St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday!

  Cancelled due to weather. 

Not to worry - the Gym Dandies will be quite busy this Spring with other parades and performances!

Check the Upcoming Events Page for the details.

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2014 Community Performance Pics!

                                                   (Click image to go to Gallery)

                                                   Photos courtesy Wes Franklin

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Upcoming Events

Eight Corners School Performance

(Small group due to limited space.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Walk to WIS with Mr. C: 8:30 AM, Return: 12:00 PM

Pond Cove Elementary School Performance

THIS IS A MAJOR PERFORMANCE FOR A SCHOOL FESTIVAL!!

Cape Elizabeth, Friday, May 2, 2014

Load gear, depart WIS: 11:30 AM, Return: after 3:30 PM

* (We need High School performers for this event as well as other performance level Gym Dandies. High School performers need to make arrangements with SHS.)

Kennebunk May Day Parade

(ALL Gym Dandies may participate)

Kennebunk, Saturday, May 3, 2014

Load, depart WIS: 11:00 AM, Return: 2:30 PM

Scarborough Memorial Day Parade

(ALL Gym Dandies may participate)

Scarborough, Monday, May 26, 2014

Meet behind Scarborough HS: 9:15 AM, Step Off: 10:00 AM, ends at Veteran's Home on Route 1

Haiti Walk Performance

THIS IS A FULL PERFORMANCE - NOT A PARADE!

(ALL Gym Dandies may participate)

Back Cove, Portland, Saturday, May 31, 2014

Morning to early afternoon time frame. *

Cape Elizabeth Family Fun Day Parade

(ALL Gym Dandies may participate)

Cape Elizabeth, Saturday, June 14, 2014

Load, depart WIS: 8:00 AM, Return: 12:30 PM

Yarmouth Clam Festival Parade

(ALL Gym Dandies may participate)

Yarmouth, Friday, July 18, 2014

Load, depart WIS: 3:45 PM, Return: 7:30 PM *

Raymond, NH 250th Anniversary Celebration Parade

(Giraffe riders and all Gym Dandies who can ride the 20" unicycle qualify for this event)

Raymond, NH, Saturday, September 13, 2014

Load, depart WIS: 9:00 AM, Return: 4:00 PM

Hopkinton, MA 300th Celebration Parade

(Giraffe riders and all Gym Dandies who can ride the 20" unicycle qualify for this event)

Hopkinton, MA, Sunday, September 13, 2015 *

Load, depart WIS: 8:30 AM, Return: 4:30 PM

* More details to follow

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33rd Annual Community Performance
2014 community performance
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Unicycling Society of America article on Gym Dandies

The latest version of "On One Wheel", the official Unicycle_Go-Roundpublication of the Unicycling Society of America, has a 2013 retrospective that includes an article on the Gym Dandies' appearance in the Inaugural Parade!

Issue 36-1: On One Wheel Archives

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2014 Calendar Raffle Drawings Are Done

This year's calendar raffle fundraiser was a HUGE success! Thanks to all of the Gym Dandies families for making this one of the most successful raffles to date! And a big thank you to the generous individuals and companies who donated the prizes to be given away.

A winner will be drawn each day of January. Check our Facebook page for the up to date news: Gym Dandies on Facebook

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Uniform Order Form

The 2013-2014 Uniform Order form has been added to the Forms Page.

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Fundraising Event at Flatbread Pizza

Don't miss our kick off fundraising event at Flatbread Pizza on Tuesday, October 8th! See the Upcoming Events section for the details.

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Pictures from the La Kermesse

Pictures from the La Kermesse parade have been posted over on Facebook!

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Fundraisers and Upcoming Events

The Gym Dandies were one of two local groups selected by Brighton Collectibles to receive a portion of the sales of their exciting patriotic bracelets for a limited time. See the Fundraising section for details.

Check out the Upcoming Events section to see what The Gym Dandies are up to this Summer!

As always, write us a note and keep in touch over on Facebook. And, if you'd like to donate to The Gym Dandies directly, see our Donations section for details.

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More Pictures of the 2013 Inaugural Parade!

More pics from the 2013 Inaugural Parade!

Some more pictures of the 2013 Inaugural Parade taken by Tech. Sgt. Eric Miller have been posted on the dvids website - a street level perspective of the big event!

(Click image to go to Gallery)

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St. Patrick's Day Parade in Manchester
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Thank you!

Thanks to all who came and supported the Gym Dandies on Thursday and Friday.

The kids put on some great performances!  (Click here to see the pictures over on the Facebook page!)

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32nd Annual Community Performance

The Gym Dandies

32nd Annual Community Performance

The Gym Dandies recently performed for the President in the 2013 Inaugural Parade, and now they are back home to perform for the people of Maine! Don't miss the thrill of over 150 unicyclists, jugglers and more!

Scarborough High School Gymnasium

259 U.S. Route One, Scarborough, ME

Thursday, March 21st and Friday, March 22nd, 2013

6:30 PM (doors open at 6PM)

Adults: $5, Senior Citizens: $4, School Age Children: $3, Pre-school Age: FREE (Children must be accompanied by an adult.)

The Gym Dandies is the largest continuously operating children's circus in the United States
All performers are Scarborough Students

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Facebook Photos

Mr. Cahill checking things out the day before the parade.

(Click image to go to the Gym Dandies Facebook Album)

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Gym Dandies in the White House Highlights Video
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A Parent's Perspective

The Portland Daily Sun - 01.22.13

Gym Dandies Strut Their Stuff

by Karen Vachon

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The 2013 Inaugural Parade!

The 2013 Presidential Inauguration! (We didn't get to see this part, we were being "staged" at the time.)

The view from the Capitol. The Gym Dandies are way back there at the base of the Washington Monument in the "warming tent" (white tent). Pennsylvania Avenue and the beginning of the parade route to the right.

Outside the warming tent getting ready to go to the "merge point".

The Gym Dandies doing their thing on Pennsylvania Avenue!

A close up.

Rounding the last corner into a blazing spotlight!

Approaching the review stand.

Getting closer!

...and the culmination of a lot of preparation, hard work, and practice!

(Last four photos courtesy Peter Vachon)

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More Post-Parade Press
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WCSH6 Video
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Video and Article in Bangor Daily News

Bangor Daily News - 01.22.13

Unicycling youths from Scarborough ride in inauguration parade

(One of the parents who attended the event shot this video and sent it to Bangor Daily News. Good seats!)

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2013 Inaugural Parade Footage!
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Thank you!

A BIG Thank You! to Dr. Lisa Howard’s office who heard about our trip and made a generous donation!!!  (Dr. Lisa P Howard's Website)

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Gym Dandies to ride in the 2013 Inaugural Parade!

