Westchester Circus Arts Offers Kids a Sensational Summer

It’s ok to let your kids run off to join the circus this year — they’ll be back in time for dinner.

This summer, let your children run away to join the circus. They’ll be home in time for dinner, promises Hilary Sweeney, aerialist and founder/director of Westchester Circus Arts. She, along with codirector Carlo Pellegrini (ringmaster, juggler, and clown) started offering a summer program five years ago, to instill confidence in children through practicing circus arts. “Our livelihoods are based on the idea that anything is possible,” says Sweeney. “We knew this powerful message could have profound effects on children’s mindsets and development. If you tell a child that anything is possible and put them in a world of ‘yes,’ you are empowering them to achieve success.”

The camp is for children ages 5 to 18 of all ability levels. The counselors are circus performers who teach a variety of skills, from juggling and acrobatics to the flying trapeze. The boutique camp has a low instructor-to-student ratio, with an annual enrollment of about 150, many of whom are returning campers. 

Eleven-year-old circus camper Yael Michaeli says, “Circus is where the extraordinary and unique people meet.” His mom, Laura Michaeli, says the staff is inspiring, supportive, and safe. When asked why parents should send their children to Westchester Circus Arts summer camp, Sweeney answered: “How often can you say your kids got to join the circus and defy gravity?” 

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The camp offers four programs, ranging from one day to six weeks, at LIFE, the Place to Be in Ardsley (www.westchestercircusarts.com). 

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