Arts in Education: Bringing Everyone Under the Circus Tent

Circus brings us all together by learning something new and engaging, and through the spirit of play and collaboration.”

Jenny Hill, Circus Arts Teaching Artist

Over the past year, the Arts and Education program had to rely on its flexibility to navigate shifting protocols and challenges, and fortunately we had flexible artists to work with us.  What began as a way to work with area senior centers to get people excited for new learning during the pandemic has transformed into a platform for intergenerational learning.  Jenny Hill, a trained circus multi-hooper and theatrical clown, and Chris Tamburro, an expert juggler and poi spinner who has traveled to Thailand to work with Spark Circus, have collaborated with our Arts in Education Director Justin Ayala and videographer Greg Timmons to create a multi-media platform that can support both virtual and in-person lessons as protocols change.  The result is their Circus Dreams residency. 

In this 14-week program, participants learn theatrical clowning, juggling, hooping, feats of balance, and poi spinning as well as create their own props to practice with.  It has proven to help with cognition, improve social interaction, and helps to develop confidence. Circus practice has been shown to increase mobility and strength as well as lessen anxiety, and elevate the practitioners mood.  

The Arts in Education program here in York County as well as in our region, continues to explore new avenues of teaching valuable lessons through the arts, most notably exploring the realm of healthcare and how the arts can contribute to our residents overall wellbeing.

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