BENEFITS OF CIRCUS PROGRAMS

Program Participation Benefits

 

  1. Provides a fun, motivating and intrinsically reinforcing experience.

  2. Increases positive risk taking both physically and emotionally, in a safe and supported environment.

  3. Promotes physical health and body awareness through activity.

  4. Enables participants to acquire a broadened skill base relating to circus as well as more generic 'life skills'.

  5. Increases self-confidence and self-efficacy.

  6. Improves social connectedness, teamwork, and leadership skills within the group.

  7. Provides opportunities for calming rhythmic activities, increased sensory feedback, a focus on balance, and coordination.

  8. Creates a space in which participants feel a sense of belonging.

    Excerpt from Occupational therapy and circus: Potential partners in enhancing the health and well-being of today's youth by Jill Maglio and Carol McKinstry Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (2008) 55, 287-290

EQUILIBRISTICS

Balance apparatus: rola bola, tightwire, unicycle, stilts, etc.

  • Physical: Exercises the vestibular system and promotes postural control and spatial awareness.

  • Emotional: Reasonable risk-taking with success is a cornerstone of empowerment.

  • Cognitive: Accurate self-assessment, executive function.

OBJECT MANIPULATION

To juggle, spin, throw, bounce, balance, etc., any object.
 

  • Physical: Hand-eye coordination, midline crossing, bimanual dexterity, grasp/reach, fine motor skills, spatial awareness

  • Emotional: Delayed gratification, perseverance, cooperation.

  • Cognitive: Concentration, planning & goal-setting, sequencing, problem solving

  • Passing multiple objects between partners and in groups requires and develops heightened awareness of oneself in relation to others.

TUMBLING & ACROBATICS

Rolls, inversions, partner-balance, human pyramids, etc.
 

  • Individual Work: tumbling involves stretching, bending, rolling, inversion, cartwheels, handstands, and other stunts, developing critical physical skills, core strength, and balance.

  • Partner/Team Work: partner acrobatics incorporates timing, cooperation, and communication skills.

  • Group Work: human pyramid building teaches students to be responsible for one another and to work as individuals in attaining group goals.

Thick colored lines, one red, one yellow, one purple, twist in the middle and then open back up to three thick lines. On the left each tube has a word: Body, Mind, Spirit. The twist has a word: Circus. On the right the words are Strength, Flexibility, Balance. Circus gives strength, flexibility, and balance to the body, mind, and spirit.