Hansens juggle work, family

Alecia Michelle Hansen performs on the aerial cloud swing at the Shenandoah County Fair. The performance was part of the show Hansen's Spectacular, which features two daily performances at the fair. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK – Ask anyone who’s done it and they’ll tell you – raising a family is hard. Raising a family that tours together eight to nine months out of the year? That’s a whole other act, but that’s just what the Hansens do, touring the world sharing their Sarasota, Florida,-based Hansen’s Spectacular show featuring speed juggling, aerial acrobatics, trampolining and hula hooping.

Shane Hansen, with his wife, Alecia, and their three daughters, Olivia, 12, Madison, 10, and Ella, 6, are a family of performers who can be seen this week at the Shenandoah County Fair.

Shane and Alecia Hansen are from performing families and say that in the industry, whole families performing is quite common.

“This show my wife and I started 17 years ago,” said Shane Hansen. “As the kids have grown up, we’ve obviously incorporated them into the show, but my wife and I have been performing since we were very young with our families. I started when I was 3. … My mom and dad did the same kind of thing, so I was born into it, like my wife’s family did the same thing also.”

The Hansens have exhibited their brand of high-flying talent on a multitude of platforms and on a demanding schedule, said Shane Hansen. This is the family’s first time performing at the local fair.

Shane Hansen juggles with fire during the show . Rich Cooley/Daily

“We’ve been from county fairs to state fairs to cruise lines to NBA halftime shows to Europe,” he said. “All over the place – big circuses, stage shows, casinos – we’ve done all of it. … We’re on the road about eight months of the year. We do a couple shows every day at every fair, so we do a few hundred shows every year.”

While most parents might not allow their offspring to do half of what the Hansen girls do, Shane Hansen said he’s not worried and credits safety measures, preparation and experience with keeping his daughters safe. Daughter Madison displayed her skill and athleticism Tuesday evening on a lyra, a hoop suspended in the air and swung by way of ropes.

“They get the proper training, and the safety equipment that we have, we have a very safe show the way we do it,” Shane Hansen said. “Of course as a father, I’m always concerned and as a husband I’m concerned, but for the most part, I know that they’ve been taught the right way and that we pay close attention to all the small details on everything.”

Shane Hansen stressed that performing as a family brings them closer together. His daughters, he said, get along well.

“It definitely makes us closer. We’re with each other 24-7. They’re homeschooled — we teach them. I don’t have a nine-to-five job where I leave and come back later on. This is our full-time career so we’re always together. … It’s different. A lot of people can’t understand how we can be on the road for nine months a year and I can’t understand how you could stay home for nine months a year.”

Madison Hansen, 8, performs with hula hoops during the show. Rich Cooley/Daily

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com