The Gym Dandies have been selected to ride in the 2013 Inaugural Parade on January 21st in Washington DC!

2009 inauguration

The Gym Dandies were the first group featured on the official 2013 Inaugural Committee website! Click here to read the article.

In the news:

More coverage on the official Facebook Page



Here's an idea of what it will be like... (Pics from the 2009 Inaugural Parade parade.)

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Gym Dandies featured on Video

Time Warner Cable Video recently ran this video featuring the Gym Dandies. It includes footage from the May 5th performance at Windham Primary School and parade clips from the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade 2012 and Macy's Parade.

The 2012-13 Registration Forms are now available.

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4th of July Parade in Philadelphia

Independence Day celebrations are known for fireworks, parades and cookouts. Where better to celebrate the 235th anniversary of our country's independence but in the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia. more info...

Check out these pictures from Claudia Murray of the Philadelphia 4th of July Parade.

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Videos from the Community Performance
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News from the State Capital
Jon Cahill has been selected by the Maine Governor's Council as the 2011 Winner of the MAINE FITNESS AWARD for the Lifetime Achievement Category.  Several Gym Dandies were on hand when Jon received the award in Augusta.
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Successful Community Performance!

The 30th Annual Community Performance was a tremendous success. There was a total of over 1400 attendees for Thursday and Saturday's performance. Special recognition was given for the four graduating seniors and a special award was given to celebrate Jon's 30th Anniversary as the director of Gym Dandies. Pictures are available for Thursday's performance thanks to Claudia Murray.

More pictures from 30th Annual Community Performance the can be found here and here.

ATTN:The Gym Dandies are now on Facebook! Facebook users can find additional pictures (and videos) on the Official Gym Dandies Facebook Page.

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2009 -- West Virginia Strawberry Festival Parade

Gym Dandies Win Specialty Unit Competition!

2009 Strawberry FestivalFifty-five Gym Dandies make the long trip to the mountains of West Virginia for one of the largest parades in the United States. More than one hundred entries from fourteen states, Canada, and South America were featured in the this event. The Gym Dandies wowed the 50,000 spectators crowded along the two mile parade route in Buckhannon, WV with forty-four Giraffe unicycles, three 36" wheel unicycles, and seven 20" unicycles. WVSF Parade organizers made a considerable contribution to the Gym Dandies to help with trip costs for this event.

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2008 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

2008 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

2006_NIDP_Pelczar_(060) "The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus of Scarborough Schools represented the Scarborough community and the State of Maine in the Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2008.  Sixty Gym Dandies rode unicycles in various formations as they performed before a crowd of 400,000 spectators.  Forty-eight Gym Dandies performed atop 6-foot high Giraffe unicycles while younger members rode smaller 20" unicycles.  This event is the largest and most prestigious parade held in Washington, D.C. each year and is the largest event of the three-week festival.  The parade runs for more than one mile down Constitution Avenue right in front of the White House.  Bands and performing groups from across the nation are selected each year for this nationally significant event based on recommendations and audition videos.

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2008 Scarborough 350th Celebration Parade

2008_Scarborough_350th_Celebration_Parade

2008 Scarborough 350th Celebration Parade

It was awesome to see all of the town support during Scarborough's 350th Celebration July 10-14, 2008.  "The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus was extremely proud to be a part of this historic milestone event by participating in the 350th Celebration Parade on Saturday, July 12, 2008.

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Annual Poinsettia Sale
Poinsettia

Annual Gym Dandies Poinsettia Sale

The Annual Poinsettia Sale is going on now!  Please fill out an order form before Friday, November 16, 2007.  All funds raised during the 2007 sale will be used to support the Gym Dandies upcoming trip to the 2008 National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.

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2005 - 2006 Sponsors

"The Gym Dandies" Children’s Circus would like to thank the following 2005 - 2006 sponsors for their generosity.

Giraffe Rider:  $5,000+

Town_Of_Scarborough_ME

Maine_Community_Foundation

Unicyclist:  $2,500 - $4,999

Hannaford_Supermarkets

 

 

 

Juggler:  $1,000 - $2,499

Risbara_Bros.

Biddeford_Savings_Bank

Diablo: $500 - $999

Scarborough_Lions_Club

 

 

 

Plate Spinner:  $100 to $499

Paula Pelczar
O'Naturals
Scarborough Signs
Mitchell's Electric
Nonesuch Temple 50

Scarf Juggler:  Up to $99

Lois Randal
Robert & Janet Gubrud

Website hosting donated by:

Portland_Webworks

 

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Past Events
2010 trek across me

June 18, 2010: Trek Across Maine

The Gym Dandies will perform during the 2010 Trek Across Maine.


May 31, 2010: Annual Scarborough Memorial Day Parade

Memorial_Day

Please come out and support your local Gym Dandies during the Annual Scarborough Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 31, 2010.  The parade starts at 10:00 AM leaving the Scarborough High School Gorham Road entrance, makes its way to Oak Hill, and then proceeds south along Route 1 to the Maine Veterans Home.


Saint_Patrick's_Parade

March 28, 2010: Saint Patrick's Parade

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is looking forward to their third appearance in the Manchester, New Hampshire Saint Patrick's Parade on Sunday, March 28, 2010.  The parade starts at 12:00 noon on Elm Street at the intersection with Webster and continues south along Elm to Auburn Street near the Radisson.


Southern_Maine_Christmas_Parade

December 13, 2009
Southern Maine Christmas Parade

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is once again very excited to be invited to the annual Southern Maine Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 13, 2009.  The parade starts 2:00 PM at the Wells Plaza and continues north along Route 1.


Veterans_Day

November 11, 2009: Veterans Day Parade

Please come out and support your local Gym Dandies during the Annual Portland Veterans Day Parade on Wednesday, November 11, 2009.  The parade starts at Longfellow Square on Congress Street and continues to Monument Square.


June 19, 2009: Trek Across Maine

ALA_Maine_Logo

The Gym Dandies are performing for 2,500+ bikers at the University of Maine, Farmington, ME on Friday, June 19, 2009 at 7:00 PM.  Thirty-five Gym Dandies, all Giraffe riders, will be putting on a full Gym Dandy performance for this enthusiastic audience.  This performance is the final Gym Dandy event for the 2008-09 school year.


May 25, 2009: Annual Scarborough Memorial Day Parade

Memorial_Day

Please come out and support your local Gym Dandies during the Annual Scarborough Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 25, 2009.  The parade starts at 10:00 AM leaving the Scarborough High School Gorham Road entrance, makes its way to Oak Hill, and then proceeds south along Route 1 to the Maine Veterans Home.


