Sidney Iking Bateman | St. Louis Public Radio

Sidney Iking Bateman

Jessica Hentoff and Circus Harmony alums
Circus Harmony

Jessica Hentoff is quick to insist that the primary focus of Circus Harmony, the St. Louis-based organization she heads up, isn’t to turn kids into top-notch circus professionals. And yet the program has a track record of doing just that — even as it changes lives in other ways, too.

This fall, a total of four Circus Harmony alumni are touring with Cirque du Soleil, the largest circus company in the world. They include St. Louis natives Melvin Diggs, Sidney "Iking" Bateman, Terrance "T-Roc" Robinson and Chauncey Kroner.

Hentoff couldn’t be more proud of them — and just returned from Vancouver and Chicago this past weekend where she watched them perform. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with Hentoff about the success the program and its participants have seen. The conversation included comments from Bateman and Diggs.