Idaho Falls

August 2019

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IDAHOFALLSMAGAZINE.COM 43 On Stage with Stasia Acrobats BY TORRY BARNES person-high pyramid to twirling on a lyra above the ground, the stunts they do can be dangerous. Thankfully though, the troupe hasn't had any serious injuries. As the "father" of these acrobats, Nelson makes safety a priority and therefore each team member must earn their spot as a per- former. In fact, only seven troupe members perform at events. Each member must grow sufficiently in strength, flexibility and team trust before they can perform and do more risky stunts. "We take our time to develop skills," Nelson said. "Basics are extremely impor- tant to everything we do in life, but espe- cially here. Bad basics breed injuries. So we work to make sure their basics are solid." The 18-year circus veteran always revisits the basics with his students, no matter how many years of experience they have. Nelson does require a lot from the troupe, even jokingly calling himself "the mean dad." Each student must have a 2.7 GPA to stay to maintain membership on the Stasia team. Above all things, Nelson wants his stu- dents to learn the principle of discipline. He believes discipline is not only a key to successful acrobatics, but to a successful everyday life. "Discipline is not the enemy of enthusi- asm, it's just giving you the tools to focus STEVE SMEDE PHOTOS

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