Staying Fit During The Summer

By Carleigh Saberton

If your circus is like mine, there is a time where there are no classes or camps to attend! Circus is my main way of staying active throughout the year so what should I do when I can’t do circus? With the American Youth Circus Festival coming up, we need to make sure we are keeping up with our strength and skills. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to stay in shape when circus isn’t an option.

First, you could go to a gym to get a good workout. Fitness centers like Planet Fitness, YMCA, LA Fitness, and Crunch Fitness all have locations all over the U.S. that you could attend. Some gyms, like Planet Fitness, even offer FREE summer memberships for teens! Fitness centers have so many different machines and equipment that you can use during your workouts. If you don’t want to go alone, find a gym buddy! They could be a family member or even a circus friend. Gym buddies help you stay motivated and can help make you more comfortable going to a gym. 

Sometimes going to a gym can get expensive so you can always find ways to workout at home. You can start by turning everyday things into exercises. For example, choose to take the stairs or if you don’t have weights use everyday things such as books, heavy boxes, or even your dog!

Workouts don’t always include pushups, squats, and sit ups. It’s good to have diverse workouts to work all different parts of your body. You can switch between things like yoga, stretching and regular workouts. Also, you don’t have to set a specific time that you must work out, you can just workout or stretch while watching tv, listening to music, or even while scrolling through social media.


A good thing to remember is you need to rest between workouts. Working out breaks down your muscles so they can grow back stronger but if you constantly have tough workouts, your muscles don’t have time to grow back stronger which can lead to injuries if you aren’t careful. 

Other good ways to stay in shape are to take up other activities or sports. Running and swimming are great easy ways to get a good cardio workout in. But if other activities haven’t interested you, you can find other circus things to do at home. One thing to do would be to get your own props so you can practice whenever you want. Unicycle, juggling, hooping, diablo, poi and so many others are all circus activities that you can do at a local park or even in your backyard.

Although, some things such as aerials or German wheel can’t always be done whenever or where ever you want. By doing some research, you can easily find other gyms nearby where you can go to practice those things or even take more classes. For example, there is a gym that focuses on aerial arts near me and I occasionally go to open gym there to practice what I have already learned at my circus, My Nose Turns Red.


Eating healthy is also a very important aspect of staying in shape. Starting a diet can be rough sometimes so it is best to ease into it. Start avoiding foods high in sugar or calories and don’t snack on things too much. Cheating is also a must when on a diet because if you don’t cheat you are more likely to stop dieting. Don’t forget to stay hydrated especially before, during and after working out! Getting enough sleep is also very important because your body needs rest. Not getting enough sleep can be bad for you and will affect your performance when working out or doing circus.

The very most important thing when trying to stay fit is to have fun! If you are miserable then you will lose motivation to keep going. Also, don’t compare yourself to others. Yes, there will always be people better than you but there will also always be people who look up to you. Its very easy to get jealous but with hard work you can become even more amazing than you are now.

Injuries in Circus

By Tessa Wallington and Bronyn Mazlo

Injuries. The thing in the back of everyone’s mind when playing a sport. Accidents happen, but there are ways to prevent and treat injuries. Keeping your body in shape, fueling before training, and doing tricks you are qualified to do can help to prevent injuries in the first place. Sometimes though, doing everything you can to prevent injuries isn’t enough, and accidents happen. When recovering from an injury, it’s important to stay positive, and help to keep the other parts of your body in shape, even when one part is injured. Based on personal experience, we know just how it feels to have to recover from an injury, and there are a few things you must always remember to help you get back to the thing you love that much faster. 

When first injured, it’s normal to fall into a star of frustration, anxiety, or depression. We get it. Injuries trap you in a place where you want to keep continuing to train, but there’s that internal voice whispering, “what’s the point?” Why bother training if you’re not going to be healed for a year? While it can be easy to fall into that mindset, keep training throughout an injury, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. Even if you’re just pumping out a few squats, holding a few hollow bodies, or pushing through a couple of pull-ups, every little bit of strength will make your comeback easier when it is time to ease into physical therapy and, eventually, circus. It’s also very important to keep an optimistic mindset on your body during an injury. Be careful not to let losing muscle and gaining some weight affect your self confidence and grit to return to your passion. Stay in contact with friends from training, no matter how tempting it can be to isolate yourself and cut off connections to everyone. 

