Meet Laura Kmetko – Kooza Teeterboard Flyer

ACROBAT Laura Kmetko recently marked her 900th show with Cirque Du Soleil’s KOOZA in Brisbane.

“Brisbane is my 18th city with this show,” she said of her far-flung schedule, which includes up to 10 shows a week.

“I’ve been through a lot of Europe, North America, Vancouver in Canada, three cities in South America …”

Now homeward bound, the bubbly 32-year-old performer was looking forward to getting away to the mountains and visiting family.

Born in Moonee Ponds, Kmetko grew up in the Macedon Ranges before moving to Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

The former elite gymnast was scouted by the Victorian Institute of Sport in Albert Park with her twin sister at nine and represented Australia before a career flip, swapping the uneven bars and balance beam for life under the big top.

With her sights set on Cirque Du Soleil’s Grand Chapiteau she trained at the National Institute of Circus Arts in Prahran, specialising in the Chinese pole and handstand contortion. As a gymnast her favourite event was the floor.

“I started with ballet, and I enjoyed doing the tumbling and dance. I still enjoy the movement and the artistic side of things that we do in our show,” she said.

Now a teeterboard flyer, Kmetko had to wait years before earning her chance to run away with the world’s best known circus.

“I think it was the opportunity to travel, to still use the skills I had from gymnastics on a performing scale, and artistically their shows are known for being awe-inspiring and I wanted to see if I could be a part of it,” the high-flyer said of the inspiration for her dedication.

“I definitely love the teamwork aspect, which is very different from gymnastics, which is a solo kind of a sport. The teeterboard act that I am part of is definitely the part of the show I enjoy the most.

“It’s exciting for me, and feeling like I contribute to a really exciting finale.”

Her fellow Australian in Cirque Du Soleil, former Olympic gymnast Lisa Skinner, fell during a trapeze act in November. She is recovering from a fracture in her neck and a broken arm, but that doesn’t scare Kmetko.

The show must go on.

“She’s an incredible human being,” Kmetko said.

“I’ve actually been really inspired by the bravery that I’ve seen from a lot of the artists over the years. Doing what we do, it’s important that we overcome those challenges. I’ve always believed that how you get up is more important than how you get down … It’s something I learnt from gymnastics.”

{ SOURCE: Hearald Sun | }