Students from Germany train at Circus Juventas
Amid the mats, ropes, swings and unicycles at Circus Juventas, nearly a dozen German students are learning the culture and craft.
"We have experienced so many new friends and friendly people, we are just sharing and talking, it's wonderful to be here," said 20-year-old Johannes Mach.
The students are part of CircArtive, near Stuttgart, Germany, but say the big roof there isn't quite like this.
"It's really nice here, it's pretty big, our circus, we don't have so much aerial stuff and I really like it," said 19-year-old Wiebke Rosin.
The circus exchange program has the students staying with local families.
Circus Juventas students did the same two years ago.
"They get the excitement of going to Germany and training with those instructors and they get to network with those kids and instructors," said Rachel Butler Norris, the assistant artistic director for Circus Juventas.
For many people, the circus is magical; for these students, performing in it is even more special.
"Most circus schools don't have near the equipment that we have here at Circus Juventas or have the aerial equipment we have, most youth circus schools aren't training at the high level that we train here at Circus Juventas," said Butler Norris.
The exchange students head home this weekend after a busy two weeks.
"Is it hard? Sometimes, because we work four hours or more per day with our bodies, so it's hard, but it's also fun," said Rosin.
But the students also got some downtime outside the arena, enjoying Minnesota.
"We did some, for us, very American things, like a rollerskating rink, yesterday we were in the Mall of America," Mach shared.
Circus Juventas tickets go on sale in mid-March for the spring recital; their big performance is coming up at the end of July.