Share, , , Google Plus, Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon


Posted in:

Holistic Circus Therapy Training

Circus as an Ed​ucational and Therapeutic Tool

In this day and age, there are a lot of different types of therapies, for a lot of different types of issues. We have pet therapy, and fitness as a therapy, family therapy, and mindfulness therapy. Until now, I was not aware that there was a Holistic Circus Therapy, but with all of the different social, emotional, physical, and cognitive problems that people face, this type of therapy might just be one that is so “out there” that it might actually work.

Think about it. With all of the fanciful circus acts, meant to stimulate and transfix the audience, there are surely ways to connect on a more intimate level with people of all ages who are looking to interface with others via unconventional ways. Instead of simply watching a circus act, people are engaged with the performers, thus building muscle memory, cognitive skills, etc. Best of all, it’s fun!

With the advent of The Bird’s Nest Circus Arts in Buffalo, there have been a multitude of spin-off programs meant to “Empower individuals and communities through engagement in Circus Arts.” This latest Holistic Circus Therapy Training exercise is meant to take the Circus Arts program and engage “marginalized communities, the education sector, health promotion, and community building initiatives.”

There’s even a higher level social aspect to the training course – 100% of the tuition from the two-day program is directed to funding CircusAid, which takes the show on the road, directly to countries with disadvantaged populations and refugees. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understanding and utilizing the Holistic Circus Therapy Practice Model.
  2. Occupational Therapy Theory and Practices: Grading tasks, client centeredness, assessment, intervention and goal setting.
  3. Examining and applying instruction for the purpose of increasing social, emotional, physical, and cognitive capacities.
  4. Teaching to different learning styles.
  5. Identifying and working with differences in sensory-motor abilities, visual perception, gross and fine motor control, and executive functions.
  6. Working with refugee populations.
  7. Safety of staff and participants.
  8. Individual and group focused instruction.
  9. Planning and evaluating a workshop.

The 2 day training will leave participants certified by Holistic Circus Therapy (HCT) in teaching circus to people with learning differences, special needs and socio-political challenges.

DAY 1 – Circus as a tool to increase the acquisition of life skills, individual, and community health

The first day will provide you with essential knowledge about life skills education and functional capacities including; social, emotional, physical, and cognitive components. The experiential learning includes occupational therapy theory, practical applications for multiple populations, individual and group focused activities. Participants will be able to define, explain, and discuss processing differences, motor control, executive functions and how to facilitate a circus experience to increase participation and functional capacity of individuals and communities.

DAY 2 – Circus for All: Adaptive Instruction

The second day of the training will enable participants to apply the knowledge gained in day one with additional tools of adaptive instruction and adaptive environments for people with variations in functional capacity, learning styles and social conditions. Participants will be supported in planning and executing their own unique adaptive circus-based sessions with case studies. Participants will leave with a database of different activities they can use to immediately bring these skills into their working and teaching environments.

Two consecutive day training:

Saturday April 13, 2019 | 9:00am-5:00pm

Sunday April 14, 2019 | 9:00am-5:00pm

The two day intensive is suitable for:

  • Educators
  • Occupational therapists
  • Mental health workers
  • Special needs service providers
  • Circus instructors
  • Parents
  • Anyone else who works with marginalized populations

No university or circus experience is required. You can read an in-depth description of the curriculum, Holistic Circus Therapy, and more by clicking here. Early Bird pricing available until February 15.

Register here.

Bird’s Nest – 64 Fillmore Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14210

Photos courtesy Bird’s Nest and Holistic Circus Therapy and CircusAid

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

View All Articles by queenseyes
Hide Comments
Show Comments