After an injury has passed, it’s time to get back to training! Once you’ve been cleared to begin exercising again, you must ease yourself back into your regular training. Going to classes even if you aren’t back to your full strength yet can help your brain mentally get back to your old mindset. I went to most of my regular classes, and when I wasn’t able to do something, I sat in oversplits or did sit ups. Although, one part of your body may not be one hundred percent, your other muscles could be better than before! Repetition may be your best friend when recovering from an injury, muscles will start to come back, and new and old tricks alike will begin to get better after exercises and tricks have been done many times. When dealing with an injury, it’s important to understand the difference between pain and soreness. My biggest problem was figuring out if I had pain and needed to stop, or if I felt sore, and had to push through to get better. Overall, the most important thing when recovering from an injury is listening to doctors, physical therapists, and your body.


Injuries are painful and problematic, but they are also a reminder to take care of our bodies. The months of agony, tears, and physical therapy allow us to learn how our bodies work and ways to cope through inability. Returning from an injury is like returning from hibernation. Everything is tight, groggy, and weak. Conditioning, stretching, and relearning skills are frustrating, but once you push through the initial struggle, you break free of those long months and emerge strong and powerful. Remember, what happened happened. Don’t dwell on the “what if’s”. The recovery process may seem like forever, but it is only a small part of your circus journey. Stay positive and keep going. As Lao Tzu remarked, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Expressing Yourself Through Circus: How To Convey Different Emotions Through Performance

By Maia Castro-Santos

“Artistic expression” is a term that is often heard and used in the worlds of both performing and visual art. Expression can mean portraying a certain thought or feeling to the viewer/audience, or it can be a more introspective method for an artist to explore their own emotions. Often times, these two definitions overlap, and the artist’s portrayal of their internal emotions is what captivates the audience. In both traditional and contemporary circus styles, the art of performance is enhanced by the performer’s ability to express or convey some type of emotion to the audience. Whether the act draws laughter, tears, anger, or any other emotional response from the audience, this emotional connection enhances the audience’s experience of the performance. But how do you create an act that effectively conveys a certain feeling to the viewers? The following techniques are a few that have helped me with this question:

1. Music Choice:

Music choice is one of the hardest parts of act creation for me. The song sets the tone of the act and carries through the entire performance. A piece of music that compliments the style and mood of an act can clarify the choreographer’s desired message or theme. You could choose a up-tempo, bright, jazzy song, or maybe a slow, violin based, instrumental piece of music; maybe you want the song accompanying your act to have a soaring melody, or maybe you want a steady down beat. When I am choreographing an act, the song that I choose greatly influences the quality of movement and the emotion that I try to channel through my act. The way that a song builds and rises and falls in intensity can also influence the order in which you decide to sequence tricks. If there is a large build up, towards the end of the song, maybe you would decide to save a particularly crowd pleasing trick for that moment.

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2. Color and Lighting:

In visual as well as performing arts, different colors often evoke specific emotions. The psychology of colors has a very influential role in an audience’s experience of a work of art. Generally, the warm half of the color wheel (red, orange, and yellow) evokes more energetic feelings, while the cool colors (blue, green, and purple) generate calmer emotions. Red is a very intense color. Some of the many emotions that it can represent include love, anger, and power. Yellow and orange are typically joyful and energetic. Blue can represent sadness or loneliness as well as tranquility. Purple is also a calm color and can signify mystery. Green often connects the audience with nature and the earth. All of these assumptions about the emotions associated with colors are generalizations, but they can be helpful guidelines when costuming and lighting an act. The two pictures (one above and one below) are from the performances at the end of two circus camps I was a part of last summer. The theme of the lyra act in the photo above was sunshine (our showcase was themed “weather”). My partner in the act is not shown, but we decided to both wear yellow shirts and each wear one yellow leg warmer. The song we chose was “Blue Skies” by Frank Sinatra. The bright sound of this song, combined with the positive lyrics and yellow costumes helped us to convey the joy of sunshine to the audience. The second picture (shown below) is from a latin themed solo lyra act. The song I chose was a jazz song with elements of tango, and I wore a red leotard with a red flower braided into my hair. The color red worked with the music to create the happy and sassy character that I was hoping to portray in this act.

