From being a junior ice dancing champion in Britain to working as a solicitor in a London-based law firm then abandoning her practice to skate at circuses around the world, life for Zoe Baldock, 27, has come a full circle.
"When I was 13, I won the British Primary Solo Ice Dance Championships, and won the same award in the 'junior' category the next year. Soon after, my father encouraged me to pursue a 'real' profession, so I signed up for law school," said Baldock, who is in the city to perform at the Rambo Circus in Bandra.
"I enjoyed studying, but it didn't take long for me to realise that I missed performing. As soon as I completed my degree, I began looking for a way to go back to skating," she said.
On seeing an online advertisement from the Magic Circus in Samoa that was looking for an ice-dancer, Baldock sent videos of her performances to them and packed her bags and headed for the tiny island country in the Pacific ocean, not knowing what to expect from a place that was "literally on the other end of the world.
After her stint with the Samoan circus, Baldock returned to London to finish her training and joined a law firm for two years.
"I think law and the circus are similar in a way that they help people. While lawyers help people solve problems, circuses help people forget about them."
This year, Baldock is back in the big top as a performer and compere at Rambo Circus, where she also trains the Indian ice-skaters.
"I fell very ill a few days ago and was missing my mother. The whole group of clowns came to my tent to take care of me, and I couldn't have been more touched," she said.