Walking Tall

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Famous for jaw-dropping high-wire feats—including a seven-person pyramid performed without a net—the Wallenda family has called Sarasota home since John Ringling recruited the troupe from a Cuban circus in 1928.


Famous for jaw-dropping high-wire feats—including a seven-person pyramid performed without a net—the Wallenda family has called Sarasota home since John Ringling recruited the troupe from a Cuban circus in 1928. Generations have learned to walk the wire in Sarasota. This year, the family again takes center stage as the stars of the 2010 Circus Sarasota, starting Feb. 12.

We asked them to re-create the four-person, three-tier pyramid made famous by Karl “The Great” Wallenda for our readers. On a breezy day on the Ringling Causeway pier, Karl’s grandson Nik Wallenda (center), his wife, Erendira, Dieter Galambos and Mike Duff once again defied fear and gravity, as Nik’s mother, Delilah, coached Erendira, and the couple’s young children cheered them on. Photography by Nesti Mendoza, Fashion director: Julie French

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