How Dad's Transfer to Sky Blues Made Louise Yorath a Sexy Circus Star

Article excerpt

Byline: Sam Dimmer

WHEN Jimmy Hill signed Terry Yorath for Coventry City he unwittingly started a chain of events that would see the Welsh international's youngest daughter head to Las Vegas to join up with an acrobatic act that has wowed the world.

While the midfield dynamo was busy delighting the Highfield Road crowds in the 1970s Louise Yorath joined the City of Coventry Rhythmic Gymnastics Club and started a career that would change her life completely.

Now with sister Gabby one of Britain's most popular broadcasters little sister Lou-ise lives in Las Vegas and has just brought the curtain down on an extraordinary career with Cirque du Soleil.

Louise, now 37, first linked up with the renowned circus at 19, performing in Mystre, their first show to be held in the world famous Las Vegas Boulevard.

She did temporarily return to England after finishing with Mystre, but quickly returned to Vegas where she spent 11 years as a freelance performer.

There she worked as a model and a performer, dancing in The Tournament of Kings - a top dinner show at the Excalibur casino - for nine years.

For the last five years before she retired from acrobatics Louise had a starring role in the Cirque du Soleil show Zumanity where she performed an act, described by many critics as one of the sexiest in the circus's histor y.

But without that stop-off in Coventry it may never have happened.

Louise said: "I have many fond memories of Coventry. We arrived in 1977 after my dad signed for the club. I was just 3 years old.

"My parents ended up buying the house off Jimmy Hill on Cannon Hill Road, Cannon Park, and I have such great memories of all the friends we made on and around the road.

"We would play until after it got dark riding our bikes, playing in each others gardens.

We went to a wonderful school, St Thomas More in Styvechale.

"I joined the City Of Coventry Rhythmic Gymnastics Club when I was about seven.

The head of the club was and still is one of Great Britain's best coaches - Marion Sands.

"I guess I took to rhythmic gymnastics instantly. My body type was suitable for the sport and I really enjoyed all aspects of training.

"I think early on I wanted to be the best I could be and not just go for fun. I would spend hours watching videos of the world's best gymnasts, designing leotards and editing music in my bedroom "I wasn't really allowed to practice in my room because a window somehow got broken once, but we usually managed to sneak a few moves in. …