My friend Jessica Hentoff (incidentally Nat's daughter) does wonderful things with all sorts of young people in St. Louis. She's definitely helped turn some lives around.
Her daughter is in her first year at college level circus school in Quebec, École nationale de cirque. Jessica's sent several kids out into the world level, and she'll be doing some sort of big shot speaking gig at Monaco this winter.
What a worthy endeavor, Lola -- and so exciting, too.
I'm fascinated by the kids -- their openness and ability to articulate seem to be one of the by-products of gaining confidence in what they can do with their bodies. It's also wonderful to see how all body types are included -- it's not just a troupe of tiny little Nadias.
The part at the end, where the lovely young woman talks about the inner child and Miss Jessica talks about being Peter Pan is really inspiring and moving.
This post reminded us that anyport actually has a board for the performing arts. However, it was sort of tucked away, which is contraindicated for something called "In the Spotlight". Accordingly, it's been give full board status. This wonderful thread is being moved there as a fitting fanfare. Thanks!
This is just so amazing, Lola. I had no idea there was anything like it in the US. Do they have scholarships or special needs programs, or is it only practical to admit kids from the St. Louis area? For that matter, how do kids get into the circus school and are there spaces for all who want to attend?
I'm very flattered that you forwarded my comments. And of course tell her to quote away. This is a public forum, after all. And it's fine if she wants to use my real name.
The group that went to Israel is the selective troupe St. Louis Arches, and the kids train intensively and get paid for various gigs. They were at Nantucket, I think Kennedy Center one year, First Night here in town.
I have the impression Jessica makes up a lot of this as she goes, maybe including the whole concept. She rode bareback and was in an aerial act after she fell in love with circus during college.
She's always fundraising, writing grants, doing whatever it takes. A lot of the kids come from homes with very little income, so need a lot of scholarships. As far as I know it's local kids only. Trying to board students, get them a regular school education and all would take it to another level.
Gosh, she does all that and teaches too?! Really, what a remarkable person. You said she fell in love with circus during college. Riding bareback and being an aerialist is not exactly the peripheral of the big ring. Did she go to a circus school, or literally run away & join the circus?