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3. Movement Quality:

Movement quality is another technique that can be used to create the mood for an act. Sharp movements usually have a higher level of energy and intensity, while slower, smoother movements are often beautiful and calming. The Laban effort actions can be a useful tool for identifying what type of movement will have the desired effect in your act. The Laban effort actions categorize different types of movement based on different qualities of weight, space, and time. These qualities are:

heavy / light

direct / indirect

bound / free

sustained / sudden

Different combinations of these qualities create eight movement types: glide, flick, float, slash, wring, punch, press, and dab. The chart below is helpful for understanding how these movements are categorized.

Of course these movement types are just guidelines, and you can create your own versions and combinations of all of them. An exercise that I find helpful when creating an act is picking one of these movement types to practice my choreography to. Then I pick a completely different movement type and see how that one feels. This exercise helps me explore different “feels” for my act that I might not otherwise have pursued.



4. Facial Expressions:

Facial expressions are probably the most obvious way to express emotion in an act… but this is often easier said than done. “Concentration face” is definitely something to be aware of. When you are tired, sweating, and nervous about hitting your next big trick, it can be really difficult to remember to smile! Your eyes are critical for expressing emotions and connecting with the audience. You don’t need to make eye contact with your audience, but if you choose to, be intentional about it! Choreograph moments into your act where you can open out your focus to include the audience. These moments of connection are just as important as performing really difficult skills.

There are many more tips and tricks to creating a more emotionally authentic act then I have listed here, but I have found these four techniques to be a good starting place.

Chinese Pole for Beginners: A Guide

By Julaine Hall

If you are reading this article, you probably have some circus background or you are interested in circus and/or acrobatics of some sort. My guess is that you probably know what a Chinese Pole is. In case you don’t know, the Chinese Pole is a tall rubberized (but sometimes powder coated) pole that is in the ground acrobatics family. It hurts, it gives you bruises, it eats your clothing, but in my opinion, it is one of the coolest disciplines circus has to offer.

As an example, here is my performance from the SANCA Annual Spring Showcase:



So…. leotard, leggings, and/or a tank top, sweatpants, and I’m good, right? *BUZZER* WRONG! That will hurt a lot! In pole there is a lot of friction on your knee pits, inner thighs, arm pits, shoulders, and stomach. What I usually wear is a pair of leggings under a pair of super high-wasted shorts under a pair of Jeans that I am okay with ripping, A tank top that is long enough for me to tuck in, a thick sweater or long sleeve over top of that, then a pair of “Bushidos” with the soles sanded down until there is no traction on the bottom. Another accessory that is nice to have is shoulder pads. I have a shirt with some neoprene sheets sewn on the shoulders for a bit more protection for things like shoulder hops and Fungees. This is just what I wear. I’ve seen many people wear shorts, rain boots, crop-tops, but as a beginner, I think something along the lines of what I wear will cause you the least amount of pain.


To do anything cool we have to learn to get up the pole, so the very first thing you’ll learn is how to climb.


Monkey Climb


The most common used climb is “Monkey Climb.” As you can see, it looks pretty natural in comparison to other kinds of climbs. It is reminiscent of a toe climb on the rope with a lot less pain in the toes.

Climbing is difficult when it is your first time or when you have bad form, however, as you get better and you climb with your shoulders back and core tight… you should be able to whiz right up the pole! Like any discipline, pole takes a lot of….. you guessed it! PRACTICE. *whispers: and conditioning but shhhhhhhhh*


The three next skills are arguably the most important skills for a beginner to learn: Sit, Fish, and 1st Position




This is sit. This is where things get pinchy. Sit is a very traditional trick and look nice when done in synchronicity with others on the pole. Here you are pressing both feet into the pole with toes pointed at the ground. You take your shoulder around to either side of the pole and present both arms straight out. After this, you may take off the same side foot as the shouler that is in front of the pole. Great job! You have your first trick!





This is fish. I think this is sort of like your first test in strength and form. Without good form it is terribly hard to have enough strength, and without the strength, it is terribly hard to find good from. Quite a spiral! Start from sit. When you get there, put your foot back on the pole, put your same hand as shoulder that is in front of the pole under that same armpit. Now, with your free hand, brace the pole and put your feet straight behind you like superman. After this, you can take off your bracing arm and just hold with one hand.



