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News > Alumni news > Sam Large (Class of 2019) British Gymnastics Champion moves on to Cirque du Soleil

Sam Large (Class of 2019) British Gymnastics Champion moves on to Cirque du Soleil

Sam tells us his journey from winning the senior World Cup in British Gymnastics & coming 2nd at the senior European Championships to a new life with Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio Resort in Vegas

My name is Sam Large, I am 21 and I was a student at TWGSB from 2012-2019. I competed on the world stage of acrobatic gymnastics from 2015-2021.

Almost my whole time at school I was training up to 25 hours a week in the gym, flying abroad for competitions and finding ways to fund it since it is not a widely sponsored sport. TWGSB was very supportive of me; I remember my tutor and friends helped make a cake sale to pay for my flights to China for the World Championships. A couple years later for the next World Championships Ms Simpson sponsored me the new GBR team tracksuit after asking her if I could arrange another cake sale. 

My competitive acrobatic career came to an end in November 2021 when I “retired”. I’d given everything in the last 10 years to my sport, I’d won a senior World Cup and got 2nd at the senior European Championships. By this point my partner and coach and I were ready to hang up the leotards. And so, we did.

6 months go by and I get an unexpected Instagram message from a show in Magaluf. They asked if I could cover for a Ukrainian acrobat who was stuck in Ukraine at the time. Feeling pretty lost in life without the direction and structure that gymnastics gave me I had no reason to say no and every reason to give it a try. The show was called Pirates Mallorca, I worked there for 6 months last year. We would perform around 5 shows a week and that was about it.

Very quickly I could see myself making a career out of this, I developed myself as an artistic product and I networked with different artists and agents.

My parents and i after a show at Pirates Mallorca

This year I’ve got a contract with Cirque Du Soleil in one of their most famous and longest running shows “O” in the world-famous Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, USA. My main act is a group of 8 acrobats who make an acrobatic display on a float in a 1-million-gallon pool. We haven’t created the act yet, but Im sure there’s going to be a lot of throwing people into the water, making human towers and holding crazy balances. 

Two new colleagues from Cirque du Soleil - we met up and trained in the UK before flying out to Vegas together.

I have found a niche where my skills are valued the most and now my plan is to make a career out of my childhood hobby. If I had any advice for an 18-year-old struggling to make huge education/career/ life choices it would be to think about what you’re passionate about and find your niche.

I hope that TWGSB continues to be a place where different career paths and talents are supported and guided. I am very grateful to my time at TWGSB.

Here is a link to one of the videos I sent to Cirque Du Soleil which got me the job:

TWGSB are all so proud of Sam and following his dreams, what a fantastic career to go into!  Best of luck Sam and please keep us posted.

If you have a story to tell to inspire the next generation and let them know what sort of exciting careers are out there, please do get in touch - we would love to put your story up here: or

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