“Play is the highest form of research.”
– Albert Einstein
Historically, the circus has been a place where anyone and everyone is welcome and the possibilities of human potential are expanded. It comes to town and becomes the central gathering place, a community hub and a source of inspiration. Circus is a gathering of the others.
As a hybrid of art and sport, circus is comprised of a myriad of disciplines: dance, theatre, acrobatic, rhythm… As a result, it not only includes people of varied skills and abilities, but actually requires this diversity to be whole. When practicing circus arts, trust, coordination and communication skills are experientially developed and risk-taking curiosity is played out in a safe and controlled environment. The non-competitive yet physical nature of the form makes it a unique and beneficial outlet for all ages.
Circus Arts are a disciplined form of movement that is equally appealing to people of ALL ages and abilities! This type of training improves spatial awareness, coordination, self-esteem, physical fitness and trust. Working to meet goals is highly satisfying; everyone is part of a creative process when they join together to develop small group acts.
You can learn the basics of circus: beginning tumbling, handstands, juggling, hula-hoop, poi, spinning, diabolo, slackline, balloon sculpting, hand-to-hand, group pyramids, make-up and choreography. Through group activities, children learn the most important aspects of performing: leadership and communication skills.
We live in a culture that encourages us to experience disconnection from our bodies, our instinctual selves, each other and the world around us.
The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that the oldest definition of the verb “to play” is “to pay attention.” In a state of play, we experience the present moment. What can take many months of meditation to achieve happens instantly in play. We can use this as a roadmap home.
When we play, we are inside our bodies. When we are inside our bodies, we experience connection. Connection is everything. Connection heals.
Circus skills take work; you cannot fake them. They establish habits of discipline, patience and perseverance.
Exercise happens naturally in play. Circus is a practice of concentrated play.
The more we concentrate, the more fun we have. Practicing circus arts increases concentration and a sense of calm by working both hemispheres of our brain. When we focus and center ourselves, we are surprised at how wonderful we can be in our bodies. Circus allows us to suspend judgment and experience gratitude and joy within ourselves.
Circus is a practice of Joy, only requiring a desire to play, to push past your self-perceived limits.
Circus teaches partnership. Through connection and trust, we can create wonderful things together.
Chinese artists juggling dishes
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.
- Expand creativity, confidence, perseverance and positive sense of self while teaching life skills that lead to experiences of success and recognition.
- Promote health and physical literacy through diverse physical activity, motor skills refinement and safe risk taking.
- Develop powerful creative voices rooted in awareness and inclusivity.
- 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.