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Society

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Cuban Kids Train for Circus - 13 Oct 2014
Inside an abandoned movie theater on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus.
Aspiring acrobats climb a rope while young jugglers toss pins back and forth, and others take turns on the trampoline or parallel bars. No one seems to mind the dilapidated conditions, at least as long as the weather is dry. Several corrugated tin laminates are missing from the roof, exposing the sky.

"Ever since I was little, I always said, 'I want to join the circus,'" said 12-year-old Daniela Rodriguez, who likes training at heights. "At first I was a little scared, but not anymore."
The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island.

Cuban circus artists working abroad make a minimum of 800 euros (about $1,015) a month, and usually much more than that, a relative fortune compared to the meager salaries back home.
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O39
October 10, 2014
A girl performs with hoops during a training session at a circus school in Havana, September 26, 2014....
Havana, Cuba
Girl performs with hoops during a training session at a circus school in Havana
A girl performs with hoops during a training session at a circus school in Havana, September 26, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O43
October 10, 2014
Children practise at a circus school during a training session in Havana, September 26, 2014. Inside...
Havana, Cuba
Children practise at a circus school during a training session in Havana
Children practise at a circus school during a training session in Havana, September 26, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O42
October 10, 2014
Samuel Amador, 8, practises during a training session at a circus school in Havana, September 25, 2014....
Havana, Cuba
Boy practises during a training session at a circus school in Havana
Samuel Amador, 8, practises during a training session at a circus school in Havana, September 25, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O40
October 10, 2014
Children listen to instructions during a training session at a circus school in Havana, September 25,...
Havana, Cuba
Children listen to instructions during a training session at a circus school in Havana
Children listen to instructions during a training session at a circus school in Havana, September 25, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O3Z
October 10, 2014
A child climbs a rope during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside...
Havana, Cuba
Child climbs a rope during a training session at a circus school in Havana
A child climbs a rope during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O3Y
October 10, 2014
Children take a break during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 7, 2014. Inside...
Havana, Cuba
Children take a break during a training session at a circus school in Havana
Children take a break during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 7, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken October 7, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O3W
October 10, 2014
A child practises during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside an...
Havana, Cuba
Child practises during a training session at a circus school in Havana
A child practises during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O3V
October 10, 2014
Children warm up during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside an abandoned...
Havana, Cuba
Children warm up during a training session at a circus school in Havana
Children warm up during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O3K
October 10, 2014
A child practises on a trampoline during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6,...
Havana, Cuba
Child practises on a trampoline during a training session at a circus school in Havana
A child practises on a trampoline during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O3E
October 10, 2014
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside an...
Havana, Cuba
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O3G
October 10, 2014
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 7, 2014. Inside an...
Havana, Cuba
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 7, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken October 7, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O3B
October 10, 2014
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana, September 29, 2014. Inside...
Havana, Cuba
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana, September 29, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken September 29, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O3F
October 10, 2014
A boy sips water at the entrance of a circus school during a training session in Havana, September 26,...
Havana, Cuba
Boy sips water at the entrance of a circus school during a training session in Havana
A boy sips water at the entrance of a circus school during a training session in Havana, September 26, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O3D
October 10, 2014
A child climbs a rope during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside...
Havana, Cuba
Child climbs a rope during a training session at a circus school in Havana
A child climbs a rope during a training session at a circus school in Havana, October 6, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA Tags: DAILYLIFE SPORTS - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR49O37
October 10, 2014
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana, September 29, 2014. Inside...
Havana, Cuba
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana
Children practise during a training session at a circus school in Havana, September 29, 2014. Inside an abandoned movie theatre on a noisy avenue in a working-class section of Havana, some 70 Cuban children as young as nine pursue their dream of joining the circus. The circus is a lucrative career path and a rare opportunity for Cubans to make real money on the communist-led island. Picture taken September 29, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
CUBA-ODDLY/
RTR47R3F
September 26, 2014
Circus performer Olga Morales, 18, takes part in a training session in Havana, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre...
Havana, Cuba
Circus performer Olga Morales takes part in a training session in Havana
Circus performer Olga Morales, 18, takes part in a training session in Havana, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-ODDLY/
RTR47RDE
September 26, 2014
Circus performers practice during a training session in Havana, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre...
Havana, Cuba
Circus performers practice during a training session in Havana
Circus performers practice during a training session in Havana, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-ODDLY/
RTR47R47
September 26, 2014
Circus performers Lena Dias, 24, (top) and Karelis Gamboa, 20, practise during a training session in...
Havana, Cuba
Circus performers Lena Dias and Karelis Gamboa practise during a training session in Havana
Circus performers Lena Dias, 24, (top) and Karelis Gamboa, 20, practise during a training session in Havana, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-ODDLY/
RTR47R40
September 26, 2014
A circus performer practises during a training session in Havana, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre...
Havana, Cuba
Circus performer practises during a training session in Havana
A circus performer practises during a training session in Havana, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR43HIG
August 24, 2014
Actress Mercedes Miranda, 46, gets ready to perform in "The Queen of the Crocodile Dance" as part of...
Havana, Cuba
Actress Mercedes Miranda gets ready to perform in "The Queen of the Crocodile Dance" as part of a Cuban...
Actress Mercedes Miranda, 46, gets ready to perform in "The Queen of the Crocodile Dance" as part of a Cuban National Circus show in Havana, August 23, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
CUBA-CIRCUS/
RTR43HKN
August 24, 2014
Actresses Isis Pelegrini (front) and Olga Morales relax moments before performing in a Cuban National...
Havana, Cuba
Actresses relax moments before performing in a Cuban National Circus show in Havana
Actresses Isis Pelegrini (front) and Olga Morales relax moments before performing in a Cuban National Circus show in Havana, August 23, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)
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