Help juggling your free time in Aylesbury Vale

a circus skills class at the Queens Park Arts Centre in Aylesbury - pictured is Harry De Cruz and Sebastian Clark-Darby (grey top)
a circus skills class at the Queens Park Arts Centre in Aylesbury - pictured is Harry De Cruz and Sebastian Clark-Darby (grey top)

JUGGLING, painting, acting and belly-dancing classes are on offer for those who want to try something new in 2012 – and whose New Year pledge to do more exercise has so far been a failure.

Classes resumed this week at Aylesbury’s Queens Park Arts Centre, which has just unveiled its new season of activities.

Spokesman Nikita Strange said: “I think people would be surprised by how much goes on here – there are over 70 weekly workshops.

“All our pottery, arts and painting classes are really popular, along with our creative writing course – which included how to sell stories online and make them into e-books.

“On a Saturday morning for children we have a new drama workshop where they can try improvisation and drama games.

“We also have the Spotlight Musical Theatre school for those aged up to 18. They get professional training in acting, singing and dancing.”

One of the highlights is the Monday night circus skills class, taught by semi-professional magician Harry De Cruz. Participants can try juggling with balls, hoops or clubs (the props that look like skittles) along with learning to ride a unicycle or mastering plate-spinning (using plastic plates of course!)

The more adventurous can dazzle their friends by learning tightrope walking – albeit on a specially set up line which rests one foot above the ground.

De Cruz, 17, of Aylesbury, performs under his own name at weddings and corporate parties. He has been a member of the Young Magicians Circle for eight years and sits the exam to enter the ‘adult’ Magic Circle in June.

On some nights the circus skills class attracts up to 30 participants, aged between ‘13 and retired’.

“It is quite a casual place to learn, we all quite friendly,” says De Cruz.

“It is challenging and gives you a big sense of self accomplishment. You are never limited by the amount of tricks or props you can try – you can always move onto a new trick.”

The Aylesbury juggling club has been running for 25 years. De Cruz learnt most of his trade from his mentor Paul Megram – who is known as the popular Vale entertainer Colonel Custard.

For a list of all the classes on offer at Queen’s Park, visit www.qpc.org