Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Circus skills - part 1

As the saying goes around here: if it can hit you on the head, it's a circus skill!
It was my task, nay pleasure, to teach our intrepid new team some important life skills they will need throughout the year, namely how to juggle and how best to spin plates, poi and diablos, preferably without hitting themselves repeatedly about the head, or anywhere else.

After a brief safety talk ("don't hit yourself with anything") we proceeded out to the barn to begin with some juggling. Given that two out of the four could already juggle, my work was half done for me, and we were all throwing and catching multiple coloured bean-filled spheres before long. More than any other, juggling is about practice and improvement, so I left it as a homework task to improve.

Plate-spinning was next on the agenda. This is perhaps the simplest of the four disciplines we tend to use on our sessions, so I was a little concerned that Nick seemed unable to grasp the concept initially. However, we persevered, and before long there were plates flying from person to person, still with very few actually hitting anyone.

It was at this stage in the proceedings that Rachel appeared with a camera and informed us that we needed to be outside (having thus far performed in the relative comfort of the barn). So, we put our plates away - plates do not work well in even light winds, and it was windy - and took the diablos out to play!

Marcus shows us his stuff
Matt performs 'the elevator'

Dave goes for an ambitious catch
Nick prepares for a trick

Onward! Now, as a veteran of many Adventure Plus holidays, Matt had a few tricks to show us, and Marcus also was adept. With three of us offering guidance, we soon had Dave and Nick throwing and catching too.

Finally, we played with poi. It turns out that none of the guys had done much (if any) poi before, so hilarity ensued as I attempted to get them all waving stripy socks around their heads. It was around this point that most of them started breaking my one simple rule (all together now: Don't hit yourself). However, despite a few pained expressions, the whole team made it through.

All swinging in time
Matt attempts a three-beat

James hides behind spinning whirly things
Dave has the cool look of a professional

Sigh. What was the one rule, Marcus?
...whereas Nick's appearance needs some work

All spinning happily

Once we'd finished, we had a bit of time to tidy up before heading over to Jon's for a lovely barbecue! 
Their homework assignment: practise, develop, improve and research so that by October you can all run marvellous circus skills sessions! Remember: there may be a test.


James S (IT guy and circus skills trainer, apparently)

NB: It turns out Nick is rather good at Devil Sticks, but since they weren't on the programme it doesn't count. Sorry!

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