Nikki Zelie Ashton
Nikki Zelie Ashton
Place of birth:Sydney
Acts/ Skills:



Nikki Zelie Ashton grew up in Sydney and trained as a dancer with two road shows, which gave her a taste for the travelling show business life. In 1962 she joined ASHTONS CIRCUS as a dancer during their Rushcutter’s Bay season in Sydney. Nikki says she immediately felt that “this is for me”, her parents gave their blessing and suggested she “give the circus a go for 6 months”, but basically, she never went home! Welcomed immediately into the circus family, Nikki began learning and mastering a number of acts, including her first big love, the Flying Trapeze. Taught by Merv whom she married in 1966, and who was “a very good, no-nonsense teacher”, Nikki became the outstanding female flying trapeze performer of her generation. Much sought-after by other circuses around the world, Nikki performed in Germany with the flying trapeze troupe. Not content with just being a top flyer Nikki also performed many other acts. Her long-standing partnership with Jonas, the man with the iron jaw, was a high-light, but almost ended in tragedy when a fall put Nikki into hospital for many months. Bouncing back like a real trouper, Nikki continued learning news skills. Amongst other things she presented ponies, rode “Price”, the High School Horse, in a side-saddle (no easy feat!), performed with her niece, Tanya and tanya’s husband Cifuentes, on the Revolving Ladder, mastered the difficult skill of sword and dagger balancing on a ladder, and became the wrangler and groom for Jaffa the Giraffe. Oh, yes, and most importantly, she learned how to make fairy floss! Nikki’s creative side has been put to good use over the years as she has created and sewn many beautiful, original costumes for the circus. Even though she retired from the flying trapeze act in 1995 Nikki is still very actively involved in Circus Joseph Ashton as the glamorous lady Ring-master. Nikki’s children, Joseph, Bekki and Golda, and her beautiful grandchildren keep her busy and entertained.