1st Position


This is 1st position. This is your home now. Your bottom foot should be pressing into the pole and the pole should be caressed in the arch of your foot. Your top leg should be squeezing the pole and pressing down so that you can stand more comfortably. Your legs should be straight, toes pointed, and mouth smiling! Look how far you’ve made it! 1st Position is a safe zone where you can gather yourself and take a bit of a break without looking like you’re taking a break. It is one skill you should do every single time you get on the pole. I haven’t seen every single pole act on the planet but, I have never seen an act where someone didn’t at least pass through 1st position.





This is a handstand. This will get you ripped arms. To get into the handstand, place one hand at forehead height in a cup shape with no thumb wrapping and place one hand at the bottom right below your belly button. Kick the same leg as hand on top and drive that heal back as you pull with your top arm and push with your bottom arm. This should be enough to get you up to handstand.



Shoulder Hold


This is a shoulder hold. This will get you ripped abs. Lean back on the pole and place your shoulder on the pole. Your head should be to one side. Next place both hands on the pole with the same side hand that has shoulder lower. Now engage your abs and lift your legs to a tuck. You did it!

These are HIGH-KEY crucial to becoming strong in the correct places for pole. It’s conditioning day my dudes. Conditioning is the most important part.

Are you intrigued by Chinese Pole? Does it sound more awesome than painful? Chinese pole has a very human element to it. It’s fascinating to watch and a joy to learn. I’m pretty sure my good life meter reading increased by 200% after I started Chinese Pole. I urge you to give it a try! I must thank my Coaches: Nick Lowery and Domitil Aillot for teaching me some of the coolest stuff ever and giving me some amazing opportunities!

What It’s Like To Start Circus Late and Why It Shouldn’t Hold You Back

By Bronyn Mazlo


Have you ever wanted to try a sport or activity, then thought, “It’s too late. I should have started years ago”? It can be discouraging seeing your peers so advanced and talented. Unfortunately, this mentality causes many people to continue with what they are currently pursuing out of fear of trying something they are not sure they will succeed in.

When I first started circus, I was completely overwhelmed. I had very little dance background, and no gymnastics experience. I didn’t even know the disciplines of circus, only aerial silks and iconic skills like juggling and trapeze. I remember driving to the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts thinking, “Bronyn, what have you gotten yourself into?” I was super nervous, thinking that I was going to be the worst in the class and that I had no idea what I was doing.

Three years later, I still have no idea what I am doing or how this one-time class suddenly became my life. I honestly can’t imagine my life without it, and it’s crazy to think what my life would be like if I didn’t have the courage to announce that I wanted to give aerial silks a try. Starting circus later than most of my peers has had its challenges such as not having a background in either martial arts or gymnastics. I hope my story is an encouragement to someone who is either dealing with the same situation or is contemplating trying a new activity.  

The first feeling I had when I started circus was being so far behind others. Even in a Level 1 Aerials class, I remember talking to some girls who had been in that class for 2 years. At the time, I remembered thinking, “wow, they know all these tricks and they’re younger than me. I don’t know anything yet, and I’m 13. I’m so behind.” It can be really frustrating learning basic skills and tricks while an 8 year old does a masterful drop on fabric in front of you. First you had to gather the courage to try circus, now you have to be discouraged by how skilled everyone is?

I believe it was this feeling that really made me push myself and build the drive and burning fire to keep proving myself. The tough part about starting something later than others is that it always feels like a constant game of catch up. But what I think is important is that it puts in perspective that there will always be someone who is younger, stronger, more flexible, or more talented than you. Even though striving to achieve goals and be the best you can be is important, letting go of perfection is the first step towards self love, which is a huge must-have in the world of entertainment, where rejection is more common than acceptance.

Starting circus later has also made me more of an advocate for myself. It can be hard to come in to a sport, decide you want to pursue it, and make that clear to coaches. It can be hard to make it clear that you are just as committed as someone who started 8 years before you. Even though this is frustrating, i have found that it really makes yourself your best supporter and cheerleader.

Trying a new activity can be nerve wracking. Trying a new activity as a teenager can be absolutely mortifying. However, if you shy away from an opportunity out of fear, you could be missing out on discovering a hobby or passion. Even if you end up not enjoying yourself, you still tried something new. Starting an activity late has also been very positive on my personality and attitude. I feel like I am more prone to trying new things, which I am hoping will stay with me in my future.

