Circus as therapy


Circus provides a variety of experiences, which nurture positive emotional, physical and mental health. Circus promotes a better quality of life through play, fun and creative expression.


There is plenty of research into the therapeutic benefits of exercise, dance, music, sport, performance and engagement in healthy occupations. Aerial and circus arts share many of the positive attributes of these activities and can similarly be used as a therapy tool, developing and practicing important life skills.

Benfits & Research

Read some of the research and evidence base
behind our circus as therapy workshops

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Engagement in circus activities can also provide a healthy distraction and develop interests that can provide relief from distress.

We aim to promote well-being by offering unique group workshops with specific therapeutic goals to meet the needs of a variety of client groups.

Consider for a minute what goes in to learning a particular circus skill:

… It is not only about juggling balls …

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Juggling provides a series of sequential problems that require the participant to calm down, pay attention, listen analytically, observe critically, focus on one activity at a time, plan a learning strategy, go step-by-step, stay on task, screen out distractions, and manage their muscles to act appropriately. They will persevere and self regulate through a series of minor failures (drops), evaluate results and incorporate the newly learned skills into a larger pattern of more complex skills that can be demonstrated and taught to others. It is limitless, cumulative and teaches creative problem solving through direct experience. It builds self-efficacy by offering intrinsic and extrinsic reinforcement with every step achieved.

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… It is not only about walking on stilts ...

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Stiltwalking takes the learner out of their comfort zone, challenging them physically – developing core strength, improving muscle tone and enhancing balance and co-ordination. It requires the learner to have insight, self regulation and coping strategies to successfully manage the fear and anxiety of taking the first steps. It demands a level of perseverance, self discipline and dependability. What at first appears an impossibility, to walk on stilts, now becomes a reality, building motivation to engage, self confidence and self efficacy. By learning in teams and swapping roles from stiltwalker to supporter, participants learn and practice trust and trustworthiness, empathy, expression, understanding and valuing their team members emotionally and physically, assertiveness, problem solving and effective communication. It encourages healthy peer interaction. The physical, psychological and social skill learning process can be used as a metaphor transferring their experiences and newly learned skills to other relevant aspects of life where these apply. Stilt walking is progressive and can branch into several creative and expressive art forms from costume design, to dance and performance.

The physical, psychological and social skill learning process can be used as a metaphor transferring their experiences and newly learned skills to other relevant aspects of life where these apply. Stilt walking is progressive and can branch into several creative and expressive art forms from costume design, to dance and performance.

 

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