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CirqueFreaks in Alpharetta offers cirque arts training
by Nicole Dow
April 24, 2013 10:48 AM | 2290 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Erin Gray<br>From left, CirqueFreaks co-owners  Jen MacQueen and Spencer Maxwell's new cirque arts company in Alpharetta will be opening this summer with children's day camps and classes for students ages 13 to adult.
Staff / Erin Gray
From left, CirqueFreaks co-owners Jen MacQueen and Spencer Maxwell's new cirque arts company in Alpharetta will be opening this summer with children's day camps and classes for students ages 13 to adult.
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Milton High School 2012 graduate Spencer Maxwell fell in love with the circus arts as a performer in the high school’s annual Cirque du Solei-inspired shows. Deciding to craft his passion into a career, he teamed up with friend Jen MacQueen, a local professional choreographer, to bring the cirque arts to Atlanta.

The pair’s company CirqueFreaks will open the doors to their Alpharetta facility in June offering children’s summer camp sessions and classes for older students.

“With the popularity of Cirque du Soleil, people see that and [say], ‘Oh, I always wanted to try that.’ Now they can,” MacQueen said.

This summer, the company will teach a variety of cirque performance styles, including the trapeze, rings and aerial silks. Students can also learn the cyr wheel — a single, large metal hoop inside which the performer spins and rolls — or hand-to-hand — a form of partnership acrobatics involving two people performing feats of balance and agility.

Maxwell said they have also come up with their own unique cirque style of movement named “CapWap.” He described it as a type of martial arts/body balancing.

Students ages 6 to 12 can enroll in the summer day camps offered in June, while students ages 13 and up — including adults — can sign up for evening workshop classes in June and July.

MacQueen said beginners are encouraged to enroll and no age is too old to try.

“Many people haven’t even touched a trapeze, but have always wanted to,” Maxwell said. “We want to become kind of like a dance facility for cirque where people can come in and learn those kinds of elements.”

MacQueen said she hopes beginners will have fun trying something new and experienced cirque performers will hone their skills. The classes are also a fun alternative to going to the gym, she said.

Maxwell added he wants CirqueFreaks to be an outlet where he and his instructors can share their love of cirque with the community.

About eight instructors will be on staff this summer, including Bobby Cookson, another Milton High School graduate.

“Bobby just competed in the U.S. Open Nationals in cyr wheel and placed second in the entire country, and he’s going to be representing Team USA in July in the World Championship,” MacQueen said.

In the fall, CirqueFreaks plans to offer after-school classes.

Producing full-scale performances might be something in store for the company in the future, Maxwell said.

A closer look:
CirqueFreaks
5910 Gateway Drive, Alpharetta, Building A
(678) 365-1111
www.cirquefreaks.com
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