Former Miami resident Jennifer Marcus, who attended Southwood Middle School and Miami Palmetto Senior High, has returned to her hometown in an unexpected way. She is one of the solo performers in the new big top Cirque Du Soleil production Volta, running through Feb. 4.
Marcus, a world-renowned baton twirling artist, has performed in 15 countries. Her mastery of one, two, three, and four batons has earned her 33 world championship medals including 16 golds. Fire batons, fire fans, and other apparatuses have added an element of danger and excitement to her performances.
“I started twirling when I was 3 years old through a rec program actually at my elementary school,” Marcus said. “I got into the competitive world, training across the United States, and I was on Team USA by the age of 12.”
She was in the Magnet Dance program at Southwood Middle School and after school participated as a baton twirler. She also was involved in dance and baton twirling at Palmetto High. The job with Cirque Du Soleil came about in an unusual way.
“About 12 years ago I was competing at an international competition in Orlando and Cirque sent a scout, and they invited me to come to an audition, and so I went,” Marcus said. “At the time they didn’t have any twirling positions available in any of their shows, but they said I’d be placed into their talent bank and maybe one day I’d hear from them.
“Eleven years later, when I was on my honeymoon with my husband, they called and offered me a position with one of their shows. I came home from my honeymoon, packed my bags and moved to Montreal to be part of the creation of the show.”
The premiere of Volta was in April in Canada and now the show is in performances under the big top tent next to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, starting the U.S. leg of the tour. Tampa is next.
“The show is on the road and typically it’s in a city for six weeks to two months, then they break down the tent and we move to another city,” Marcus said. “With this show they’ve tried to break the barriers of traditional Cirque Du Soleil. We have more extreme sports — BMX and Parkour — that can be performed under the tent, and paired it with a story line.”
According to its description, Volta is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and the power of the group to make that possible. It celebrates freedom as a movement.
Marcus also is the co-director of the national champion team Synergy Twirl Club, which is based in South Florida. For information about that visit her website at www.jenmarcus.com/.
To learn more about Volta, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/volta.