It's a circus in Ripton

Theres something about kids and circuses. Maybe its the thrill of seeing high-wire performers, the roar of a lion in the center ring, or the sidesplitting antics of a clown, but both seem made for each other. On April 11, Ripton Elementary School children had a unique opportunity to get a taste of the circus life when the "Rollicking Rowdy Rip-Roaring Rip-Snorting Ripton Circus" came to town. Students in Ripton schools grades pre-kindergarten through six got in the ring to learn various circus skills and perform feats, magic and comedy before a crowd of parents and community members. According to Jane Phinney, principal of the Ripton Elementary School, the circus performance for parents took place after an intense two-week Circus Smirkus School residency was held under the watchful eye of Rick Davis, a professional circus coach from Vermont. A Smirkus residency is an extended visit to a school by a circus professional, usually Davis, who shares circus skills with students each day for one or two weeks. Davis is the author of three books on stunts and circus skills; he is the founder of the tongue-in-cheek Institute of Totally Useless Skills. His career has taken him to Ringling Bros., Broadway, Disney World, the White House, and tours of 15 countries. Under a hastily erected orange and white circus tent (actually a World War II-era military parachute), the students practiced and later performed tumbling, juggling, balancing, plate spinning, and other circus arts skills. The Ripton Elementary School-residency program was partially funded by grants from the Vermont Arts Council (National Endowment for the Arts), Neat Repeats, and Friends of the Ripton School.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment