ABOUT CIRCUS

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CIRCUS DISCIPLINES

CIRCUS RESEARCH

CIRCUS DISCIPLINES

AERIAL:

Trapeze is a short horizontal bar hung by ropes from the ceiling, it is an aerial apparatus. At School of Larks we teach static trapeze, which differs from spinning, swinging, flying, dance or counter weighted trapeze in that the apparatus stays static. The trapeze can be used to swing on, wrap, hang, lean, drop, balance, hook, spiral and turn your body through and around the apparatus in and out of movements and positions.

Silks (also known as ribbons or tissu). Silks are 2 pieces of fabric hung by a single point from the ceiling. The fabric can be used to climb, wrap, suspend, drop, swing and spiral your body in and out of movements and positions. The fabric used for silks is very strong and stretchy and is typically a two-way stretch polyester or nylon.

Rope (also known as cordelisse) is a vertically hanging rope usually made from cotton which is either braided, three-ply knit or covered. It can be used to climb, wrap, suspend, drop, swing and spiral your body in and out of movements and positions.  

Hoop (also known as lyra, aerial ring or cerceau/cerceaux) is a circular metal apparatus resembling a hula hoop, hung from a single point from the ceiling. At School of Larks, we teach static hoop, which differs from spinning or swinging, dance or counter weighted hoop in that the apparatus stays static. The hoop can be used to spin and swing on, hang, lean, drop, balance, hook, spiral and turn your body through and around the apparatus in and out of movements and positions.

Aerial is our main specialist discipline. We are very interested in pushing the boundaries of what the body can create on the apparatus’ and experimenting and investigating the artistic possibilities they provide.

We have found these disciplines are particularly effective in developing upper body, core and leg strength, stability, agility, balance, proprioception, flexibility, coordination, stamina, self confidence, trust, body awareness, creativity, gross and fine motor skills, tackling fear of heights, mental and physical wellbeing, focus and in a class context social skills such as cooperation and collaboration.

FLOOR ACROBATICS

Solo floor acrobatics (also known as tumbling) is a non apparatus floor based acrobatic art using body strength and agility to form combinations of twists, flips, turns, rolls and balances both dynamic and static. At School of Larks we teach a combination of traditional circus floor acrobatics and more contemporary dance forms of acrobatics. 

Partner and group acrobatics (also known as acrobalance or acrosport) is a non apparatus floor-based acrobatic art that involves balances, lifts and creating shapes performed in pairs or groups. At School of Larks we teach a combination of traditional circus floor acrobatics and more contemporary dance forms of acrobatics. Partner and group acrobatics require a high degree of care, coordination and proprioceptive awareness.

We have found that acrobatic disciplines are very effective in promoting the development of strength, flexibility, coordination, stamina, body awareness, creativity, gross and fine motor skills, mental and physical wellbeing, focus and in a class context social skills such as cooperation, collaboration, mutual trust, communication, respect and care.

Juggling: Juggling is the throwing or manipulation of objects, most often using two hands but it is also possible with feet (or antipodism). At School of Larks we focus on juggling scarves, balls, rings and clubs. Juggling is a discipline that can be combined with other circus skills such as balancing and acrobatics.

Scarves: Juggling scarves are square pieces of light chiffon material which float through the air allowing students to really see and understand the mechanisms of juggling. 

Balls: Juggling balls (sometimes called ‘Thuds’) are bean bag type balls which are soft and easy to grip in the hand.  For basic level juggling you can learn to juggle with 1, 2 or 3 balls. More advanced jugglers can juggle up to 11 balls

Clubs: Juggling clubs are typically 50cm long and have a slim handle end and a wide “body” end, similar to a bowling pin. Clubs can be thrown, spun, balanced and held in and on different parts of the body as part of a juggling routine.

Rings: Juggling rings are dense plastic rings which can vary in size. Much like the other juggling skills you can balance, spin and throw rings as part of a routine.

OBJECT MANIPULATION:

There is a huge range of types of object manipulation. The term Object Manipulation is the physical manipulation of inanimate objects with and around the body. Many sporting and creative activities can be considered object manipulation. Much like juggling, object manipulation is a discipline that can be combined with other circus skills such as balancing and acrobatics. At School of Larks we specialise in the disciplines listed below. 

Diabolo: Diabolo is a form of object manipulation involving two sticks connected by a string and a ‘diabolo’ (similar to the shape of an hourglass), you can roll and spin the diabolo along the string. With some comparison’s to Yo Yo’s, Diabolo can be manipulated into various shapes and patterns with the Diabolo itself being flung and caught back onto the string as part of the endless possibility of tricks and variations. For a more challenging task, multiple Diabolos can be used on the string at once.

