In 1918, a young boy by the name of Jerry King slipped under the tent to see The Greatest Show on Earth®. Enamored, all he recalled from that day were the elephants and the man on the high-wire riding a unicycle. In 1958, as a father who was concerned with the social events occurring within his community in South Bronx, King taught his son Charles and every kid in the neighborhood, who wanted to learn, to ride a unicycle. He started a unicycle club and laid down certain rules to follow, such as discipline, direction and Christian principles.
Ten years later, the troupe auditioned on the sidewalk outside of Madison Square Garden to Irvin Feld producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® . The audition was a success and the King Charles Troupe made its debut with Ringling Bros. ® in 1969 becoming the first all-black circus act in the history of Ringling Bros. Lead by King’s son Charles the King Charles Troupe, reigned in popularity for nearly 20 years with The Greatest Show On Earth. Since then the troupe has performed for stage productions domestically and internationally.
Now a new generation of producers Nicole Feld and Alana Feld and the next generation of the King Charles Troupe have come together again in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Built To Amaze!SM.
Originally from the Bronx, New York, troupe leader Kim Anthony Jones (Kip) joined the King Charles Troupe at the age of 15. With a background in gymnastics, on a whim he accompanied a friend to the troupe’s tryouts, and has been performing with the King Charles Troup ever since. Most recently, he accomplished a record setting 164 single jumps on a unicycle while double-dutch jump-roping.
Carlos Meza from Tumaco, Colombia He is one of the members of the King Charles Troupe spoke with Hola America. Originally Carlos was a member of the High wire troupe “The Willie Family”, whom were close friends with KCT. He was so fascinated with the KCT’s riding skills, he asked to learn and be a member.
He told us that his daily routine consist of morning workouts, review video of act from previous night, check equipment, receive public relations updates and update the KCT FB page.
Carlos enjoys traveling across this country by rail and doing what he loves which is Unicycling and playing basketball. As well as performing for audiences around the country.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® along with Carlos, Kip and the rest of the King Charles Troupe will be performing at the i wireless Center in Moline during the Labor Day weekend on, Friday, August 29 through Monday, September 1. For details of scheduled performances visit: www.ringling.com or www.iwirelesscenter.com
Special Offer for Hola America readers SAVE $3 per ticket!
Use offer code: HOLA
Good only for the Sunday, Aug. 31 performances at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Limit eight (8) Reserved Seat Tickets. No double discounts. Other restrictions and exclusions may apply. Excludes premium seats.