Tightrope Walker Shares His Expertise with Shelburne Students | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Tightrope Walker Shares His Expertise with Shelburne Students 

click to enlarge Kindar-Martin gives a lift to a Lake Champlain Waldorf School student - ALISON NOVAK
  • Alison Novak
  • Kindar-Martin gives a lift to a Lake Champlain Waldorf School student
Vermont native Jade Kindar-Martin taught Joseph Gordon-Levitt the ins and outs of tightrope walking for the recently released feature film The Walk, which chronicles Philippe Petit’s high-wire walk between the Twin Towers. But he spent a recent Friday afternoon in October explaining the finer points of forward rolls to seventh and eighth graders at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School in Shelburne.

“Feet together, down on your hands, chin in and roll,” Kindar-Martin instructed a small group of middle schoolers during their movement class. He demonstrated the technique with an effortless series of tumbles down a long mat. In pairs, the students followed suit, looking slightly less graceful than the spritely Kindar-Martin.

Next, he demoed cartwheels, then shoulder sits and stands. Two other small groups practiced juggling with balls and scarves and walking on wooden stilts nearby.

The 41-year-old high-wire walker, who got his first taste of circus arts at age 14 when he joined Circus Smirkus, moved around Vermont when he was a kid, from Brattleboro to Montpelier, then Middlesex to Randolph. He graduated from Champlain Valley Union High School and his parents live in Shelburne.

Most of the year, Kindar-Martin and his wife, former Cirque du Soleil performer turned stunt woman Karine Mauffrey, live with their 5- and 8-year-old sons and 17-month-old daughter in Saint Cecile D’Andorge, a small village in Southern France. In the summer, the couple run a “yurt and breakfast” artist’s retreat in a valley with a 250-foot-long high wire stretching across it. Their sons go to school most of the year in a two-room schoolhouse.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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About The Author

Alison Novak

Alison Novak

Alison is the former managing editor at Kids VT, Seven Days' parenting publication and writes about education for Seven Days.


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