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Put Your Kid on a Flying Trapeze!

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First we heard about circus classes for moms ... now many cities are offering them for kids. Are they safe?

Kids Circus

A few weeks ago, a mom friend we know recently took an ariel dance class taught by a Cirque de Soleil performer. We marveled over the fact that this mom of three learned trapeze moves and could do pikes upside down. Talk about mom power!

CircusYoga is gaining popularity throughout the country. It blends the consciousness of yoga with the communal celebration of circus.

Kids are getting in on the circus act, too. New York City moms are crazy about Circus Minimus' Circus Kids Create program, where kids learn how to put on their own circus and get to perform it for their families at the end of the session. The Manhattan Movement and Arts Center offers an Ariel Circus class for kids age 5-7.

In Philly, the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts offers Tots Circus, Kids Circus, and Kids Ariels classes. Office manager Kitsie Lundell says, "Kids age 6-10 can go on the trapeze but they are spotted by a teacher at all times. We have a 6:1 student/teacher ratio -- if one student is on the trapeze, the others are doing juggling so that the teacher can spot the child on the trapeze or silk fabrics without distractions. Kids are never allowed on equipment unattended. We also allow parents to observe any class so that they feel more comfortable."

So how safe are these classes, especially for kids?

Pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson says, "The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts really seems to be doing everything right here. Any number of conventional sports -- like gymnastics, for instance -- have risks for injury. It sounds like this program is very focused on safety, with a commitment of 1-on-1 supervision during activities where there is a chance of falling. And parents are invited to observe. If that's the case, even though circus classes aren't conventional, this one sounds pretty safe."

Would you enroll your kid in a circus class?

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jackie February 11, 2009, 12:22 AM

Of course they are. The Sarasota Sailor Circus is a program that consists of local school age kids. It spawned out of the gymnastics program at Sarasota High School and eventually evolved to include kids as young as 6. They are extremely safe; all performers use nets and harnesses. I have many family members who have gone through this program without any injuries. They are actually some of the strongest individuals that I know.

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