Idaho Falls

August 2019

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42 IDAHO FALLS MAGAZINE AUGUST 2019 Many people attribute good friends or religion for surviving through rough times. It was the circus that saved Aric Nelson. The young teenager made friends with gang members and drug dealers while growing up in San Bernardino, CA. Nelson didn't want that lifestyle and the circus was his way out. "I had good parents, but the circus is what gave me the direction to stay off of the streets," Nelson said. "So it's my responsibil- ity — but more of my pleasure — to try and provide people with the same thing [the circus] gave to me." Nelson had this in mind when he started Stasia Acrobatics, an amateur circus acro- batic troupe designed to introduce the circus world to a new generation, in 2012. Today, the troupe has performed in over 280 shows. The acrobats from his troupe come from all walks of life. Some are elementary school students, while some are in college. The team includes a plumber, a software engineer, a barista supervisor, a techni- cian, a caregiver, a mother and a former marine. Ages range anywhere from seven to 27- years-old. These acrobats do many of the same acts you would see in a circus. From a three- CHRIS SHEETZ PHOTOS

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