On Dec. 2, 2016, Elizabeth ‘Bunny’ Herring took what we believe will be her last trapeze flight. This individualistic 90 year old firecracker of a woman is the epitome of strength, grace and spirit. She did her last trapeze act as a benefit performance for us at Circus Harmony, where she got her aerial career take-off.
When Elizabeth “Bunny” Herring turned 80, she decided on an unusual way to celebrate her 80th birthday— she ran away and joined the circus. Actually, this is something she had done 72 years ago. As an 18 year old St. Louis debutante, Bunny joined Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus to be a show girl. At that time, she promised her parents that she would not do anything aerial. However, Bunny said, “They’re gone now.” So, to celebrate turning 80, she took to the air for the first time and has been living her dream and performing as an aerialist at St. Louis’s only compete circus school ever since. She has done a variety of aerial acts including aerial hoop, single trapeze and flying trapeze. Now, she’s doing it one last time.
Bunny turned 90 in October, and to celebrate, she decided to take to the air one last time. She trained at City Museum with Circus Harmony’s aerial coach, Colleen McIntee who said, “Bunny is an inspiration! She has a fiery spirit, and so much grace from her training in classical ballet. We’ve been working on combining her grace and energy with strength and breathing exercises to make it possible to continue to successfully perform impressive aerial feats on the trapeze!”
Bunny said, “I hope to have been inspiring to others that I kept working so hard and pushing so hard even in my older years. And, I just want to thank everyone who helped me, encouraged me, and coached me. I hope others can be inspired by my efforts, and believe in themselves to do whatever they want to achieve. It has been my privilege to work with Circus Harmony and all of the wonderful coaches I’ve had!”
Bunny’s show was open to the public and also also feature some of Circus Harmony’s talented youth circus performers, who we refer to as the League of Littles. So, the show could have been called Wonder Woman and the League of Littles! You can watch the triumphant video of the show HERE! In honor of Bunny’s final farewell flight her guests to donated almost $500 to Circus Harmony’s Flying Children Scholarship Fund! You can still donate in her honor here. Bunny has a tattoo on her ankle that sums up her exceptional approach to life. It reads: Esse Quam Videre which translates “To be rather than to seem.” Bravo, Bunny! May we all be flying so high and doing so much at 90 years old!
Watch the Video of Bunny’s Final Flight!