Flips, aerial stunts and acrobatics are just a few of the physical feats involved in the circus arts. Circus Juventas, a nonprofit performing arts circus school for youth, just wrapped up their summer show. TRIA’s partnership with Circus Juventas helps these athletes prepare with injury prevention and treatment throughout the year.
As the team physician for Circus Juventas, TRIA’s Dr. Ashley TeKippe has a front-row seat to see just how demanding circus arts can be. She works with other TRIA team members to provide support for the circus athletes. These include athletic trainers, physical therapists and dietitians. TRIA has also developed an injury prevention program to keep athletes healthy. Our team evaluates and treats athletes to help them return to circus activity quickly and safely.
“I enjoy every minute of it. I love the relationships built with these performers and the support our team can provide for such high-level athletes,” says Dr. TeKippe, who has been working with Circus Juventas for three years.
The partnership between TRIA and Circus Juventas has grown. Over the years, the TRIA team has noted injury patterns unique to circus arts. These patterns helped Dr. TeKippe and the other TRIA team members identify areas for athletes to focus on. Now our partnership includes onsite conditioning along with injury rehab.
“Our injury prevention curriculum takes a broad approach,” says Dr. TeKippe. “In addition to strengthening, we’re focusing on education about nutrition and how it effects training. We emphasize how lifestyle interacts with performance.”
The athletes are seeing the benefits of the strengthening exercises.
“The conditioning helps me learn how to use my back, quads and glutes correctly,” one circus athlete shared. “I think if I had been doing these exercises all along, I would not have gotten some of my past injuries.”
Now, these athletes help the other performers with the exercises so they can prevent injuries, too.
The circus athletes have gotten to know Dr. TeKippe and the other team members very well as they work together during classes, rehearsals and shows.
“We love it when Dr. TeKippe and the TRIA athletic trainers are around. They’re awesome!” another circus athlete said. “They’re really good at engaging with us and paying attention to where we might have pain. They help us identify areas to strengthen and prevent an injury before it happens.”
The care TRIA provides the Circus Juventas athletes is a group effort. From medical care to physical therapy, the entire team shares a common goal of keeping these athletes healthy and pain-free.