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Tarrytown Students Join the Circus

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – The circus came to town Friday night at Washington Irving Intermediate School.

Members of the fifth grade class showcased their skills in juggling, stilt-walking, clowning, plate-spinning and more to a packed audience of parents.

“The kids love it,” Washington Irvington P.E. Teacher Jorge Veintimilla said.

The annual circus is part of a week-long event with the National Circus Project, Veintimilla said.

“They come in for a week, they put on a show for all the students that shows them all the skills they're going to be learning: juggling, devil sticks, plate, diablos, tight-rope walking,” he said. “There's a lot of great things they learn.”

Two skills were popular among the fifth grade class this year, Veintimilla said: the diablo, which is a Chinese yo-yo, and being a clown.

Kids throughout the school take at least one class period with the professionals in the National Circus Project. But only the fifth-graders work towards putting on a performance.

“Every student in the fifth grade gets the opportunity to be in the circus somehow,” Veintimilla said, whether that's performing, concessions or making balloon animals.

This was the school's ninth year of putting on the circus, Veintimilla said, and “it's always a big hit.”

“This year we had to do a lot of fundraising on our own to get the money because it's very hard with the budgets lately,” he said.

Veintimilla said the circus program is beneficial because students get the opportunity to use skills they wouldn't normally be able to use. Circus skills also promote hard work and determination, Veintimilla said.

“A lot of kids go towards sports and they shine a lot from youth all the way to high school,” he said. “The circus actually has different skills that you don't often see. And kids you don't expect to shine become the superstars.”

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