Author Topic: childhood circus  (Read 3716 times)

Jasper

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childhood circus
« on: February 03, 2010, 07:54:22 AM »
I give diabolo lessons at a child circus, but not for a long time...
So I was wondering if someone else here gives lessons or workshops to little children(7-16 years old)
I got a talk from someone else from the leaders, he told me that I'm to good for the circus, they need some easy tricks that the public can follow not tricks who no one understand?!
what are your experiences or some tips are welcome  :-D

Tnx

Wis

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Re: childhood circus
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2010, 08:56:28 AM »
Hi Jasper.

Lessons to children are funny. I had no much idea about teaching before doing it, so my experience is reduced to 30 hours, thus my information can be wrong.

Well. About the tricks. They need to be easy tricks, that for sure. I don't know how is gonna be there, but in my city some of the children were at the school just because their parents wanted to get rid of them for 3 hours. Due to that, some of the children can go without liking to juggle. Without this "liking" thing, children can unfocus as fast that you won't even realize.

I always tried to solve this problem giving some special attention to children with...natural skills, while rest of them were practicing easy tricks. These easy tricks: trapeze, suicide from trapeze, magic knots (harder to teach), throwing and catching, and suns. I think that was all, they have enough with this. And for the advanced ones, i taught them also minigenocides, umbrella, and i was starting with 2D shuffle.

I enjoyed so much being diabolo teacher, and the salary was awesome: 22euros/hour. But you will be frustrated many times because most of the children, if not all, won't train at home. And is hard to see that they don't want to play with juggling stuff, is like learning something because i have to...at least for many of them.

Another things not to forget about: teach them also about general behavior (i mean, don't leave 3 kids annoy a girl for long, or a kid be complaining too, too, too, much), make them to warm up (you don't want any argue with any parents because of injures), learn their names and use them (your control over them is like double in this way), and, now and then, make classic games don't related with juggling to give them some oxygen.

Good luck!!

"The string...the inertia...the hours"

Jasper

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Re: childhood circus
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2010, 10:37:26 AM »
what do you mean with the last alinea?

Wis

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Re: childhood circus
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2010, 12:51:02 PM »
That when you are teaching children i think is a good idea to:
- Give them some basic education, politeness I mean, stopping rows between students,...
- Warm up: i don't know if that is the expression. I mean, moving your wrists, your knees, your arms, before training; to avoid getting injured while training. Kind of short and small practices
- Learning the names of the children of your class is helping a lot. If you don't know their names it's easier that they didn't listen to you, that they are making noise... I mean, if you show them some interest, it's easier that they will show some interest for what you have to teach.
- Children like playing, if you leave them play games (not so related with juggling, or a bit) sometimes they will like more going to the circus school. Try to do this when they are are getting bored. After 1 month or so?

hope to be helpful
"The string...the inertia...the hours"

Jasper

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Re: childhood circus
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 03:22:14 PM »
ok tnx, i think I can use a whole lot of things from what you said :D

seán_

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Re: childhood circus
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 08:44:04 PM »
A lot of the work I do is teaching circus skills to kids.

I teach multiple props, quite often this is for one off sessions but I do longer term projects as well. Diabolo can be a bit frustrating because there is a bit of a hiccup early on before they can really start to learn, then, as we all know tricks can come thick and fast.

Some of my thoughts below. (for longer projects really, for short one offs It's mainly starts, corrections, throws maybe passing)

- Wis had some good tips, especially on the discipline and names front. You are in charge and are responsible for people safety. You should never start a session cold without some kind of warmup or session game. Learn several, this will allow you to control the feel of the sessions, (name games, energy raising, confidence building, controlling, getting over fear of being though foolish in front of others, calming, stage craft games etc).

My simple discipline goes something along the lines of-

'We're all here to have fun and to learn some new skills. It's important to listen to what I have to say as that's the best way to learn things quickly and safely. I can tell if you are listening because you will be looking at me and not talking to anybody else. You will also not be using any props when I talk. It's not fair on everyone else if I have to keep repeating instructions because people aren't listening... If you misbehave or do something dangerous I'll ask you to sit out for 1 minute/2minutes , if it happens again you'll sit out for 5, a third time you will sit out for 10/15 but thats unlikely to happen because if you've been that bad the chances are you will have been asked to leave the session. (if you are in a school tell them that the teacher is free to discipline them however the school does at anytime.) ask them if this sounds fair (so they cant really strop about you disciplining them, if they wont agree to this then you cant teach them in a safe way)
I'm not saying you have to be a complete control freak, you need to pick your battles when teaching but if you have some guidelines it sets the tone and gives you standing if you need to control a wayward session.

