For many kids, growing up in a circus would be a dream but for the Ashton-Rodriquez family it’s just a normal day at work.
Established in the 1800s by the Ashton family, Ashton’s Circus is one of Australia’s oldest. They even provided entertainment to Aussie families during World War II and the Great Depression, and 173 years and seven generations later it’s still going on strong.
Sixth generation Ashton circus performer, Chantel Ashton-Rodriquez has been performing alongside her family since she was just two years old.
“It’s a family business and most of my family including my cousins are circus performers so I was born into it all,” she said.
“I entered the ring before I could even walk, I was bareback horse riding with my father when I was just 2 years old.”
“You learn and develop your skills from a young age, I began tumbling, trampolining and doing aerial stunts very early on too.”
Today, Ms Ashton-Rodriquez performs a wide range of circus acts, including aerial silks, aerial ring, knife throwing and hula hoops.
“For the knife throwing, my partner throws the knives while I stand there against a wall, somewhat nervously,” she said.
“The aerial stunts take a lot of training, it’s a lot of skills teamed with upper body strength and core work.”
“We all have to learn a range of different skills and acts, so we can cover if anyone is sick or injured.”
Ms Ashton-Rodriquez said it’s not all fun and games though, “I have fallen many times, especially in training, but it’s all part of the job.”
When Ms Ashton-Rodriquez was young the family toured all over Australia to perform their shows, she said school was done by correspondence.
“We also had a full-time teacher in the family touring with us, as well as gymnastics teachers, we even had an electrician and mechanic – it was a small village on wheels,” she said.
“I love touring, it’s like a paid holiday and I just love meeting new people and collaborating with other performers on shows.”
Since Covid, Ashton’s Circus haven’t been able to tour at all and have only started getting back on the horse last December.
“Over the school holidays we have been doing our shows at Dreamworld and have received great feedback,” Ms Ashton-Rodriquez said.
“Browns Plains is next and that will actually be our first town back since Covid.
“We love giving back to the community and love meeting everyone who comes to our shows, we are very appreciative for those who support our shows because without them we wouldn’t be able to do this.”
Ashton’s Circus will be at Waller Park in Browns Plains from 3-12th of February. To book tickets visit www.ashtonentertainment.com.au
We’ve got five double passes to giveaway to lucky readers. To be in the draw to win tickets, send your entry to [email protected].
We’ll be drawing the tickets 5pm Wednesday February 1, and winners will be notified via text or email, along with instructions how to collect tickets from the box office.
To be eligible to win, you must include your name, suburb in which you live, contact phone number and email address.
Terms and Conditions:
MyCity Media Ashton’s Circus Competition 2023
2. Five winners will be drawn randomly using a digital randomiser.
3. Entry is open to persons over 18 years of age and Queensland residents only. Only one entry per person is permitted. All duplicate entries will be removed prior to the prize draw.
4. Promotion commences on Monday, January 30, and closes at 5pm Wednesday Feburary 1, 2023. Promotion will be via www.mycitylogan.com.au and MyCity Logan printed edition.
5. There are (5) five prizes to be won for the duration of the competition. The draw will take place at 5pm, Tuesday February 1, 2023. The winner will be notified by email and/or text. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
7. Prize Details are as follows:
Minimum total prize value: $300.
8. All above prizes include GST. This prize is not transferable, exchangeable or redeemable for cash or other prizes. Prize value is recommended retail value as provided by the supplier and is correct at time of printing. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any variation in prize value.
10. In the event that for any reason whatsoever a winner does not take an element of the prize at the time stipulated by the promoter then that element of the prize will be forfeited by the winner and cash will not be awarded in lieu of that element of the prize.
12. The Promoter shall not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever which is suffered (including but not limited to direct or consequential loss) or for any personal injury suffered or sustained in connection with any prize/s except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law.
13. The promoter is MyCity Media, ABN 46 716 990 054, Australia.