Benjamin Berry (they/he) is a teaching artist and circus performer who specializes in making creative movement accessible for all ages and levels of ability. Their movement journey began when they first picked up a hula hoop in 2013 and were instantly inspired by what would become their primary artistic discipline. This led them to become certified to teach Hoop Dance by Hoopnotica in 2014, gaining international recognition by participating in the online hooping competition “Hooping Idol Season 5,” and teaching several cross-country workshop tours since 2015. These efforts ultimately earned them the title of Hooping.org’s Male Hooper of the Year in 2016. While hoop dance was their gateway to creative movement, their true passion is education. In 2019, they enriched their pedagogy by receiving training in Holistic Circus Therapy, a modality which utilizes occupational therapy principles to build physical, cognitive, emotional, and social capacities through circus arts, as well as the developmental movement-based BrainDance Method through the Creative Dance Center.
Their signature program, “Circus for All,” blends elements of creative dance, prop-based circus arts, and social emotional learning. Since moving to Buffalo in 2017, Benjamin has presented their eclectic curriculum in over 70 local schools, libraries, and other community-based facilities. In 2021 they launched Accessible Circus Project, an initiative in partnership with the non-profit Accessible Festivals. This project aims to provide free and subsidized circus props and accessible movement instruction to individuals, families, andorganizations who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.