The audience flipped over the routines of more than 250 performers who showcased their talents during the 45th annual Aerial Antics Youth Circus at the Saint Edward’s School Gonzalez Activities Center gymnasium last weekend.
The high-flying presentations were the result of hard work and determination by students enrolled in the Vero Beach Recreation Department’s performing arts and gymnastics classes at Centerstage at Leisure Square, as well as its Aerial Antics summer camp.
“Vero should be very proud of the talented kids that we have and what our Recreation Department does,” said Patty Howard, assistant recreation director, noting that past participants have gone on to perform at Sea World and as collegiate cheerleaders and dancers.
In honor of the Vero Beach Centennial, the program featured 100 years of dance, with everything from the Charleston to hip-hop. It was a toe-tapping trip down memory lane, with performances to such favorites as “Copacabana,” “Splish Splash” and the “Lion Sleeps Tonight” in costumes that matched the dance eras.
Bungee trapeze acrobats used the aerial sphere and flat triangle while performing to “We are the World,” their graceful movements a poignant reminder of the program’s message, with the lyrics: “We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving.”
Little ones performed with an enthusiasm only the young can pull off and the older ones with a precision and skill that would make the legendary Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze proud.
It was standing room at each of the three evening performances; audiences oohing and ahhing as performers from ages 3 to 34 executed acrobatic feats, gymnastics movements and dance routines.
Pointing to Andrea Woodson, Howard said, “She’s 34 years old, if you can believe it. She participated in the program as a child, taught for us, and now both she and her daughter are part of the show this year. We want everyone to be a part of the program. We do our best to offer scholarships and keep our prices affordable and give them the best quality program we can. That’s what the Recreation Department is all about – the community.”
Recreation programs such as Centerstage Acrobatics, Aerial Antics and the summer camp positively impact roughly 1,000 local youth through physical activities; helping them to develop discipline, teamwork and healthy exercise habits.
Between acts, Rob Slezak, COVB director of Parks and Recreation, took on the role of emcee, highlighting their various programs and services, and commenting on several Centennial events this year: Leisure Square Day on Aug. 24 and the annual Halloween Parade and Costume Contest on Oct. 26 coinciding with the Vero Beach Centennial Finale Celebration. The annual Aerial Antics Holiday Drama will take place Dec. 8 at the Vero Beach High School PAC.
For more information, visit covb.org.