Linda W. Perkins

Acrobats Amazed with City

Arlington Citizen-Journal/Fort Worth Star-Telegram - September 01, 1988

The final week of performances has come for the Incredible Acrobats of China, Six Flags Over Texas' main attraction of the summer.

While the acrobats are ready to get back to their families, their visit has made an impact on them and their audience.

The acrobats were able to get out and experience the American way of life first hand, despite a hectic performance schedule. They went bowling, swimming at their apartment complex, shopping at a modern supermarket, and then took in one of Arlington's favorite summer-fun places, Wet'N Wild.

Zhou Xiu Qin, leader and translator for the troupe, said Wet'N Wild was one of their most unforgettable experiences. She described how they got to the top of the Blue Niagra ride, and suddenly the women weren't too keen on going down a slide from that height.

"I was brave," she said. "I went down first."

Getting the other women to go down wasn't so easy. It was only after the men pushed them back up the ladder and loosened their grip on the lifeguards' arms that they finally went down the water slide.

Zhou said the acrobats who have families all wish they could bring their children to places like Wet'N Wild and Six Flags. She explained that in China they work six days a week. After all the housework is done, there isn't time to do things with the kids.

"American children are so lucky to enjoy these things," she said.

The acrobats, who had never been to the United States or Arlington before, said their main complaint is the heat.

"But the audience is as warm as the weather here," added nose balancer Wu Huizhen.

The acrobats are favorably impressed with Texas highways.

"The road construction and the highways are very good," said lion dancer Liu Junshan, "and everyone obeys the traffic regulations."

The acrobats are also impressed by the wealth and modern development they have seen.

Troupe leader and comedian Da Liang has been to other United States cities, but he said it was nice to visit Arlington. He said Arlington is a quiet place that seems to be much safer than other cities.

"I think on the whole, Arlington's quite all right," he said.

Of course, the Chinese acrobats had to try out the rides at Six Flags and favorite rides varied from the Roto Disco for barrel contortionist Xu Yue to the Cliff Hanger for Da Liang.

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