Germantown school shows the ropes to those who dream of joining the circus [photos]

    While her mother gave a lesson in tightwire walking and her father led a crash course in juggling, 10-year-old Ayla Kennedy showed a boy how to spin a plastic plate on a stick.

    Wearing a shirt with the words “millionaire in training,” 9-year-old Sam Holobachuk learned how to spin a plastic plate on a stick. Ten-year-old Ayla Kennedy, already a master of the trick, showed him the ropes while her father, Greg, led a crash course in juggling and her mother, Shanna, gave a lesson in tightwire walking.

    The Kennedys run The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in Germantown, and, on Sunday, nearly 40 people attended an open house that featured lessons in tightwire walking, trapeze and juggling.

    “We wanted to create a welcoming and anxiety-free entry point for interested kids and adults to discover the fun and athleticism of practicing circus skills,” said Shana Kennedy, the school’s executive director.

    Using long pieces of cloth hanging from the ceiling, professional aerialist and staff instructor Christine Morano led a workshop in the basics of trapeze. By the end of the session, most of her students  could hang upside down.

    Nearly 40 adults and children, some as young as 7, attended Sunday’s open house. Most were visiting for the first time.

    The school, founded in 2008, hosts the open sessions about every three months. The next open house will be scheduled around the holidays, in November or December.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal