why circus?

circus is a kind of medicine for domesticated times

We live in a culture which encourages us to experience disconnection from our bodies, our instinctual selves, each other and the world around us.

 

the Oxford English Dictionary tells us that the oldest definition of the verb “to play” is “to pay attention”

 

In a state of play, we experience the present moment.   What can take many months of meditation to achieve happens instantly in play. We can use this as a roadmap home.

When we play, we are inside our bodies. When we are inside our bodies, we experience connection. Connection is everything. Connection heals.

 

play is a backdoor to discipline

Circus skills take work, you cannot fake them. Desirable and fun to practice, circus arts are the proverbial carrot coaxing us, in this instance, towards establishing habits of discipline, patience & perseverance.

Exercise happens naturally in play. Circus is a practice of concentrated play.

 

the more we concentrate, the more fun we have

Practicing circus arts increases concentration and a sense of calm by working both hemispheres of our brain. Brain gym is to circus arts what pilates is to yoga: the scientific distillation and application of a broader multi-disciplinary system.

 

Spectrum “disorders” in children & adults are unimportant and/or disappear altogether in the circus classroom.

 

using breath to connect body & mind is the “om” in “omfly”

When we focus and center ourselves, we are surprised at how wonderful we can be in our bodies. Circus is a practice of creating wonder with the human body.

 

We experience so much dissatisfaction with our bodies. We teach this to our children. Circus allows us to suspend judgment and experience gratitude and joy in our appreciation-starved bodies.

 

 

in this way, circus is a practice of joy

 

Circus is deeply rooted in anarchism, archetype and the activation of soul-desires.   The perfect muse, she manifests according to the needs of the time.

 

Both ancient and new, a 5,000 year old Egyptian hieroglyph depicts circus arts: a fusion of partner acrobatics and juggling.

egyptian acrobat jugglers*

Circus teaches partnership. Through connection & trust, we can create wonderful things together.

 

Circus emphasizes cooperation over competition.   Competition is neither good nor bad, but it is over-emphasized and often the only form available for athletic expression/experience in the culture today. Circus is sports for nerds.

 

circus is experiencing a rebirth

The circus is old enough to have gone through several mutations.   What is considered traditional or conventional circus, the three ring, American, super sized version that dominated the first half of the 19th century, is one of many.

The codifications of so-called traditional circus are just an episode in the big picture. Like all art, circus changes.

Nouveau Cirque is a movement born in the 70’s, a genre that strips circus of the old codes (animals, etc.), emphasizing human talents, storytelling, and generally reinventing circus as an art of community.

Traditional circus is elitist by nature, but heeding the call to adventure is perhaps the most basic of human birthrights. The New Circus movement, annoys the old guard with its insistence on the democratization of the form.

 

Running away to join the circus is a kind of hero’s journey.  Admission is simple.  A desire to play amidst the possibility, indeed likelihood, of pushing past your self-perceived limits.

In this context, in this world, there is a place for everyone under the big top.   Find your seat in the circle, you won’t believe your eyes.

OmFly programs are designed to:

 

  • Expand creativity, confidence, perseverance, and positive sense of self while teaching life skills that lead to experiences of success and recognition.
  • Promote health and physical literacy through diverse physical activity, motor skills refinement, and safe risk taking.
  • Develop powerful creative voices rooted in awareness, inclusivity, and justice.
  • Build trust, collaboration skills, and teamwork by creating nourishing environments in which to challenge fears and develop positive personal relationships.
  • Integrate art into daily life by making it accessible to all, especially underserved communities.
  • Offer artistic gathering spaces in which to dialogue, dream, create, and transform.

decompress the spine

we focus on the six directions of the spine.  using twists, back & forward bending, inversions and partner therapeutics, introducing gentle traction and reversing the effects of gravity to release the spine.

build strength and flexibility

aerial arts, like trapeze and silks, combined with circus skills and yoga, build more core strength than any other sport.

increase concentration and focus

circus arts greatly improve concentration and sense of calm. learning and attention deficit disorders improve and/or “disappear” in the circus classroom.

build confidence

there is a place for everyone under the big top. with the wide variety of skills taught, learning a juggling trick or move on the trapeze, everyone will find something at which they can excel.

partnership & cooperation

circus arts are non-competitive and require collaboration, trust and support of each other.  when every individual shines we experience true community.

maintain a healthy body

when you don’t use it, you lose it.  in circus we use it all!