Festival Workshops

Circus Workshops
Circus Elements have taught circus skills at many events, schools and other locations including festivals, community centres, and camps, and to people from age 4 to adult, abled and less-abled. Festival workshops are typically run as a “drop in” activity but if needed a more structured workshop can also be arranged.

Area Required:
8m x 8m. This needs to be roped off with a space left for people to enter and exit. We then decorate the space with colourful bunting.

Skills taught include:

  • Juggling
  • Flower sticks
  • Plate spinning
  • Stick balancing
  • Hand held stilts
  • poi spinning
  • Unicycling
  • Hoola hoops

Making circus props
Not all circus props have to be professionally manufactured or expensive; many can be made at school using ordinary objects. These include juggling balls, flower sticks, balance sticks, twirling staves & poi. An ideal complement to the circus skills workshop as it gives the participants the knowledge and experience in making props, with a tangible thing they can keep at the end (or contribute to the schools supply) for continued practice. This can either be integrated into the circus skills workshop or run as a separate workshop.

The benefits of learning circus skills?

  • physically active – participants can make the activities as intense or as mild as they require.
  • non-competitive – involves those students that may be discouraged from participating in sports because of the fierce competition and alliances formed in many sporting activities. Students may work alone, but are also encouraged to work together and help build each other’s skills.
  • mentally challenging – by the very nature of juggling, both left and right hemispheres of the brain are simultaneously engaged. Trying to co-ordinate both arms (and legs) provides a great brain workout, which can have spill-over effects of improved ability to concentrate in other areas of learning. Other circus skills provide stimulating mental challenges also.
  • improved self-esteem and self-confidence through learning skills that may once have been thought to be impossible.
  • performance skills may be developed, along with their associated benefits.
  • resourcefulness – not all circus props have to be professionally manufactured or expensive; many can be made at school or home using ordinary objects.
  • self-learning - breaking skills into smaller steps and then constructing these back into the complete picture, as well as learning how to use mistakes as important steps for learning.
  • self discovery – the joy of playing with something new (or something already familiar) and finding different ways to use it.
  • spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination may be improved through participation in many of the activities.
  • experience a different aspect of the arts (or experience a part of the arts) for those that may not otherwise have the opportunity, or motivation.

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