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Truth, Pride and Friendship

Circus Therapy

Circus Therapy July 2016 1The acquisition of circus skills, no matter how simple, enables the participant to interact with their environment in a more confident manner and encourages ‘safe zone stretching’, a willingness to enter into something new. This term all students across Riverside ESC will participate in Circus Therapy.

Circus Therapy is a program based on movement and the development of fine and gross motor skills, rhythm and tracking, coordination, strength and physical wellbeing but also provides the opportunity to develop social skills through interaction and cooperation.

Circus Therapy July 2016 2The program began in Term 3, week two and will continue through to week 9. Presently students have participated in two sessions and the skills they have displayed have been impressive. Our school newsletter, Issue 7, provides additional commentary on the enthusiastic involvement of students.

Two research papers by Australians may be of interest to parents:

WHY CIRCUS WORKS – How the values and structures of circus make it a significant developmental experience for young people. Reginald Bolton, B.A. (hons.), Cert. Ed. (This thesis was presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Murdoch University, Perth, in 2004) (Bolton's article)

“Seen up close, and often in the magical ambience of a tent, the circus presents undeniable manifestations of intense experiences very close to those of childhood. Here is real wonder, real fear. Here is limitless ambition, infinite mischief. Here are hope, love, danger and survival. Here are the dreams and nightmares that are the daily and nightly currency of childhood. Here are obstacles and mysteries, overcome and solved with ingenuity and determination. Here are lofty beings of incalculable status, and alongside them buffoons more foolish than the silliest child.” (Bolton, 2004: 195)

Circus Therapy July 2016 3How circus training can enhance the well-being of autistic children and their families. Kristy Danialle Seymour, BA Creative Arts, School of Humanities Griffith University (Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts and Media with Honours, July 2012) (Seymour's article)

“It is my hope that every child experiences circus in some capacity, particularly those who struggle to find their place in the world.”

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