Philadelphia School of Circus Arts | Fall Youth Program changes

Fall Youth Program changes

July 13, 2015

Hi everyone! This is Adam; I came to PSCA in April as the new Head Coach. Part of my job coming in was to help guide PSCA through a time of transformation and growth, and help usher this community towards its goals.

This means that our Youth and Adult programs will be changing as we find the right balance of what students need and want. In this post I’m going to review the changes we’re making to our Youth Programming and give you some of the reasons why we think these changes will be a good thing.

Youth Programs

The biggest change in the Youth programming is the elimination of “aerial only” classes. For the Fall session, all of our classes will be called Aerials & Acrobatics, at various levels. Those classes are also going from 1:15 to 1:30 min, and we’ll only be devoting about :20 of that time to Acro.

This may seem strange to the kids and parents! But trust me, it’s not as big a deal as it seems. To explain why we’re making this change, I want to talk about a couple of the goals of our youth programming.

Goal 1: Fun and Friends

The most important thing about classes at PSCA is that everyone has fun and makes friends. Acrobatics are a great way to do this! In acrobatics, you have to work in pairs or teams, you have to build trust with other kids, and you have to learn to work independently in small groups without direct supervision or instruction. You learn about how other people rely on you for support, you practice communication skills with peers and you learn about how your body in space can affect other people’s bodies.

You learn some of these things in aerials too! But in aerials yoIMG_2093u tend to work more independently, and with more direct supervision, and so the inclusion of acrobatics will give our students more chances to work with each other and get to know each other.

Goal 2: Physical Literacy

Learning aerials sure is fun…but the truth is that we spend most of our lives on the ground. Feeling comfortable with basic acrobatics has greater carry-over into adult life, and develops basic motor skills  (like standing on one foot, running, jumping, supporting someone’s weight) that are not addressed in aerial training. By including both, we’re making sure that our students aren’t just developing coordination and strength in the air, but also on the ground where they spend most of their lives.

For kids interested in really excelling at circus, acrobatics are a non-negotiable skill set. Not only is it important physical cross training to develop a balanced adult body, but having basic tumbling and group experience is what makes an emerging artist a valuable asset to professional companies.

ALSO: New Make-up policy!

We’ve also made our make-up policy simpler and easier to understand.

If you know you’re going to miss a class and give us at least 24hrs notice, you can make up the missed class in any level appropriate class of the same length. This only works within a session…you can’t carry make-up classes over into a different session.

SO…

Now that you’ve heard some of my thoughts, I want to hear from you! Love the changes? Hate the changes? Shoot me an email at adam@phillycircus.com and let me know. We want to be responsive to the needs of our community, while still owning the fact that (when it comes to teaching circus and building young adults) we know what we’re doing.