Get Certified as a Circus Arts Leader and Lead Your Own Circus Arts Programs!

Get Certified as a Circus Arts Leader and Lead Your Own Circus Arts Programs!

Circus programs for kids in Nanaimo

Do you want to round out your repertoire with new skills? Do you love working with kids, teaching, and having fun? Are you a school teacher or educator looking to add some new skills to your toolbox?

Learn teachable circus arts and lead your own circus arts programs!

I teach a one-day Circus Arts Leader Certification course, available online or in person in the Nanaimo area, and you’re welcome to join!


The benefits of learning Circus Arts leadership skills

Circus teaches partnership. Through connection and trust, we can create wonderful things together. Circus emphasizes cooperation over competition. Circus arts are non-competitive and require collaboration, trust, and support of each other. When every individual shines, we experience true community.

While learning and leading Circus Arts, you can:

  • Expand your creativity, confidence, perseverance, and gain a positive sense of self while teaching life skills that give you a sense of success and recognition.
  • Promote health and physical literacy through diverse physical activity, motor skills refinement, and safe risk taking.
  • Build trust, collaboration skills, and teamwork by creating nourishing environments in which to challenge fears and develop positive personal relationships.
  • Integrate art into daily life by making it accessible to all.
  • Offer artistic gathering spaces in which to dialogue, dream, create and transform.
  • Engage both the left and right hemispheres of the brain, improving focus and concentration, and improve hand-eye coordination. Circus Arts are great for students with learning difficulties.
  • Reduce stress, express yourself, forget your problems for a while. Feel peace, excitement, and a feeling of flow.

In the Circus Arts Leader Certification course, you’ll gain confidence in your ability to juggle with scarves, balls, clubs, hula hoops, spin poi, diabolo, spinning plates, and so much more.

You’ll be filling your toolbox with lots of games and ideas for creating successful, fun Circus Arts programs. You’ll discover the best sources of equipment and how to build your own, and you’ll take away weekly class plans that you can adapt for different age groups.


The skills you’ll learn in this one-day course

If you’ve seen Cirque du Soleil, you’re probably thinking of these five main categories of circus arts: dance, acrobatics, aerials, manipulation of objects, and clowning (or theater). Let’s talk about the arts that I focus on in this Circus Arts Leader Certification.


Hula-Hoop NanaimoThis is the main category of Circus Arts in this course, the manipulation of objects. Think poi spinning, hula hooping, flower sticks, and juggling a variety of objects like scarves, balls, clubs, and rings. We’ll also do the Chinese yo-yo (diabolo), and plate spinning.

What I love about manipulation in circus arts is that the only limit is your imagination! I’ve seen people manipulate so many different props, and each prop requires unique skills and creativity. Besides the ones listed above, I’ve seen people using hats, cigars boxes, contact juggling, fans, staff, whip, levisticks, ignis pixels, yo-yo, knives, and kendama, to name a few.


We’ll explore balancing: balancing on a unicycle, and the toys that can help you get there, like wheel walkers, balance bikes, balance boards, and slacklines.

Theatre and clowning

So much fun and learning can be gained through theater and clowning! We’ll focus on elements of clowning such as role-playing, improvisation, storytelling, and building characters. To counteract the “scary clown” phenomenon, I often play a superhero. Maybe you’d like to develop your superhero character too! We’ll also explore a variety of games we can do with clowning.

Acrobatics and aerials

This is something that I tell my students right off the bat: If your goal is to learn acrobatics, it’s best if you take gymnastics classes, because it’s much safer to do in a gymnastics school. For aerials, like the trapeze and the rings, you need rigging. So, as a rule, I don’t teach acrobatics.

Once in a while I go to a school that has a small trapeze and I demonstrate some basic skills, but again, if you want to learn aerials, it’s best to find a place that’s suitable and safe.


If you really want to learn dance, I suggest that you go to a dance school. We do some dancing in the course, but more as a way of feeling a character’s emotion, or incorporating movement in games. In this course you’re not specifically learning how to dance.

Playing with fire

This topic will come up as you start leading classes, because people have seen fire juggling and spinning, and they might excitedly ask: “Can we light this on fire?”

What people need to know is that fire props are specialized. Working with fire is pretty technical, and the props are made to handle contact with fuel and fire. People don’t know that, so it’s good to be able to explain it to them.

If you want to learn about fire spinning, you’re welcome to send me a message and we can talk about it, but that’s not the path we’re taking in this Circus Arts Leader Certification.

