Circus Skills and their benefits
Learning circus skills provides a wide range of benefits to the participant – increased attention span and focus, personal and social growth, mental and emotional health – all the while within a non-competitive and fun atmosphere.
Improved hand – eye coordination:
Object manipulation disciplines require accurate and timely movement of your limbs and for most practitioners this has taken a lot of effort to build up from nothing. This benefits young children as they are still learning to develop their own coordination as well as being beneficial to youth and adults of all ages. The result is greatly improved physical and mental coordination which benefits daily life.
Most circus disciplines require split second reactions. Those who practice circus skills will develop increased response rates the more they practice.
Improved Balance: Equilibristics such as unicycling, tightwire, stilts and acrobatics improve the body’s natural sense of balance.
Jugglers often refer to the objects they juggle as props. The most common props are balls, clubs, or rings. Some jugglers use more dramatic objects such as knives, fire torches or chainsaws. The term juggling can also commonly refer to other prop-based manipulation skills, such as diabolo, devil sticks, poi, cigar boxes, contact juggling, hooping, yo-yo, and hat manipulation.
Problem Solving: Many disciplines contain elements that are difficult to understand. From complex juggling patterns to understanding the dynamics of a diabolo to working on acrobatics with a partner. Continually making an effort to figure these out improves your problem solving skills.
Concentration: Circus skills performance is not possible without concentration. Without it the juggler will drop object, the aerialist could hit the crash mat or the acrobatic position could collapse. With correct learning and through ongoing practice the practitioner will see an increase in their ability to concentrate at the task at hand.
Patience: One must be patient with oneself in order to acquire the skills of circus. Often, a trick must be practiced many times before your muscles learn the knack to it, and dropping props is a fact of circus life. Patience is a virtue. It can grow on you.
Self-confidence: Being able to reflect back on your hard work and having a nice trick to show for it is a great confidence booster. The more you advance at a given skill the more you feel a sense of achievement and confidence in your ability.
Fitness and flexibility: Acrobatics, acrobalance, and aerial all lead to good fitness and flexibility. Proper warming up and stretching is essential to care for your body and should be practiced at all levels of circus.
Most kids enjoy the social aspects of learning. This works well when teachers encourage learning in small groups. Around ages 11, 12, and 13, shifts occur in kids’ thinking. Keep them engaged in school and learning. Encourage their curiosity. Many are strongly influenced by friends, so if they have friends who only want to socialize and not learn, emphasize the importance of having friends and working hard to learn.
Proven by science! According to research published in the journal ‘Nature Neuroscience’, juggling actually increases the amount of white matter in our brains and creates new neural pathways.
Circus is an art form as well as a form of physical and mental stimulation. Practicing allows the practitioner to be creative, explore and express themselves in a way they hadn’t before.
Circus skill training provides a fantastic context for young people and adults to socialise and build on their individual and group skills. With circus being the context, much like in Social Circus, participants can learn and share in a safe, non-competitive atmosphere all the while making friends and having fun.