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Professional acrobats treat students to show

Frank Fisher, of the Record staff

Chinese New Year got off to a whirl for more that 500 students at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School on Friday, as they watched the Golden Dragon acrobats perform as a part of the Eccles Outreach program.

About 15 of the Chinese acrobats demonstrated jumps through hoops, cartwheels , spins, leaps and splits that looked unnatural for anything but an articulated doll. Acrobats of both genders performed for the students, with explanations and demonstrations of what they did for their daily training, many of which were stretches.

"I think it will be fantastic," Jeremy Ranch principal Michelle Wallace predicted. "We are fortunate to have Eccles Outreach, because of where we are, we are unable to easily get to them, so we are thrilled that they can come to us.

Ginger Tolman, Outreach director of the Eccles Center, said "the acrobats are perfect for an elementary school. Actually, they are great for all ages." She said the Eccles Center was especially lucky to book the traveling acrobatic troop during the Chinese New Year.

The acrobats will perform at the Eccles Center Saturday, Feb 17, night in full regalia. The acrobats were chosen from about 200 performing acts. Tolman said that Park City locals bid to underwrite the acts. The more commjnity support the Eccles Center receives, the more ticket sales can go toward Student Outreach programs.

Traci Evans, the assistant principal at Jeremy Ranch Elementary said the school’s second grade students are practicing Chinese name writing to coincide with the Chinese New Year.

Eccles Outreach brings films and arts into Park City Schools. Since November, the Outreach program has brought the arts to more than 1000 students. During the Sundance Film Festival, short-length movies were brought into the classrooms, often accompanied by the filmmakers.

One of the acrobats told the Jeremy Ranch students, "these are the flips we do every morning when they wake up." The acrobats did cartwheels in the air, one after another, as the students, exclaimed with oooooh’s.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats Saturday performance Saturday at the Eccles Center was nearly sold out as of Friday morning. For more information, call 655-3114.


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