There’s something about this photo story that I dug out of the LIFE archives that makes me want to pack up my website and join the circus. Shot by the acclaimed photographer Nina Leen in 1949, we find our sassy subculture of circus girls in Sarasota, Florida, dubbed “the home of the American circus”.
You can’t help but pick up on a little bit of diva attitude in these behind-the-scenes snaps from an era when a young lady was still expected travel under the watchful eye of her father and enjoy nothing more than staying home and baking cakes. But here were almost naked, unmarried young women swinging and twirling through the air. They were strong, agile, independent and part of the glamour of what was still a much anticipated form of American entertainment…
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