2009 West Virginia Strawberry Festival Parade

WV_Strawberry_Festival_Logo

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is extremely proud to be invited to a new venue outside the State of Maine. Their next big road trip will take them down south for the 2009 West Virginia Strawberry Festival Parade in Buckhannon, West Virginia on Saturday, May 16, 2009. 


Saint_Patrick's_Parade

March 29, 2009: Saint Patrick's Parade

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is looking forward to their third appearance in the Manchester, New Hampshire Saint Patrick's Parade on Sunday, March 29, 2009.  The parade starts at 12:00 noon on Elm Street at the intersection with Webster and continues south along Elm to Auburn Street near the Radisson.


March 26 & 27, 2009: Annual Community Performances

Unicycle_Go-Round

Please mark your calendars for the annual Gym Dandies Community Performances on Thursday and Friday, March 26 & 27, 2009 at the Scarborough High School Alumni Gymnasium.  Doors open to the public at 5:45 PM with the show beginning at 6:30 PM.  Tickets may be purchased at the door as follows: Adults - $5.00, Seniors - $4.00, and Children are free with a paying adult.


Southern_Maine_Christmas_Parade

December 14, 2008
Southern Maine Christmas Parade

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is once again very excited to be invited to the 25th annual Southern Maine Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 14, 2008.  The parade starts 2:00 PM at the Wells Plaza and continues north along Route 1.


Veterans_Day

November 11, 2008: Veterans Day Parade

Please come out and support your local Gym Dandies during the Annual Portland Veterans Day Parade on Tuesday, November 11, 2008.  The parade starts at Longfellow Square on Congress Street and continues to Monument Square.


Scarborough_350th_Logo

July 12, 2008
Scarbrough 350th Celebration Parade

Please come out and show your support during Scarborough's 350th Celebration July 11-13, 2008.  "The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is looking forward to being a part of this historic milestone event by participating in the 350th Celebration Parade on Saturday, July 12, 2008.


May 26, 2008: Annual Scarbrough Memorial Day Parade

Memorial_Day

Please come out and support your local Gym Dandies during the Annual Scarborough Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26, 2008.  The parade starts at 10:00 AM leaving the Scarborough High School Gorham Road entrance, makes its way to Oak Hill, and then proceeds south along Route 1 to the Maine Veterans Home.


National_Cherry_Blossom_Festival

2008 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is very excited to be invited to the 2008 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, DC.  Please consider making a donation, or becoming a Gym Dandies sponsor, to help defray the cost of this exciting trip.


Saint_Patrick's_Parade

March 30, 2008: Saint Patrick's Parade

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is looking forward to their second appearance in the Manchester, New Hampshire Saint Patrick's Parade on Sunday, March 30, 2008.  The parade starts at 12:00 noon on Elm Street at the intersection with Webster and continues south along Elm to Auburn Street near the Radisson.


March 27 & 28, 2008: Annual Community Performances

Unicycle_Go-Round

Please mark your calendars for the annual Gym Dandies Community Performances on Thursday and Friday, March 27 & 28, 2008 at the Scarborough High School Alumni Gymnasium.  Doors open to the public at 5:45 PM with the show beginning at 6:30 PM.  Tickets may be purchased at the door as follows: Adults - $5.00, Seniors - $4.00, and Children are free with a paying adult.


Southern_Maine_Christmas_Parade

December 9, 2007
Southern Maine Christmas Parade

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is very excited to be invited once again to the 24th annual Southern Maine Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 9, 2007.  The parade starts 2:00 PM at the Wells Plaza and continues north along Route 1.


Guinness_World_Records

June, 2007: Guinness World Records

You won't want to miss this! "The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is looking to make history this June as they attempt to earn a spot in the "Guinness World Records" book.

Unicycle_Go-Round

March 29 & 30, 2007: Annual Community Performances

Please mark your calendars for the annual Gym Dandies Community Performances on Thursday and Friday, March 29 & 30, 2007.  Doors open to the public at 6:00 PM with the show beginning at 6:30 PM.  Tickets may be purchased at the door as follows: Adults - $5.00, Seniors - $3.00, and Children are free with a paying adult.

Saint_Patrick's_Parade

March 18, 2007: Saint Patrick's Parade

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is very excited to be invited once again to the Manchester, New Hampshire Saint Patrick's Parade on Sunday, March 18, 2007.  The parade starts at 12:00 noon on Elm Street at the intersection with Webster and continues south along Elm to Auburn Street near the Radisson.


USCAA_Logo

March 2, 2007: USCAA Basketball National Tournament Halftime Show

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus are sure to wow the crowd during the USCAA Men's Division II Basketball National Championship Tournament 8:00 PM game halftime show at Southern Maine Community College on Friday, March 2, 2007 in South Portland, Maine.  This is a can't miss opportunity to see some great basketball and these amazing performers as they dazzle the crowd on 6-foot unicycles and 3-foot rolling globes.

February 13, 2007: Yarmouth Middle School

School_House_#2"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus will once again head out on the road Tuesday, February 13, 2007 to mesmerize the students of the Yarmouth Middle School.  The next best thing to watching a gym full of elementary students with their jaws dropped is an entire middle school with their eyes spinning as they're put in a trance by these hypnotic performers.

February 6, 2007: South Hiram Elementary School

School_House"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus will head out on the road Tuesday, February 6, 2007 to spellbind the students of the South Hiram Elementary School.  It is always a treat to watch a gym full of elementary students, with their jaws dropped, as they become mesmerized by these amazing performers.
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2006 National Independence Day Parade

2006_NIDP_Pelczar_(060)

2006 National Independence Day Parade

“The Gym Dandies” Children's Circus once again proudly represented the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, DC on July 4, 2006.

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Manchester, NH Saint Patrick's Parade

2006_Manchester-NH_St_Patrick's_Gilbert_(10)
The Gym Dandies wowed the thousands of spectators that lined Elm Street to watch the annual Manchester, New Hampshire Saint Patrick's Parade on Sunday, March 19, 2006.  It was great to see so many new performance level Gym Dandies on giraffe unicycles making their parade debuts.  The 55 giraffe riders equaled our recent showing in New York City. Saint_Patrick's_Parade Our Gym Dandies are the best!

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25th Anniversary Community Performances

25th Anniversary Community Performances

2006_Community_Performances_Merritt_(02)The Gym Dandies would like to thank the community for all of their support in celebrating our 25th Anniversary!  This milestone event was featured in the new Scarborough High School Alumni Gymnasium with two performances on April 6 and 7, 2006.  Director Jon Cahill was honored by the attendance of several original 1981 Gym Dandy alumni including his son, Edwin.  They proved to everyone that once "you're a Gym Dandy, you're always a Gym Dandy" showcasing some of their own clowning, juggling, and unicycling!  But it was the more than 220 children, currently enrolled in the program, who stole the show!  Perseverance is the cornerstone of this unique program.  The circus arts skills are physically challenging and require many hours of practice.  The three graduating seniors highlighted many other benefits that they experienced through the Gym Dandies program - performance skills, teamwork, self-control, and confidence-building to name a few.  The program is unusual because it teaches youngsters about teamwork, encourages physical fitness, and healthy competition.  Joining the Gym Dandies teaches more than just learning to juggle and unicycle - it teaches the importance of commitment and encouragement.  The Gym Dandies program dedicates itself to encouraging today's children and tomorrow's adults with a simple message, "Practice Makes Everything Possible!"