All the tools in your toolkit

What I like about having such a variety is that you’ll have a lot of ideas and skills to draw from when you’re teaching kids or adults. You might not come to love all of the skills that you learn, but you’ll have learned the basics at least.

Maybe you’ll love hula hooping, but won’t be so keen on poi spinning. That’s okay. You’ll develop your own toolkit and you’ll be pulling your own favourites out of your bag when you’re leading Circus Arts. That’s why every leader is unique!

Don’t feel any pressure to get good at all of these skills. It’s really just the play and learning that we’re going for.

Circus Arts Class Nanaimo

Training your body and mind through play

I’m fascinated by the way the circus arts train our bodies and minds.

When I did my Medical Exercise Specialist certificate, one of the tools that they were recommending for people with shoulder injuries was a rope and ball. Patients would spin the ball at different angles and heights to rehabilitate their shoulders. This blew my mind, because when you spin poi, you also put your arms and shoulders through circular motions at different angles.

I had never suffered from shoulder injuries, and always felt like I had a strong back and shoulders. So I was fascinated to realize that spinning poi might have contributed to that. The same thing can be said for hula hooping: Not only is it fun and entertaining, but it’s really good as a core exercise.

You can say the same thing about so many of the circus arts. I have a friend who’s a psychologist, and she helps clients using eye movement therapy.

She did her Masters thesis on how eye movement patterns are affected by juggling, because if you think about it, in daily life, our eyes are often focused on one thing, or we go from left to right, sometimes moving our eyes up and down a little bit.

But when we juggle, we’re looking up higher, and our eye movements are different from our normal day-to-day movements. I thought that was an interesting concept and exploration to take on.

I’ve heard that in some cultures, jugglers have been seen as people who could help change and cleanse the energy in a space. I really like this idea. When I used to perform at festivals or celebrations, I would deliberately set up a feeling of playfulness and a positive vibe before (and during!) the show.

The Circus Arts Leader Certification course lets you explore and gain skills that have so much benefit for your body, mind, and spirit.

Circus arts really activate different parts of your brain. People might start out saying, “Oh, I can’t do that,” but they will be amazed at what they can do when you lead them through the fun exercises that lead to the circus skills.

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my Circus Arts leadership training.

This certification is recognized by Canfitpro and provides you with 4 CECs for PTS and FIS.

Be sure to check out this blog post too: Play Time! Why Circus Arts Are Appropriate for Everyone

Learn more and register for the Circus Arts leadership training here.

Questions? I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Best Mobility and Strengthening Exercises | Video Guides for Stretches

Best Mobility and Strengthening Exercises | Video Guides for Stretches

Yoga - Nanaimo - Vancouver island - Yoga Teacher Training - Flexibility - meditation - mindfulness - coaching - self help - relaxation - counselling - vinyasa yoga - flow yoga - yin yoga - mobility - self care -bootcamp - HIIT - high intensity interval training - workout - toning - strength - weight loss - personal training - personal trainer - zumba -coach - online -counsellor

Best Mobility and Strengthening Exercises: Video Guides For Stretches

How do I maintain a strong healthy body? Let’s explore ways to stay, mobile, strong and flexible together.

During this workshop Veronique will lead you through her own healing experience with all the injuries she suffered and her experience as a Health and Fitness expert for the last 16+ years. We will explore how injuries can be prevented, how we can get stronger and heal past injuries. We will be exploring breath, posture, and learning about how the human body works. My goal is to educate you to be your own best advocate, to know what to do to get stronger and feel confident in your body. We will learn simple biomechanics principles that will help you know what to do.

Through the years I’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge and have also experimented on myself and others. I can teach you proper biomechanics to help you release pain and tension in your body. I also know how to get strong and prevent injuries. Let’s explore this together!

10 Best Mobility Exercises

10 Best Strengthening Stretches


10 Favourite Stretches

How to read food label, which ingredient to avoid and portion size

How to read food label, which ingredient to avoid and portion size

The ability to analyze food label is an important skill. However, the ability to evaluate the ingredient list often helps provide a better understanding of the value of a food item than the nutritional facts label. Food companies will often label a food as “healthy” based on one or two components of the label, such as “high-protein,” or “low-fat.” The ingredients list, however, might tell a different story. Furthermore, preservatives, stabilizers, sweeteners, and added flavours used in many packaged foods may contain dangerous substances.

On all packaged foods, ingredients are listed in descending order of proportion of weight. This means that ingredients closest to the end of the list are present in the smallest quantities. As a general rule, fewer ingredients on the food label means that food is a better choice.

A food label sample has been used below and colour coded to explain what the different sections of the of the nutrition label (Fazila, n.d.)

