At Sawyer we have the privilege of working with hundreds of inspiring educators around the country. Whether they teach virtual classes or in-person activities, the curricula always foster enriching atmospheres for children of all ages to discover their love of learning. We got the opportunity to chat with The Actors Gymnasium, one of the nation’s premiere circus and performing arts training centers. They offer a variety of circus arts and tumbling classes, camps, and workshops to children and adults in the Chicago area.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! I’d love to hear a bit more about you and why you started your business.

We started the Actors Gymnasium because we wanted to have a place where people of all ages could go to learn unique physical skills, like circus arts, physical theater, mime, clowning, etc. At the time there were no other type schools in the area especially that served adults.

Can you describe an inspiring moment you’ve had as an educator?  

There have been many. One time, a little nine year old ran over to me when she first arrived and very excitedly told me she climbed higher on the rope then her thirteen year old brother. She said, “Circus makes me so strong and brave”.

Photo of The Actors Gymnasium

What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching children?

I like to see children try things they didn’t think they could do. Things that are hard and sometimes scary. The empowerment they feel when they conquer their fears and succeed after many tries sometimes.

Why is after school/extracurricular enrichment and camp so important for children?

At work and school you are sometimes in a stationary isolating bubble. I think there is so much value to being in a room with people, drawing from each other's energy, moving and connecting on a different level. Trusting that you are in a safe place to try new things.

How do you think children can discover their passions when they’re not in school or your programs?

At The Actors Gym, children are able to be free to find out what they are capable of. Each class, instructor, show, camp, etc. give them skills that give them confidence and when children are confident, they are able to soar into discovering any and all passions.

Photo of circus a

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