Metro aerialist grabs chance to make dream come true, train with prestigious circus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro gymnast turned aerialist is performing alongside some of the top aerial artists in the world -- and she's only 12 years old.

Years of training and hard work paid off for Pleasant Ridge Middle School student Harlowe Persaud. She was recently accepted into the Le Petit Cirque, which isn't based near her studio, Kansas City Aerial Art, in Leawood, but in Los Angeles.

"I'm just a girl from Kansas," Harlowe said. "Who would have thought that I'd be traveling to LA to train with this circus company?"

Le Petit Cirque is a company made up of talented performers between the ages of 6 and 17. They travel the country and dress in costume. Then twist, turn and fly through the air.

"It's tiring, but I like being able to stylize the moves and make it my own," Harlowe said.

Most members live in LA, but not Harlowe. Once a month she flies to the city of angels with Mom or Dad on Friday. She trains with her team for three and a half hours Saturday and makes her way back home to Overland Park early Sunday.

"I would definitely say that it's worth it because the training there is amazing, and it's kind of fun to go out to LA," Harlowe said.

Without getting too 'wrapped up' in the excitement, Harlowe remembers school comes first. LPC performers must maintain a certain grade point average.

"I think she handles it better than I do," Harlowe's mom Alison Persaud said.

Their lives are busy, but Alison said the smile she sees on her daughter's face during each performance makes time stop.

"Anybody wants their kid to have a dream, and to be able to achieve that dream at such a young age I tear up thinking about it," Alison said, "When I watch her I still tear up."

"I definitely think I've made them proud," Harlowe said. "I just think that they wouldn't think that their daughter or granddaughter would be doing a circus thing, they would think just probably doing sports and stuff."

Eventually, Harlowe wants to make the be part of Cirque Du Soleil.

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