Come and join the circus!
Each year, Troy Wunderle, a trained circus performer and ringmaster, transforms The Sharon Academy into a circus. Under Wunderle’s careful tutelage, the middle school devotes the better part of two weeks to learning and practicing circus skills including clowning, juggling, unicycle riding, gymnastics, stilt walking and much, much more. All the while, the students are learning about the levels of teamwork, collaboration, and responsibility that are inherent in the creative process.
Students also help to write the script for the clowning acts, arrange and perform live music, coordinate the advertising for the show, set up the staging and seating, build the props and scenery and invent pre-circus games for younger children. The culminating show is a raucous carnival and circus, which consistently draws huge crowds.
Why take time from academics to create a circus?
“A circus is a great way to develop skills such as collaboration, creative thinking, focus, self discipline, and performing in front of an audience.”
Pam Ward, Head of The Sharon Academy Middle School
One benefit of the TSA circus is that every student is given the opportunity to take on a large theatrical role. Even our most reserved students build confidence, overcome stage fright and experience the self discipline required to perform in front of an audience.
In addition, students design routines and clowning acts, which require mutual trust, cooperation, creativity and team work.
Developing physical skills is another important aspect of the circus experience. Many students begin practicing a skill long before the circus interim begins. Even less athletically interested students participate wholeheartedly in this non-competitive circus atmosphere. Students learn that they have an obligation to the audience and to each other to show up with a well-honed routine. The importance of “practice, practice, practice” is a theme throughout the two weeks.
It is heaps of fun and it is an ideal medium for developing physical, emotional and social competence in our students.