Flying High: Cassie Weigel ’18 Masters Acrobatic Arts of the Circus | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School

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Flying High: Cassie Weigel ’18 Masters Acrobatic Arts of the Circus

SJND Junior Cassie Weigel ’18 has spent most of her life training in the acrobatic arts. Her troupe out of Oakland, Les Aerielles, practices aerial gymnastics at a professional level.

As a very active young child, Cassie had tried dancing, ice skating and gymnastics, but didn’t like the competitive nature that she found. One day when Cassie was three, she and her mother brought her father lunch at his work. Cassie went to play on the monkey bar play structure of one of her father’s clients, a client who turned out to be Jeff Raz, famous circus clown who performed for Cirque du Soleil. Observing Cassie lifting her legs up to the bar she was hanging on, Jeff told her parents, "When she's ready for the circus, you let me know." When Cassie stopped taking gymnastics, her family called Jeff, and signed Cassie up for her first circus class. She fell in love with circus after that first class at age five, was professionally performing with Les Aerielles by age seven, and has been learning and improving ever since.

Cassie and her troupe practice about three times a week for around two hours at a time, working from hoops hanging from wires, static trapezes, and giant cloth tissues hanging from the ceiling. You can find Cassie also teaching and practicing frequently on other days of the week. While she focuses on aerial apparatuses such as silks, hoop, and trapeze for performances, she is also skilled on the flying trapeze and trampoline/tumbling.

Cassie has had the honor of performing for a wide range of corporate and private entities including Circus for the Arts in the Schools and the Bay Area Children's Theatre production of “Circus Adventure.” She typically performs a lot during the Christmas season for corporate parties (Google Christmas parties and Storm 8), spring for graduations, and summer for public events (Oakland Zoo and Banana Festival).“I think my favorite place I have performed is either for Youtube Live or when we performed for Pixar for the launch of Toy Story 3,” says Cassie. “During the Pixar performance, we got see the video prior to its release to the public.”

The SJND women’s volleyball team recently had the chance to witness Cassie’s talents during a team bonding trip to Trapeze Arts in Oakland. The volleyball players took a three hour class where they learned how to jump from the platform, hook their legs, release their arms, dismount with a back flip and eventually be caught by an instructor (Coach Hagan got to be caught by Cassie!).

Her strong personal drive and being surrounded by other talented people inspire Cassie to improve her training and skills. She hopes to advance in teaching aerial apparatuses and become an instructor for flying trapeze and trampoline. She also looks forward to attending to college and pursuing a career.

Watch Les Aerielles perform at the Lawrence Hall of Science

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