Students in the Upper Valley clowning around at circus camp

The Upper Valley has some new circus performers in training.During this February break, kids are learning to clown, trapeze and tumble because clowning around is the name of the game at circus camp. At the CCBA in Lebanon, kids aged 8 to 16 are learning the ropes of how to be a circus performer. “It’s kind of learning how to do a ton of different skills on circus stuff,” said Greyson, a camper. He’s most excited for pie day coming up later this week.Professional performers like Doug Stewart coach the kids and teach them circus skills.”So, circus camp translates to so many other life skills, there’s the fine motor skills of just the movement,” Stewart said. “It’s working together… Juggling has lots to do with math.”Those motor skills translate into learning to tumble. Handstands and other team-based acrobatics are also kids’ favorites. The trapeze and silks are the flashiest. They were learning different techniques for spinning suspended in the air. Each student is given a bag of juggling tools like devil sticks, juggling balls and a thing called a diablo. It’s used to juggle between two sticks on a string. The coaches say the importance of the camp isn’t the skills.”The most important part of circus is the team building,” Stewart said. “Circus isn’t a sport, there’s no winning or losing you don’t go out to play a game. It’s not a show, it’s not theater where there is one star of the show or one leading role. Everyone’s on the same team and everyone’s working together to achieve the common goal. And we are literally holding each other up and catching each other when we fall. We are standing on each other and lifting ourselves up to the next level. And there’s just not a better metaphor for life than how to work together and become a team.”Coaches will come together as a team for a performance at 6 pm Tuesday. And then Friday the kids will be putting their new skills on display also at 6 pm at the CCBA.

The Upper Valley has some new circus performers in training.

During this February break, kids are learning to clown, trapeze and tumble because clowning around is the name of the game at circus camp. At the CCBA in Lebanon, kids aged 8 to 16 are learning the ropes of how to be a circus performer.

“It’s kind of learning how to do a ton of different skills on circus stuff,” said Greyson, a camper. He’s most excited for pie day coming up later this week.

Professional performers like Doug Stewart coach the kids and teach them circus skills.

“So, circus camp translates to so many other life skills, there’s the fine motor skills of just the movement,” Stewart said. “It’s working together… Juggling has lots to do with math.”

Those motor skills translate into learning to tumble. Handstands and other team-based acrobatics are also kids’ favorites. The trapeze and silks are the flashiest. They were learning different techniques for spinning suspended in the air. Each student is given a bag of juggling tools like devil sticks, juggling balls and a thing called a diablo. It’s used to juggle between two sticks on a string.

The coaches say the importance of the camp isn’t the skills.

“The most important part of circus is the team building,” Stewart said. “Circus isn’t a sport, there’s no winning or losing you don’t go out to play a game. It’s not a show, it’s not theater where there is one star of the show or one leading role. Everyone’s on the same team and everyone’s working together to achieve the common goal. And we are literally holding each other up and catching each other when we fall. We are standing on each other and lifting ourselves up to the next level. And there’s just not a better metaphor for life than how to work together and become a team.”

Coaches will come together as a team for a performance at 6 pm Tuesday. And then Friday the kids will be putting their new skills on display also at 6 pm at the CCBA.

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