Recently I heard someone talk about circus as “Aiming to do something perfectly useless, perfectly”. I can’t quite get the idea out of my head. As a circus performer this is a very evocative way of explaining our job. The usefulness of being able to balance a stack of crockery with your teeth while standing on a rope is somewhat dubious (unless of course you want a job with the circus). However after years of teaching circus skills to hundred (thousands?) of kids, I’ve come to the conclusion that the goal of doing something perfectly useless, perfectly, is well… perfectly beneficial.
This person will be on the bottom, she will be in the middle, and that guy over there is going climb on top of all of them and stand on his hands on her head. GO! Well it’s not as simple as that, building pyramids in circus involves some give and take. First of all, perhaps it would be better if the bottom person and the middle swapped spots, or maybe the top person needs the middle person to stand straighter. Well gang, you’re going to have to learn to communicate with others to make that work.
How has taking part in a circus class helped you or your child? I’d love to read about it in the comments below.
If you are interested in having a circus program at your school you can find out more information here.
Daniel is the Chief Executive Clown (i.e. founder and director) of The Circus Spot, with a vision that every child in Australia should be able to show off at least one circus trick! He’s slowly getting there too, having taught over 5,000 kids and adults circus skills over the last 10 years. He is a typical circus geek, always dreaming up new ways to teach a cartwheel, or plotting the next performance for our performing troupes. Prior to starting The Circus Spot, Daniel has worked in and around circus as a performer, teacher and rigger (the guy that hangs all the trapezes). His signature circus trick was balancing on one leg on a slackrope (like a tightrope, but very loose), and then proceeding to use his spare foot to kick cups and cutlery high in the air to land in a bowl balanced on his head! This cool trick may have taken 4 years to perfect, but gave Daniel a chance to perform with a variety of companies such as Circus Quirkus, ThowDown, Circus Oz, the traditional family circus Circus Royale, Dislocate Physical Theatre and even supporting the rock band The Dresden Dolls.