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The Greatest Show On Earth…In A College Campus

1407 words - 6 pages

It is like entering another world inside the garnet and gold striped tent. The unimaginable is proven possible in this magical place.
 Men and women whoosh high overhead, as they fly from swing to swing. Juggling clubs float in the air in a perfect rotating motion. Men and women walk with controlled stability over a thin rope crossing a seeming abyss. The actions of the performers are united in perfect harmony.
The audience stares in complete awe as their enticed eyes try to engulf the enchanting spectacle. Inside this magical place the possibilities are endless. (this is my lede)
 
A rare performance to attend, “Flying High Circus, is only one of two collegiate circuses in the nation; the other one located in Illinois State University.
 
Jack Haskin established the Florida State University’s “Flying High Circus” in 1947, with the purpose of creating a non-competitive activity that would integrate both men and women. The circus was established the same year university became coeducational.
 
“Flying High Circus” is an integral part of Florida State University tradition and continuous legacy. The collegiate circus is a unique activity that involves both men and women to work together in a way that unleashes their strengths and reveals their personality. “Flying High Circus”, being such an influential aspect of student’s college experience, should prompt other universities to make more collegiate circuses.
 
Only 9.2% of clubs in the university are performance clubs. In other words, there are only 60 performance clubs out of the total 651 clubs in the university. And out of these clubs, the circus is the only unique activity that can integrate any student in the Florida State community, while also building their strength, and keeping the students healthy.
 
The circus is constructed of various components. Flying High Circus has about 120 students dedicated solely to performing, while the rest of the students are involved in backstage activities such as makeup, costume design, and stage management. 
“The show cannot go on without the backstage crew; they are as important as the performers.” said associate director Nate Stapp.
 
There is currently a one-credit hour class available called PEM1952 or “Circus Activities” offered in the fall that allows students to delve into the realm of circus. This class allows kids to learn about the construction behind the show and some stunts seen in the show as well. It is a class that really motivates students to engage in this activity.
 
“Flying High Circus” currently has four full time staff members, composed of three associate directors, and one director, who are also the coaches. The coaches strive to train the performers every day of the week from half an hour to one and a half hours depending on their assigned act.
 
The coaches are all alumni of Florida State University and once part of the “Flying High Circus.” Thus, they are very experienced with the various acts and stunts involved in conducting a...

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