If you ever consider trying a new activity, no matter what your age, it’s really important not to shy away from interacting with others, no matter how tempting it may be. When I first started my natural instinct was to keep a low profile. But having confidence, even if you have no idea what you are doing, is both positive on your mentality and also makes you seem approachable to other people. Talking to other people, instead of staying in your own bubble, has really helped me meet people who have become my friends and helped guide me along my circus journey.

Circus is my life, which makes the idea of my life without circus foreign and strange. I am incredibly fortunate that my 13 year old self was willing to take a chance and try something new and unpredictable. I hope this article encourages somebody to take a leap into the unknown and unlock hidden possibilities. You never know what may come out of it!

Creating a Performance Piece

By Nola Millet


As a regular performer, I find myself having to create pieces pretty regularly, sometimes without any advance notice at all. Because I enjoy performing, I don’t so much mind this, but I find that having a process can really help with both getting a piece written quickly and having the piece’s movement make sense. I’m an aerialist, so some of these steps may not apply to all acts, but hopefully, in general, I can give a beneficial overview to building an interesting, performance-ready piece.

I always like to start with music. Music provides a basis for your sequence of movement as well as sets the tone and atmosphere for your performance. It can also dictate the story-line and costuming that you may want to use. Choosing a song can be frustrating, especially because it can’t be too short or long and has to be interesting enough that the audience stays engaged. I often choose an instrumental piece of music because it leaves more room for me to explore movement on my apparatus, but songs with words, if well-chosen, can be great too, because they can speak to the audience on a more emotional level, and take some of the pressures of acting off of the performer. They also demonstrate a clearer story-line so that you don’t have figure out as much for yourself.

Once I have my song, I choose a few main movements, or tricks, that I want to incorporate into my piece. Depending on the length of the music, this can be anywhere from three to six or seven central tricks, but be careful not to start with too many if you’re not okay with the idea of letting go of some of them, because then you might end up with an eleven minute solo, which at some point becomes tedious for the audience. If you have more people in the act, it can sometimes stand to be slightly longer (to an extent), but if it gets to the point where it’s no longer engaging that’s a sign that it’s too long.

The next thing I work on is transitions. Transitions are so so so important, especially for aerial pieces. They need to smoothly connect your main ideas in a way that looks pleasing, but also give you a chance to catch your breath and prepare for the next trick. Your transitions also don’t always have to be complicated and impressive either, they can be simple! So long as they make it so that your piece is closer to one sequence of continual movement. When constructing something to perform, I also think about changes in my piece. It can’t be all static and still be interesting, but it shouldn’t be all drops either. I believe that at least some element of dynamism is required for the piece to be entertaining. This is where really working on those transitions can be helpful. If I find that my sequence contains too many drops, I try to make my transitions more of a combination of static poses, but if most of my sequence is made up of balances or tricks of a more still nature, I try to include beats or releases into my pathways between tricks.

The next step for me, after I’ve practiced enough to feel semi-confident with my sequence, is to develop character. I personally struggle a lot with facial expression, so I always try to work on that in rehearsals. Having a character vs not having one makes all the difference to the audience. A piece can be completely amazing but it just won’t be as impressive if you’re not connecting with a character. Having a character can also be helpful if your sequence is starting to bore you, or if you find it easy. Character adds another dimension to the piece, and can really turn it around. Part of character is costuming. Elaborate costumes are super fun but can be difficult to work with, especially if you’re an aerialist. Fringe and glitter and wings look amazing but can get stuck and end up tearing. Always make sure to practice with your costume beforehand, because you never know how a certain fabric may interact with your apparatus. I’ve definitely been in a position where I had to scrap a costume at the last minute because I didn’t have enough time to practice with it. It’s disappointing when you have an amazing costume idea and have to let it go, but I think that it’s better to be on the more cautious side because it can be really stressful worrying about your costume while you’re performing. It’s also best to wear something that you don’t need to adjust constantly, because that disrupts the flow of your performance greatly.

