Wangara performers head to Hollywood

Bullsbrook resident Krystal Meakins and Karla Wessels, of Landsdale. Picture: Martin Kennealey d491202
Bullsbrook resident Krystal Meakins and Karla Wessels, of Landsdale. Picture: Martin Kennealey d491202

THREE northern suburbs performers will travel to Hollywood in July to compete in dance and circus routines.

Landsdale resident Karla Wessels, Bullsbrook’s Krystal Meakins and Sarah Gray, who is currently in Melbourne, will represent Australia at the 2019 World Championships of Performing Arts in the US.

The trio from the Perth Circus & Dance Academy in Wangara will compete in Hollywood across a range of dance and variety genres, including acrobatics, jazz, contortion and trapeze.

The academy’s principal teacher and co-owner Jemma Gray said each of them would present five 60-second pieces in a bid to make it through to the finals.

“They will be competing against talent from over 60 countries, so it’s bound to be a fierce competition,” she said.

“If they make it through the first round, then they will be through to the semi-finals, then the finals and a chance at gold.”

Wessels, born in South Africa, has been doing acrobatics for 12 years since she was eight years old and was excited about the opportunities the championships will give her as an artist.

Meakins told her parents she would go to the Olympics when she was four years old while watching the 2005 Commonwealth Games, so being invited to represent Australia at the world championships was like a dream come true.

She hopes to audition for the National Institute of Circus Arts and have a successful career as a dancer or acrobat.

Karla Wessels and Krystal Meakins.

Academy co-owner Sarah Gray is a professional circus artist/acrobat who graduated from the National Institute of Circus Arts in 2016 and aspires to one day perform in a Cirque Du Soleil production.

Due to perform in Barnum: The Circus Musical in Melbourne later this month, she said she was excited to be performing on an international stage and connecting with a variety of industry professionals.

“I’m excited but a little bit nervous to represent my country at such an elite event,” she said.

“Just getting to this point is a milestone and if any of our team were to come home with a prize would just be a bonus.”

Between them, the girls have more than 40 years of dance and performing experience with success in both state and national competitions.

“Karla, Krystal and Sarah were selected by the international entertainment panel to represent Australia on a world stage in July,” the championships national director Lizette Hunt said.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime and could open many career doors for them.”

Krystal Meakins and Karla Wessels.