Balance Masterclass


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Teaching creativity

Can you teach Creativity by Philippe Brasseur

Working with groups:



Fun games for warming up for balance techniques


Check out these balance games – they help you with

  • warming up.
  • creating the group.
  • stimulating creativity and focus.
  • practice your balance.
  • Form circle, with everybody having the index finger of the right hand to the right and the left hand ready to grab the index finger of your neighbour.
  • First round in the count of three

  • Second round with other fingers

  • Third round with crossed arms

  • Fourth round with everybody turning their backs to the circle

Jellyfish I

Start in a circle, Choose someone in the group -without telling them. Run around this person three times and then come back to the place where you were standing before.

Jellyfish II

Second round, you have to run around two persons at the same time.

Tag game – ants hospital

When you are tagged, lay down on your back with arms and legs in the air: you’re an ant in need of a hospital.
The others can help you by taking you to the hospital by lifting you at your arms and legs and bringing you to a large crash mat (hospital) somewhere on the floor. They cannot be tagged, while helping you. Once you are in hospital you are ready to start over.
You can add a nurse to the hospital who can

give you a massage
if you are playing frosen, nurse is able to warm you up
You can add a clock-mechanism:

the person who is tagged stands straight, legs spread and moves arms around the body like the hands of a clock, counting til eight. You can be saved when somebody crawls under your legs.


Form a circle. Start counting together, while everyone shakes his arms and legs one by one. First  8 counts, then 4, 2, 1 and jump and shout together ”rubber chicken”.

Use this a warming-up with your group right before starting a performance.

Start in a circle. Leader tells a story about an imaginary painting and imaginary paint: you use both arms and legs to reach for the paint in huge buckets and start putting on enormous canvases and make your own imaginary masterpiece.

Everybody starts walking through the room; when the teacher calls your name you start falling down real slow and the rest of the group catches you. Instead of using names, you can use for instance numbers or animals.

* variation: the group lets you to go down to the floor
* variation: the group lifts you up

Tag game: one is the catcher and if he catches you, you lay down on the floor on your back.
How to save: someone who is free will came to you and lifts you up by lifting both your legs so that your lower body is no longer touching the floor (you need to stay as a stick).
Then saver will let go one of your feet while you still need to keep your body very straight. Counts to three.
After that he lets your feet down again and you are back in the game..

You try as a group to cross the space to get to the ‘island’ without touching the ‘water’.
Use two hoops or mats to build the ‘bridges’.

The whole group stands on the balance beam and people swap places without touching the ground.

Variation: put yourself in line according to age, height, etcetera.

Everybody inside in closed area and everyone is a chicken on one leg.
There is one blind chicken on 2 legs walking around.
Chickens on 1 leg can only hop 10 times and are aloud to avoid and dodge.
The blind chicken has to find and touch all other chickens.
Every chicken that is touched is out of the game.


Standing on somebody in box-postion (hands and knees), who is moving around.


* race
* parcours
* soft-prop-combat
* flyers try to debalance the other flyers
* bases try to debalance other bases

Bases (on hands and knees) form a bridge with different heights – like stairs. One flyer crosses the bridge with the help of an assistent.


Base lies on the floor. Flyer stands on top. Base starts rolling and flyer tries to stay on top.

Variation: use a prop instead of a base, like a barrel or a foam-assistent-block.

Balance obstacles on the floor. Climb over the obstacles in interesting or inventive ways.

Variation: Floor is ”lava”, so do not touch it.

Form two circles. Inside circle runs in the other direction that the outside circle. Leader calls a shape (see picture for examples)

* London bus
* Swan
* Monkey in the tree

Create this shape as quickly as possible with a partner from the other circle. The couple finishing last is out of the game.


Work in pairs: facing each other both holding a short piece of rope.
Try to debalance the other by pulling the rope.
If you move a foot you will lose the game.

Variation: instead of rope, put hands together and try to push the other out of balance.


Tag game: you are safe while standing on the balance obstacles on the floor.
You are only allowed to stay on this obstacle for 3 seconds.

Later on only 2 seconds, or even 1 sec.

The game-leader can replace or take out obstacles.


Use several taggers with each one holding a different prop. There is a movement for each prop.
Try to choose very different movements so you cannot combine the movements.
You can avoid being tagged by doing this specific movement. You can only do one movement at the time.
If the tagger touches you, you are the next tagger.



Any old board game with different coloured spaces, e.g. Pictionary
Lots of dice (one per particpant/team)
Lots of tokens or player pieces (one per participant/team)
HOW TO USE IT boardgame explanation picture

Assign a different activity/exercise to each colour. E.g. Blue = Press up, Green = Sit up. Red = Star jump. etc.
All player roll dice at at the same time (or whenever they are ready)
Whatever colour their piece lands on is the exercise they must do, the number on the dice is how many reps of that exercise they have to complete. e.g. I roll a 4 and land on a blue square so i must do 4 pressups before i can roll again.
The game continues until everyone has made one (or two) circuits of the board. Or until a certain amount of time has passed.
Players are not competing against each other. But those that finish first can have a longer rest!

Use it for specific equipment training e.g. colours represent different static trapeze moves.
Use it for creativity in juggling e.g. colours represent an emotion and the number represents the intensity.


These techniques will improve your teaching balance and performing



Introducing the unicycle quickly and with loads of fun: try UNICYCLE MINI WORKSHOP! Also watch and use all these wonderful videos:



These people were involved

This is Isabel van Maele. Steady force, member of the educational team of Cirkus in Beweging and coordinator of the BIC training of Circuscentrum Vlaanderen. Specialized in multi circus and aerials, co-author of Circus in School. Contact Isabel at:
Isabel van Maele
teacher Cirkus in Beweging multi and aerials
This is Petra Mäki-Neuvonen; she is a youth circus teacher in Finland, passionate about circus since the age of ten. Teaches circus skills since 1992. First as a hobby with groups of children, and after four years circus studies in Turku University of Applied Sciences (Art Academy) as a circus trainer, director and educator.
Petra has been working as a full time circus trainer since 2000 and nowadays her main job is to be a main circus trainer in Art School Estradi (Taidekoulu Estradi), which has three parts: circus, theatre and popular music. She did her advanced degree on Theatre Academy in Helsinki and graduated with Master of Arts (Theatre and Drama) in 2010.
She has been part of pedagogical team of EYCO (CATE-project 2012-2014) and also one of our pedagogical team in Finnish Youth Circus Association in Finland.
Petra took part on Balance Masterclass within PEYC-project (Strasbourg, 2016) and was one of the trainers on CATE II within PEYC-project (March, 2016).

Contact Petra at:
Petra Mäki-Neuvonen
youth circus trainer
This is Valentin Andreas Hecker, born in Germany (1961), nowliving in Orvieto, Italy.
Valentin started his carreer in circus in 1986, as autodidatta and attending Fooltime Circus School in Bristol (GB). Years of street performing followed, focusing on juggling, slackrope and unicycle .
From 1997 the tightwire became the most important aspect of the performance. From 2007 Valentin has been performing with “Los Filonautas” as “tight rope-theatre” company all over Europe. Since 2003 he is teaching circus to children, at Orvieto Circusschool, “Sul Filo e Dintorni”, and trains trainers in tight rope since 2006.
He is a Functional Psycomotrist since 2008.

Contact Valentin at:
Valentin Andreas Hecker
youth circus trainer