25th Anniversary Community Performance Press Release

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Forms


The following forms are presented as "Adobe" PDF (Portable Document Format) files.  You will need the Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view these forms.  If your computer is properly configured with an Adobe Reader plug-in, you should be able to simply click on the links below to view and print the forms.  If you would like to download the form to your computer, simply "right-click" on the link and select the "Save Target As..." (or similar) option.

Unicycle_Go-Round
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Under Construction
Under_Construction This page is under construction. Please check back soon! SadUnicycle_Go-Round
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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Appearance

Macy's_Parade_Aerial_ViewThe "Amazing" Gym Dandies gave the performance of their lifetime during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2005 in New York City.  The Gym Dandies were selected from hundreds of applicants from around the world for this nationally significant event.  "The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is the only performing group nationally or internationally that can field sixty, six-foot unicycles in one routine.

The Gym Dandies are shown after the "Big Bird" balloon and the "Sesame Street" float. (AP Photo)

During their last week of early morning practice, WCSH Channel 6 and WMTW Channel 8 provided some great coverage.  If you missed the coverage, you can view it by clicking here.  If the video does not play for you, you will most likely need to download the DivX Codec hereSmiley

Macy's_Practice_Stevens (08)November 14 Dress Rehearsal Practice

Click here for more photos...

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Outstanding Leadership


Children are encouraged to remain in the program through middle and high school.  Older participants often become student instructors, passing on their skills and expertise to younger, beginner level Gym Dandies.  The importance of community service and giving back to the program is emphasized.

Graduating senior members may receive a scholarship grant by meeting the following requirements:

  1. Five years of continuous membership in Gym Dandies (Grades 8 through 12 minimum).
  2. During high school membership, regularly attend Gym Dandies practices and/or volunteer as a student instructor.
  3. Serve as positive role model for all members of the Gym Dandies.
  4. Continue to work to improve performance skill levels.
  5. Perform in both Gym Dandies Community Performances during each year of membership.
  6. Show evidence of plans to continue education at a post-secondary institution of learning: college, technical/vocational school, arts school, or military service training.
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Booking Information

Booking Information

The Gym Dandies Children’s Circus is the perfect performance based assembly for schools. The Gym Dandies have performed at more than 50 schools and countless community events in the region, bringing the wonder of the circus with the enthusiasm of young performers to young and old alike.

The children performing are 5th through 12th grade students from Scarborough, and are highly skilled.

  • Typically 30 children are featured in a performance.
  • 10 acts per performance including a variety of circus arts skills: rolling globes, Chinese stilts, unicycles, bolo boards, juggling: balls, rings, clubs, devil sticks, diablos, spinning plates, and more.
  • The culminating routine features 30 children, each performing atop a six-foot unicycle.

Performance Duration: Approximately 60 minutes in length.

Jon Cahill, former physical education teacher in Scarborough, Maine for 32 years, and Maine Physical Educator of the Year - 1996, is the director and founder of The Gym Dandies. Jon is also available for workshops and artist in residency programs.

For performance information/fee, please contact Jon Cahill. E-mail: JonCahill@gymdandies.org

“The Gym Dandies” Children’s Circus - Highlights

  • Performing since 1981.
  • Recognized as an exemplary program for children by the Maine State Arts Task Force 1984.
  • Nominated for the National Education Association Excellence in Education Award in 1991.
  • 230 members for the school year 2005-06.
  • Since 1981, more than 2000 Scarborough school students have been members of the group.
  • The Gym Dandies is the largest continuously operating children’s circus in the United States.
  • Winner of The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness “Contest for Communities Award” 2000.
  • Featured on ZOOM, the nationally televised PBS children’s program, in 2001, 2003 and 2004.
  • Eighty Gym Dandies represented the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2000.
  • Selected as the featured performance in the Montreal, Quebec Cycling Festival May 2002.  This is the world’s largest cycling event.
  • One Hundred Gym Dandies represented the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2004.
  • Sixty Gym Dandies performed atop six-foot unicycles in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2005 in NYC, the largest and tallest unicycle ensemble to perform in this event.
  • The Gym Dandies once again represented the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2006.
  • “The Gym Dandies” Children’s Circus represented the Scarborough community and the State of Maine in the Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2008.
  • Winner of the Specialty Unit competition, West Virginia Strawberry Festival Parade, April 2009.
  • Winner of “The Peoples Choice Award”, Maine Lobster Festival Parade, August 2010.
  • Represented the State of Maine in the Philadelphia, PA Independence Day Parade, July 4, 2011
  • Represented the State of Maine in the 100th Anniversary of the Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, April 2012
  • Represented the State of Maine in the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington DC
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Fundraising

PROMO

Brighton Collectibles in Maine Mall

Brighton Collectibles in Maine Mall is running a special Give Back to Kids fundraiser through the end of July. 50% of the sales of two Americana bracelets will be shared between local arts programs for kids. And Brighton has selected the Gym Dandies and the Maine State Ballet to be the recipients!

That means for every one of these bracelets sold by this store between now and July 31st, Brighton Collectibles is generously offering the Gym Dandies 25% during the promotion period. These are very nice quality items and make great gifts. Please stop by the store, check them out, and tell your friends!

(There just may be a small scale Gym Dandies "demo" event in the store this summer to drum up a little extra excitement. Stay tuned...)


CLYNK Bottle Drive

CLYNK

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus appreciates your support. The CLYNK bottle drive is an easy way for you to help fund this amazing program.   Please contact your favorite Gym Dandy, or one of the adult leaders listed to the left, to pick up some CLYNK bottle return bags.  Each bag that you fill up and return to your nearby CLYNK location helps defray the cost of the Gym Dandies program.  You can also ask CLYNK for a Gym Dandies barcode tag when dropping off your CLYNK returns.

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Related Links


Looking to purchase some Unicycling gear, then check out Unicycle.com...

Unicycle.com

Or, hop in the car and visit our good friends in Portland at Back Bay Bicycle...

Back_Bay_Bicycle

Unicyclist.community is a place to share information with other Unicycle enthusiasts.

