Sonya Sonnenberg was born in Las Vegas to parents who were professional, production-show dancers, so it’s not surprising that she’s been performing in Fantasy at Luxor for almost eight years. But the aerialist actually moved away at a very young age and grew up mostly in the Midwest. “I always wanted to do shows here, growing up hearing my parents talk about it and not having really spent any time here. I wanted to see what Vegas was all about.”
A performer since the age of 9, Sonnenberg moved back to Las Vegas at 18, packing everything into a car and driving from St. Louis with hopes for the best. “I wasn’t really scared; more excited, but it was definitely a challenge. I’ve been very fortunate it’s gone the way it has.”
Now creeping up on a decade in the desert, she couldn’t be happier, both in her work—getting to dance and perform the dramatic aerial routines on the Luxor stage is “like having my cake and eating it, too”—and in her Las Vegas life.
“I’m kind of a foodie. For my job I have to be very careful of what I eat and make sure I stay in shape, but it’s nice to have a night off and forget all that,” she says. “There are so many amazing options, you can’t just save one for a special occasion. It’s more like once a week.” Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas provides one of her favorite protein fixes.
Sonnenberg also appreciates the low-key entertainment the city provides. She loves to play pool at neighborhood bar Mickey’s Cues & Brews, and if she has Vegas visitors in town, she’ll lead the way for an outdoor adventure. “I always take visitors to Red Rock, because I like to let people know Las Vegas consists of more than just the Strip,” she says. “The scenery here is so beautiful. You have to do those obligatory things like the fountains and the volcano, but Downtown is so cool now and kind of unexpected, so I like to take people down there to Container Park. You have to see more than just casinos.”