Magician uses skills to help a special group express themselves

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This week, you can really feel the magic in the area as a magician is in town to help a special group of people express themselves through sleight of hand.

Dr. Kevin Spencer has a Ph.D. in special education but is also a magician. Kevin has found a way to meld his two true loves together and has hit the road with the Hocus Focus program.

Hocus Focus consists of interactive workshops where kids, adolescents and adults learn simple magic tricks. As they learn the trick, practice it and remember the steps so they can perform for someone, they sharpen various skills in a fun, lighthearted way.

“They are working on their motor skills. Every time they are practicing it, they are remembering the steps, sequencing them in the right order. They are organizing tasks and movements and when they perform that trick for somebody, now they are working on their communications skills, their social skills, their creativity and flexible thinking,” Dr. Spencer explained.

Spencer has been to Albuquerque and remembers performing at the Kimo Theatre with what he describes as a “big theatrical illusion show”. Now, he has a week in the area to work with teachers on integrating some extra magic into their curriculum.

“I am doing professional development training for some of the teachers on arts integration. I call it Teach like a Magician, on what it means to teach like a magician,” Spencer said.

His week in the area concludes with a sensory-inclusive show in Albuquerque, Saturday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m.

“This is a show that is specifically designed for individuals with sensory sensitivities,” he said. “There’s no music. There are no fancy lights. It’s just me on the stage doing, I think, some pretty awesome magic.”

The Albuquerque show will be taking place at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 114 Carlisle Boulevard SE. The show begins at 2 and is free to the public. More details are here.