Christ the Teacher students join the cir­cus

Cecil Whig - - & - By JANE BELLMYER


— Five Ce­cil County girls re­cently had an ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time when Cir­cus of the Kids spent a week at Christ the Teacher Catholic School.

Char­maine and Jas­mine Pa­si­colan from Elk­ton, Carissa Bolin­ski and Abby San­ders from Earleville, and Cas­sidy Blum from War­wick won roles in the pro­grams pre­sented May 13-15.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the pro­gram in­tro­duced the 607 students to the var­i­ous ac­ro­batic pro­grams, then had in­ter­ested students au­di­tion to be in the week­end per­for­mances.

Jas­mine, 13, per­formed “The Span­ish Web.”

“It’s an aerial bal­let,” she ex­plained. “You climb up a rope and you per­form dif­fer­ent tricks.”

Jas­mine loved the hand spin­ning part of her per­for­mance, es­pe­cially af­ter get­ting a tip to avoid get­ting dizzy.

“They taught us to look up at our hands,” she said.

Learn­ing not to fall was Char­maine’s first goal in learn­ing how to ma­neu­ver on silks hang­ing from the ceil­ing. In the per­for­mance, she worked sev­eral feet off the ground with only mats on the ground be­low.

“It was a lit­tle bit chal­leng­ing at first, but now I have such up­per body strength,” the 12-year-old said. “It also gave me a lot of con­fi­dence. I was re­ally amazed I was able to do so much in just a week and a half.”

Sis­ter Lav­erne King, prin­ci­pal of the school on Frazer Road, brought Cir­cus of the Kids to Christ the Teacher fig­ur­ing it would be a one-time event.

“But ev­ery­one is al­ready ask­ing me when we’ll do it again,” she said.

Cir­cus of the Kids was at the school


for two weeks. Af­ter the school-wide in­tro­duc­tion, per­form­ers spent a week op­er­at­ing an af­ter-school camp where in­ter­ested students learned more.

“There’s a lot we’ve learned from this ex­pe­ri­ence,” King said. There’s talk of publi­ciz­ing the cir­cus and invit­ing the pub­lic to watch next time.

How­ever, she said, that is se­condary to what she saw as the greater value of the pro­gram.

“We thought the best part was the kids of dif­fer­ent ages work­ing to­gether,” she said. Blum, 12, per­formed “The Triple Lira.” “It looks like three hula hoops,” she said of the equip­ment used. She and two other girls per­formed tricks and poses with “The Triple Lira.”

Bolin­ski, 13, found her­self dan­gling from wrist and shoul­der straps per­form­ing ac­ro­batic ma­neu­vers.

“I did a lot of moves,” she said of her per­for­mance that in­volved a lot of circu- lar mo­tions and hit­ting var­i­ous poses.

San­ders had to learn to roller skate for her per­for­mance.

“Now I’m re­ally good,” the 8-year-old said.

For Bolin­ski, the hard part was get­ting used to the wrist and shoul­der straps. She pointed to where a blis­ter is heal­ing on her wrist.

“And get­ting used to be­ing lifted,” she added. “Even though it was painful it was fun – an adrenaline rush.”

The ex­pe­ri­ence taught Bolin­ski about en­durance and team­work.

“It was hard at first ... phys­i­cally and men­tally,” she said. “You had to learn to rely on the other girls.”

She ad­mit­ted that was a slow process at first.

“But by the end we were up in the ceil­ing,” she said. “It was re­ally fun.”

Bolin­ski did not tell her mom how high the act would take her. How­ever, her mom was im­pressed. “She was sob­bing,” Bolin­ski said. King said she found Cir­cus of the Kids in a search for some­thing new and dif­fer­ent for the 14-year-old school.

“I was look­ing for an ac­tiv­ity dif­fer­ent than we’ve ever done be­fore; one that would de­velop skills such as self­con­fi­dence and trust,” she said. “I talked to other prin­ci­pals (at schools that had done the pro­gram) and there was not one neg­a­tive com­ment.”

She be­lieves when the pro­gram re­turns there will be more in­ter­est.

“I think we’d have three times as many kids go out for it,” she said.

At least one stu­dent is al­ready mak­ing sug­ges­tions. Ac­cord­ing to King, San­ders was cam­paign­ing for an an­i­mal act for the next Cir­cus of the Kids.

“She wanted a lion so she could be thrown into a lion’s mouth,” she said. “She’s our dare­devil.”


Abby San­ders, 8, strikes a pose with her coach, Jimmy Bray, who taught the Earleville girl how to roller skate.

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