Watch Jennifer Marcus show off her baton twirling skills and discuss her role in Cirque du Soleil’s ‘VOLTA,’ which is in town through Feb. 4.
Jennifer Marcus is a patient woman.
The World Champion baton twirler and Miami native who now stars in Cirque du Soleil’s “VOLTA,” auditioned for the Canadian production company more than a decade ago. She never heard back, but stayed hard at work training and competing for the U.S. baton twirling team, which she joined when she was 12.
The Palmetto High alum was ready to hang up her batons after 19 years and 16 gold medals when she finally got the call.
“I had retired from baton twirling and focused on getting married to my husband. We were planning our wedding,” said Marcus. “Then in March [of 2017], the week of our wedding, Cirque du Soleil called me. So the week of my wedding, I sent updated videos and while I was on my honeymoon they called me and offered me the position with ‘VOLTA.'”
Once she arrived home from her honeymoon, she was on a plane to Montreal.
The reason patience was necessary is because baton twirlers are not common acts in Cirque shows. In fact, Marcus can count them on one hand.
“There’s one baton twirler in ‘Kaa’ in Vegas,” she said. “There was an amazing twirler in ‘Verikai,’ which closed last week.”
Make that one finger.
“VOLTA,” which has taken up residence on the grounds of the Hard Rock Stadium through Feb. 4, takes its inspiration from extreme sports like parkour and BMX and manages to create big thrills on a small stage. With costumes designed my the infamous Zaldy, who has created touring wardrobes for Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga, the show presents the struggle of a man who enjoys fame and is beloved by his public, but is still haunted by the insecurities of his childhood. Cirque du Soleil somehow finds a way to wrap a message about self acceptance around high adrenaline acrobatic acts.
“It’s a really positive message,” said Marcus. “Everyone can relate to the show because everyone has something that has made them feel different from everyone else.”
Now that Marcus is well into her residency in her home town, the cast can tell when South Florida twirlers are in the audience. They make their presence known.
“The twirling community has been so supportive,” she said, explaining that on some nights, entire teams have shown up for the show.
The twirlers are likely exuberant to see one of their own finally find another place to showcase their skill.
Now Marcus is glad she didn’t retire.
“It was worth the wait,” she said.