An Argentinean acrobat tumbled upside down in a giant wheel while reading “The Catcher in the Rye.”

A University of Minnesota student juggled while balancing on a giant red ball.

And a clown tried balancing on a high wire while holding a frilly white umbrella, but to no avail.

The performers were part of the University’s first-ever Cirque De-Stress event at Coffman Union on Wednesday.

Kentucky-based circus troupe Circus Mojo performed seven 30-minute shows in the Great Hall to give students a break from daily stresses, said Paul Miller, the troupe’s founder.

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Circus Mojo’s Mojo Continues to Expand

Paul Miller is, as he puts it, “leading the charge” to host an annual College Circus Fest and Job Fair at the headquarters of his Circus Mojo in Ludlow, KY, which is just outside of Cincinnatti) on May 3 – 5.  The first night will feature a meet and greet open stage which Miller says is being marketed to college age folks  in the Cincinnatti area. 

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The following is a blog post from Raising 2 Tweens.  It is written by the mother of one of our students, whom we first met while working our Mojo at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

It seems like before our children are even born we are looking for activities to sign them up for. Will I have a soccer player or basketball player? Will they be on the chess team or Odyssey team? Should I sign them up for gymnastics or football? What about science or the drama club? We constantly think about balancing their activities so they are enrolled in something physical, learning to be a team player and using their brains. Before you know it, we have them participating in five or six things and they never have time to just be a kid.

I’ve been down this road with Joey, my almost 13-year-old. He has tried soccer, basketball and baseball without success. He has been in chorus, on the chess team, taken a year of Taekwondo and participated in a gymnastics class. He didn’t stick with any of it. Although he liked the chess team and baseball he decided he didn’t want to participate. He has been in Odyssey of the Minds since kindergarten and loves it. But that’s not physical… How do I keep my 5’1, 70 pound boy active?

Well, I found the answer this summer. Actually, I found an activity that keeps him active, uses his brain, teaches team work and requires creativity. One activity that covers everything we look for! The Circus! Yes, my son is enrolled in the circus. Circus Mojo in Ludlow to be specific. Joey and I met the Circus Mojo Team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital while at Joey’s appointments (read story here: Circus Camp Healed My Son. Joey then participated in a summer camp at Circus Mojo. He loved it. It provided the physical therapy he needed for his leg as well as an activity that he enjoyed.

joey unicycle

joey german

His favorite act is the German Wheel. He also enjoys the cable wheel and the silks. These are all very physical activities that have also taught him to work as a team and count on his partner because he could get hurt if he doesn’t. He has also gotten to know a lot of great kids and adults. Coming up with new tricks requires him to be creative. He has to use his brain while spinning plates, flipping hats and balancing objects like feathers and crutches on his finger tips.

Saturday classes will pick up again this fall. Visit http://www.circusmojo.com or call 859-360-7757 for more information.

 

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Circus Mojo Program Evaluation CARE.compressed page 001 1

shHello everyone! My name is Sharon, and if you have seen Circus Mojo before, you probably have seen me, heard my name or seen my picture somewhere, because I have been an employee of Circus Mojo for over five years!  I began as a volunteer for Circus Mojo in February of 2011 as I waited for my work visa. When I first started, I would have to ride the bus from my apartment in Loveland to Ludlow and back, which took a big chunk of my day, but it was worth it. Five and a half years later my commute is much quicker as I drive my car from my house which I just recently purchased.

I’m now beginning a European Tour to perform, train, and teach my circus skills and to hopefully learn some new skills, too. But I wanted to take a minute to reflect on how far I’ve come.

The video below is from the 2011 Macy’s ArtsWave Sampler, the first big gig that I performed as a volunteer.

 

10559838 10152559542683758 4729598666290473052 n 1In these five plus years, I had the opportunity to perform in amazing venues and for great audiences. We have performed for the Cincinnati Reds, P&G, NKY Chamber of Commerce, Cincinnati Bengals, Mercedes Benz, University of Minnesota, University of Cincinnati and Kentucky Symphony, among others.  It’s quite hard to choose the best ones but maybe performing live with the KY symphony was one to remember, or really, anytime I felt confident about what I was doing and supported by them.

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The big gigs are great opportunities, but my day to day work may be even more amazing.  I am a Circus Wellness Specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center where I bring “joy and distraction” to the kids at the hospital. Now, after years of working at the hospital, I am a trainer for incoming Circus Wellness Specialists from Circus Mojo. I enjoy all the work at the hospital, but my favorite area to work at is the cancer unit. 

This has been quite a journey, and like the title, the road has had bumps, too. But one of the things that always helped me through tough times has been the amazing group of people that I have had the chance to work with.  Perhaps you have heard people talking about circus as a big family, well, that is no joke! Being in the circus has given me the opportunity to travel many places and meet circus people literally anywhere in the world. I am always thankful for those people I’ve met along the way and remember how lucky I have been to travel to teach, learn and perform in places like Finland, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, places across the US and of course my native Mexico.  I have been impacted in some way by everyone I have worked with; some have become very dear to my heart, but I have learned so much from the difficult people too. 

van

All of this sounds amazing right? Well, it mostly is, but at the end of the day, this is also a job. So like any other job there are difficulties that we have faced, like when we broke an aerial rig hours before we had to perform a show for thousands of people, or when we have had silly arguments about music cues, costumes or who is teaching what class. We have all had days when pressure gets to us and we get so disappointed, angry or just sad and we have to cry, but, I was once told that is OK to cry, because big part of being an artist is sensitivity, and if you can’t be sensitive, you shouldn’t be in this business.

wheel

When I began with Circus Mojo I knew how to do the aerial silks and as the years have progressed, so has my circus skill set.  The newest discipline I have learned is the gym wheel (or German wheel). Wolfgang Bientzle, my coach and a major force behind Circus Mojo, gave me the opportunity to learn the wheel and now I regularly travel to Chicago to train and instruct with him.  

In June, 2016 Circus Mojo was the local host for the 2016 Wheel Gymnastics World Championships where I competed for the second time on an international level as well as performed and instructed during the weeks festivities.  It was an unforgettable experience where I got to meet and be inspired by wheelers from all over the world.

The first time I toured with Circus Mojo was to the 2011 American Youth Circus Organization Festival in Florida and while packing for my current European tour, I found my AYCO Badge.

ayco combo

My second tour with Circus Mojo was my first European experience.  We travelled to Germany to work with Circus Pimparello.  You can read about that experience here. 

Now, I am on my fourth European tour and cannot wait to see what happens, what I will do or who I will meet!  Check the map- I may be coming to a country near you! 

map

It seems like it was just yesterday when I walked in that theater for the first time and now with thousands of gigs under my belt, I still can’t believe how time flies!!

I look forward to sharing my experiences when I return to Circus Mojo and may all your days be circus days.