Circus for seniors – Method learned by Rika in Australia

Rika from Cirkus In Beweging (Leuven, Belgium) presents 4 methods she’s learned during her mobility project in Australia:



One project that really inspired me in Australia was the circus classes they had for seniors ( in the Albury school ).

A small group of adults between 70 and 80 years old !!!!!meet twice a week to train in circus. An enthusiastic teacher full or humour trains the group. The motivation and energy of this group was quite amazing. I learned that we do not have to be hesitant to do acrobatics and pyramids with elderly people; so not just juggling but all acrobatic skills and balancing are possible.
The group was started as a “fall” prevention group and has turned out to be a performing group for elderly homes. They have been doing this for more than 10  years and so they build up amazing skills and they got to know each other really well through all the physical activities.



Another thing I learned was that the NICA rigging team make a check up of the hall and the equipment every morning !! ( 30 minutes tour)
This is quite a surprising thing to discover for me and a very valuable item to take home and discuss in our team.



From Mister Lu who was one of the first teachers of Nica since 1997 I learned a lot too; He feels his schools has 2 constant challenges in teaching students how to be an artist :

  • New skill development
  • What is good combination of skills ?

For him Circus is a performance art, here and now, at the moment ( in contrast with the fine arts); In a circus company the working together is very important and happens harmoniously with no fighting for leading parts ( like in opera). If you do not work together, you collapse.
Students also work in circus laboratory .There they are provoked to experiment and find creative solutions. This is a new approach that is defended by new circus teachers that have a different background as the Asian and Russian teachers.


I guess one of the big differences between this NICA school and our European schools for Circus arts is that students here are more educated and trained in a multidisciplinary way; I mean they do not just choose 1 circus skill and develop this fully as they do in Europe but they have 2 of more skills in circus they develop and so they are  more versatile and can find work easier.
Thank you for letting me travel all the way down under as it was an experience never to forget.