Circus Act

"At-risk youth transitioning into Adulthood through social Circus Training"

Partner: STANDO, Country: Cyprus

Between May 6 and May 15, a dedicated group gathered in the Slovenian town of Brezice. Twenty-one young workers from six different countries enrolled in the Circus Act program to study the essentials of circus teaching and practice. Participants in the eight days of rigorous training under the watchful guidance of the encouraging trainers, felt pleasure and delight when tasks were completed successfully, but they also experienced agony when coping with more difficult tasks, though all manageable at the end.

Specifically, participants engaged in different activities and disciplines such as acrobalance (human pyramids), juggling, plate spinning, diabolo, and pois. They talk about how much fun they had participating in these activities, as they got to practice their teamwork skills, coordination, and self-expression skills. As working in groups is a need for Circus Act, it was vital to practice cooperation and collaboration techniques in order to get the desired results. Participants also mentioned that they acquired new knowledge considering group games and “energizers”, which really helped the group to bond and connect.

Moreover, participants were divided into groups. Focusing on different target populations, such as urban youth, Roma and refugee children, unaccompanied minors, and adults with mental disabilities. Making a thorough plan for how Circus Act can be implemented among those populations let participants to put what they had learned into practice as they concentrated on their target populations. Following the presentation of their initiatives, each group provided their own viewpoints and suggestions for the situation’s improvement.

Last but not least, during the last day the participants were divided into groups, and were challenged to organize their own performance, which was open to the public where many children joined along with their parents. The performance featured the circus act exercises that were learned and had the topic of a youngster dreaming. The performance had its own difficulties because it called for not only physical preparation but also the application of many of the skills picked up over the course of the eight days. Planning, organizing, working as a team, and communicating ideas and emotions were some of the abilities needed to pull this performance off.

Participants in general describe it as a worthwhile and fulfilling experience. They had the opportunity to not only meet and interact with a multicultural group, but also to acquire new skills, while also enhancing existing ones. They also provided feedback for the training, praising its excellent planning and execution.