The Pompeyo Family
Born in Cali, Colombia, Jorge Niño (Pompeyo) is a fourth-generation circus performer. He made is debut in the ring at age five, as a clownGeneric term for all clowns and augustes. '''Specific:''' In Europe, the elegant, whiteface character who plays the role of the straight man to the Auguste in a clown team.… Like most children born into the circus, he was trained in a wide variety of disciplines, and worked over the years as an acrobat, a flying trapezeAerial act in which an acrobat is propelled from a trapeze to a catcher, or to another trapeze. (See also: Short-distance Flying Trapeze) artist, a high-wire walker, and an animal trainer—notably with a group of tigers.
His wife, Natalya Demina, was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where she started training in competitive gymnastics at the tender age four. When she was ten years old, she fell on her back after doing a double somersault from the uneven bars, and spent one month in a hospital: Her father had to teach her to walk again. Yet, after a few months, the strong-willed Natalya was back to gymnastics! She eventually obtained a Masters of Sports in gymnastics.
Like many competitive gymnasts in the former Soviet Union, Natalya transferred her gymnastics skills to the circus, which she joined when she was fifteen years old. She started with an aerial cradlePiece of apparatus (generally aerial) composed of two horizontal parallel bars in which a catcher locks his legs to be in position of catching a flyer. (Variant: Korean Cradle.) act, and after a few years, she joined an acrobatic troupe with which she began to travel the world.
Jorge and Natalya met in 2003 in the United States, where they both performed with the George Carden Circus: Jorge worked on the high wireA tight, heavy metallic cable placed high above the ground, on which wire walkers do crossings and various acrobatic exercises. Not to be confused with a tight wire. with the Toscano Troupe, and Natalya was an aerialistAny acrobat working above the ring on an aerial equipment such as trapeze, Roman Rings, Spanish web, etc. on silks(See: Tissu) and an acrobat. They fell in love and, as they say, the rest is history...
Yet all was not immediately in the pink: while Natalya was pregnant with their first child, Katerina, Jorge was performing in a “Globe of Death” act in a circus that went burst in the middle of the season. The circus owner was unable to pay Jorge what he still owed him, and perhaps in an attempt to show his good faith, he presented him instead with two dogs…
This didn’t really help the young couple at first, but they made the best of it: they decided to build a dog act they would present together – but they needed more dogs: they began to comb the shelters for spirited dogs in need of a home. Over the years, more dogs were then rescued from various shelters and unsavory homes, which Jorge trained according to their natural abilities and individual talents, and in 2009, the Pompeyo Family and their Amazing Rescue Dogs began their triumphant career!
Jorge, Natalya, their daughters Katerina, and Isabella, and their wonderful dogs have been performing together for over ten years throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean with constant success. In the U.S., they have been featured in such venues as Circus Sarasota, Lone Star Circus, Circus Vazquez, among many others.
- Video: The Pompeyo Family, dog act, at Lone Star Circus (2014)