Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Why I Drove 600 Miles This Weekend.

If you have never heard of the Great American Youth Circus you have no idea what you have been missing.  If you live anywhere within driving distance of Redlands, CA, you really need to check this out.  This event takes place each May, is sponsored by the Redlands YMCA and is comprised primarily of children,some as young as 3 years old, and young adults.

The Redlands YMCA trains these young people in acrobatics, clowning, juggling, aerial performance, unicycling and many other things.  Think Cirque du Soleil with kids.  Check out this video from last year's performance.

These kids are amazing, as are their instructors, volunteers, families and supporters.  They work hard to prepare a show that lasts about 3 hours including the intermission, even then they are still working the crowd.  Doing three shows each weekend for 2-3 weekends is a huge commitment, not to mention the practices throughout the year to prepare for this show. Many of these young people do this year after year, even when they "graduate" from the program, many come back as adult volunteers helping with the younger performers.

While it may sound like fun and a way to keep children busy, you have to think of the life skills they learn in the process.  They learn discipline, team work, commitment, work ethics and self confidence.  This circus not only gives them a creative outlet, it gives them a sound foundation for life.

Hats off to the Redlands YMCA which has been sponsoring this huge endeavor for nearly 75 years.  Congratulations to the coaches, instructors, parents who have worked with these young people to make this circus possible.

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to all the performers in this year's CircuSea Treasure.  Well done, see you again next year.