Unicyclist.com_Logo

The Unicycling Page, Unicycling.com, and Unicycle Central are good sources of information about unicycling in the USA and around the world.  If you want to see how you compare with other unicyclists around the world, then check out the International Unicycle Federation (IUF) Unicycle Levels page at Unicyclist.org.  Each level/trick has a video demonstration in multiple video formats.

The International Juggler's Association at Juggle.org is a great place for beginner and advanced jugglers alike.

International_Juggler's_Association

Wildcat_Juggler_LogoIf you need some help learning how to juggle, then check out FunnyJuggler.com/Juggling/ and MULTI HOBBIES, or visit wikiHow to learn how to do some CONTACT juggling.  Also, check out the juggling club website for junior high and high school students in Alpena, Michigan called the Wildcat Jugglers.  This website has some great tutorial videos, with each trick also shown in slow motion.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, than a video is worth at least a million.

 

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Performance Level


To achieve “Performance Level” Gym Dandies status, one must:

  • Be a registered Gym Dandy in good standing.
  • Fulfill the following skill level requirements:
    • Level 5 - Scarf Juggler
    • Level 4 - Spinning Plate
    • Level 4 - Cube/Ball Juggler (20 low level tosses, cascade pattern)
    • Level 4 - Diablo
    • Level 4 - Devil Sticks
    • Level 3 - Bolo Board
    • Level 5 - 20”/16” Unicyclist (idle/stationary 20 repetitions)
  • Continue to work to reach advanced Gym Dandies skill levels.
  • Regularly attend practices.  (In good standing.)
  • Participate in the two scheduled spring Community Performances each year.  This is required.
Note: High School "Performance Level" Gym Dandies are expected to provide assistance during beginner level practices as often as possible.  (In good standing.)

 

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Required Equipment


The Gym Dandies circus arts program provides all equipment used during practice sessions.  The equipment is not loaned to members for practice at home.

Once a beginner level Gym Dandy is committed to learning more difficult circus arts skills, the following equipment purchases are recommended:

  • Juggling supplies:  There are numerous juggling supply sites on the Internet.  You can use Google to search for “Juggling Supplies” by clicking hereCheck with your Gym Dandies instructor for local discounts on juggling supplies.
  • A bike helmet, knee, wrist, and elbow pads are a must for unicycling.  Under no circumstances, should one unicycle without wearing these protective items.  More than 2,000 children have learned how to ride a unicycle in the Gym Dandies program without serious injury.  Members must always wear protective gear at practices.
  • 20” or 16” unicycle.  Please check with the Gym Dandies director, Jon Cahill, or an instructor for ordering information and the correct size for your child.
  • Beginner steps on how to ride a unicycle (Learn More - How to Unicycle) are posted on the Gym Dandies website.

Make your own juggling equipment and save $.

Juggling Scarves: Three lightweight synthetic/plastic shopping bags work as well as expensive scarves.  Crumple bags, shake out wrinkles, and start scarf juggling.  These bags actually work better than expensive juggling scarves.
   
Juggling Balls: Items needed:
 
  • 3 used or new tennis balls, or hollow balls of the same size or smaller
  • Small amount of sand or rice
  • Six 12” balloons deflated
  • Small amount of duct tape
  • Small funnel
  Construction:
 
  • Puncture small slit in ball, just large enough to accommodate funnel.
  • Insert funnel into slit.
  • Pour sand or rice into ball through funnel.  Fill ball ½ full with sand or rice.
  • Cover slit with duct tape.
  • For color:  Cut the neck off of a 12" balloon and wrap the filled ball with the modified balloon.  Wrap the ball with two balloons.
This ball is practically indestructible.  When your dog or pet python eats one, simply make another.

 

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Beginners


Unicycle_Go-RoundTo become a beginner level Gym Dandy, one must:

  • Be a resident of Scarborough, Maine.
  • Be a 3rd through 12th grade student. Home school and private school students who are residents of Scarborough, Maine are eligible for membership.
  • Be able to breathe.  Smiley  No other special skills are required.  We will teach you how to juggle (scarves, balls, rings, clubs), Diablo, devil stick, Yo-Yo, balance on a rolling board, and yes, even ride a unicycle.
  • Be willing to practice.  Practice makes everything possible.

Note:  All beginner level Gym Dandies will perform in the spring Gym Dandies Community Performance.  For more information, please download the Beginner Information Packet.

 

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Local Events

2008_Scarborough_350th_Celebration_Parade

2008 Scarborough 350th Celebration Parade

It was awesome to see all of the town support during Scarborough's 350th Celebration July 10-14, 2008.  "The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus was extremely proud to be a part of this historic milestone event by participating in the 350th Celebration Parade on Saturday, July 12, 2008.


2007_Southern_Maine_Christmas_Parade

2007 Southern Maine Christmas Parade

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus pedaled their unicycles down U.S. Route 1 in the 24th Southern Maine Christmas Parade in Wells, Maine on Sunday, December 9, 2007.  The frosty air made for the perfect Christmas setting.  The Wells Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual parade, and this year's theme was "The Night Before Christmas."


2007_Veterans_Day_Parade

2007 Veterans Day Parade

The Gym Dandies were once again honored to be a part of the Veterans Day Parade in Portland, Maine on Sunday, November 11, 2007.  The troupe, consisting of beginners on 20-inch unicycles, advanced performers on 6-foot Giraffe unicycles, and one humongous 36-inch unicycle, thrilled the crowd as they pedaled along Congress Street from Longfellow Square to Monument Square.

2007_Dover-FoxcroftMay 25, 2007
The Gym Dandies headed north of Bangor to amaze the students of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine.  The wide-eyed students were on the edge of their seats as the troupe performed the various unicycle and juggling routines.  Along with the show, the students also had a blast trying out some of the skills that were demonstrated during the performance.


2006_Southern_Maine_Christmas_Parade

2006 Southern Maine Christmas Parade

The 60 plus Gym Dandies all looked spectacular as they one-wheeled their way on Route 1 in the 23rd Southern Maine Christmas Parade in Wells, Maine on Saturday, December 9, 2006.  As with last year, the first snow of the season the day before made for the perfect Christmas setting.  The Wells Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual parade, and this year's theme was "Hollywood in Southern Maine."


2006_Veterans_Day_Parade

2006 Veterans Day Parade

The Gym Dandies were honored to be a part of the Veterans Day Parade in Portland, Maine on Saturday, November 11, 2006.  The troupe, consisting of 13 riders on 20" unicycles, 18 riders on 6-foot Giraffe unicycles, and one rider on a humongous 36" unicycle, thrilled the crowd as they pedaled along Congress Street from Longfellow Square to Monument Square.