Flower sticks: Flower sticks (also known as Devil sticks) involve three sticks, one held in each hand whilst the third is manipulated between the two. You can balance it across the two, roll it up and down the sticks, throw and catch it, pass it between the two or spin it around various points along the sticks.

Spinning plates: Spinning plates consist of a plastic plate or a disc shaped object being spun upon a thin stick and balanced, using the gyroscopic effect in a similar fashion to spinning tops in order to keep them from falling from the stick. Once spinning on the stick, they can be passed between sticks or maneuvered around the body.

Cigar boxes: Cigar boxes are rectangular boxes, often made of wood, that are held by the performer to create a line of three or more. The objective is to throw one of the boxes up and catch it back between the other two in your hands, sometimes adding spins and other tricks in between. Cigar boxes can be manipulated just as two or as many as 5.

Contact ball: Contact ball consists of a glass or plastic sphere that you manipulate between your hands or around your body with the objective of moving it in a way that gives off the illusion that the contact ball is staying in place whilst you move around it. 

Staff: Staff is a piece of object manipulation equipment where a long rod with slightly weighted ends is rolled, thrown, spun and manipulated around the body in a similar nature to some martial arts practices. Some staffs are made with curved or spiralled ends. You can also use staff as a fire discipline with specialist staffs which you set fire to each end. 

Peacock feathers: Peacock feathers are a form of balancing practice where you position a tall feather stood up on either your hand, chin or anywhere on your body with the objective of balancing it there and not letting it fall.

Hula hooping: Hula hooping consists of one or multiple plastic hoops being spun around the hips or other parts of the body and keeping them from falling down. There is a huge range of hula hooping tricks including spinning, lifting, whipping, isolation. Hoops come in various sizes for varying difficulty. 

Balancing: Balancing disciplines 
Balancing disciplines or equilibristics are a form of circus skill where a person balances upon specifically made equipment that challenges people’s equilibrium, using their body to counterbalance themselves as they move on top of said equipment and perform techniques and tricks. 

We have found that balancing disciplines are very effective in promoting the development of balance, proprioception, core stability, coordination, agility, body awareness, creativity, gross and fine motor skills, mental and physical wellbeing, focus and in a class context social skills such as cooperation, collaboration, mutual trust, communication, respect and care.

Tightrope walking: The tightrope is made up of a wire tensed between two points at varying heights from the ground. Tightrope walking (also known as funambulism) is the skill of maintaining balance while walking along a tensed wire. Some tools can be used to help balance such as an umbrella, fan or balance pole,  or it can be done solely using your body to maintain balance. Typically, tightwire performances either include dance or object manipulation.

Unicycling: Unicycling is an equilibristic discipline involving someone balancing and riding on a single wheeled saddle and pedals or what you could view as the one wheel version of a bike. Unicycles can come in various heights and sizes and can be combined with other disciplines such as juggling or tightwire to create an even more impressive and creative act. 

Rolla Bolla: Rolla bolla involves a rectangular platform in the rough size of a skateboard being stood on and balanced upon a small cylinder, rocking side to side in order to keep steady. They can be stacked up on top of eachother for a more difficult and daring performance and can be combined with other juggling and object manipulation disciplines..

Walking globe: Walking globe is a giant solid plastic sphere which you can roll over, balance and walk on top of. These spheres can come in various sizes and are often combined with juggling acts and acrobatics. 

CIRCUS RESEARCH

Bending Gender in Australian Contemporary Circus

Kristy Seymour PhD, is a circus artist and emerging scholar with over eighteen years’ experience in the Australian circus sector. Seymour‘s Circus Stars school is solely dedicated to children with autism and was the focus of her honours research and her 2017 TEDx Talk. Kristy recently completed her doctorate, “Bodies, Temporality and Spatiality in Australian Contemporary Circus,” at Griffith University Gold Coast

This paper is an excerpt from an in-depth body of work that I developed as part of my doctoral thesis, “Bodies, Spatiality and Temporality in Australian Contemporary Circus.” In the thesis, I explore the implications of subversive performances of gender in Australian contemporary circus. What I offer here is a small insight into how Australian contemporary circus artists utilize gender performativity to articulate political and social views within their creative work, with the openly queer1 male burlesque circus collective Briefs Factory as the example. I focus in particular on its founding member Mark Winmill, a well-respected aerial artist who has worked in the Australian contemporary circus sector since the mid-1990s. In order to identify the nature of Winmill’s performances of gender, it is important first for us to comprehend where and how his performances take place within the context of the Briefs Factory.

