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Teaching inclusive social circus classes

A professional development seminar for circus teachers, and teachers introducing circus into their teaching practice.

Social circus involves a focus on the process of learning, a joy in the practice of skills for its own sake, and the self-direction of the individual student to pursue the skills and apparatus in which their interests lie.


Circus training has been shown to develop confidence, problem-solving, social and communication and planning skills.  These factors make circus particularly beneficial and accessible to children vulnerable to social isolation and reduced activity participation due to disability, learning difficulties or other individual differences.  Inclusive teaching is therefore, core business for circus programs.


Strategies for the successful inclusion of students with individual differences in circus classes improve the experiences and learning of all students.  Adapting and grading activities to the learner's needs, employing different methods of instruction to suit different learning styles, and selecting the just-right challenges for learners to develop enables teachers to provide excellent individualized instruction to every student.

In this five-day seminar, CirQuest Circus School's teaching team will collaboratively describe and discuss the skills we teach, when and how, for safe, sustainable and technically excellent practice.  CirQuest program director and occupational therapist Isobel Lyall will contribute her insights into how to adapt teaching for the needs of children, both typically-developing and those with special needs, and for adults with disabilities.

Sessions will include practical training in providing physical assistance to assist in teaching acrobatics, aerials, object manipulation and equilibristic skills, as well as a variety of strategies to grade and adapt activities to match the student's learning needs, and ways to optimise engagement, attention and concentration, and motivation for learning.  Strategies for working with children with developmental and learning challenges to optimise performance and participation in the context of circus classes are also transferable to other learning environments and to other students, and this seminar will be beneficial for instructors across subject areas, and to teachers of adult learners as well as children.

Course contents:

Monday July 5

Motor learning - many ways to learn, and many ways to teach

Warm up and cool down for optimal learning and injury prevention

Trapeze - What to teach when, and how to teach it safely

Skipping and other fundamental gross motor skills


Tuesday July 6

Tumbling basics and more advanced acrobatics

Stretching and flexibility

Balance skills - rola bola, walking globe and tightwire

Games for warm-up, social skill development, and clowning

Spinning plates

Wednesday July 7

Poi and staff

Silks - what to teach when, and how to teach it safely

Conditioning, strength and endurance

Partner acrobatics and group balances


Thursday July 8

Flower sticks and diabolo

Sensory processing and self-regulation

Trampoline and mini-trampoline

Lyra - what to teach and when, and how to teach it safely

Balance ladder

Friday July 9 

Play and pretending


Handstands and hand balancing

Planning excellent, engaging classes


The State government through the Department of Sport and Recreation is a major supporter of the Teaching Inclusive Social Circus Classes seminars in Western Australia. Sport and recreation builds stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities and we gratefully acknowledge the Department's support.


Perth - July 5-9
@ CirQuest HQ, 17 Howlett St North Perth
This seminar will provide 36 hours' Continuing Professional Development for professionals.
Fees:  $1500 per person for all 5 days
$350 per day


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