By DAVID DUPONT
BG Independent News
Ta-Dah was the word of the day Friday morning at the Wood County Library.
As part of the summer reading program, the Cirque Amongus from Michigan visited the library to give an introduction to basic circus skills – stilt walking tight rope walking, a ladder pyramid, riding a unicycle, balancing, and juggling.
A successful, or even unsuccessful, attempt was concluded with a loud ta-dah! Accompanied by the hands flying out to the side.
Children’s Librarian Maria Simon started off the morning with a cautionary note by reading the picture book by Elise Parsley, “If You Ever Want To Bring a Circus To the Library, DON’T!”
But Simon clearly didn’t heed the book’s message. She welcomed Myrthia Hornshaw and Johan Yamine into the building with open arms.
At first they demonstrated each skill, using drawing volunteers from the dozens of children in attendance. After each skill was shown, the kids were instructed to scream ta-dah!
They were itching to go.
With the help of the library’s volunteens, the kids – for some walking a recently acquired stunt — then got to try for themselves. That meant riding bikes through the atrium. Tottering on a “high-wire” that was just a few inches off the ground. Tumbling, balancing, working with other kids to form a pyramid on the ladders.
And they were the only ones having a blast. Diana Hensley, who as there with her two children, tried her hands with the balance sticks and then she even got on a tiny bike, not afraid to tumble.
Hensley said the family frequently takes part in library activities, throughout the year. She appreciates that in the summer there’s something going on just about every morning.
The circus program was special. It got kids moving. It involved kids of different ages as well “It’s more interactive,” she said. “It’s a different thing that kids don’t get to experience.”
That was why Simon brought Cirque Amongus to the library.
The program gives kids a chance to exercise their gross motor, helps them build their self-esteem through learning something new and, most of all, have fun.
Cirque Amongus was started 17 years ago by Hornshaw’s brother Sem Abrahams and his wife, Teresa. Hornshaw joined about 10 years ago.
The founders are performers as well, she said, as is their son Jon Hash Abrahams, who has appeared on the Steve Harvey show “Little Big Shots.”
The troupe works with kids at birthday parties, schools, libraries and camps. They also do team-building events for adults.
“Kids are learning a new skill in an environment that levels the playing field,” Hornshaw said. “No one else has tried it before. They’re learning cooperation, coordination, communication, and team work.”
Certainly if you have a chance to invite a circus to the library, do. Ta-dah!