Circus Blogs: Camp News Big Top Tour News Residency News

Trouper Close-Ups: William Borges, Maedya Kojis, and Laska Léonard

Trouper Close-Ups: William Borges, Maedya Kojis, and Laska Léonard

William Borges

William Borges is a 16 year old from Baiting Hollow, NY and this is his first year as a Trouper.  He got his start with circus by training gymnastics when he was young, and his mom introduced him to flying trapeze.  He started training more regularly and says, “flying trapeze opened the doors to aerial and juggling.”  Will performs in the hat juggling and the rope/cube act.  Although Will is not in a flying trapeze act this year, he says that is his specialty and favorite thing to train.  His favorite part of tour is, “being able to train and only having to worry about circus and nothing else.”  Although the Troupers train skills old and new with the coaches on tour, Will says something that he wished he had was more free time in order to train.  After tour, Will is going to be a junior in high school and is going to continue training in circus, focusing mostly on straps and diabolo.

Will performing during the hat juggling routine. (photo by Tamra Biedrzycki)


Maedya Kojis

Maedya Kojis is 18 years old and is a fifth year Trouper from Minneapolis, MN.  She got involved with circus through her mother, who performs different variety acts.  She has been involved with circus since she was 5, but has been performing since she can remember.  Rope and tight wire are her favorite things to train, although she is not in the rope act in this years show.  “I am very inspired by Una Bennett and Marieke Dailey, who are both Smirko alums, so that helped me find my passion for rope.”  Additionally, Sellam El Ouahabi, a coach for this years show, had encouraged Maedya to pursue rope.  Maedya says she keeps coming back to Smirkus every year because, “I love the chance to perform every day.  But it is also the community and the support that I find here that makes me want to come back every year.”  After tour, Maedya will be attending University of Minnesota and will continue to train and apply for circus schools in the future.

Maedya performing in the hula hoop act. (photo by Tamra Biedrzycki)


Laska Léonard

Laska Léonard is from Montreal, Canada and is a 16 year old, first year Trouper.  Laska’s grandparents founded the Pickle Family Circus, and her parents founded The 7 Fingers.  Laska has grown up with the circus! Although Laska is one of our clowns on Clown Alley, she actually started out learning gymnastics.  Her favorite thing to train and perform is Chinese Pole.  “I love the theme and the costumes for Chinese Pole.  And I am the only girl in the act, so that makes me feel awesome.”  Laska is not in a trapeze act in this years show, but she enjoys trapeze and says, “I am really working on that for next year.”  In her free time on tour, she is utilizing the coaches with us on tour to train trapeze.  This is her first year on tour and says, “I really like the people.  And I like how everyone pitches in during set up and tear down, how everyone works together to get things done is really nice.”  After tour, Laska will be in 10th grade and is looking forward to training more in trapeze and hand-to-hand.

Laska singing during one of the many clown gags (photo by Tamra Biedrzycki)

To join William, Maedya, and Laska for the 2017 Big Top Tour, get your tickets here!