Create pyramids with one another to get a holistic workout.
Participating in acrobatics with others builds strength, clear minds, knowledge in spatial and body awareness, and communication skills. Collaborative efforts practiced in acro develop valuable skills needed in times of challenge. Perform some of these and find out what your strengths and weaknesses are.
Tips for technical execution:
- "stacking" = Body is strong keeping joints in alignment.
- Engage muscles and be able to hold your shape for at least 10 seconds.
- Avoid pressing into parts of another person's body that make them uncomfortable* ie. the spine.
- Use your shin bones instead of your knee bones to kneel on your base.
*remember, new challenges are often times uncomfortable. Some of these acro pyramids will be uncomfortable at first. With determination you can overcome some discomfort to accomplish the common goal.
Tips for communicating:
- Magic word is 'down'. If someone says that, everyone works to safely bring the flier to the floor.
- Once the flier(s) is on the ground, take turns voicing your struggles and see what everyone can do to address them during the next practice.
Please share your experiences with us! via email, facebook, instagram, or youtube
I use pictures of skills as a seek and perform task for students. Print this page, cut to separate the skills and hide them for people to find. Participants must perform the skill 1 to 5 times before they can find another picture. You may also just put them in a bowl and shake them up for kids to pull and perform.
Jessica L Schultz
Physical education for kids can be done anywhere. Use the tool below to help students understand what type exercise should be done on a regular basis to stay healthy and strong. FITT principles include frequency, intensity, type and time. Print the photo and cut out the pictures for gluing to a calendar to track participation in physical activity at home.
- Frequency = How often we participate in physical activity for health
- Intensity = How many muscles are used at particular power levels
- Type = Refers to the specific activity being done
- Time = How much time spent doing physical activities.
Health standards recommend doing a mix of type and intensity exercise, 30 minutes per day (time), 5 days per week (frequency).
Roadtrip where it began
Many summers ago on a hot muggy day, the family was making a quick car trip from Minneapolis to Winthrop, MN. The littlest girl, almost four, could only ascertain that they were visiting some relatives that lived on a farm. But, farmers of plants or animals she did not know. Never seat belted in the back, she sat between her similarly unsecured older siblings and looked down at her red Keds missing their shoelaces. Unbridled somewhere else in the vehicle she could hear the baby of the family as well. All settled in the car and off they went.
After a long drive, everyone arrived safely at the old farmhouse where many happy greetings were exchanged. The littlest girl in her orange dress, studied the old faces and put them to memory. However, it wasn’t long before their adult conversations lost her interest, so she ventured outside through the back screen door.
From the back step she scanned the outstretched farmyard with umbrella like shade trees. And there in the middle of the thick soft grass lay a single pink plastic hula hoop. She had seen them before but never tried one of these toys. Excitedly she ran towards it, jumped into the center of the pink plastic hoop and picked it up. It took a few tries and wiggles before she quickly mastered the pink hoop around her waist.
Many, many years after picking up that first pink hoop, that woman still loves to spin a plastic hoop!
Journey to aerial silks …and the dream of a circus center
Athleticism has been the very core of my being since
I was two years old. It started with tap dance, Jazz and ballet. When I became more of a tom-boy I switched to baseball, basketball, volleyball, and softball. After reigniting my love for dance in High school, I went on to enroll in west African and modern dance classes in college to satisfy a cultural studies requirement. The major I had in mind at that time was Mathematics Education; I had always wanted to be a teacher. Once the dean of the dance department became familiar with my abilities she encouraged me to change my major to dance. I did, and in 2002 I graduated with a BFA and High Honors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During the following 9 years of dancing, choreographing, producing, and teaching professionally in cities across the United States, I found acrobatics and aerial arts and felt they could bring my physical abilities and performance to the next level, Literally!
While I was dancing professionally in Brooklyn and Manhattan, New york, I taught gymnastics and dance at Ms J’s gymnastics and dance studio in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY. Wei Jiang, a former Olympic athlete and owner of Ms J’s, was my mentor for a few years, until she handed me full time responsibility over the studio. Working extensively and intensively with class lesson plans for children ages 18 months to 12 years was the most desirable part of my job. Educational program design, staff management, administration, website management, and community outreach were also in my job requirements. My new goal became to open a circus center with a multitude of activities for all ages.
I digress here…. Signs of a science nerd!! I also found myself incorporating physiological information and nutrition into my program; one day I taught 7 – 11 year old kids about the oxygenation of blood after they complained about our flexibility training. It was that moment that made me realize I want to be able to teach the science behind human athleticism and I want to start with humans at the root of their lives, in childhood.
So, graduate school was a major shift in my life and lifestyle. A great challenge and life obstacle met with determination. And I conquered graduating Highest Honors!!! During my studies, I kept up with my personal physical practice in AcroYoga and aerial silks in Greeley, Boulder and Denver Colorado. I continued to teach children gymnastics and dance in Greeley, Windsor, Boulder and Denver, traveling every weekend.
After school I moved to Fort Collins, Colorado. 🙂 Here I found Anikolov Arts Aerial program at Live Beyond Limit. I studied with their instructors and eventually became and instructor of aerial silks as well! For two years now I have taught kids and adults aerial silks, sling and beginner level aerial Lyra.
I have a well rehearsed and enriched educational system to incorporate into all of my artistic and athletic programming. My passion for movement and health is what I strive to pass on to my students. With the help of peers and mentors, I continue to collect tools needed to take my instruction to the next levels. With the help of a business owner or investor, my circus center dream will come true!
Trying to put together all the pieces.
Business plan – check
Educational programming for all ages and abilities – check
Moving For a Lifetime
Circus arts, such as dance, acroyoga, and aerial acrobatics can be valuable non-competitive activities. These activities cultivate intellectual, physiospatial, and kinetic awareness with psychological benefits of self-worth, self-confidence, and self-motivation. By participating in such activities, students develop abilities in self-expression, collaboration, and musicality, all the while building strong bones and muscles and improving cardiovascular health.
Health-related skills can be learned at any age. In example, participate in a range of types of exercise throughout the week, drink lots of water, eat vegetables and fruits as snacks, warm up for and cool down from your work outs, and eat protein after a hard work; just to name a few! Ongoing practice bolsters improvement and self discipline.
It is important to provide holistic physical education that emphasizes access and success for all, while illuminating personal and communal benefits. This type of programing will support people in continuing to be active throughout their lifetime. It will prepare long term athletes who enjoy competitive sports and those who may not be interested in or able to achieve elite competition levels.
The Fort Collins School of Circus is committed to cultivating personal growth and awareness through Circus Arts. We can offer weekly classes, specialty camps for days and weeks out of school, physical education services to home school families and public or alternative schools looking to travel and explore. The company would also provide a home to professional circus artists in the area for training and Colorado Cheer Academy’s program two days per week.
All programming would not only provide a holistic physical education to participants, but also fiscally support the maintenance of a grand circus arts facility here in Fort Collins!