The water circus showcased around 15 performances, some of which were performed using water.
FORT WALTON BEACH — The crowd waited in anticipation as one of the performers climbed a pile of six chairs, holding himself up with only one hand.
Derek Diaz, the hand-balancing performer, is only 16 but has been performing with his dad since he was 12.
Diaz said one of his biggest challenges is studying while also finding the time to practice his act.
The two are performers in Cirque Italia, a traveling water circus that stopped in Fort Walton Beach for shows Thursday through Sunday at the C.H. "Bull" Rigdon Fairgrounds and Recreation Complex.
The water circus showcased around 15 performances, some of which were performed using water. From extreme jugglers to trapeze artists and even a clown named Alex, who does not like audience members who show up late, the show had something for everyone.
Alex the Clown was showing off his talent at piñata hitting with a piñata attached to a fishing pole and swimming pool noodle when a latecomer headed for his seat.
Alex asked the latecomer to hold his fishing pole. Alex whacked him with the noodle he was supposed to use for the pinata.
As the crowd laughed at the spectacle, Alex chased the audience member off the stage.
While Alex made visitors laugh, other acts left the crowd whispering "oooh" and "aaah."
One of the performers used her feet to shoot a pink balloon. Carissa Wilson Fusco appeared on the stage with a mermaid’s tale. She twirled through the air using netting.
The Wheel of Death was another nail-biting act.
Guillermo Fernandez did back flips while on a spinning contraption known as the Wheel of Death.
While at the top of the Wheel of Death, he took out a jump rope and hopped as the wheel spun down.
Ana Zeman, a fifth-generation performer, and her husband Karchy used roller skates to entertain the crowd. Ana said it is challenging to keep her skates dry because of the water in the show. The two practice their routine for about an hour every day.
Ana and her husband aren’t the only two in their family in Cirque Italia. Their 7-year-old daughter made her debut Friday.
Ana said she continues performing because of the audience.
"I love how the people react to the act," she said. "When we take our final bow I see the reaction on the children’s face and that makes me really happy."