Svetlana Delous almost had a Master’s in Education when Cirque du Soleil came calling.

“My fellow students were very excited about my acrobatic training and they were not at all surprised that I joined the circus,” she said in a phone interview from the road. Delous plays the Red Spider in OVO, Cirque du Soleil’s newest traveling show coming to Rio Rancho (formerly Santa Ana Star Casino) for six performances from Mar. 3-6.

OVO’s storyline involves the life cycle of fantastical insects in a busy world. Just look at the word “OVO.” Anyone see two eyes and a nose?

“Children in the audience just love the Red Spider,” she said. “She is very fun and quick moving. There is so much for them to see and enjoy — all of that acrobatic talent, live musicians and video projections.”

Delous describes her Red Spider character as mischievous, curious and full of energy as she scrambles all over the stage. Her trickiest move is on the rock climbing wall where, toward the end of the show, she positions her toes on two projecting grips and hangs from them with her hands free.

It takes Delous about one and a half hours to get into full makeup and costume (see video). “The makeup especially takes a lot less time than at the start,” she said. “It’s all muscle memory now.”

She makes a point to say that she and her performing cohorts take great pride in placing their gear backstage for quick costume changes, along with shoes and accessories. “We have a huge team of riggers and stage managers, but it is my responsibility to have everything I need — shoes, rosin, my hat with the mic in it for sound checks — in place. We are a well-oiled machine.”

Mar. 3-6, Rio Rancho Events Center, six shows,