Bethune Elementary School Circus Club

(information in Spanish below)

PYCA is thrilled to be able to continue our circus club at Bethune School (1310 S. 15th Ave Phoenix, AZ 85007) for the 2023-2024 school year. This year, the program is made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts!

In circus club, students learn the basics of all the circus arts such as juggling (balls, rings, scarves, flower sticks, diabolos, hooping, poi), balancing (tight wire, rola bola, unicycling, stilt-walking), acrobatics (tumbling, partner acrobatics, human pyramids, mini-trampoline), and clowning! Students prepare acts to present at shows performed for the school community. Students from the club also are given the opportunity to join PYCA students from other schools in optional performances at public events and festivals throughout the year and throughout the Phoenix area. No prior experience is necessary to be in the club – only a desire to attend regularly, try new things, and work cooperatively and creatively with other circus students while learning how to perform.

Who can join the club?

All students in grades 3 and above can join. Participation is free of charge, but is limited to 25 students. Membership is a privilege – to retain that privilege, students must maintain good grades at school and good behavior and attendance at both school and club practice sessions. Parental permission is required – and students must have transportation home from school at about 4:15PM when each practice concludes.

When does the club meet?

The club meets on Mondays after school from 2:40 – 4:10PM in the school gymnasium. Students are picked up by parents at the gate on 15th Ave at about 4:15PM. Students will be allowed to walk home only if granted permission by their parent on the registration waiver.

The first meeting of the club this year will be on Monday, September 11.

How to join the circus club:

Two ways to register for circus club (both work, #1 is easier)

  1. Register online by filling out the online registration waiver form (available in English and Spanish)
  2. Pick up a paper form in the school office (also available in English and Spanish), fill out both sides, and return to the school office.

Circus Club Coaches

Jens Larson

Director and founder of Phoenix Youth Circus Arts

Jens spent 19 years performing in circuses in the USA and around the world. He spent 14 years as a high school educator. He created PYCA in 2015 and became a circus educator! (Full bio, video links and pictures)

Kendra Foti

For over 10 years, Kendra has been developing as a multi-disciplinary performing artist. She is a second-generation fire artist with specialties in fire-eating and fire props such as poi, and rope dart. She performs with staff and double staff, she is a master stilt-walker, and she incorporates everything from song and dance to martial arts into her performances. Kendra joined the PYCA coaching staff last year at other PYCA schools and she is thrilled to have the opportunity this year to share her love and passion for these arts with the students of Bethune Elementary.

Stevie Smith

The amazing Stevie Smith has been performing all over the country as juggler, clown, and acrobat for almost 20 years. His specialty is his 4ft diameter rolling globe named “Lucille” on which he set a world record by walking and balancing for 25 hours straight! Stevie loves it when students challenge themselves and end up doing things they didn’t think they would be able to do (like walk on Lucille)!

Bethune Elementary Circus Club (Espanol)

PYCA está encantada de continuar un club de circo en Bethune School (1310 S. 15th Ave Phoenix, AZ 85007) este año escolar 2023-2024. El club consistirá de hasta 25 estudiantes de 3rd grado en adelante que se reunirán después de clases los lunes de 2:40 p. m. a 4:10 p. m. en el gimnasio de la escuela. ¡Este programa es posible gracias a una subvención de la Comisión de las Artes de Arizona!

En el club de circo, los estudiantes aprenden los conceptos básicos de todas las artes circenses, como malabares (pelotas, anillos, diábolos, aros, poi), equilibrio (funambulismo, rola bola, monociclo, zancos), acrobacias ( volteretas, acrobacias en pareja, pirámides humanas, minitrampolín) y ser un payaso. Los estudiantes preparan actos para presentar en espectáculos realizados para la comunidad escolar. Los estudiantes del club también pueden particapar con estudiantes de PYCA de otras escuelas en presentaciones opcionales en eventos públicos y festivales durante todo el año y en toda el área de Phoenix. No se necesita experiencia previa para estar en el club, solo el deseo de asistir regularmente, probar cosas nuevas y trabajar de manera cooperativa y creativa con otros estudiantes de circo mientras aprenden a actuar.

La participación en el club está limitada a 25 estudiantes en el grado 3 y superior. La membresía es un privilegio: para conservar ese privilegio, los estudiantes deben mantener buenas calificaciones en la escuela y buen comportamiento y asistencia a las sesiones de práctica tanto de la escuela como del club. Se requiere el permiso de los padres, y los estudiantes deben tener transporte a casa desde la escuela cuando finaliza cada práctica.

Cómo unirse al club de circo:

Hay dos formas de registrarse en el club de circo (la n.°1 es más fácil)

  1. Completando el formulario de registro en línea (disponible en inglés y español)
  2. Los formularios de inscripción están disponibles en papel en la oficina de la escuela. Llene ambos lados y devuélvalo a la oficina de la escuela.

¿Cuándo se reúne el club de circo?

El club se reúne los lunes después de clases de 2:40 a 4:10 p. m. en el gimnasio de la escuela. Los padres recogen a los estudiantes en la puerta de 15th Ave aproximadamente a las 4:15 p. m. A los estudiantes se les permitirá caminar a casa solo si sus padres les otorgan permiso en la exención de inscripción. La primera reunión del club este año será el lunes 11 de septiembre.