To immerse the children in the embodiment of circus acts, we took a field trip to an after school circus arts specialist, TNT Circus, who specializes in facilitating these activities for young children. After stretching exercises, the children rotated through stations of balancing on a ball, pair acrobatics, rope and silk climbing. They had multiple opportunities to get comfortable with the activities and gain perspective on how challenging being a circus performer really is.
The next set of rotations included poi (an easier form of juggling with a tennis ball in a nylon sock), plate spinning and scarf juggling, building coordination and focus.
These experiences offered a great foundation for writing our upcoming short circus scenes. It also informs their kinesthetic connection to the eventual wire character they will build through this project. These characters will need to move in a variety of ways, just like the students did at this field trip. We now know more about how forces such as gravitational pull and centrifugal force feel on our bodies, and how we can use friction in different ways to slow or stop movement.