Ingredients to Avoid

  • Trans Fat: Look for the words “hydrogenated” and/or “fractionated”. Nearly all fast foods, baked goods, many packaged crackers, and margarines contain trans fats. Even on a label, if one serving size of food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fats, the manufacturer can claim it to be trans fat free.
  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene):  These additives are often found in breakfast cereals, chips, gum and even vegetable oil to maintain freshness. Some animal studies reveal that BHA and BHT may cause cancer.
  • Food Colourings:  Any brightly coloured packaged food is likely to contain food colouring. Some ingredients to be aware of are: Brilliant Blue FCFC, often found in beverages, candy, cereal, etc.; Indigotine (beverages, candy); Erythrosine (cherries in fruit cocktail, candy); Brilliant Yellow FCF (sausages, candy, gelatin desserts). Be aware that the label may only read “colour,” but one of the above is likely used. Studies indicate these artificial dyes can lead to cancer of the thyroid, adrenal glands, kidneys, and brain. These substances are also believed to worsen hyperactivity symptoms in sensitive children.
  • Natural and Artificial Flavours: Both terms are unfavourable. While natural flavouring sounds “natural,” it is not. Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines natural flavourings and flavours as follows: The term natural flavour or natural flavouring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, eating or enzymolsysis, which contains the flavouring constituents derived from a spice, fruit, or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavouring rather than nutritional.
  • Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, acesulfamepotassium, etc.):  Individuals who are attempting to lose weight may rely on artificial sweeteners to replace the calories found in sugar. Artificial sweeteners are prevalent in many packaged foods and drinks. There are a number of reasons to eliminate artificial sweeteners from the diet, including they may contribute to cancers, some individuals may experience blurry vision, GI distress, and migraine headaches. As well, a study conducted at Purdue University showed that rats whose diets contained artificial sweeteners appeared to experience a physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories, which drove them to overeat.
  • Sodium Nitrate (becoming nitrite):  This additive is found in processed meats such as bacon, ham, and hot dogs. It is used as a preservative and for colouring, giving some processed meats a reddish colour that would otherwise appear grey. This ingredient can cause the formation of nitrosamines, which are cancer causing chemicals. Sodium nitrate has also been shown to increase the incidence of migraines.
  • Sugar:  Food manufacturers know that many people are trying to reduce their consumption of added sugar. To market their products, they often manipulate the reality of the sugar profile in their products. For examples, they may use multiple sources of sugar in one food product to give the appearance of less sugar overall (e.g. high fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, honey, molasses, brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, invert sugar, malt, maltodextrin, and maltose).
  • Vegetable Oils:  All processed oils used in pre-packaged, processed foods should be avoided. The polyunsaturated oils used in packaged foods are highly processed and may cause more cardiovascular and bodily harm than the saturated fats they replaced.

Portion Control

Portion control is second to food choice in importance when the goal is weight loss. Although detailed calorie counting is not necessary for most clients to see progress with weight loss, familiarizing themselves with reasonable portion sizes will be critical for success. The following table provides easy visual reminders of various portion sizes:

  • 1 cup = 250 ml or fist or baseball
  • 1/2 cup = 125 lm or cupped hand or half baseball
  • 3 ounces = 85 grammes or palm of hand or deck of cards
  • 1 tablespoon = 15 ml or thumb or half gold ball
  • 1 teaspoon = 5 ml or tip of thumb or postage stamp

A simple solution to eating less and helping you on your weight loss journey is as simple a picking a smaller plate when you eat.

Most of this information comes from my Can Fit Pro Wellness Eating and Weight Loss Coach manual.


Make sure you check the other posts about nutrition that might interest you:

Benefit of Strength Training: Weight Training, Bodyweight exercises, HIIT

Benefit of Strength Training: Weight Training, Bodyweight exercises, HIIT

Benefits of Strength Training

To give you even more motivation I’ve put together this list of reason why you should incorporate strength training activities like lifting weight, bodyweight training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your weekly workout schedule. Enjoy!

