Skip yourself into a Career with Kata and Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam

Have you ever dreamed of joining the circus?

For Hungarian born Kata Banhegy this dream came true in 2005 when she earned a position as a skipping aficionado in Cirque du Soleil’s Hong Kong tour of Quidam. Today, Kata continues wowing audiences with her amazing skipping tricks and athleticism and Vervegirl had the opportunity to hook up with her to learn more about life on tour with Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam.

VERVEGIRL: I understand that your father was the one who encouraged you to get into skipping, when did you know that this would turn into a career?
KATA BANHEGY:Yes my father was the one who saw a movie where girls were skipping and since he is a physical education teacher he brought skipping to his school. After some time he found out that there were skipping competitions. At first we just went to watch the competitions to get ideas about routines but after a couple of years we began to compete; I knew that I really wanted to do it professionally.

VG: Our readers LOVE Cirque du Soleil- what is it like to perform in such an amazing show?
KB: It’s an amazing show and it’s an honour to perform on Quidam. Having the reaction from the public every day makes our time on stage very special.

VG: Did you have to audition for Quidam? If so, how many other girls we at the audition?
KB: Yes , I had to audition for the show, but it was a general audition so it was not specifically for the role that I’m doing today, I just had the information that they picked me for Quidam when they called me from Montreal to offer me the contract. There were about 45 people auditioning at the same time, including my sister who does skipping as well.

VG: How does it feel to be in front of so many people?
KB: It always feels very good to perform in front of so many people, it makes us feel good to see them happy and they give us so much energy to perform our best every day!

VG: Do you get nervous?
KB: I have been with the show for 6 years now so I don’t get as nervous as I got at the beginning but when I have someone from my family or friends in the public it always makes me a little more excited!

VG: What is the best thing about being in Quidam?
KB: It’s a really nice group of people that we have on Tour; we are all from different countries so you can really see the differences between the cultures this is what makes it really interesting. And of course Quidam is one of the best shows of Cirque du Soleil!

VG: What is the thing you like the least about being in the show?
KB: I really cannot say anything bad, but perhaps the only negative thing is that being on Tour, keeps us far away from our families!

VG: How long do you practice every day in order to perfect your routines for Quidam?
KB: Skipping is a group act, so we always have to practice with the people who are involved in the number. We practice at least twice a week and we do the show almost every day with two shows on the weekend. Plus I always do my cardio and conditioning training every day.

VG: Vervegirls love to travel which country is your favourite and why?
KB: My favourite place is Brazil, probably because my husband is from there and I lived in Rio de Janeiro which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We spent almost a year in Brazil with the show and visited eight different cities so I really got to see different parts of the country  and the colourful culture which changes regionally.

VG: What is it like to be on the road all the time? Do you miss your family and friends while you are away?
KB: I love to travel so I think for me it’s the perfect job, but sometimes it’s hard to be far away from our families. Although the arena Tour makes it a little bit easier because we work 10 weeks and then we have 2 weeks off when we can go home and spend some time with friends and family!

VG: Vervegirls also love Fashion – Are you able to tell us some of your favourite Canadian stores that you shop in?
KB:There is really nice store in Canada called LULULEMON , I have already bought some clothes there but I have to be careful with shopping because we can only have two bags with us on tour, so I try not to buy too many things.

VG: Your job seems very fun, but outside of work what do you like to do for enjoyment and to relax?
KB: I really like to spend my days off outside, walking around, going to parks, but I also like to go to the cinema or theatre .It depends on which city we are in and what they have to offer. When I’m on holiday I love to go to the beach!!!

VG: What advice can you give to young women about achieving their goals?
KB: I think you always have to believe in yourself and just do the best you can, there will be always obstacles but it is part of the journey that you have to do to achieve your goals.

Cirque du Soleil is pleased to announce that the critically-acclaimed production Quidam will be performing in the Greater Toronto Area in December 2011 and January 2012. For show and ticket information, please visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/quidam

Photo : Al Seib
Costume : Dominique Lemieux ©Cirque du Soleil