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Circus Skills Frequently Asked Questions

Circus Workshop Questions and Answers

  1. Do you do circus workshops for children/adults/OAP/Special Needs?
  2. What's the youngest children you can cater for?
  3. How many people can you have in a circus workshop?
  4. How long are your circus workshops?
  5. What format do your circus workshops take?
  6. How much space do you need?
  7. How should we dress, are there clothing requirements?
  8. What equipment have you got?
  9. Where are you based (Hitchin/Hertfordshire/UK) - how far will you travel?
  10. Is it dangerous?
  11. Are you the same as Alight Fingers Circus?
  12. I've other questions - how can I contact you?

Do you do circus workshops for children/adults/OAP/Special Needs

Yes. We can happily work with all the above. If you've got a specific group that you want to know if we can help with, contact us, and we'll see what we can do.

What's the youngest children you can cater for?

We have a guideline that we don't do parties for children under seven, because they generally require a little too much individual attention. For small groups, we may make exceptions. The youngest person I've ever taught to diabolo was three. In a mixed group there is no problem with younger people being around as long as there are responsible adults to look after them.

How many people can you have in a circus workshop?

It depends on the type of workshop. For a drop in workshop there isn't really a set number, and it's more down to the amount and type of space available as to how many we can fit in and look after at a time.

For parties and more formal workshops, as a guideline, we say that twenty people is about right for one instructor. If there are more, it means that people don't get as much one to one help, but it's not generally a problem.

We can of course, provide more instructors.

There are also different styles of workshop that are better suited for different amounts of people, so contact us, and we'll see what we can do to help. If dealing with larger numbers of children, if you have volunteers who can assist, that does cut the number of workshop leaders we need.

How long are your workshops?

The shortest we've done was one hour, and the longest was five days. Normally workshops run from a few hours to an afternoon.

What format do your circus workshops take?

Some people like to have formal lessons, where everyone has a go at the same thing at the same time, and the tutor gives formal instructions. This can be good for school type situations or for teamwork exercises where everyone can help everyone else learn as they learn.

Some situation lend themselves towards a more informal structure, or what are often called 'drop in sessions' where the equipment is made available, and people are allowed to try it out as and how they wish. The tutor will generally be on hand if there are any questions, or if people require demonstrations of how to use things. This tends to lend itself more to fetes and parties, where not everyone is going to be around for the whole workshop.

You can of course run a combination of the two, where people are given some instruction on all circus skills at the start, and then allowed free reign.

We'll more than happily advise you what circus skills and format will fit best with your event.

How much space do you need?

For fetes and similar events, the simple answer is that an area around 15m x 10m is ideal. However, we've run very successful workshops with a fraction of that amount of space.

Obviously, if there are only 10 people in the workshop, we use less space than if there are 30. It depends on how many people you have at your event, and how many workshop leaders we're bringing.

It also helps if the area is flat ... and for safety purposes, free of holes or anything anyone can fall over.

If you're planning an event and you need some advice, feel free to ask us about this.

The basic advice is however, the more space the better, within reason; We don't need a football pitch for ten people, but anything less than a few metres squared per person can get a bit cramped, especially if people need the additional space for unicycles and hula hoops.

How should we dress, are there clothing requirements?

Regarding suitable clothing, there's no huge restrictions, Some people like to wear fancy dress and we have no problem with that. Obviously it takes more talent to walk on stilts in high heels than it does normal shoes or trainers, but the last thing a circus can recommend is sensible footwear, so I just say that if you want to turn up in high heels, you're going to find some things significantly more difficult, and quite a bit more dangerous. The same arguments go for capes and huge flowing skirts.

What Equipment Have You Got?

At the time of writing :

  • juggling balls
  • practice contact juggling balls
  • juggling scarves
  • flower and devil sticks
  • diabalos
  • poi
  • spinning plates
  • chinese ribbons
  • balancing feathers
  • hula hoops
  • stilts
  • monster feet
  • unicycles
  • pedal racers
  • lolo balls

 

We often add new equipment to the list. If there's anything you're particularly interested in that's not listed, please drop us an email and ask.

Where Are You Based - How Far Will You Travel

The short answer is we're based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, in the UK.

There's no limit to how far we might travel, but it's cheaper if you're within an hour of us, and a lot more expensive if you're in Australia. Between the two, prices vary accordingly.

Given we're kind of on the intersection of a lot of counties, We're generally more than happy to run circus skills anywhere around Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and London, but please send us an email if you'd like to check.

Are You the Same as Alight Fingers Circus?

Basically, yes. We updated the web site to make it more mobile phone compatible, and at the same time, changed the emphasis of the name to focus more on teaching circus skills, rather than performing juggling. Currently both are being run side by side during the transition, but if you've previously tried Alight Fingers and loved us, it's still being run by Glyn.

Is it Dangerous?

Many circus toys such as stilts and unicycles contain an element of risk. This is part of their attraction. However, that risk is significantly increased if the area being used is not kept clear and tidy. Whilst teaching, we can't be tidying too, so we ask that you please help us to keep the area tidier, and hence safer.

If you allocate a volunteer who's sole responsibility is to keep the area tidy, then it means we can concentrate on helping people with circus skills, rather than spending our time keeping the area tidy and hence safer.

It also helps if the area is flat ... and for safety purposes, free of holes or anything anyone can fall over.

For children's workshops and parties, obviously we can help to keep everything safer, by having more responsible adults on hand, and we don't complain if they join in and play too.

If there's anything else you want to know about circus skills and circus workshops, please contact us for more information