Circus Training for Autistic Children: Difference, Creativity, and Community

Kristy Seymour and Patricia Wise

Circus training can benefit children diagnosed on the autistic spectrum and their families. In 2010, as Head Trainer at Flipside Circus in Brisbane, Kristy Seymour developed a method for using circus as a therapeutic tool for children with autism. In this article, she and Patricia Wise work between experiential and theoretical positions to explore how circus can open up a new world to such children, enabling them to take risks physically and emotionally, and to stretch the capacities of their bodies in an environment that enriches their social development. Seymour and Wise deploy the idea of ‘chaosmos’ from Deleuze and Guattari, Pope, and others to argue that, counter-intuitively, children with autism benefit from the environment of creative chaos that attends circus. Through Agamben’s work on being and singularity they discuss how circus values difference and inclusivity, building community in ways also captured by Probyn’s notion of ‘outside belonging’. Kristy Seymour has worked for over sixteen years in contemporary circus as an aerialist, trainer, artistic director, creative producer, and choreographer. She has a significant profile in the youth circus sector, and is completing doctoral research on Australian contemporary circus in Griffith University’s School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science. An Associate Professor in the same School, Patricia Wise is a cultural theorist whose publications range over cultural policy and urban studies, inflected by interests in spatiality, materiality and gender. This article reflects a parallel concern with cultural practices in communities of difference, as does a recent co-publication on the value of participatory music for the welbeing of detained asylum seekers.

Key terms: identity, risk, embodiment, Deleuze, chaosmosis, Agamben.

Creativity in the business of circus

Julia Calver

This semi-ethnographic research is an exploration of the creative process from the unique perspective of the circus business. It examines from an interpretivist perspective how circus companies collaborate in the gen- eration and manifestation of ideas, balancing the demands of maintaining a strict physical training regime with devising the circus aesthetic for an expectant audience. The focus of the research is a retired aerial trapeze artist and company director supported by contributions from semi- structured interviews with nine contemporary circus directors and an arts policy officer. Issues were identified from attending three circus net- work events providing an opportunity to conduct an online questionnaire resulting in thirty-nine responses. Following thematic analysis across all data, key themes emerge identifying networked creativity, productive creativity and intrinsic creativity which correlates to conceptual models of creativity and innovation in organisations. Preliminary findings suggest that networks, skills and intrinsic motivation are integral to creativity within the circus business environment. Whilst this may not be unique to circus, the depth to which it is experienced and its inter-relationality to the form, is readily apparent. This has potential interesting implications for further research within a circus context as well as implications for further exploration of practice in other creative sectors.

Critical Considerations for Physical Literacy Policy in Public Health, Recreation, Sport, and Education Agencies

Dean Dudley, John Cairney, Nalda Wainwright, Dean Kriellaars & Drew Mitchell

To cite this article: Dean Dudley, John Cairney, Nalda Wainwright, Dean Kriellaars & Drew Mitchell (2017) Critical Considerations for Physical Literacy Policy in Public Health, Recreation, Sport, and Education Agencies, Quest, 69:4, 436-452, DOI: 10.1080/00336297.2016.1268967

 

The International Charter for Physical Education, Physical Activity, and Sport clearly states that vested agencies must participate in creating a strategic vision and identify policy options and priorities that enable the fundamental right for all people to participate in meaningful physical activity across their life course. Physical literacy is a rapidly evolving concept being used in policy making, but it has been limited by pre- existing and sometimes biased interpretations of the construct. The aim of this article is to present a new model of physical literacy policy considerations for key decision makers in the fields of public health, recreation, sport, and education. Internationally debated definitions of physical literacy and the wider construct of literacy were reviewed in order to establish common pillars of physical literacy in an applicable policy model. This model strives to be consistent with international understandings of what “physical literacy” is, and how it can be used to achieve established and developing public health, recreation, sport, and educative goals.

Exploring the mental health of circus artists: Circus factors, psychological resilience, and demographics predict disordered eating and exercise addictions

Fleur E.C.A. van Rensa,b,*, Alexandra P. Metsec,d, Brody Heritage e,f

a Discipline of Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Australia
b Centre for Healthy Ageing, Murdoch University, Australia
c School of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia d School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Australia
e Discipline of Psychology, Murdoch University, Australia
f Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western, Australia

To cite this article: Dean Dudley, John Cairney, Nalda Wainwright, Dean Kriellaars & Drew Mitchell (2017) Critical Considerations for Physical Literacy Policy in Public Health, Recreation, Sport, and Education Agencies, Quest, 69:4, 436-452, DOI: 10.1080/00336297.2016.1268967

 

The International Charter for Physical Education, Physical Activity, and Sport clearly states that vested agencies must participate in creating a strategic vision and identify policy options and priorities that enable the fundamental right for all people to participate in meaningful physical activity across their life course. Physical literacy is a rapidly evolving concept being used in policy making, but it has been limited by pre- existing and sometimes biased interpretations of the construct. The aim of this article is to present a new model of physical literacy policy considerations for key decision makers in the fields of public health, recreation, sport, and education. Internationally debated definitions of physical literacy and the wider construct of literacy were reviewed in order to establish common pillars of physical literacy in an applicable policy model. This model strives to be consistent with international understandings of what “physical literacy” is, and how it can be used to achieve established and developing public health, recreation, sport, and educative goals.

