DSC Member: Jules Madrigal-Dersch, Fostering Fun


For foster children, expensive gear, a lack of transportation, and never knowing where they’ll end up next makes joining a traditional sports league nearly impossible. So when acrobat Jules Madrigal-Dersch joined the team at Circus of Hope, a nonprofit that teaches circus arts to at-risk youth, she saw an opportunity teach the kids that life doesn’t always have to get in the way of having a little fun.

On the various circus arts taught at Circus of Hope: “We teach juggling, hooping, tight wire, aerial tissu, partner balancing, acro-yoga, double dutch and, my personal favorite, flying trapeze.”

On Circus of Hope’s mission: “Circus of Hope provides opportunities for personal growth, builds confidence, fosters teamwork and engenders trust in young people. You’d be surprised how much a kid’s confidence explodes when they accomplish something they never thought was possible—like trapeze!

On the flexible benefits of learning circus arts: “Many of the circus arts require very little equipment. If I teach a kid to juggle, he can go home,  grab any small items off the shelf, and get back to it. Also, kids love circus arts, so when you bust out your balance board at school, you’re sure to make some new friends.”

On the freedom that comes with trapeze: “I’m a physician by day, and there’s some tough stuff that comes with the territory. I knew I need something to take my mind off things with a hobby outside of work, so I thought ‘why not try trapeze?’ I’m so used to taking care of others, but when I’m on the trapeze rig, someone else has to catch me. Plus, it’s pretty tough to worry about work when you’re 30 feet up in the air.”

On inviting foster children into her home: “We’ve had kids from all walks of life and from all over the world join our familykids that were kicked out of their homes or had nowhere to go for a variety of reasons. You name it. But my home is a ‘family is where you make it’ kind of home. And, well, now we have a huge family!”

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