Club Corner: Circus

The Graded Gazette

Every child dreams of the circus. Their enchantment with animals and acrobats leads some children to fantasize about running away with a troupe to become a fire eater or dazzling trapeze artist.

Graded began offering circus as an extracurricular activity to K4 through second graders last year. The budding performers meet weekly in the Eagles’ Nest, a carefully curated space adjacent to Field A, where they learn from masterful Rent a Pro Coach Fabiano Stevanovich. Mr. Stevanovich, a fifth-generation circus artist, began performing as a clown at the age of four and has extensive experience as a juggler, acrobat, and animal trainer. After realizing that children could benefit from learning circus skills, he began introducing “big top” activities in schools.

“In the club, students have a lot of fun, but they also develop essential skills such as coordination and balance,” said Mr. Stevanovich. “They develop their physical strength and become more spatially aware.”  

Students practice juggling, standing on balance boards, and contorting themselves through small hoops. The aerial silk is a student favorite. Enveloped in it, they spin and flip while imagining themselves suspended from great heights and cheered on by an admiring crowd. Mr. Stevanovich also teaches older students to perform simple stunts on the aerial hoop and trapeze. “On aerial equipment, students learn how to face and overcome their fears,” he said. 

Christa C., parent of club member Andrew, in grade 1, said, “He is always happy after circus. The physicality of it is great; it allows him to release all the wriggles accumulated during the school day.” After a day in the classroom, even with plenty of recess time and active learning, our youngest students appreciate the opportunity that circus gives them to expend their built-up energy while developing their motor skills and imagining themselves under the big top.