Gonçalo Roque – Life and Cirque after Gymnastics (Part 1)

Once more I’m back with a new interview. This time I had the opportunity to talk with Gonçalo Roque, an International level Acrobatic Gymnast (with some great achievements to prove it) turned cirque performer.

Make sure you check Kinga Grześków’s interview for her side of the story!

Thank you so much Gonçalo for sharing your wonderful experiences with us!



Who is Gonçalo Roque?

Gonçalo Roque is a Portuguese Acrobatic Gymnast, lives in Lisbon and joined the Circus a year and a half ago.
I studied at FMH, Lisbon, and graduated in Physical Education Health and Exercise.

I started Gymnastics in a small Club in Samora Correia (AGISC). When I turned 19 I moved to Lisbon and started training at the Ginasio Clube Português. While there I was:

  • Two times European Champion;
  • World Cup Champion;
  • several times National Champion.


At the moment, I am in China doing a tour with La Nova show.

Could you share your favourite moments as a gymnast?

Definitely, the first time that I was European Champion. No one expected that, not even in their dreams. It was an amazing competition and we nailed it! The first European Championship for Portugal in our Sport… it will be a memory I’ll cherish for all my life!

Was the Circus life always in your plans or were there other options?

Circus life was never in my plans. In the past, I had some invitations to join one of the biggest Cirques in the World and I always said no. Mainly because I thought I couldn’t stand to be so much time far away from my family and friends. One year after stopped competing, I started thinking about it… And received a facebook message asking if I was interested in joining a really famous show… The Pirates’ show in Mallorca. They gave me one day to decide. In 24h I changed my whole life and joined the show!

What were the major changes when you went from gymnast to performer?

The major changes? I think the way that we choose what we want to show to the audience. In competition, you want to show your best/hardest skills all the time! In the beginning I did the same thing in the shows. Then I started to understand that this wasn’t the most important thing. Most of the people don’t get the difficulty degree of the moves, they aren’t focused on that. They prefer easy skills with a big level of beauty, or elements that they can understand! So, at the moment, we are creating our routine based on the audience’s reaction, not on difficulty degree.

How has been the Cirque Adrenaline experience so far?

13227093_1545544475748907_4752682989968114529_n.jpgAn amazing experience! Me and Kinga performed the first time alone In the stage, with our own act, our creation! They (cirque) gave us a lot of support to train and develop our skills and the reward was having our act in the show!
The cast Is amazing, what makes us want to learn more and more!
Tell us a little more about Duo Destiny. How is work with Kinga?

Duo destiny was created after Mallorca, after The Pirates’ Show! We were invited by Cirque Adrenaline to go work in Hong Kong and Australia. That was when we started to create our act, our Duo!
It is really cool and easy to work with Kinga. She was from the Polish Acrobatic Team, from high performance too. This made it easier because we know exactly what to work on to improve. At the moment we already created 3 different routines (all Hand to Hand acts). We are thinking to start a Straps’ routine, that we will probably be learning in Portugal with a professional coach.

It will be big adventure!

Being exposed to so many different acts, have you ever felt like trying something different?

It is interesting that, in Circus (at least for me…), we are all the time thinking about what we can improve, what can we create that nobody else did. That’s what we are doing now, trying to create a new routine but using different equipment… It takes time, and now we are using all our free time to do it… Let’s see what kind of “crazy thing” we can create 🙂

What has the future in store for you?

This is a good question!

In the Circus life, everything can change in a few months… even a few weeks! At the moment we are working in China, with an all new act, in a brand new show. But we never know which kind of invitations we will have in the future. Now I just want to enjoy my work and all the good things it has (travelling, meeting new people, improve my act…) and, of course, looking to train hard and do my best all the time!

Any advice for all the future performers out there?

Choose one thing that you really love to do and focus on it! If you Love more than one “circus act”, remember that it is easier for you to work in companies when you are a multifaceted person! For me, Circus is just like when i competed. If you train a lot, If you are focused, if you invest a lot of time in your professional qualifications, you’ll be a better artist and performer. Take time to watch a lot of shows! We learn all the time from other people on the stage.


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