The Stella Circus has brought the suspense of balancing acts, the awe of aerial dance, and the warmth of man’s best friend to the Jefferson County Fair.
The Stella Circus is husband and wife duo Dextre Tripp and Jana Lee, and their four rescue dogs Stella, Mabel, Adrian, and Clarice. The dogs make up the finale of the show with their own tricks of balance and skill.
Dextre Tripp started out juggling in 1981, but quickly found that there was little room for more jugglers. He moved on to balancing skills to give himself a better chance at performing. He has appeared on the Today Show.
Jana Lee was a competitive gymnast for 10 years before she began performing. She began aerial in 2007, before it was a widely popular skill. She learned on her own, which could be dangerous at times. She appeared on America’s Got Talent with a strong woman act. They both appeared on the Ellen show together.
The couple met through performing, but their shows rarely overlapped in location. This meant they were both traveling to different locations much of the time. This changed when they created Circus Stella in 2010.
They named the show after their dog Stella. Tripp started doing agility classes with her, and noticed how fast she picked it up. They decided to see what else they could train her to do. When she started learning more interesting tricks, Circus Stella was born.
Their dog Adrian was the first dog they got with their show in mind. They wanted to try to get a dog that would be up for the car rides and hard work of the show.
Tripp and Lee carry an important message with their circus. All of their dogs that travel and perform with them are rescues. At the end of their show they like to encourage their audience to “adopt, don’t shop” when looking for a forever friend. The mission of their circus is to help find rescues loving homes.