Testimony – Eric Vandooren’s project in Spain

Eric Vandooren from Cirkus In Beweging (Leuven, Belgium) tells us about his mobility project in Spain


As a teacher “Hand to Hand” and “Acrobatics” at “Circus in Beweging” and as a teacher “Acrobatics” and “Physical education” within the circus school, I was invited to participate in the “Erasmus+ project”.
On March the 10th 2016, I took a plane from Belgium to Madrid to go to the circus school Carampa, where I stayed for 10 days to discover and watch very closely their way of Working.
I didn’t have much time to arrange the trip to Madrid, what resulted in a very hectic first day. But eventually I got a warm welcome thanks to Donald B. Lehn, the principal and organizer of “Carampa”.  He gave me a tour and introduced me to his employees and teachers which where all very friendly and nice people.
Something I noticed immediately, was the very beautiful environment around the circus school. It was located in a big recreational park with a lot of green with many opportunities to relax. The school itself is a very nice place within the park and offers the students all possibilities to improve their skills and discover their talents.
Donald gave me a clear explanation of the way they work, how this process got in its place en foremost (very interesting for me), why they work as they do.

During my stay in Madrid I tried to attend as many classes handstand and “Hand to Hand” as possible to be able to exchange the methodology and techniques.

I had a very close contact with their teacher Vasilli, whom has been practicing circus in Moscow during almost his entire life. We understood very fast that we had very similar techniques and the way he handled the material, was very interesting. What will stick in my memory for sure, is the way he teaches the students to combine different things to stimulate them to be creative, to improvise and to be able to correct minor errors in an act so the public won’t see these errors. As well his way of approaching the classes handstand were very instructive.

Vasilli has a lot of experience and a very wide range of information, and he gave me sometimes very little hints, which could make a world of difference.
Besides the circus story, I took the time to visit some sights in and around the city. Madrid is a beautiful city that never sleeps. The many street musicians and street artists, who created a very nice mood, drew my attention as well. The people are friendly, the parks and the buildings are nice, and from what I’ve seen, no delinquency. I recommend the city to everyone.
In conclusion, I’d like to thank Donald, the “Carampa team”, Rika from “Circus in beweging” and everybody who made this project possible for the great and instructive time I could experience here.
I’d like to thank as well the Erasmus+ project. Because of this project I got an extra bag with hints, methodology and techniques I can use in my classes. I recommend this to everyone.
Sporty greetings,
Eric Van Dooren