Cirkus After School

Bindlestiff’s Cirkus After School programs in Hudson, NY and Chatham, NY are free to participants age 8 – 18, thanks to foundation and private support.

Bindlestiff’s Cirkus After School uses skills like juggling, stilt walking, tumbling, partner acrobatics, prop manipulation and physical comedy to help youth to become stronger learners, community members, and leaders by encouraging them to express themselves creatively, challenge themselves physically, and work inventively with others. Our projected outcomes are aligned with Social Circus theory, as recognized by the American Youth Circus Organization, which proposes application of instructional and cooperative techniques from the world of circus arts to help accelerate desired outcomes in youth development, therapeutic or community development settings.

copy39Our mission:

The arts of the big top and the vaudeville stage are a medium through which youth can explore creative expression using a combination of  physical discipline, skill development, inventive character acting, and the physicalization of ideas through movement. Taking safe risks with peers can build friendships; the manipulation of a prop can be a metaphor for a relationship; the act of defying gravity can inspire confidence. For all, regardless of athletic ability, juggling enhances dexterity and coordination, builds core strength, boosts fitness levels, and is a non-competitive activity.

Our method:IMG_9077

Students learn basic juggling, begin an overview of clowning and physical comedy, (i.e. telling stories through movement and gesture) and a relationship to stage props and performance. The students also become a cohesive group – a troupe of performers – and learn to support each other as they work towards goals. In each class session we focus on IMG_8633building skills and developing a group culture, allowing peer mentorship and youth leadership opportunities to emerge. Games, acting exercises, and mini-performances help build confidence and communication skills. As the program comes to a close, Bindlestiff’s instructors help narrow and focus students’ interests in specific skills and begin rehearsals for a final show, creating individual and group acts. The final presentation is always a celebration of each young person’s achievements, and is open to friends and family.

All participants are also invited to join jugglers of all ages at Hudson Juggling Club, held on Mondays from 6-8 pm at the MC Smith Intermediate School gymnasium in Hudson, NY. It’s free, it’s fun, and provides access to juggling equipment, unicycles, and mentorship from Bindlestiff co-founder Stephanie Monseu.

Our programs:DSC_0422 (1)

Bindlestiff’s Cirkus After School (Hudson)
at Hudson Department of Youth
18 South 3rd Street, Hudson, NY

Mondays, January 30-April 10
(No class February 20)
3pm – 4:30pm
Ages 8 – 12

A public performance by Cirkus After School participants will be presented at Hudson Department of Youth on Monday, April 10, free to the community.

Participation is free for HDY participants, but registration is required.
Online Registration Form

Bindlestiff’s Cirkus After School (Chatham)
at Morris Memorial
21 Park Row, Chatham, NY

Wednesdays, March 1-April 26
(No class April 19)
3pm – 4pm: Ages 7 – 9
4pm – 5pm: Ages 10 and up

A public performance by Cirkus After School participants will be presented at the Morris Memorial on Wednesday, April 26, free to the community.

Participation is free for Morris Memorial participants, but registration is required.
Online Registration Form

For more information, email

Our partners:

City of Hudson Department of Youth
Hudson Opera House
Hudson City School District
The Morris Memorial

Bindlestiff’s 2017 Columbia County youth programs are supported, in part, by:
The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Stewart’s Shops
Hudson Department of Youth
The Morris Memorial
The Red Dot, Hudson
Elizabeth LoGuidice
and other generous community members