Weight Training, Body Weight Exercises and HIIT Benefits

  • Increase your metabolism: The more muscle you have the more calorie you burn, even when you sleep. Amazing! Check out my post about how muscles affect your metabolism.
  • Improve your health: Strength training can help you manage symptoms of chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, diabetes, obesity, in order to live a more independent lifestyle even as you age.
  • A stronger immune system: Exercise increases the production of macrophages; the cells that attack bacteria so you can heal faster. With consistent exercise, you can improve your immune system on a long term as well. A word of caution: Be careful as overtraining can also do the opposite. Health is all about finding that balance.
  • Appearance: Muscles take less space than fat, if you don’t know about this, read my article: Muscle versus fat. By increasing your muscle mass, you can look lean and toned and fit in your clothes better. Even if you have a thin frame you can create beautiful curves in your body.
  • Controls blood sugar and decreases the risk of diabetes: Muscle mass will help maintain a healthy weight and prevent long term disease. Part of the reason aging people experience a rise in their blood sugar is because of the loss of muscle mass.
  • Decrease your resting blood pressure: Strength training makes your heart stronger so it can pump more blood with less effort.
  • Physical performance: If you just get started, your nervous system might need up to 8 weeks to adjust to your new routine. After you will start seeing gain in strength and performance.
  • Decrease risk injury: When your body is stronger, mobile and flexible, your will decrease your risk of injury. When you do weight bearing exercises not only your muscles get stronger, but your tendons and ligaments will as well.
  • Live longer study from Tufts University found the more muscles you have the better your chances of a longer life. More than either blood pressure or cholesterol, muscle mass was determined to be the top biomarker for longevity.
  • To have more energy: When you are stronger, you can handle more. You will be better equipped to deal with life’s stresses.
  • Stronger bones: That’s right, resistance training even strengthens your bones!
  • To improve your posture
  • To elevate your mood and reduce harmful stress. When you workout, your body releases natural painkillers, opiates.
  • Sleep better at night, which helps everything.

If you don’t know how to get your strength training journey; contact a personal trainer or join a group fitness classes to help you boost your metabolism.

You can also check all the online pre-recorded package I offer that you can do at your own pace and at your own time…

You might also like to read more:

Fit Test to help you monitor your progress

Fit Test to help you monitor your progress

Fitness Test to Help You Monitor Your Workout Progress

We are going to start our 8 week online program together by performing a fitness test. I can already hear some of you wondering, why do we need to do a fit test? The first is to be able to monitor your progress. Sometimes we really want to lose weight/fat but the first result might be an improvement in balance, strength, endurance, and energy. By performing different exercises and recording our initial performance we will be able to have concrete results that you have with the program. It can also help you identify weaknesses and strengths. You can see where you might need to add more attention and effort. You will perform this fit test 3 times during the 8 week program. The first day, halfway through the program and at the end.

Documenting Your Fitness Journey Progress

The first step is to take a  picture of yourself from the front, the side and the back. Try to just hold yourself naturally. Then measure yourself: chest, waist, hips, thighs, calves, biceps. If you are unsure where to take these measurements just watch the video. Weigh yourself and note when you did it; in the morning is always the best and I like to do it naked. If you have a way to take your fat percentage do that as well.

Exercises To Monitor Workout Progress

Then, start the physical component of the test. I list all the exercises below; make sure you watch the video to know how to perform these movements safely.

  • Wall sit: 90 degree angle at knee so your thighs are parallel to the ground, feet hip width apart, knees aligned with toes. Hold this position for as long as you can. Relax into it, relaxing the arms on either side of the body, breathing normally. Try to aim for at least a minute if you can and maximum 4 minutes.
  • Squat or jump squat: Set a chair and make sure your butt touches the chair each time so it gives you a good idea of the depth of your squat and will keep it consistent each time you repeat the test.  Jump up; to your maximum height for one minute. Be sure to stretch your quadriceps afterward.
  • Plank: Take a picture to see how  your back alignment and form are: Aim for a straight back.  Hold for as long as you can, for a maximum of one minute. You can do it on forearms, straight arms or kneeling on the floor (if needed).
  • Lunge: Start by dropping one knee back to reach the floor, making sure you have three 90 degree angles (at front knee, front thigh & back thigh, and back knee). Place your feet hip-width apart. Think about standing on a railroad track instead of a tightrope, that will make it easier to balance while lunging. Coming up and down as fast as you can while touching your back knee to the ground (if you can) count how many you can do in a minute. Make sure to keep the front knee slightly bent the whole time.
  • Hollow body position: Lying on your back, start with leg straight feet above hip, lower back on the ground, head up looking at belly. You can support your head with your hand or bring straight arms along your side off the floor. Start lowering the leg and stop before your lower back arches. Take a picture of how far you can bring your leg toward the floor without lifting your lower back. Do this for a maximum of one minute.

Once you finish the test, make sure you keep your results somewhere safe, where you can use them again on week 4 and week 8 to monitor your progress. Then start reading Goal Setting. If you have any questions, just let me know. Have fun!