Life Under the Big Top

Minnehaha Academy students tumble into circus

To others, it is a place where they can dance and fly through the air with beauty and grace. Circus Juventas is apart of a nationwide organization called American Youth Circus, in which people ages 3-21 can participate.

The circus arts break down into two categories: acrobatics and aerial. Categories include trapeze, spinning cube, stilt walking, trampolines and dance.

There are four Minnehaha Academy students that participate in circus: freshman Juliette Kline, junior Lily Kline, freshman Kate Hennings and freshman Allison Callstrom.

“I do circus because it’s a unique combination of physical exercise and artistry that is really different compared to any other extracurricular activity,” Kline said. “You meet new people and make new friends and grow as a person,” commented Hennings.

However, participating in the circus is something that requires a lot of work.

“You can get bruises and rope burns that are pretty bad, but it’s worth it when you get a really hard trick or routine,” Lily said.

Both Kline sisters put in serious time in the circus, when regular practices and additional volunteer coaching is involved.

Shows are scattered through the year. During the spring show, beginning and intermediate students get to experience the thrill and the challenge of a full blown show that integrates music, costumes and presentation.

Last spring’s show was focused on love and friendship.

The circus can be joined at any age with any level of experience.

“I recently started doing circus a couple of months ago after quitting gymnastics…” said Callstrom. “There are so many different things to try that I’ve never seen before. I really missed gymnastics after I quit and I think this is even better. There are so many options where gymnastics was just floor, beam, bars and vault.”
Behind each rigorous competitor lies a supportive family. The Kline’s parents are willing to drive and volunteer and support their daughters because they know it is worth it.

“I like watching their performances. The routines are well crafted entertainment, and I take great pride in how well they execute their individual and team events,” Klines’ father, James Kline commented.

Circus not only teaches you how do to a certain skill or routine, but helps you with teamwork, trust and everyday life.

 Flying around in the air on a cloth strip with a partner takes a lot of trust between the two of them. Circus is not just an extracurricular activity, it is a way of life for these people.

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About Michael DiNardo

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