2006_Lyseth_School March 1, 2006
The Gym Dandies delighted the students of the Lyseth School located in Portland, Maine on Wednesday, March 1, 2006.  Many of the staff commented "The Gym Dandies gave us the all-time best presentation in the history of the school."  Some of the Lyseth School students enjoyed having the opportunity to try many of the circus arts that were exhibited during the performance.  Many thanks to all involved!


2006_Camden-Rockport_Middle_School January 27, 2006
The Gym Dandies thrilled the students of the Camden-Rockport Middle School on Friday, January 27, 2006.  A number of veteran teachers mentioned that the Gym Dandies performance was the best assembly/performance they have had the pleasure to attend in their teaching careers!  One teacher said she was on the edge of her seat the entire time.  What a terrific group effort!


2005_Southern_Maine_Christmas_Parade

2005 Southern Maine Christmas Parade

What a terrific home crowd! "The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus performed in the 22nd Annual Southern Maine Christmas Parade in Wells, Maine on Saturday, December 10, 2005.  The first major snow storm of the season the day before made for the perfect Christmas setting.  This year's theme was "A Fairy Tale Christmas in Southern Maine."

July 15, 2005

Yarmouth_Clam_Festival

April 8, 2005

Maine_Heroes_Parade
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Parades & Festivals

2008 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

2006_NIDP_Pelczar_(060) "The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus of Scarborough Schools represented the Scarborough community and the State of Maine in the Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2008.  Sixty Gym Dandies rode unicycles in various formations as they performed before a crowd of 400,000 spectators.  Forty-eight Gym Dandies performed atop 6-foot high Giraffe unicycles while younger members rode smaller 20" unicycles.  This event is the largest and most prestigious parade held in Washington, D.C. each year and is the largest event of the three-week festival.  The parade runs for more than one mile down Constitution Avenue right in front of the White House.  Bands and performing groups from across the nation are selected each year for this nationally significant event based on recommendations and audition videos.


2006_NIDP_Pelczar_(060)

July 4, 2006

“The Gym Dandies” once again proudly represented the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2006.

Saint_Patrick's_Parade2006_Manchester-NH_St_Patrick's_Gilbert_(10)

March 19, 2006

The Gym Dandies wowed the thousands of spectators that lined Elm Street to watch the annual Manchester, New Hampshire Saint Patrick's Parade.  It was great to see so many new performance level Gym Dandies on giraffe unicycles making their parade debuts.  The 55 giraffe riders equaled our recent showing in New York City.  Our Gym Dandies are the best!

2005_Macy's_Parade_07

November 24, 2005

"The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus gave the performance of their lifetime in the 2005 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.  The Gym Dandies were selected from hundreds of applicants from around the world for this nationally significant event.  "The Gym Dandies" Children's Circus is the only performing group nationally or internationally that can field sixty, six-foot unicycles in one routine.

2004_NIDP_Gubrud_(01)

July 4, 2004

One hundred Gym Dandies represented the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2004.  Routines were completed by approximately fifty children performing atop 6’ unicycles, 45 on 20” unicycles, and five juggling on rolling globes, all in a torrential downpour.

Gym_Dandies_Canadian_Flag

May 26, 2002

“The Gym Dandies” Children's Circus appeared as the featured performance Montreal_Bike_Festat the 2002 Montreal Cycling Festival in Montreal, Quebec.  This event is the World’s largest cycling festival.


2000_NIDP_(19)

July 4, 2000

Eighty Gym Dandies represented the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2000.  The members of the group rode unicycles in formation and performed stylized routines along the one-mile parade route, Constitution Avenue.  Approximately forty of these participants performed atop 6’ unicycles.

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Donations



Please make your tax-deductible donation payable to “The Gym Dandies” and mail to:

Gym Dandies Children’s Circus
P.O. Box 7062
Scarborough, ME  04070-7062

Thank you for all of your support!!!

 

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Contact Us


Director: Jon Cahill
Phone:  (207) 883-6660
E-mail:  JonCahill@gymdandies.org

Public Relations: Heather Rainsford
E-mail:  contact@gymdandies.org


Mailing Address

Gym Dandies Children’s Circus
P.O. Box 7062
Scarborough, ME
04070-7062

Webmaster: webmaster@gymdandies.org

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Unicycle - Basic Instructional Sequence - Safety Warning


Written by Jon Cahill

Safety Warning:  Always wear wrist guards, knee guards, elbow guards, and a helmet when riding a unicycle.

A beginning rider should always have a spotter assisting him/her when attempting to ride a unicycle.

Unicycling involves balance in every direction.  The base of support, when sitting on a unicycle, is approximately 2 square inches where the wheel touches the ground or floor.  The base of support and center of gravity changes constantly.  The unicycle wheel can move rapidly out from under the rider.  This is particularly dangerous when the wheel moves rapidly forward causing the unicyclist to fall straight down or backwards onto the hip, pelvis, back, head, or hands.  Unicycling involves speed, motion, rapid change in balance/direction, and falling.  Even with proper spotting, teaching, and safety gear, there is the potential for injury.  Anyone attempting to ride a unicycle does so at his/her own risk.

Once mastered, riding the unicycle is just about as easy as walking and quite safe.  There is always a potential for injury even for the advanced unicyclist.  This potential for injury exists when participating in any activity involving speed and motion.  Unicycling is no exception.

The most important attribute in learning to ride a unicycle is a willingness to practice.  Anyone can learn to ride the unicycle.

Surface requirements: Riding surface must be flat and smooth.  (Riding down curbs and over mountains will come later.)

Space: Riding area must be unobstructed and spacious for beginners.  (Advanced unicyclists can ride in a 3-foot square.)

Beginning Sequence

Step 1 - Unicycle Positioning

Step #1

Position the unicycle so that the cranks and pedals are parallel to the floor and the wheel and rear of the seat are in contact with a flat wall space.

 

 

 

Step 2 - Ready Position

Step #2

Roll the unicycle away from the wall.  The rider stands directly between the unicycle and the wall.  Place the seat between legs so that the unicycle is now on an angle just in front of the rider.  The rider’s back should be resting against the wall, both feet on the floor.

The seat is positioned between the legs (at the crotch).  The arms should be flat against the wall at right angles to the body for support.

 

Step 3 - Spotter Placement

Step #3

The spotter should stand directly to one side and at arms length distance from the rider.  The rider holds on to the spotter’s forearm.  DO NOT HOLD THE SPOTTER’S HAND.

 

 

 

Step 4 - Wall Mounting

Step #4

The rider is now in Position 2 but holding on to the forearm of the spotter with one hand.  The other hand and arm are positioned against the wall for added support.  Next, the rider steps on to the highest pedal and pulls backward and then downward.  This action will force the unicycle under the rider, causing the rider’s back to slide up the wall.  The rider is now in the mounted position on the unicycle, seated directly over the unicycle wheel, using the spotter and the wall for support.  Cranks and pedals should be parallel to the floor when the rider is mounted.

