While freshman Tyese Beauharnais holds out a hoop, one of her classmates springs off a trampoline, gracefully dives through its center and flips onto a mat below.
Nearby, other classmates spin plates on sticks, practice elaborate magic tricks and master balancing poses. Meanwhile, their professor is busy teaching another student a complex tandem juggling act.
Beauharnais, a nursing major, admits she gets a lot of skeptical looks when she explains to her friends and family that she runs off to join the circus two days a week as part of her college course work.
"They think I’m crazy. But I get four credits for it," said Beauharnais, 18, of East Rutherford.