Meet Cirque du Soleil’s Latino-Native American hoop dancer

In a few short hours here in Irvine, California, Cirque du Soleil, Totem, performers will charge onto their stage with dramatic makeup, costumes and music.

Behind-the-scenes and inside the “Village on Wheels” as it’s called, there is a flurry of activity.

Look above and you’ll see trapeze artists perfecting their moves.

Down below, artists stretch on thick gymnastic mats and tell jokes, while others visit the medical tent to soothe their muscles through massage.

The makeup team is busy painting faces as costumes are being rounded up by the performers.

At the makeshift lounge, there are couches and a flat-screen tv, where performers can watch the previous night’s show and make the necessary notes.

It’s all in a day’s work at Totem, Cirque du Soleil’s show about the evolution of humans.

We caught up with one featured Latino-Native American performer, Eric Hernandez, the show’s Hoop Dancer.  Hernandez hails from Covina, California, so Totem’s show this week is a homecoming of sorts for Eric.

Eric has been hoop dancing since he was 10 thanks to his uncle Terry Goedel, a world champion hoop dancer.

And although Eric never imagined he’d being hoop dancing for a living, one look at his performance and you can see why Cirque du Soleil came calling.

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