Atlantic Cirque’s team of experienced instructors imparts their substantial acrobatic know-how to fledgling performers during a five-day Winter Wonder Cirque Camp. The camp is capped at 20 students to facilitate individualized attention and to ensure camper safety. Each action-packed day, agile pedagogues instruct students in a variety circus disciplines and equipment, including trampolines, stilts, and aerial apparatuses such as the trapeze. Between the spinning of plates and construction of human pyramids, students scrutinize Cirque du Soleil videos in order to glean inspiration for their own routines and partake in camp games to further fun-having. To cap off the week, families and ancestral ghosts descend upon Atlantic Cirque at 3 p.m. on Friday to take in the Winter White show wherein students show off their newly minted skills before receiving the keys to their own clown cars as a camp graduation present.
Fanny Kerwich, Lone Star Circus’s founder and current creative director, was born with the circus in her blood. An eighth-generation member of a renowned French circus family, she has been performing since age 6, delighting international audiences at Paris’s Lido and Moulin Rouge, Germany’s Circus Roncalli, and San Francisco’s Teatro ZinZanni.
Fanny’s performing experience and artistic vision now guide the nonprofit Lone Star Circus, which is a two-branched operation. Its performance troupe’s grace and athleticism shine during shows such as the upcoming winter spectacle, Cirque Banquisté. The circus’s school hosts classes for youngsters and adults, teaching them how to swing from trapezes, scale silks, and contort their frames so they can more accurately pantomime what Gumby would look like during a high-speed car chase.
The instructors at Airealistic Circus & Flying know a thing or two about gravity, having defied it on behalf of Cirque de Soleil, De La Guarda, and Franco Dragone productions. For example, program director Carmen Curtis uses a foundation in gymnastics to elevate her cirque routines, which she showcases as a member of Airealistic Theater Company. These experiences grant her the expertise to lead her aerial classes, which are taught alongside gymanstics and yoga classes. Whether teaching family circus or acroyoga classes, all staff members prioritize safety as they introduce kids and adults to aerial apparatuses.
In addition to gymnastics, booty bar, and Vinyasa yoga sessions, the trainers teach high-flying techniques on trampolines, trapezes, aerial silks, harnesses, and hoops, believing that one's choice of equipment reflects his or her own unique character. Their aerial and acro-yoga variations also encourage students to test their notions about human flight in a noncompetitive setting. Each class incorporates a fitness component into its exhilarating routine, and the schedule includes classes at all times of day.