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Gymkana Troupe to perform at Hagerstown Community College

Gymkana Troupe to perform at Hagerstown Community College

February 28, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

Usually when young people fly off trampolines and nearly collide, they are admonished by their mothers and told to be more careful.

But with the University of Maryland Gymkana Troupe, those near collisions are part of the show and the fun.

The troupe of more than 60 University of Maryland, College Park, students will perform a free show of novelty and circus acts and gymnastics routines on Wednesday night at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

The troupe began in 1946 and has been performing on almost an annual basis at Hagerstown Community College for several years, said Scott Welsh, director and head coach. One of the troupe's early leaders, the late George Kramer, lived in the Hagerstown area, Welsh said. Kramer died in 1998.

Acts include having members jump off two trampolines and just miss each other as they criss-cross paths in midair while doing handsprings, roundoffs or flips over a vault box, Welsh said.

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Another feat will have three male members supporting two 18-foot-high ladders while six female members do a choreographed ballet on the ladders, Welsh said.

The troupe also will perform traditional gymnastics routines involving the horse, balance beam, tumbling, rings, high bar and parallel bars.

Troupe members are all university students, Welsh said. They range in skills from those who had no gymnastics experience prior to joining the troupe to those with elite skills. Members train approximately 15 hours a week.

The troupe is an outreach program of the university's School of Public Health. And the show is not all about gymnastics. Troupe members pledge to be drug-, alcohol- and tobacco-free and use their shows to demonstrate to young children that they, too, can have a good time without smoking, drinking or doing drugs, Welsh said.




If you go ...



WHAT: University of Maryland Gymkana Troupe performance

WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 5

WHERE: Athletic, Recreation and Community Center, Hagerstown Community College, off Robinwood Drive east of Hagerstown

COST: Free

MORE: For more information about gymkana, go online to www.gymkana.umd.edu. For more information about this performance, call 301-790-2800, ext. 262.

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