Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

Christian Atayde Stoinev


Christian Atayde StoinevChristian Atayde Stoinev

Circus performer from 1999 to 2009, Christian went to school at the One Ring School House that travels with the Big Apple Circus.

Born into the big top life, Christian Atayde Stoinev is the son of Big Apple Circus Performance Director Ivan Stoinev and Customer Service Manager Maritza Atayde. In 1977, Stoinev debuted his first act: an unsupported ladder-balancing act that he performed with his father. Stoinev began performing with the Big Apple Circus as an acrobat in 2001, and he has won several prestigious international awards for his handstand and acrobatic breakdance acts. This season, Stoinev is busy applying to colleges around the country, as he prepares to graduate from the Big Apple Circus One-Ring School House.


"College is different from the circus because I'm living in one place now, and I am in a completely different environment. In the circus I was always surrounded by adults or smaller children, but rarely anyone my age."

Three Questions:

How important is your physical fitness to the success of your routine?

"My physical fitness is extremely important for the success of my routine, and the most important thing is my stamina."

What do you think is the most physically demanding act in the Big Apple Circus?

"I believe that the most physically demanding act in the Big Apple Circus in the 2008-2009 season was probably the Russian barre because of the amount of danger involved. Their lives are at risk every performance, and being physically prepared is crucial."

What is your favorite family recipe?

"My favorite family recipe is for Bulgarian burgers, or kufteh(c). My dad often cooks them on the grill."

Related Links: