader, enrolling at summer camp at the AT&T Performing Arts Center was her entryway into achieving her loftiest dream.

At the Cirque Dreams KidsTime Summer Camp at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, one student got to take her lessons in the classroom to center stage, auditioning for a part in the Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy show playing at the Winspear Opera House June 19-21. According to Sarah’s mother Nancy Childs, the camp was right up her daughter’s alley.

“She’s been dancing since she was three,” says Nancy. “But in the past three or four years she got really, really into contortion and became obsessed with Cirque and their contortionists.” Sarah and her family have attended every Cirque show that they could find, providing Sarah with the chance to nurture her growing passion for acrobatics, dance and especially contortion.

Sarah particularly loved the contortion sisters, Erdenesuvd and Buyankhishig, who hail from Mongolia but have toured the world and wowed the country with their appearances on America’s Got Talent. The sisters are the crème de la crème of the contortion world, and this weekend, Sarah will get to dance alongside her heroes. In fact, she has an entire routine alongside them.

Sarah says she’s a bit nervous, but more than anything she says she’s grateful. “I’m super excited to perform with these amazing people. It means the world to me.”

In fact, Sarah’s talent was so impressive that director Neil Goldberg augmented her role into a substantial role within the Jungle Fantasy show. “Not only have they incorporated her into the entire show, she has a dance solo,” says Nancy.

“It’s such a great opportunity for her,” says Nancy. “ I’m extremely proud of her. She’s worked so hard for this.” Nancy believes that the camp was instrumental in her daughter’s success, but stresses that it’s important for all students – not just those with a background in the arts. “It’s just such exposure to show kids what they can do, because it’s limitless.

At the Center, we provide education programs to show our young people what is possible for their future in the arts. Sometimes, like in the case of Sarah Childs, they show us instead.

Tickets for Jungle Fantasy are still available for purchase here.
The Center’s education programs use our unique resources, venues, teaching artists and performers to provide students with arts learning programs. If you would like to donate to or participate in the programs, please visit here.

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