MOUNT WILLIAM – When David Hamilton agreed to having his church sponsor an aerials gymnastics show, he didn’t expect to find himself being lifted high into the air with teenagers holding his legs and feet.
Albeit reluctantly, the pastor of Seventh-day Adventist Church in New Glasgow became a participant in the show put on by the Kingsway College Aerials on Monday night at the Pictou County YMCA.
“I didn’t mind being lifted up,” he said, but admits he was a little nervous. “I was a little bit concerned they would spin me over and do a backflip.”
The trick turned out fine, though, and Hamilton was returned safely to the ground.
About 200 people attended the show, including members of the church and the local gymnastics club, with younger members of the audience participating like Hamilton did.
His wife Cheryl said she enjoyed the interaction with the audience. “Several times they stopped the performance, and did a headstand contest and held up kids really, really high,” she said. “I really liked their personal touch.”
Kingsway College is a private Christian high school owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Oshawa, Ont. The school offers classes for students in grades 9 to 12 with a program designed to develop the whole person, focusing on the academic, spiritual, physical, and social aspects of the student.
About 34 students from the school took part in the local show, one of several the aerials team is performing as part of a March Break tour that includes stops in New Brunswick and the United States.
The team was formed in 1983 as a way to promote a drug-free lifestyle. The squad
upholds that message while providing character building for its members who must learn to rely on each other to master the intricate and complex routines.
Hamilton said the local church had two goals for the evening – to provide wholesome fun and to help spread the message of the Bible. “For people who don’t go to church, we thought it would be a nice way to lift up Jesus, to lift up the Lord to the community and have a fun time together.”
He attended Kingsway College himself when he was a teenager, and said he was impressed with the performance. “They’re very skilled.”
The aerials team performed a large number of routines involving dance moves, tumbling and flips, using various props such as chairs and an acrobatic ring suspended from a large tripod. One of the skits portrayed the life of Jesus from his birth to his death and resurrection.