TEAMWORK- The Acronaires team from Canadian University College show off their tricks during an evening practice at their local fitness centre on campus.

Acrobatics with an important message

The Acronaires gear up for their year-end performance

Canadian University College is proud to once again present the Acronaires for their year-end show this weekend.

“The Acronaires started almost 40 years ago,” said Head Coach Levi New. “We are kind of an exhibition gymnastics team that travels to promote different messages.”

New said the Acronaires are not just a group of talented kids or adults, but that they are a team made to work together and to share messages of anti-bullying through to healthy living.

“We include different types of acrobatics and gymnastics and cheer-style routines and put them to music. We sometimes include skits for the younger audiences or include a special guest to share a message.”

The year-end show runs March 30 at 3 p.m. and admission is free. Admission to the March 31st (beginning at 9 p.m.) and April 1st (beginning at 6 p.m.) shows is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

The show will be held at Canadian University College fitness centre.

“This is our big year-end home show. This year we’re doing a jungle theme and the name is ‘Ozuye’ which is a Lakota word,” said New.

The idea behind this year’s theme is to show how the Europeans came and changed the lives of the Natives and impacted the culture. It shows how the cultures have now meshed and how it impacts people today.

New said the show is something special because it will go “All out with costumes and lighting and staging and music.”

New said he loves being the coach for a team like the Acronaires and said it is more than just an acrobatics team.

“I love seeing someone come in that has very little skill and seeing them put in hours of practice and putting up with injuries and recoveries and really fighting for something that they want to learn.”

New said when picking the team at the beginning of the year he doesn’t look for perfection or people who necessarily have all the skills to do all the tricks.

“We simply look for a good attitude and a willingness to learn and work hard.”

New said it is a great learning experience for the 22-member team as well because very few moves in the routines work if even just one person is missing.

“A lot of the routines are dangerous and when somebody is missing it can impact everything. They all learn to trust everyone.”

New said at the beginning of the year people on the team are tentative on whether someone will catch them but by the end of the year know that anybody will catch them and they’ve learned to trust 21 other team members.

“I work these kids pretty hard. We practice for two hours, four times a week and they learn to work hard and show up on time. They’re constantly learning work ethic.”

New said the show is worth coming to see for anyone of any age simply because of the dynamics of it.

“We get comments from older people who are shocked we would put the kids through this, but then we get other comments saying how beautiful the performance was and commending us on our hard work.”

New said the Acronaires have performed at a lot of schools and that they are always welcome to return.

“Teachers like having performances like ours come through because it’s such a positive influence for the little ones to see people working so hard towards something and learning new skills.”

New said there is no one category that Acronaires fit in to and that finding a comparable act is a difficult task.

“We really just want to see people come out, enjoy the show, and bring their kids.”

For more information on the show times or the Acronaires visit www.cauc.ca.

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com