CIRCUS SKILLS: MORE THAN JUST FUN!
Studies show that learning circus flow arts (such as poi, staff, juggling, and hoopdance) builds brain matter. It also has numerous psychological benefits such as stress management and alleviating depression.
Oxford University has shown that juggling increases brain matter in the areas responsible for processing and storing information, how we perceive objects, and how we anticipate motion.
Circus arts are beneficial for hand-eye co-ordination, sense of rhythm, reflexes, and also our sense of balance and body posture.
Research conducted by Carole Smith, an American PE specialist, suggests that circus classes help to develop writing and reading skills in children. Many teachers worldwide are encouraging children to get involved in juggling, acrobatic stunts, clowning, and circus dance such as poi and staff. Educators state children gain awareness of their body, master complex sequences of movements and train concentration, resulting in improved academics.
But it’s not just the physiological benefits of circus, it’s the emotional ones as well. “Circus arts are a form of moving meditation” says Karina Strong, Troupe Co-ordinator and teacher with Nanaimo’s Vesta Education. “They are effective tools to clear the mind and let go of the stress of the world. It’s also a lot of fun- Come play with us!”
Dr. Carl Simonton, a psycho-oncologist in California, teaches circus arts to his cancer patients. “Laughter and play break up hopelessness,” Simonton declares. Developing circus skills can bring the emotional and physiological aspects of healing and recovery into balance.
Vesta Education is comprised of the teaching staff in Vancouver Island’s professional circus and Stilt troupe, Vesta Entertainment. They perform at most major VI festivals and teach in schools across BC. They offer Circus lessons, summer camps, and are available for fun and active birthday parties. They also perform fire dancing and LED light shows for private parties and weddings. For more information about their school programs, check out www.VestaEducation.com For entertainment options, contact http://www.VestaEntertainment.ca
Thoughts, links and discussion related to integrating performing arts into BC's new education curricula
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