17-year-old Arizona tight rope walker talks thrilling job - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

17-year-old Arizona tight rope walker talks thrilling job

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PHOENIX -

Nik Wallenda's decided not to use a safety net or a harness during his Grand Canyon walk, making the attempt even more dangerous.

One Chandler girl knows all about walking the tightrope. She's been doing it for years, sometimes without safety gear. But she's also been severely injured.

The 17-year-old from Chandler is part of Circus Americana. Her mother is a clown, her father eats fire.

She started walking the tight wire when she was 6 years old. Today she showed us what it was like at 5 feet off the ground. Any higher and her parents make her use safety gear.

"I have extremely strong toes because I grip with them. I'm a second generation circus child, my mother worked with Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey… I love tight wire, I love it so much," says Elia Taylor.

"I have a leather strip down the ballet shoe. I have them specially made. You don't want to lose your focus, you always have to be careful. It's a healthy respect for the fact that you're up here."

Elia once had a terrible fall.

"When I was 13 I almost died but though God's grace and an amazing surgeon I was saved and it took me about 2 years to get back up."

She was one of the 13 million people who watched Nik Wallenda's amazing stunt Sunday night.

"He's amazing isn't he? I just prayed for him the entire time. I knew he was going to make it, he's very talented and he knew what he was doing."

Elia will be teaching a weekly tight wire class along with other circus classes at Aspire Kids Sports Center starting on Wednesday, July 10.

Online: www.circusamericana.com 

Aspire Kids Sports Center
50 S Hearthstone Way, Chandler, AZ 85226
6:30 - 8:00 p.m. starting July 10
www.aspirekidsportscenter.com 

Video: Elia showed FOX 10's Jill Monier how to walk the high wire. Press play to see how she did!

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