Rika from Cirkus In Beweging (Leuven, Belgium) tells us about her mobility project in Australia (National Institute for Circus Arts -in Melbourne and Flying Fruit Fly flying circus ( FRUITIES) in Albury):
I am Rika Taeymans, co-ordinator of the organisation Cirkus in Beweging.
My favourite jobs in our circusschool are teaching parents and todlers and doing social projects. I teach circus in prison on Fridays and organise circus workshops in areas of Louvain that are not so wealthy. I have also started a CIRCUS HIGHSCHOOL, 5 years ago in Leuven, Belgium. This is the only school in Belgium that offers this option. It is a new study area in a normal high school; students study in the SPORT /Science department and choose the option Circus. Three times a week , during their school time , they come and train in our circus school. We employ specialist circus teacher to teach in this school . Some of the students want to continue in circus arts and study a Bachelor degree in Circus Arts. Others want to become circus trainers a third group choose a different job .
Going to Australia was a great opportunity for me as I could go and visit a similar circus high school and visit a Bachelor degree school in circus arts.
In Albury the high school circus students had an amazing good level. The teachers came from all over the world. I spent a great deal of my time watching the classes and talking to the head trainer from France Loic Marques and the artistic director Jodie Farrugia.
In my free moments I enjoyed cycling around this little town of Albury and through the nature reserve park alongside the river.
Great shame is that I did not get to see any kangaroos even on my special early evening walk in the hills with a Belgian girl that happen to live there and took me on a special hike. But then on the train back to Melbourne I suddenly saw one !!! a big one !! so nice and special !!
In NICA ( National Institute for Circus Arts ) , Melbourne I had the chance to see the end of year graduation show.
The show was set around the life stories of 2 teachers that had been teaching in the school for a long time and had an amazing circus family history.
I enjoyed it very much and went to see it a second time; the students have talents in not just one technique but can perform on a high level in different skills..
This is also the big difference I observed between this school and the Belgium and Dutch Bachelors of Circus Arts :
students do not just specialise in one circus discipline but they train in 2 or 3 skills so that they are able to work in different areas or shows .
I had amazing talks with some of the teachers and went to see quite a few venues in Melbourne where social circus projects were set up .Thanks Andrea for taking me everywhere.
The last day of my stay I taught a workshop for teachers at NICA. I combined the method of Veronica Sherborne (Developmental Movement Method) with circus acrobatics to create CIRCOMOTORIEK (Circo movement). And wrote a book for parents and kids JACK’S ACROBATICS.
Thanks to this Erasmus+ project I got in touch with amazing circus teachers on the other side of the world .