The beauty of circus is that in basically all circus techniques these themes are present. In order to create a deep understanding and tangible physicality of the topic, we focus on a specific circus technique choosing the one that fits best.
The following Youth Themes were addressed
– managing fear and safety
– supporting the learner’s identity
– cohesion and team work (in circus training and teaching)
– specific focus on motoricity and coordination
The four chosen Youth Themes occur in all of the four masterclasses, but we chose to address the subjects through one technique each time.
Specific focus on managing fear and safety
This theme was dealt with through the didactics of aerial acrobatics and we used this form because aerials demonstrate the importance of safety very clearly. Rigging is a very important item in youth circus, because your approach to rigging must be professional – even though many youth circuses are amateur schools and work with volunteers. Same for preparing your body, working safe: warming-up and knowledge of anatomy are essential. So is the trust between teacher and student and the individual in the group.
Specific focus on supporting the learners identity in circus training
This theme was dealt with through the didactics of balance. In balance art you are more focused on yourself. Perseverance and finding your own learners style can be very help full in these skills. Balance has a lot of variations which give you the possibility to choose the one that fits you best. To be able to develop a learners identity you need to focus, progress and enjoy what you do.
Specific focus on the topic of cohesion and teamwork
Acrobatics is used as the example to present the topic of cohesion and teamwork in circus training and teaching. Working together as a team is essential in pair acrobatics and building pyramids, therefore a use full example of this theme. Teamwork also requires dealing with conflict and all kinds of differences (gender, age, cultural, etc.).
Specific focus on motoricity and coordination
The didactics of juggling is used for the specific focus on motoricity and coordination. Developing your motoricity and coordination is not only good for your body but also for your brain. There has been a lot of research about the mathematics of juggling and development of the brain.
Therefore, managing fear and safety was connected to aerials. We added the sub themes of learning motivation, tools to create and manage a group, tools to adapt the different disciplines to different contents and creativity and artistic development.
In the balance masterclass the overall theme was supporting the learner’s identity. We added the sub themes of inclusion and social application of circus arts and creativity and artistic development, learning motivation and tools to create and manage a group.
As we said above: this a matter of choice and circumstances. Other circus techniques can be used for working on these themes as well!
In all four masterclasses working on creativity and artistic development is possible.
All documents used working on these themes can be found in the masterclass pages, both in Techniques, Teaching and Bibliography.