In 2012, after twenty-years of teaching our Waldorf Circus Program, Rosie and I were honored to receive the Minnesota Private and Independent Education STORY AWARD. It turns out Rosie and I founded the first full-time Circus Arts Program in Minnesota, as well as being pioneers in bringing the circus arts to the international Waldorf school movement globally. Today there are several successful circus schools in the Twin Cities, as well as countless circus arts programs in Waldorf schools around the world.
It was not easy to be one of the first to establish a circus arts program at a Waldorf school. I remember once in the early years walking past the Kindergarten with thirteen rubber chickens stuffed in a box for the fifth grade class who were leaving for the Pentathlon Games in Wisconsin. It was just after our annual circus and the energy in the school was still buzzing. I smiled at the Kindergarten Teacher as she came out of her room. She looked at the rubber chicken legs sticking out of my box and scowled, “Lloyd, what is that?”
I casually answered, “rubber chickens.” I could see that she was agitated, so I asked, “Is there a problem?”
The teacher pointed to the door at the end of the hall, “Please remove those before the children see.” When I asked why, she looked at me with steely eyes, “Because they represent dead animals.”
As I mentioned in my first post about Waldorf, my secret mission was to bring laughter to a New Age school that was suffering from what I like to call, “The Humorless Reverence Syndrome.“ Today as a remedy for this malady they teach clowning as a requirement in Waldorf Teacher Training Programs.
My mother was a Minnesota pioneer in education, and my role model for being teacher. For twenty-years I taught beside my wife Rosie, and was always humbled by her natural gift as a teacher. I’ve never witnessed anyone better with children.