So… with soccer, ballet, swimming, gymnastics, and the whole range of activities available for children today, why send a kid to circus class?
Along with being an superstar circus artist, Angus Foley (11) is passionate about social circus, and the joy and achievement it can bring to kids. He works as a peer to peer circus facilitator for students with disabilities, and has run successful fundraisers to support refugee circus projects. On his tenth birthday he even asked his guests to give social circus contributions instead of presents!
Angus took time out from training to write and present the following speech as Keynote Speaker at the 2017 Circus Symposium in Sydney, addressing the topic:
What would you like the Australian Circus Industry to look like in the future?
Step one: Take 14 kids aged four to seven who are trying circus for the first time.
Step two: Put them in a space filled with tightwires, trapezes, tissus, juggling gear, hula hoops, trampolines and crash mats.
Step three: Don’t tell them what to do.
Kids are wired for exploration and play. That is their work.
The role of teaching artists is to support young artists in their work, to help them reach their creative and physical potential.
A good circus training space is one where creative outcomes are valued equally to physical outcomes, where the child is respected as a working artist, where the teaching artist has the freedom and confidence to say yes.