The Center Ring Circus School will be a premiere circus arts education facility in the mid-atlantic region. The center will provide classes in juggling, unicycling, tightrope, stilt walking, globe walking, acrobatics, and aerial arts to students of all ages and abilities to improve their physical fitness, body awareness, self-esteem, focus, and discipline. This private facility will not only provide its students with learning opportunities, but also performance opportunities on site and in the surrounding community.
Our video above showcases the amazing talent of our students as they tackle a full performance in front of a packed house. If you are interested in classes or being an integral part of our growth, please consider using our Fundable campaign to sign up for classes and pledge to our business. We can't thank you enough! All the best!
Students will be taught incrementally in a noncompetitive, caring, safe, and playful environment with an emphasis on achieving personal goals through consistent effort. It is the belief of the founder that learning is best done during play, that a relaxed state of mind is critical for complex physical tasks to be acquired without stress or frustration. Teaching these skills in such a way will also improve the chances of creating life-long interest. The self-confidence a student feels upon the capture of a skill that few others possess will impact every aspect of a student's life: from social to educational to professional. Parents of our young students will be welcome to observe classes from safe distances, and they will be encouraged to participate in classes themselves.
Circus skills hold a nearly magical quality, but the truth is that with the right tools, attitude, and teacher, anyone can learn them. The physical benefits of our 60-90 minute classes are obvious. You can see the muscle development, the increased flexibility, and the improved hand-eye coordination. You can test the improved reflexes, balance, and body awareness. You can watch a circus student accidentally trip off a curb and roll out of it rather than break an arm. The mental benefits, though less visible, are no less exciting, and they stem from the challenging nature of this field. These skills are difficult. They're supposed to be difficult. If they were easy, everyone would do them. It is their difficult nature that makes them wonderful. To become one of the rare few to conquer an extraordinary skill is a delight of the soul, and with each incremental victory, circus students know their success has come through their own dedicated efforts. This enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem affects the pursuit of other goals in their lives: studying second-grade arithmetic, learning another language in high school, working toward a Master's Degree while holding down a fulltime job. Circus students realize that if something is above their reach, it doesn’t mean they can’t have it, only that they must continue to grow. Our Youth Circus Comprehensive Courses will target children aged 7 to 17, while our Aerial Arts and Fitness Courses will be more suitable for ages18 and older. Comprehensive and Master Classes taught by invited industry legends will cater to local circus professionals.
Gregory May, the founder of the Center Ring Circus School, began his circus career with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus as a clown in 1990. After he left the show in 1995, he began performing privately and teaching workshops. Seven years ago, he opened a series of summer camps in Howard and Prince George's County, Maryland. His programs have grown and sold out every year culminating in 2011 and 2012 with the Greenbelt Youth Circus: a 4-week circus camp with 40 kids, 6 instructors, and a weekend of public shows that included skills far beyond anyone's expectations. Several of his current instructors are former campers themselves. The program is now ready for the next stage: a hard facility with year-round classes. The Center Ring Circus School, LLC was filed in May of 2012. We have our insurance in place, found the right space, finished our financial and structural engineering negotiations, and have purchased more than 2/3 of the needed equipment. Now we would like to ask for your help in bringing the Center Ring Circus School to its full potential, giving us the ability to teach and mentor our students at a year-round facility.
Students of the circus arts fall down. A lot. Literally and figuratively. And from these falls they learn that initial failures do not equal defeat. They gain the courage to try new things, and to do so in front of other people. Teddy Roosevelt said "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." The Center Ring Circus School will empower its students to dare mighty things.