 
Step 5 - Wall Dismounting

Step #5

Before attempting to ride the unicycle the rider must first practice falling forward and dismounting.  Using the spotter for support, the rider simply loses balance in a forward direction and steps on to the floor.  Dismounting with a spotter should be practiced repeatedly until the rider learns to fall forward safely stepping on to the floor.

 

 
Step 6 - Unicycle Riding

step #6

From the mounted position (Step 5) the rider falls forward and lightly pedals the unicycle in the direction of the fall to keep the constantly changing center of gravity over the unicycle wheel.  This pedaling action will keep the wheel under the rider.  The spotter should walk beside and slightly forward in relation to the rider.  If the rider pedals faster than he/she is falling forward this will cause him/her to fall backwards.  As the rider becomes more stable he/she relies less on the spotter and eventually will be able to ride unassisted.  This will take time, days to weeks.

 
Step 7 - Rear Dismounting

As soon as the rider is comfortable working with the spotter, it is time to practice dismounting to the rear.  Assisted by the spotter, the rider comes to a stop and falls slowly backward stepping onto the floor.  Practice this repeatedly.

Step 8 - Floor Mounting With Spotter

Step #8-1

The rider should not attempt mounting from the floor with out using the wall until he/she is proficient at riding unassisted.  The rider positions the unicycle so that the cranks are parallel to the floor.  Using the spotter for support the rider places the seat of the unicycle between the legs at the crotch and places one foot on the nearest pedal (lets say the left foot/pedal).

 

 

Step #8-2

Without putting any weight on the left pedal (rear), but holding that pedal in position with the left foot, the rider jumps form the right foot to an up right, seated position, quickly placing the right foot onto the right pedal (front).  Now the rider is balanced in a mounted position, seated on the unicycle.  Remember to keep the body’s weight on the seat.  The rider then falls slightly forward and begins pedaling/riding forward.  This entire mounting sequence takes about 2 seconds to complete.  With a little practice the rider will soon be mounting unassisted.

 

Step #8-3

Points to remember:  (1) always use a spotter, (2) keep the body’s weight on the seat NOT ON THE FEET, (3) lightly pedal the unicycle in the direction of fall, (4) always attempt to step on to the floor when falling, and (5) always use protective gear.

 

 

 

Sequence developed by Jon Cahill
Copyright Applied For 2002

 

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Mission


"The Gym Dandies" is not about winning or losing.  The primary goal of this program is to help children develop motor skills, confidence, and self-esteem in a noncompetitive atmosphere.  Ultimately, participants will apply their skills cooperatively in performances for the purpose of entertainment.

Gym_Dandies_Logo_2004We are an organization which strives to provide a program that:

  • Meets the developmental needs of children, and is inclusive for all populations (age, sex, and special needs).

  • Will improve the participant's confidence and self-esteem by providing opportunities for each child to demonstrate learned skills and to experience success.

  • Will promote circus arts as a desirable and appropriate activity for physical education, recreation, and extracurricular programs across the State of Maine.

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Our Sponsors

"The Gym Dandies" Children’s Circus would like to thank the following 2008 - 2009 sponsors for their generosity.

Giraffe Rider:  $5,000+

Maine_Community_Foundation

Unicyclist:  $2,500 - $4,999

Juggler:  $1,000 - $2,499

Portland_Webworks

Diablo:  $500 - $999

Saco_Biddeford_Savings

Plate Spinner:  $100 to $499

Diversified_Communications_LogoDIVERSIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

Atlantic_Sportswear_Logo

CLYNK_Logo

Ramaswamy & Bhagya Chandrashekar
Vincent & Kathy DeMarco
David & Lisa Gubrud
The Hughes Family
Jeff & Claudia Murray
David & Jennifer Nitchman
Kenneth & Linda Roberts
Eric & Kimberly Shell
John & Christine Stolz

Scarf Juggler:  Up to $99

Mark & Cathy Bennett
James & Elaine Corrow
Brown Fox Printing
John & Kristen Dequattro
Marc & Lauri Dugas
Mark & Alberta Follansbee
Carl Horner & Andrea Lemoal
Lori Freid Moses
James & Cynthia Nygren
Neil & Larissa Pratt
Kenneth & Donna Rausch
Mike & Heidi Topchick

Website hosting donated by:

Portland_Webworks

 

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Special Honors


In May of 1984, "The Gym Dandies" Children’s Circus was recognized as an exemplary program for children in the area of movement and performing arts and was selected to perform at Maine’s First Conference on the Arts, "Celebrating the Arts in Maine Schools".

In 1990 the group was nominated for the National Education Association A+ Award for Excellence in Education.

In 1998 WCSH TV 6 featured "The Gym Dandies" on their nightly news broadcast.  According to the WCSH staff this broadcast was selected by many NBC affiliate stations across the nation for rebroadcast in their areas.

The Gym Dandies Children’s Circus was selected by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service to represent the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade (NIDP) in Washington D.C. on July 4, 2000.  This event celebrated the bicentennial of Washington D.C. as well as the new millennium.  "The Gym Dandies" was one of only 15 specialty groups from across the nation invited to participate in this one-of-a-kind, national event.  Approximately 100 Gym Dandies, who met the age and performance requirements, participated.  The parade was broadcast on national television, and 400,000 spectators lined the parade route (Constitution Avenue).  In 2004 and 2006, the Gym Dandies also represented Maine in the NIDP.

Sixty Gym Dandies ride six-foot high Giraffe unicycles in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2005 in NYC, the largest and tallest unicycle formation to perform in the history event.

Winner of the Specialty Unit Competition, West Virginia Strawberry Festival Parade 2009.

Winner of “The Peoples Choice Award”, Rockland Lobster Festival Parade 2010.

