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CircEsteeem provides the greatest creative outlet for my children!  They have participated in Saturday classes, summer camp and weekly “skills” courses.  They have developed unbelievably impressive circus skills and  have made friends with kids and adults from different parts of Chicago and different parts of the world.  Their increased self esteem is evident in the way they perform their circus skills, the way they share ideas and talents among their ensemble, and their improved academic performance.

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- Kristin G. – CircEsteem Parent


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My now-20-year-old son started taking circus classes with CircEsteem when he was 9 and eventually became a day camp instructor. It was fabulous for this suburban kid to work and play with kids and adults from all over the world for 10 years, become an amazing juggler/clown, and gradually take on serious responsibility at a young age. CircEsteem classes offer a very different experience from most youth sports and activities — instead of the usual standing in line or waiting around to take a turn for a brief moment of the activity, circus is a total collaboration of creativity and learning of physical skills. For years, I observed so many shy, awkward kids gain confidence that helped them in school and well past graduation!

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- Christine D. – CircEsteem Parent


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This is a great place to get your sillies out!  The CircEsteem programs are physically and developmentally engaging.  Staff members are nurturing and caring.  The students develop a strong comeraderie with each other and mental and physical strength in themselves.  I have been impressed with the number of men on the staff when so many programs have women teachers and coaches.  This sets a good model for my son.  It also is a great demonstration of “appropriate touch” as many of the skills require spotting.  Finally, this is the most diverse program in which we have been involved from the staff to the students.  Another reason to be thrilled to drop my kid off there as often as possible.

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- Lucy M. – CircEsteem Parent


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Both my daughter and my niece went to this camp and haven’t stopped raving about it. It was a great outlet for them – while fostering physical activity it helped them work with other kids, build their own self esteem, and it was amazing to watch how proud they were of their work and how much they accomplished!  The staff is incredible… overall such a fabulous investment…. I wish they had a circus camp for adults!

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- Melanie K. – Summer Camp Parent


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After taking after-school CircEsteem classes at his school, I overheard my seven year old saying to friends that he was going to Circus Camp over the summer.  News to me but I signed him right up because generally-speaking my son wants nothing to do with camp.  He loved every minute of the two consecutive weeks he spent in their incredible space and my husband and I fell in love with it ourselves.  Everything from the shows they performed to the warmth of the staff to the spirited chant they end everyday with: “ooo I feel so good, just like i knew I would” over and over, louder and louder.  I’ve been singing it all summer (much to the chagrin of my son).  I was particularly enthralled by their mission.  My son had the opportunity to interact with a much more diverse set of kids than he has anywhere else in his life.  I love that they serve the wealthiest schools to the most underserved schools.  Most of all I loved hearing my son coo “Mum, you can get sooooo close to the counselors.  They’re so nice!”  He will be taking classes again this year and wants to go for three weeks next summer.

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- Jo-Ann F. – CircEsteem Parent


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Our library hired CircEsteem to provide entertainment for our Fall Circus Festival – an event for all ages.  Cortez and Alex came out and entertained our audiences with their juggling, magic and stilt walking skills.  The boys were so friendly, incredibly talented and completely adapted to our event setting. CircEsteem was a joy to work with, from scheduling and event planning, to the actual acts on the day of our festival.  We will definitely work with them in the future to bring their high quality and exciting circus entertainment to our patrons.

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- Terri Suda – Programming Coordinator, Wauconda Area Library


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Having our daughter’s 7th birthday party at CircEsteem was worth every penny.  It was spectacular!  Every child had fun and the staff was exceptional.  My daughter was so happy and we love that we were able to support a wonderful nonprofit in the community.

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- Caryn M. – CircEsteem Parent


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My husband and I think CircEsteem has been the best thing for our son.  He has the biggest grin on his face on Saturday mornings and just can’t wait to get there!
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- Julie H. – Parent of Saturday Circus Student


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Besides learning circus skills, the Chicago Youth Circus is a great opportunity that most people don’t get to have.  I love the traveling and the shows.  Seeing how circus changes people’s lives is amazing!

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- Ali Haymes


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CircEsteem has made me a better person.  I’ve learned from my circus team to put trust in others and to earn other people’s trust.  I’ve learned by conquering my fear of the trapeze, that even if you don’t like something at first, you should always give it another try.  I’ve learned through juggling, my most challenging skill, that with lots of hard work I can do anything.  Most importantly, I’ve learned through CircEsteem MD, performing at hospitals, that everyone needs a smile, and circus always brings that smile.

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- Jack Gomberg – Advanced Circus Student