Camden Children Flip for Trenton Circus SquadLast Edited:
On Friday, July 7th, children in Camden got quite the treat, as performers with the Trenton Circus Squad traveled to South Jersey to show them a few of their best tricks.
The circus squad is looking to expand into Camden, to bring children living in the city and the surrounding area together through circus art.
“There are pockets of deep poverty and pockets of excess opportunity,” said Zoe Brookes, executive director of the Trenton Circus Squad. “And often, kids can grow up in the suburbs or in the city without really mixing.”
In the Trenton Circus Squad, it doesn’t matter where you're from, as long as you want to develop your skills, work as a team, and give back.
“We’re very convinced that the power of circus art can help build trust and understanding,” said Brookes. “We use circus arts to bring kids together who wouldn’t otherwise know each other well or trust each other.”
While kids and teenagers are juggling everything that comes with growing up and getting older, this program brings all of the students together from various backgrounds through circus art.
We use circus arts to bring kids together who wouldn’t otherwise know each other well or trust each other.
“It’s really, really fun," said Shemer White, a performer with the squad. "It’s like home there.”
It took some time for White to step out of his shell and into the German Wheel, but after a lot of practice and support from his friends, he grew in skill and confidence.
“They give me more energy to do better and better,” said White. “So, I’m thankful for everyone cheering me on.”
The non-profit organization began in Trenton.
Local youngsters associated with Urban Promise got to see the performers up close, while learning a few tricks themselves.
“A lot of them, even the younger ones, probably don’t know much outside of their neighborhood block,” said Albert Vega, site director for Urban Promise.
According to Vega, if children get exposed to different environments, "It makes them want to dream [and] makes them want something better in life.”
The circus squad will be in Camden all next week, bringing attention to the organization and how it can help connect local children and teenagers with others outside of the city's borders.
“The exacting, physical challenges that you encounter when you study circus arts make you learn how to need people," said Brookes. "And if the person you need whose shoulders you’re standing on or whose hand you’re relying on for your safety is someone you haven’t met before, you build a kind of human trust.”
The Trenton Circus Squad will be performing on Thursday, July 13th, at Rutgers University-Camden for anyone to come and see what they do — as they try to flip, jump, and cycle their way into the hearts and minds of the citizens of South Jersey.
For more information visit Trenton Circus Squad's Facebook page.
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