More than 160 unicycles, 17 globe walkers and hundreds of jugglers and Yo-Yo artists will turn the Scarborough High School gymnasium into a circus when the Gym Dandies perform for the community later this month.

Made up of Scarborough school children, the Gym Dandies Children’s Circus has been defying gravity since 1981, when the founder and director of the group, Jon Cahill, started introducing circus arts skills in his physical education classes in Scarborough. That same year he started working with 10 boys and girls who wanted to spend more time perfecting their skills. This was the beginning of The Gym Dandies Circus Arts Program.

The Gym Dandies Children’s Circus is the largest continuously operating children’s circus in the United States with approximately 220 Scarborough school children participating in the program each year. The group features routines involving unicycles, various juggling props, Chinese stilts, rolling globes, bolo boards, and more in set performances.

The Gym Dandies program is about helping children experience success. As one of the parents, Mark Bennett, put it, “The Gym Dandies program proves that it is possible to have a winner without having a looser.” The entire program is bases on individual skill improvement and opportunities for children to cooperatively demonstrate their skills for the purpose of entertaining others.

The Gym Dandies performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2005 in New York City, the largest and tallest unicycle ensemble ever to appear in this nationally significant event. The Gym Dandies is the only performing group in the world that can feature more than 60 giraffe unicycles in one routine. The Gym Dandies, one the most talked about entries in the Macy’s Parade, towered over and amazed the 2.5 million spectators crowded along the 2.5 mile parade route.

The Gym Dandies will perform Thursday and Friday, March 29 and 30. Tickets cost $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Admission is free for children. The box office will open at 6 p.m., and the performance will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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