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Eudora High graduate Melissa Fernandez, shown here competing on the balance beam for the University of Illinois, where she earned All-American honors three times, has traded in the hard-core world of competitive gymnastics for a chance to join the circus — literally.

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Perfect opportunity: Eudora grad eyes spot with Cirque du Soleil

For most at the age of 6, tumbling equipment means free-spirited play time, a total escape from the structured world of bedtime and timeout.

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