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December 20, 2012

Third-graders become circus performers

Cooperstown third-graders said they were really nervous while performing circus acts in front of the entire school Friday.

Nathan Grover may have had the most daunting task — walking on a tight wire blindfolded. He said he was excited to do it, but scared at the same time.

Although the students had a full week to learn their performances, Nathan said he felt pretty comfortable with his act about half way through. According to Nathan, students were told what they would be mastering for the show, and he is glad he was chosen to be a tight wire performer.

“I was really excited about it,” he said.

The National Circus Project sent two circus artist residents, Little Lou Beekhuizen and Liam Selvey, to stay in Cooperstown for a week. Juggling, stilt walking, acrobats, plate spinning, Chinese yo-yoing, devil stick flipping, balancing and more were all a part of Circus Week activities, which wrapped up with a third-grade final performance Friday.

Workshops, introducing elements of the circus arts, were offered to every student as part of the physical education class, according to PE teacher Connie Herzig.

She said the third-graders were the target group. They were able to go to the gym twice a day for more-serious study, she added.

“They were just absolutely amazing,” Herzig said after the final performance. “I am just so proud of them all.”

Herzig said she was nervous at certain points while watching the performance.

“You never know how it is going to go, and you get individually excited and supportive for each kid,” she said. “It went off beautifully and I am extremely proud of them all.”

It has been such a growth experience for the students, continued Herzig. Although the students will not likely grow up to be jugglers or circus performers of any kind, Herzig said the experience will build their self confidence for whatever they do in the future. They will go out and do public speaking and some will become business men and women, and this will help them to learn to practice something and then be able to go out and present it, she said.

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