Scarborough Gym Dandies celebrate 30th Anniversary performance | Arts & Culture

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Scarborough Gym Dandies celebrate 30th Anniversary performance
 Scarborough Gym Dandies celebrate 30th Anniversary performance

On March 31st and April 1st, Scarborough’s Gym Dandies will hold their 30th annual Community Performance.  The Gym Dandies is a children’s circus featuring such feats as having 80+ unicyclists perform on “giraffe” unicycles (where the seat is on a long “neck” about 6-feet off the ground), routines featuring up to 200 children simultaneously unicycling, globe walkers (who and jump rope and hoola hoop while balancing on the large balls), stilt walkers, jugglers who can juggle 3, 4 and even 5 balls, jugglers who can “share” (by having 2 people juggle as if they were one person), “steal” (where one person juggles, and without missing a beat, a teammate comes and juggles away their balls), and throw juggling pins up to 10 feet away to awaiting partners, off-road unicycling where performers ride up ramps and jump on and off boxes and other obstacles, and Scarborough’s favorite: unihockey … with all the thrills and spills of ice hockey, except played on unicycles!

What truly makes this organization incredible is its founder, Jon Cahill.  Jon was a gym teacher for Scarborough, and decided to introduce circus arts into his P.E. curriculum.  He started in 1981 with 10 enthusiastic kids and a bucket of tennis balls … which has grown to include over 200 performers annually at such prominent national venues as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in NYC, Independence Day Parades in Washington, DC, Montreal (Quebec) Cycling Festival, West Virginia Strawberry Festival, Manchester St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and many others (see details on attached sheet).  Even though Jon retired from teaching in 2004, he continues to spend EVERY AFTERNOON teaching, mentoring, and inspiring children.  He rollerblades between the school gym and cafeteria, and always encourages children to try something new.  His dedication of time, love, and attention to these children are what makes this organization so unique and successful.   Over the past 30 years, he has amassed an alumni group numbering in the thousands, and there are now a few Gym Dandies who are now “2nd generation” … their parents were members of the original Gym Dandies 30 years ago.

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