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Thursday, November 1, 2012



Kids under the big top
Circus Juventas isn’t your grandma’s three-ring.
 
 
Seventeen-year-old Libby Ulm, center, of White Bear Lake, practices on a hoop Oct. 26 at Circus Juventas in St. Paul. Ulm has been practicing in the circus for 12 years.
from: mndaily.com
By Spencer Doar
November 01, 2012
Walking into the Circus Juventas big top is like entering the construction site of a world wonder. But it’s really the largest youth circus school in the country.

Budding acrobats tumble over stacked mats and clamber on equipment in the cavernous room, all under the watchful eye of a lattice work of exposed steel supports and girders.

“Once you have sawdust in the veins, it’s really hard to clear out,” co-founder of Circus Juventas Betty Butler said. “We were so nostalgic — we wanted to keep [circus] in our lives.”

Butler and her husband Dan established Circus Juventas 18 years ago.

The upcoming 2012 Gala will provide highlights of their Western themed summer production, “Showdown,” and a multi-course meal to raise funds for the 900-strong school.
foto
Circus students walk on balls during a balance practice Friday at Circus Juventas in St. Paul. By Anthony Kwan
Seven-year-old Olivia Abraham is one of the 900 enrolled in the entry-level circus experience class, which gives children a foundation in what the Butlers call the five genres of circus arts: acrobatics, juggling, theater, aerial and balance.

“We’ve done trampoline and something called web, and we also climbed the cloth and balanced on balls,” Olivia said.

There are multiple benefits for those participating in Circus Juventas.

“It does build their confidence,” Olivia’s father John Abraham said. “From the first class they were doing things that I was surprised at — it does give you a bit of a heart attack.”


Students sit on trapezes waiting for class to start Friday at Circus Juventas in St. Paul.
By Anthony Kwan
During usual class hours, a red sash divides a section of seats from the main floor, allowing Abraham to have his heart attacks in the company of like-minded parents grappling with their children’s antics.

With so much going on, the activities of Circus Juventas encounter an almost semantic problem of classification.

“There’s really no good elevator speech for circus,” University of Minnesota freshman and Juventas performer Shena Tschofen said. “Most people think lions, tigers, bears and wire acts in tutus. What I do is a combination of theater and circus stunts — putting that together.”
read more--
http://www.mndaily.com/2012/11/01/kids-under-big-top

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