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Educational Programs

Educational programs have always been a major focus of ACROBRATS. From school assemblies and lecture-demonstrations that include the audience interactively, to skilled workshops and classes that introduce the essentials of juggling, acrobatics, and equilibristics, ACROBRATS offers something for every student.

Trained as an "understander" or supporting acrobat, Karen Gersch specializes in teaching the art of balance through partnering and pyramids. Basic courses begin with principles of centering and placement, then introduce the concept of character and presentation in relation to skills and technique. Children not only develop physical awareness, strength and mobility; they learn how to work together cooperatively. They discover, often for the first time, grace and confidence in themselves.

ACROBRATS' educational programs can be customized to any venue. Participants range from kindergarteners to university students; classes run from hour-long sessions to week-long curriculums, (the latter often culminating in a student show or presentation). For residencies, ACROBRATS can provide equipment and props, including a circus ring, backdrop, gym mats, and costumes.

Longer programs offer audio-visual enhancements: books, films, posters, paintings and other images. They feature and describe legendary performers and acts of historical or artistic merit. Children are encouraged to keep a journal and write about their own daily efforts and experiences...for the inspirations of youth are inspiring to us.

* See "Performing Highlights" for lists of schools, libraries, camps, theatre companies, and other organizations who have sponsored ACROBRATS' teaching programs over the years.



Having developed an expertise in performing arts that encompasses dance, theatre and circus, ACROBRATS' history includes collaborations and consultations with clients who range from individual performers and small professional troupes to large productions, festivals, corporate and special events.

One such collaboration is with Amazing Grace Circus! in Nyack, NY, under the direction of Carlo Pellegrini and Janet Hayes. AGC! Is the only year-round, youth circus organization in the NY Tri-state area. It is where children and youth take center ring in their lives, education and community. ACROBRATS has been training AGC!'s teen troupe in pyramids and equilibristics since its inception in 2002.

Several teens under Karen and Carlo's tutelage have ventured into pre-professional programs with circus organizations such as National Circus School of Montreal, Ringling Bros., Big Apple Circus and San Francisco Circus Center.