Four Reasons the Circus Arts are a Smart Sport for Austin Kids
East Austin’s Sky Candy studio offers high-flying classes for strength, focus and fun...
Instructor Andy Agne with three peas in an aerial pod. Photo by Joanna Wright
Whether your kids dream of starring in Cirque du Soleil shows or are just a little bored with the soccer and gymnastics routine, Sky Candy gives them fresh, creative options for fitness. At the unique aerial arts studio in East Austin, kids from 6 to 17 learn trapeze, juggling, hooping, poi spinning, and aerial silks.
Austin.com talked with aerial performer, children’s instructor and Sky Candy co-founder Andy Agne and discovered four ways the circus arts help kids step right up to life’s challenges:
1. Balance and Strength It takes some skill to work with aerial silks and to hang on to that flying trapeze.
“Safety is our main goal,” Agne said. “We teach safe entries and exits in and out of the apparatus and a lot of strength and flexibility exercises that are fun and engaging.”
2. Focus This is one of those life skills that everyone can benefit from -- especially kids who have years of studying ahead of them. Agne creates a setting that makes it easy for kids to sharpen their ability to concentrate.
“Generally kids have a short attention span. With the aerial classes they learn to give all of their focus to one moment, and we eliminate most distractions by not teaching anything or anyone else during the kids’ classes.”
3. Community What could be better than a peer group of pals who can spin poi, perform acrobatic feats in midair and juggle?
“Circus Arts also teach kids a sense of community and allows them to express their feelings in one of the oldest performing arts," Agne said. "Most other sports are very two dimensional and mostly competitive. Aerial Acrobatics are fun-based and entertaining for the student as well as the onlooker.”
4. Fun Agne got into aerial arts as a youth when he got bored with gymnastics. He says it’s a great cross-training option for kids who play other sports.
“Kids love it because they can completely immerse themselves in this art form and it does not feel like they are actually working out or doing a sport. Every child in our classes comes to us to have fun. There of course has to be a little play time at the end, where the kids can tumble, spin, fly or simply just clown around.”
Sky Candy offers two levels of children’s classes, circus arts for ages 6 to 9 and circus arts plus aerial equipment for ages 10 to 17. See the studio’s Kids & Youth Classes page for more information.