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European Performers Jump Ship in Wellington

European Performers Jump Ship in Wellington

What could be better than touring the world aboard a Cruise Ship? Wellington it seems.

That's what European performers Wendy and Eric Desiles decided when they first landed here on the way back from Antarctica during a "round the world" cruise in 1999. So after continuing to perform at sea for a further 6 years, Wendy & Eric have now returned to New Zealand to settle.

"Having been lucky enough to visit many countries through our work, when we discovered New Zealand we found something truly special in the country and it's people. As the appointed "Arts Capital" Wellington seemed an appropriate place for us to start out. It's a dynamic, creative and vibrant city - and to top it all, being surrounded by water makes us feel quite at home!".

As many New Zealanders know, setting up a life in a new country can be a daunting challenge but when your day job involves acrobatics and clowning around you are very dependent on your network to get work so starting from scratch is a huge challenge.

Fortunately for Wendy and Eric a friend forwarded them a newsletter from the newly created Wellington Circus Trust and they were able to make contact and start meeting people. Through Wellington Circus Trust Wendy and Eric have started teaching acrobatics and acrobalance classes.

Eric's passion for the circus started at a young age and he fulfilled his dream by running away to join the circus when he was only 12, starting at a well known circus school in Paris. Meanwhile, Wendy put on her first pair of ballet shoes at the age of 3 and has performed ever since. Luckily their paths crossed and they became a great team, developing a unique visual act. Now they are thrilled to have the chance to share their skills and experience by teaching for the Circus Trust.

Their classes have been described as

"Heaps of fun and brilliant in making the impossible possible, and the easy elegant. Beats yoga, the gym and pilates hands down for improving strength and flexibility".

The classes have been very popular and more acrobatics/ acrobalance classes will be starting in May. Eric and Wendy will also be teaching Introduction to Circus Skills classes for people who want to see what it's all about. Three two-hour classes on Sunday afternoons will give people a chance to understand the buzz and decide if they want to continue on.

"Many people are interested in trying circus classes but don't understand what the different disciplines are about or are scared to throw themselves in the deep end so we decided to run these shorter introductory block courses" says Wellington Circus Trust spokesperson Eileen McNaughton.

In addition, Wendy & Eric have been asked by Lynne Breed at the Hataitai Gym Club to provide some acrobatic workshops for kids. These will be taking place on Saturday afternoons, starting April 29th.

More information about classes with the Wellington Circus Trust can be found at For information about kids classes please call 021 235 2452 or email


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