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Why Circus?

Evidence suggests that circus arts education engages diverse populations and promotes social-emotional, physical, cognitive, and spiritual gains in health and wellness at or above the level of typical programs or activities.

Circus 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



Balance apparatus: rola bola, tightwire, unicycle, stilts, circus globe, 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.

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