After a demo of any prop you should point out anything safety related. easy enough for diabolo - before throwing check that there is nothing to hit overhead, if a diabolo is going to hit somebody please warn them, don't swing the diabolo around as you may hit somebody, make sure you have room for any trick you are trying, stick to the area you should be in and please don't walk trough a group of diaboloists.
You might want to add a bit about getting knots out, how to wind up diabolo strings when finished with them.

Roughly what I think about for tricks and progressions.

Starting, corrections, simple throw and catch with good technique. (instil the need to check over head and demonstrate that you don't need to put loads of effort into the throw, reaching up with dominate hand to catch, keeping the string tight, being parallel to the diabolo before throw etc.)

Stopover (both sides maybe doubles), stopover/Chinese suicides - possibly slowicides (pointing out alignment tips for these moves, looking at the stick to be caught)

Skip under high throw, piro under throw, behind back catch, trampoline bounce over head, open orbits, passing (1 between 2, 1 high one low, along a line, tight string tennis style, distance for fun)

Around the leg/arm/foot (leave variations till later)

Wrapped accelerations  -simple like regular acceleration with wrap. When they have better feel move onto thrusted/chinese, wraped orbits etc.
Use this speed for grinds and stringclimbs (leading to crowd pleasers like stickdrop/foot on stick stringclimb)

Suns (simple one that leaves twist, walkaround to untwist or sun back revisit with that helicopter stick swing move)  stick forced and regular side suns, stickswap suns, front to back suns, suicides, duicides.

Crosshand catches, throw out, throw to opp crosshand, fritz release, magic knots

Half string catches, throws out, flux capacitor, whip catches (with good technique, from above and below, to duicide, whip with string caught on end of sticks, whip from grind)

Neck bounce, around both arms, around leg variations (bounce, turning, both legs, puppet), cats cradle, lamecide.

Lots of stuff to teach before you need to go down the integral/slack route.

I know some teachers that will push people into trying 2d really early (say after the kid can consistently throw and catch, teaching by passing 1 in, then by getting another student to pass one in), they say this is a good confidence booster. I haven't had the chance to try this really. I can see the pro's and cons. I'll sometimes get a solid shuffle going and hand the sticks to somebody (works well if they are opposite handed)

If a kid wants to learn a specific trick, think about what leads up to that trick and whether they are at the level to learn it yet, will they waste time/get frustrated? If they need to work on the building blocks, show them those moves and ask them to come back when they have got them. Maybe point out that you'll be getting to those moves eventually but you want everyone to get a grounding in certain key moves so they are all rounders. If you say you will do/teach something then you really should get around to it or apologise and ask them to remind you to do it next time.

If you have sub groups of different abilities make sure that they all have something to work on and don't fall into the habit of spending too much time with your star pupils (or the reverse).

See if you can get them to help each other. kids learn well from one another especially if they know each other. I'll sometimes leave out certain trick variations, teach them to one kid and ask them to pass that on.

Give plenty of praise, if they are up for it get them to all show of something they learned in the session. Sometimes if somebody has got a particular trick I'll stop the session and get them to show the rest that move, this can lead others to try it. for show and tell at the end this can be a good place to get some stage craft in.

Anyway there are some of my disjointed thoughts, hope they are of some use.


Seán (not getting out of bed for 22Euros/hr ;) )


Jasper

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Re: childhood circus
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2010, 08:45:56 AM »
tnx sean, i dont got time now to read it but i'll gonna read it :P

Wis

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Re: childhood circus
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2010, 09:30:53 AM »
After sharing messages with Séan, I would like to point out that 22 euros/hours is not that awesome, even if in Spain is not that bad.
Everybody should try to find out which are the standard salaries in the place where he/she lives, and to ask for this amount of money or similar. No less.
I mean, for me 22 euros/hr was good because i was a student, but if you want to live from juggling (pay rent and food) probably that was too low. And it's not fair that I am working for so few, because i'll be lowering the salaries of the market.
And thanx again to Séan for so many advices
"The string...the inertia...the hours"

Jasper

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Re: childhood circus
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2010, 02:05:38 PM »
@wis, I do it for freeeeeee at this circus...
And I really dont care, its really one of the hobby's I look forward to in my week program;)

 

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