The days of circus performers being made up of "freaks" and rejects of society are long since passed- or so we might believe. Circus performers are either born into the lifestyle, or for whatever reason are drawn to the nomadic lifestyle. Needless to say, they exist on the fringes of "normal" society. For a few minutes each night, they capture the admiration and imaginations of a wide-eyed audience, but once the spotlight is out and the make-up removed, they retreat to another world.

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In the video below, anthropologist and photographer Emily Ainsworth gives us a peek into the insular society of one Mexican circus group. Who are these people who can create magic under a tent, these people who defy gravity and live fearlessly as though they were touched by gods, only to go to bed in a cramped trailer? Meet a few, who like her, chose the life of a circus performer and those who were born into it. 

I couldn't help but be struck by the tragedy surrounding their lives and the hardships they face to live day-to-day. We talk of the cruel circumstances of animals in the circus, but we seldom consider the performers. Let us know what you think. Do you have childhood memories of awe and wonder from going to a circus? Please share your stories with us.