I’m not often at a loss for words but seeing Circus Harmony St Louis Arches alums Sidney ‘Iking” Bateman and Melvin Diggs with Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia was profoundly moving. Sidney and Melvin have been great performing artists for a long time. Luzia is a joyful show and they are powerful in it. It was an honor to be introduced as their circus mom and as the coach who runs the school that made it possible for them to be there. They only just started on the show but, clearly, everyone loves them already. Most importantly though, when we went back to their incredible apartment and they talked about their current situation and future plans, I saw the thoughtful, responsible young men they have grown into. They remember their roots, have bloomed in ways few would have believed (but Diane Ranken, Warren Bacon, Rosa Yagaantsetseg and a few others knew was possible). They took the tools, walked the path and are even reaching back to help others. I tell my students that what they do outside the ring is more important than what they do inside. Sidney and Melvin are doing the right things both in and out of the ring and they are happy and grateful doing it! What more could I ask or say?!
Read the article in St. Louis American about Iking signing with Cirque du Soleil!