Represented the State of Maine in the Philadelphia, PA Independence Day Parade, July 4, 2011

Represented the State of Maine in the 100th Anniversary of the Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, April 2012

The Gym Dandies Children’s Circus was one of 52 acts selected (among over 2800 applicants) and represented the State of Maine in the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington DC, January 21, 2013

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Gym Dandies at a Glance

Simple Beginnings to the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington D.C. – Our Journey

1981 Small beginnings: The birth of “The Gym Dandies” with ten enthusiastic children and a box of tennis balls.
1983 First public performance at Bessey School, Scarborough, Maine.
1984 The Gym Dandies Children’s Circus recognized as an exemplary program for children in the area of movement and performing arts.  Selected to perform at Maine’s First Conference on the Arts, “Celebrating the Arts in Maine Schools.”
1988 Guest performance and workshop for Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (First of 12 workshops for MAHPERD).
1989 Guest performances: Portland Symphony Concert by the Sea, Maine Festival and Portland Family Festival.
1990 Nominated for the National Education Association A+ Award for Excellence in Education.
1998 The Gym Dandies Children’s Circus is featured on WCSH Channel 6, Portland, Maine, “Think About ME” broadcast.
1999 The Gym Dandies Children’s Circus - Feature Cover Story, Monday Magazine, Maine Life, Portland Press Herald.
  Selected by the US Department of the Interior to represent the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade 2000 in Washington, D.C., July 4, 2000.
  The Gym Dandies Children’s Circus Program - Letter of Commendation, Governor Angus King.
2000 Governor Angus King held a special press conference at the Maine State House to recognize and congratulate "The Gym Dandies" on their selection for the National Independence Day Parade 2000.
  Winner of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport “Contest for Communities Award.”  This competitive award is presented by the Governor’s Council to recognize programs that serve as a role model in breaking new ground for physical activity for youth.
  Maine Public Radio features “The Gym Dandies” participation in the National Independence Day Parade.
  Eighty Gym Dandies represent the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2000.  The members of the group rode unicycles in formation and performed stylized routines along the one-mile parade route, Constitution Avenue.  Approximately forty of these participants performed atop 6’ unicycles.
  The Orange Bowl Parade Committee invites “The Gym Dandies” to perform in the 2001 Orange Bowl Parade in Miami, Florida.
2001 ZOOM, the nationally televised PBS children’s program featured “The Gym Dandies” in their programming for 2001.
  “The Gym Dandies” 20th Anniversary Community Performance, Scarborough, Maine.
2002 Featured Performance – Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport – Legislative Fitness Day – Maine State House.
  “The Gym Dandies” appear as the featured performance at the Montreal Cycling Festival, Montreal, Quebec.  This event is the World’s largest cycling festival.
2003 ZOOM, the nationally televised PBS children’s program, featured “The Gym Dandies” in their programming for 2003 and 2004.
2004 One hundred Gym Dandies represent the State of Maine in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2004.  Routines were completed by approximately fifty children performing atop 6’ unicycles, 45 on 20” unicycles, and five juggling on rolling globes, all in a torrential downpour.
2005 “The Gym Dandies” Children’s Circus combine the wonder of a circus with the enthusiasm of young performers as the first unicycle group of its size in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
2006 “The Gym Dandies” 25th Anniversary Community Performances, Scarborough, Maine.
  “The Gym Dandies” proudly represent the State of Maine for a third time in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2006.
2008 “The Gym Dandies” Children’s Circus represented the Scarborough community and the State of Maine in the Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2008.  Sixty Gym Dandies rode unicycles in various formations as they performed before a crowd of 400,000 spectators.
2009 Winner of Specialty Unit Competition, West Virginia Strawberry Festival Parade.
2010 Winner of “The Peoples Choice Award”, Rockland Maine Lobster Festival Parade.
2011 Philadelphia, PA Independence Day Parade.
2012 100th Anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, Washington DC.
2013 Represented the State of Maine in 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade, Washington DC.
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Members


Einstein_Loves_The_Gym_DandiesThe skills these children (8 to 18 year olds) demonstrate are very difficult and require a great deal of practice to master.  "The Gym Dandies" program runs throughout the school year.  Children practice one day a week after school for two hours, in addition to many hours of practice at home.  There are no special skills required to join "The Gym Dandies."  The crucial ingredient for success is a willingness to practice.  Many of the children who stay with the program for two to three years will learn to ride the 6 foot unicycle, also known as the "giraffe."  Participants are not permitted to attempt the "giraffe" until they have become an expert on the small unicycle.

"The Gym Dandies" are also giving rise to some of the best riders in New England.  Recently, three of our more advanced unicyclists were featured on the front page of the "Outdoors" section of the "Maine Sunday Telegram" doing some off-road unicycling.

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History


"The Gym Dandies" Children’s Circus of Scarborough, Maine came into existence when Jon Cahill, the director of this group, began incorporating circus arts skills into the physical education program.  Mr. Cahill soon realized that circus arts had the potential to be much more than just an alternate activity in the physical education curriculum.  There were numerous potential benefits that could be realized by children as a result of participating in this unusual, challenging, and exciting endeavor.  But, something was missing.  Children love to demonstrate their skills. They needed to perform! This was the birth of "The Gym Dandies".

In 1981, "The Gym Dandies", the little "Big Top" of Scarborough, consisted of ten enthusiastic fifth and sixth grade boys and girls and a box full of tennis balls.  Circus arts are naturally motivating for children at this age and soon it became obvious that juggling, although challenging, was not enough.  "The Gym Dandies" held what might have been the "World’s First Juggle -A-Thon" in the spring of 1981.  Funds raised from the Juggle-A-Thon went toward the purchase of unicycles.  By the spring of 1982, after a great deal of hard work,  “The Gym Dandies" had evolved into a stylized unicycling and juggling group normally found only in professional circuses.

 

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Our Founder

Biographical Information: Jonathan Cahill

Updated: January 29th, 2013

Awards and Accomplishments:

  • 2011 -- Winner of the Maine Fitness Award -- Lifetime Achievement Category from the Governor's Council on Physical Activity
  • 2004 -- Maine DARE Officers Association - Educator of the Year
  • Elementary Physical Education Teacher - 32 years (Retired 2004)
  • 2000 to 2003 -- President: Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
  • 2000 -- Winner of the Maine Governor’s Council - Contest for Communities Award: A competitive award presented by the Governor’s Council recognizing individuals/programs that break new ground in physical activity programming for youth
  • 1996 -- Maine Physical Education Teacher of the Year
  • 1990 -- Nominated for National Education Association A+ Award for Excellence in Education
  • Founder and Director of "The Gym Dandies" Children’s Circus Arts Program, the largest continuously operating children’s circus in the United States (Co-curricular program, Scarborough School Department, Scarborough, ME)

Featured performances by the Gym Dandies:

  • 2013 Represented the State of Maine in 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade, Washington DC
  • 2012 100th Anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, Washington DC
  • 2011 Philadelphia, PA Independence Day Parade
  • 2010 Rockland, Maine Lobster Festival Parade (Winner of the Peoples Choice Award)
  • 2009 West Virginia Strawberry Festival Parade (Winner of Specialty Unit Competition)
  • 2008 Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington D.C.
  • 2006 National Independence Day Parade in Washington D.C.
  • 2005 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York
  • 2002 Montreal Cycling Festival in Montreal, Quebec
  • 2000 and 2004 National Independence Day Parades in Washington D.C.

Education:

  • MS Adult Education, Recreation and Leisure Management University of Southern Maine
  • M Ed. University of South Carolina
  • BS Ed. University of Georgia
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