Circus offers challenge, creativity, physical and personal development. Because it is non-elitist it is more accessible to young people…than most artforms. It is not an activity that precludes anyone – all can participate and benefit.
Steve Ward, “Role up and join the circus—Implications for circus in education”, Master of Education thesis, 1991
Belfast Circus School has a team of highly trained and experienced tutors dedicated to teaching circus skills to others. Our team of tutors teach a great variety of circus skills to all levels. The tutor team promotes a creative and artistic environment through facilitating games, circus skills and performances.
We offer a variety of circus workshops for all ages and this is how we break it down:
Itty Bitty Circus – Caters for children between the ages of 2 and 7 years old. Sessions normally last for no more than 60 minutes. Generally, we work with children in the following age brackets: 2 & 3 years old; 4 & 5 years old; 6 & 7 years old. We do this because of the different levels of coordination and concentration children have at these ages.
Youth Circus – We use this phrase when we talk about projects working with young people between 8 & 18 years old. These sessions last between 90 minutes and 2 hours. Generally, we break the age groups down as follows: 8 – 12 years old; 12 – 16 years old; 16 – 18 years old. Currently, this is the age range we carry out most work with.
Adult Circus – This applies to all groups aged 18 and over. The minimum recommended length for these sessions is 2 hours. However, many organisations choose a longer period (half a day or even a whole day) in order to enable the Circus School to make a real impact in terms of teambuilding and teamworking.
Benefits of Circus Learning include:
- raised self-esteem
- increased self confidence
- improved teamworking
- enhanced communication skills
- better group dynamic
- encouraging creativity
- development of life skills
- positive experience of the arts
- good community relations
- greater levels of co-ordination and improved physical literacy
- more positive approach to physical activity and challenges
What happens in A Circus Workshop?
Most sessions will begin with warm up games to get people in the right frame of mind and to loosen up the body. After this, participants will get the opportunity to learn a variety of circus skills and techniques
- Juggling (balls and scarves)
- Stilt walking
- Plate spinning
- Tight wire
- Devil stick
Belfast Circus School offers a range of projects that can be tailored to suit your group’s needs:
A one-off session gives your group a flavour of what circus has to offer. This type of session can help gauge interest for a longer term circus programme, can be used as an icebreaker for new groups, can be used as a corporate teambuilding exercise, or can simply be a great fun experience. One-off sessions can be extended to an all day experience for your group.
Ten-Week Circus Project
A ten-week circus project offers a fun, challenging activity which promotes many of the benefits circus has to offer. It involves the circus coming to you for a two-hour workshop once a week over the length of the project. At the end of this time the group will be able to stage a low-key presentation for friends and family. After ten weeks, many participants will show improvements in concentration, coordination, confidence and behaviour.
Long-Term or Intensive Circus Project Culminating in a Performance
If you’re thinking of getting your group involved in a community event or festival, then a longer-term project (perhaps twenty weeks) or an intensive block of workshops over a holiday period is the best option.
At the end of the project, participants will be able to stilt walk, juggle, diabolo, etc. and play an important part in a parade or spectacular. A project of this type can also incorporate elements of costume making and volunteering for adults in your community.
If you find that your community has embraced circus as a positive activity for young people, Belfast Circus School can advise you on how to sustain a circus project and embed it into local youth programming.
To discuss your requirements contact Zan or telephone 028 90236007