Circus skills workshops are a fun way of getting a group of people to work, play and learn together. The circus skills workshops I offer often but not always tend to veer away from the competitive formulas and go more towards unity within a group. Sessions are structured for adult fun and learning. This makes them ideal for corporate events and also hen / stag parties.
Learning circus skills really seems to put everyone in a group, large or small on a level with each other. Circus skills can be learnt by everyone. Some will learn fast and others more slowly but we can all do it! For those who learn fast I have more than enough tricks to teach to keep them busy for a few years and for those who find tasks involving co-ordination more challenging, I have some very good techniques to get them well on the way to new skills. I also encourage participants to help each others learning.
Once everyone has learnt a basic skill, I start to pair and group people up so that they can start to combine their skills into a joint effort. How this is done depends on what skill is being taught at that moment.
The main skills I use for a team building exercise are as follows:
1. Ball juggling from basic one, two and three balls. Leading to pairing people up and learning to juggle with two people and three balls. One person acts as the right hand and the other is the left. This is not as hard as one might think and is a great way to get begginer jugglers interacting.
For more advanced jugglers I can also teach ball passing which involves two people and six balls.
All of this is a great team building exercise as it really is necessary for everyone to work together in order for it to work. The throw is more important than the catch – if the throw is good, the catch is easy! This can be applied to many things in work, rest and play.
2. Diabolo juggling. Each person will learn to spin, throw and catch a diabolo. Once they have learned this the group will be encouraged to throw a diabolo between two partners. After this they will then try and get the group to throw one diabolo along a line from one person to another, so that everyone does a throw and a catch of the same diabolo. Again, the throw is the most important factor, they must work together to succeed.
3. Plate spinning. Plate spinning is great to put in at about this point because it is quite easy and everyone generally gets self satisfaction very fast. Once learned, I challenge the group to have all the plates spinning at the same time – not as easy as it sounds! I will also encourage throwing plates between partners. Participants can also perform another challenge. Each group will nominate a person to hold as many spinning plates as possible, that have already been spun by everyone else and handed to them. Team spirit is essential!
4. Tight rope. The tight rope is about two feet high and eight feet long. Workshoppers are instructed on technique and safety. Everyone is encouraged across the tight rope with support from others until ready to go alone! This part of the session often includes unicycling and hula hoops.
If time will allow, it is great fun for participants to show off their new skills at the end of the session to the rest of the group. I can add an element of competition here by offering prizes to the best performers or most improved jugglers.
All of the above can be done in two to three hours with a group of up to twenty five people at a time. I can supply more professional instructors if you have a larger group. There is no limit to how many people I can work with, the more of you, the more of us and the more top quality professional standard equipment.
For really large team building exercises I can arrange to have different groups learning different skills, at different work stations with different instructors and all rotating periodically.
On the other hand, I could provide you with just a thirty minute energizer session to give the day ahead a good start. I have done this previously with plate spinning as people tend to learn it quite quickly. It starts the day with a feeling of accomplishment, fun and team spirit.
Drop in style circus workshops
Also on offer is a less structured but fun workshop including all the following skills : Ball, Club and Ring Juggling, Devil Sticks, Hula Hoop, Diabolo, Plate Spinning, Object Balancing (on hand, chin, nose and head), Hat Manipulation,Cigar Boxes, Wire Walking or Tight Rope and Unicycling.
I often provide circus skills workshops as pure and simple corporate entertainment without actively guiding the team building element. Great as a pre-dinner or after dinner entertainment.
Plate spinning only workshops
In 2013 I devised a new session for small groups of up to about 15 participants. This session was originally planned for a very large insurance company and was first run in February 2013. It was very successful. This is a fine example of the kind of bespoke service that I can provide.
The session only uses spinning plates and lasts up to one hour. During the session the delegates are guided through a process which sees them firstly learn a new skill and then go on to see how working as a group can improve this skill with team work and communication.
Circus Skills Competition / It’s a Knockout
This competition is based on many years of running successful, high end and fun circus skills workshops in the corporate sector.
This activity is a circus themed it’s a Knockout, but less physically demanding than a traditional It’s a knockout.
Although the activity is physical, you do not need to be an athlete to participate. All skills are what I call challenging but achievable. A very inclusive activity that has something for everyone.
The competition is aimed at larger groups of 80 to 200 participants, other formats of circus skills workshops are available for smaller groups, See above.
During the session the participants will be taught circus skills by professional performers and partake in 8 or 6 head to head circus skills duals, during which they will be scored at the discretion of their instructor. Due to the nature of the design of this competition, each team will dual a different team when learning each different skill.
Activity lasts up to 3 hours.
All circus equipment supplied for use is of professional standard.
No noisy generators or blowers are used for this activity.
Although aimed at being an outdoor event, with adequate space (sports hall or similar) this event can be run indoors.
Skills taught include: ball juggling, diabolo, cigar box juggling, devil sticks, balloon modelling, hula hooping, wire walking, plate spinning. Unicycling could also be included instead of one of the other skills.
• Client to arrange participants into 12 or 16 groups before the event and inform them which group they are in (1 to 16). If 160 participants, 10 in each group.
• Instructors arrive 2 hours before Circus activity is due to start.
• On arrival, instructors will begin to set out area with colourful flags, ornate hand painted circus sign and bunting. Equipment placed into designated areas. Each circus skill area will have a coloured flag for easy identification, and to look nice. PA will also be set.
• At agreed time, participants will come to circus skills area and be greeted by the performers/instructors.
• Performers provide a demonstration/show for the participants. This will break the ice and give everyone a good idea of what they will be taking part in.
• Safety brief given and instructions as to how the session will run. Brief and demo to run to 20 minutes long.
• Activity to begin. All 12 or 16 groups to their first work station/activity. When arriving at each activity, a comprehensive demonstration will be given by each instructor. Each activity will last 15 minutes. At the end of each session, instructor will award points to the winning and losing team. This will be repeated 6 or 8 times in total until all the participants have had 6 or 8 battles against 6 or 8 different teams, at 6 or 8 work stations/skills.
• After 3 or 4 rotations there will be a 10 minute break for refreshments.
• After all the rotation, participants will be called together for the winning team to be announced.
• If pre-arranged, prizes given.
• Event ends. Participants to leave the area.
Event can also be enhanced by having roaming entertainers mix and mingling around the event.
These entertainers could be mimes or other types of performers that I work with.
A compere / event manager is an essential to help keep things running smoothly.
This event can be run with either 6 or 8 instructors depending on numbers.
An 8 instructor event is ideal for 100 to 200 participants. Events with nearer 100 will enjoy smaller, more intimate groups with more one to one tuition.
An event run with 6 instructors is suitable for 80 to 100 participants. Because there are fewer skills to do, it is possible to have more time learning each circus skill or shorten the activity as a whole. 6 skills can be chosen from the list of skills above.
Prizes can also be provided. I supply sets of 3 juggling balls and or medals.
Alternatively, you can provide prizes of you own choice.
What to wear
Flat shoes are a must for the tightrope and unicycles, so please instruct your employees to bring some along (maybe don’t tell them why!). Comfortable, non restrictive clothing is also essential for the whole session. If you feel your delegates are up for it, maybe they could all come in circus themed fancy dress! This has been done in the past and certainly breaks down barriers.
Please get in touch to discuss your requirements and get a quote. Everything is flexible and can be tailored to your requirements.
t. 07785 394964