Abbey Lane Elementary School students had the unique opportunity to learn circus skills during a week-long residency with Ray Grins and his wife Erin Grins from Cirque Du Jour from May 21-25. Sponsored by the Abbey Lane PTA, the circus kicked off the residency with a performance for all grade levels which was followed by two instructional days for each class during their physical education periods.
Students learned a variety of circus skills such as juggling with colorful scarves and balls, using their hands and arms to do tricks with a devil stick, walking on stilts and concurring balance by spinning plates on a stick. Mr. and Mrs. Grins walked each class through proper techniques and allowed the students to get hands on with the circus equipment.
"You only fail if you stop trying," Mrs. Grins told Abbey Lane third-graders before they tried juggling and working with the devil sticks.
Mr. and Mrs. Grins walked around the gymnasium during the physical education classes to help students hone their skills. The Cirque Du Jour residency allowed for the students to try something new and build their self-confidence along the way.
"My favorite part about having the circus here was learning how to use the devil sticks and doing the plate spinning," said third-grader Bianca Recine. "I learned that it's hard and it takes some practice but it's very fun."