Dolly Jacobs & Rafael Palacios

No one personifies the ethereal elegance and awe-inspiring allure of the freedom of flight quite like Circus Sarasota’s world-premiere aerialist and circus legend, Dolly Jacobs. She soars, she spellbinds, she glides through the air with a graceful enchantment and unbridled poise.

Jacobs’ passion for performance stems from a deep-rooted family legacy in the arts. Her mother Jean was a top New York fashion model and circus performer, and her father was the legendary clown Lou Jacobs – reigning king of clowns who brought joy and laughter to children of all ages on Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus for over 60 years. Born and raised in Sarasota, she trained at the renowned Sailor Circus and was taught the Roman Rings act by her Godmother, Margie Geiger.

Following in her father’s footsteps, she began her professional career with Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, where she mesmerized audiences and earned the undisputed title of “Queen of the Air.” Her career continued to take flight as she went on to star in The Big Apple Circus and later in worldwide performances alongside her now husband and CAC co-founder, Pedro Reis.

Jacobs has been awarded numerous accolades, including the Dame du Cirque and the prestigious Silver Clown award in at the International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo. She was inducted into the Circus Ring of Fame at St. Armands Circle in 1997 and to the Ringling Museum Hall of Fame as “Circus Celebrity” in 1999. Most recently, in 2015, Dolly became the first circus artist in history to be named a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow, which is the nation’s top honor in the Traditional and Folk Arts.

Dolly’s co-star and aerial partner, Rafael Palacios, was born in Sarasota to third generation trapeze artists. He began his aerial training at the age of two and was soon performing with his parents in Las Vegas. By the age of five, he earned recognition as “Youngest Trapeze Artist in a Public Performance.” Palacios and his family were also inducted into Sarasota’s Circus Ring of Fame and have performed for the likes of royal figures and leaders including Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco and Pope John Paul II. Palacios has also been awarded the coveted “Clown Award” for lifetime achievement from the Cirque d’ Monte Carlo.

You will be swept away by the magnificent beauty of Jacobs and Palacios as they lift your spirits with an entrancing love story that takes flight right here beneath the Big Top.