After that, it’s all about practice! It’s always ideal to practice as much as possible but sometimes it just doesn’t work out, and that’s okay. Know your setting! I’ve had pieces that I practiced for more than six months, and ones that I’ve written and memorized in the car on the way to the venue. There’s no telling how much you should practice because that’s personal, but in my opinion, it really depends on how formal the event is and how much time you’re given before it takes place. That said, sometimes you run your piece over and over, and something still goes wrong when you perform it. Just remember the most of the time the audience has no idea what you’re doing, so as long as you make it look purposeful they shouldn’t know the difference. If you get stuck in a wrap just try to turn it into a pose and make it look pretty. The audience will only know you got something wrong if you tell them.

Thank you for reading my article! I know that everyone has their own way of constructing a performance piece, but I just wanted to share my creative process in hopes that it might be beneficial to anyone who’s lost or bored of what they’ve been developing.

The Making and Performing of Thalassa: A Dive Into the Deep

By Cora Williams

In this article, I will be introducing you to the making and performing of the show Thalassa: A Dive Into the Deep… Showing our process of creating this show.


What is Thalassa?

Thalassa, which means “sea” in Greek, was Troupes 1st full-length show. Thalassa was performed and created by the Circus Culture Troupe over the course of 5 months. In that time we worked hard creating the show piece by piece. We did everything from scratch, including costumes, lighting, marketing and advertising, set, props and even introduced some brand new apparatuses to Circus Culture. Showcasing everything from clowning to dancing to aerial acts. There was a total of 7 aerial acts as well as contortion, clowning, and dancing.

What is the “Circus Culture Troupe” and what do we do?

The troupe is a group of dedicated teens that perform around Ithaca, NY.  We are very devoted to what we do, spending hours working on each and every act/show. We perform an average of 2-3 times, two-weekend shows per year. We are a range of ages from the oldest being 20 and the youngest (me, by two hours) being 13. We are all like a family to each other.

Meet the cast and crew

Amy – producer

Emily – dance choreographer

Holly – clown coach

Kiera – light and sound technician.

Jesse – Lighting design

Jenny Leigh – costume design

Cora (Me) – sea snake/fish

Izzy – Force of Nature/fish

Alex – eel/fish

Nuala H. – Mystery of the Deep/fish

Nuala U. – Clownfish/fish

Alice – Dolphin/clown

Anya – octopus/fish

Nevada – Angler fish/clown

Kayla – Dolphin/clown

Luna – Dolphin/fish

Simone – eel/fish

What the show was about

In the beginning, we all brainstormed on what the show was going to be about. We had lots of ideas ranging from it being about trees to technology and phones. After much discussion and random off-topic questions, we finally decided that it was going to be about the ocean and the animals within it. We also wanted to add the not so happy elements like overpopulation, bycatch (What is “Bycatch”), and pollution.

Week intensive!!!

To prepare for our show we had a week intensive during winter break. We were there for 9am-3pm on Monday-Wednesday, Thursday 9am-7pm and on Friday we stayed the night. That was the week where we got the show together and all the group acts. We worked on all the nitty gritty parts of the acts, got Indian food and we sweat A LOT. On the last day (Friday), we had a company sleepover to celebrate our hard work. This week intensive brought us closer together and cleaned up the show quite a bit.

Before show dash?

When the show rolls around there are some traditions we always do. We always play the song, “Level Up” by Ciara to get hyped. And there’s the “mad eyeliner dash”. The mad eye liner dash is when we all race to get to one of the 3 working eyeliners . But mostly we all just get into costume and makeup, do our hair, practice our acro, and just hang. At this point most of us are feeling lots of adrenaline. We all express it a different ways. Someone might get sleepy. Some might get nervous and some might just feel normal.

Opening night

Opening night of the show was sold out. We were all high on adrenaline and getting ready for the show of our lives. We all got there at call and got dressed started with our makeup and hair. An hour later we were ready and getting into our starting positions. As people started to trickle into their seats. I couldn’t believe that this was happening.  As the lights rose, I could hear someone opening a seltzer in the front row. As we lifted into our shape all I could think of is OMG this is really happening. All the hard work we put in has paid off. Opening night went almost perfect.

Thank you, Amy

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who put this show together but especially Amy Cohen. I can’t express all my love I have for her. Amy is our Director. She made this show happen and gave us the amazing opportunity. She spent so much time with us working for hours on this show. She was there with us through thick and thin. She really is like a superhero not just in the show, but in all the classes. She supports us with everything we do.  Amy if you are reading this THANK YOU SO MUCH!