By Dominique Jando
Ricardo Sosa was born in Havana, Cuba, on September 30, 1965. The son of a singer, Ricardo began studying ballet when he was six years old. At seventeen, he enrolled in the Yuri Mandich Circus School in Havana, the national, Russian-style state circus school. There, he trained for four years to be a professional circus performer. He graduated in 1986 with a remarkable hand-balancing and contortion act.
Three years into his career, Ricardo returned to his alma mater and became a circus teacher. He proved to be an unusually effective instructor. After his students began winning national circus competitions, he received a special teaching award from the Cuban Government. He also continued to perform, appearing at the Tropicana in Havana and touring with Cuban circus companies in South America.
In 1994, while performing in Colombia at Circo Egred Hermanos, Ricardo and other performers in the Cuban troupe defected. It was a huge scandal in Havana: Never before had such an important group of performers defected. For Ricardo Sosa, it was the beginning of a new career. From 1994 to '98, he toured South and Central America with Circo Suarez and performed in Mexico City with Circo Union. There, he was spotted by a casting agent for Carson & Barnes Circus and was offered his first U.S. circus contract in 1999.
Ricardo has since settled in the United States, where he has worked extensively in nightclubs, casinos, and circuses, including Circus Circus and the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada; Teatro ZinZanni in Seattle, Washington and San Francisco, California; Universoul Circus; and Circus Sarasota. He has also embarked on an international career, appearing with Circo Moira Orfei in Italy and numerous variety shows in Germany, notably with GOP Varieté and Palazzo.
Now a U.S. citizen, Ricardo Sosa lives in Miami, Florida.
- Video: Ricardo Sosa, hand-balancer, at Palazzo in Hamburg, Germany (2006)
- Video: Ricardo Sosa, hand-balancer, in Lone Star Circus production of Banquisté (2012)