In the parents lounge you may have seen or even read the wonderful article written in 1931 entitled ‘Taking the fall.’
In summary, it goes on to explain the relationship we all have with GRAVITY and the importance of learning to fall.
Learning to FALL is something that is taught, practiced and perfected from an early age in the circus and incidentally, it is something that more people should know… but its not the only thing you can learn from the circus.
I ran away to the circus, back in the year 1994… before Cirque Du Soleil was common vocabulary. I was recruited to be a trapeze flyer and catcher and I loved every minute of it.
Although the body tension and intelligence is similar to gymnastics, it requires something in order to complete a skill that you don’t require in gymnastics …. trust in others!
To perform a ‘flying leap’ where one flyer, being held by the legs, is passed in mid-air by another flyer who saults over the top of them to the catcher, not only requires incredible skill and focus… but it requires timing and with that timing comes trust.
Any hesitation when the catcher calls you off the board “Ready Hep!” or hesitation when he says ‘”Gotcha” and the trick not only cannot be completed, but you put yourself and the others involved in life threatening danger.
Every time you fly out of lines there is a risk of an injury you might not walk away from. Constantly putting yourself in those situations teaches you not just incredible focus, but an ability to work as a team and to trust others.
In the circus, we are not just trusting our teammate to complete a brief on time for a client … we are trusting them with our lives and our future! Any miscommunication or doubt needs to be settled on the ground, before you reach the platform.
You need to look each other in the eye and sort it out together! From that directness and clarity comes trust and learning circus skills teaches you how to trust.
These days there are flying trapeze rigs set up around the country and in Club Med’s all over the world … and everyday people are magging their hands and giving it a go. As recently as this summer I was back up in the air, throwing tricks out of lines, with housewives, students and IT consultants.
These people are not circus performers or professional athletes, they are ordinary people doing extraordinary things… and one of the things I love about the circus is that it reminds you every time you see it or are involved with it, that ordinary people CAN DO extraordinary things!
Learning circus skills that involve height, courage and trust instills in children incredible self-belief they will carry with them forever.