Future directions for physical literacy education: community perspectives

KYOUNG JUNE YI1, ERIN CAMERON2, MATTHEW PATEY3, ANGELA LOUCKS-ATKINSON4, TA LOEFFLER5, ANNE-MARIE SULLIVAN6, ERIN MCGOWAN7, CHRISTOPHER BORDUAS8, RICHARD BUOTE9
1Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba, CANADA
2Human Science, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, CANADA
3Department of Physical Education, University of South Carolina, USA 4,5,6,7,School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University, CANADA 8Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, CANADA
9Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University, St. John’s, CANADA
Published online: January 31, 2020
(Accepted for publication: January 05, 2020 )
DOI:10.7752/jpes.2020.01016

 

The International Charter for Physical Education, Physical Activity, and Sport clearly states that vested agencies must participate in creating a strategic vision and identify policy options and priorities that enable the fundamental right for all people to participate in meaningful physical activity across their life course. Physical literacy is a rapidly evolving concept being used in policy making, but it has been limited by pre- existing and sometimes biased interpretations of the construct. The aim of this article is to present a new model of physical literacy policy considerations for key decision makers in the fields of public health, recreation, sport, and education. Internationally debated definitions of physical literacy and the wider construct of literacy were reviewed in order to establish common pillars of physical literacy in an applicable policy model. This model strives to be consistent with international understandings of what “physical literacy” is, and how it can be used to achieve established and developing public health, recreation, sport, and educative goals.

Gender Asymmetry and Circus Education

Alisan Funk

 

The relatively recent global rise of professionalizing circus schools has both reflected and created the evolving landscape of contemporary circus performance. Many types of circus education exist today and can be found in most countries around the world. While students attend professionalizing circus schools to develop an artistic vocabulary, they also learn career management and become socialized into the norms of the circus industry.1 A list of these schools can be found on the European Federation of Circus Schools’ website,2 along with other types of circus programs worldwide (European Federation of Professional Circus Schools 2008a). This paper discusses asymmetrical gender treatment in circus schools where graduates obtain both an academic diploma and the competencies to begin a professional career in circus arts.

Introduction: Circus and Its Others

Karen Fricker and Hayley Malouin

As befits a performance studies project, Circus and Its Others was sparked by a post-show lobby conversation between colleagues. At the 2014 Montréal Complètement Cirque Festival (MCC), Karen Fricker—one of the authors of this introduction—commented to Charles Batson and L. Patrick Leroux that she found one of its productions dismayingly heteronormative.2 Charles said he’d reacted differently, because he finds circus always-already queer. Because circus is—historically through to the present day—an occasion for the presentation of exceptional bodies doing extraordinary things, and because he always views circus through what he calls (in his contribution to this special issue) “reparative-reading lenses” (163), Charles saw the potential for nonnormative expression in the show’s inherently unusual nature, even if some of its representations were normatively heterosexist. Difference, Charles effectively argued, was in the show’s DNA, because it was circus.

Physical Literacy, Physical Activity and Health: Toward an Evidence‐Informed Conceptual Model

a Discipline of Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Perth Australia b Discipline of Psychology, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

Circus artists perform physically demanding skills in a high-stress environment, yet little is known about their mental health. We explored emotional states of depression, anxiety, stress and flourishing in a sample of 500 circus artists. The predominantly female sample (n = 415) encompassed a range of performance levels (amateur 50%, part/full-time professional 41%, student 6%, retired 3%), with aerial acrobatics (71%) being the most frequently represented main circus discipline in the sample. Compared to previously established normative scores of a non-clinical population, circus artists scored higher on scales of emotions reflecting depression, anxiety, and stress, and lower on flourishing. They also scored higher on both state and trait resilience compared to previously established normative scores. Using a Bayesian estimation procedure, linear regression analyses showed that resilience, circus factors, and demographics (i.e., age and gender) explained between 24% and 51% of the variance in emotional states of depression, anxiety, stress, and flourishing. Consistently, circus artists with higher levels of state/trait resilience reported higher levels of psychological wellbeing, indicated by lower levels of emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress, and higher levels of flourishing. Therefore, the development of interventions for circus artists who experience lower levels of psychological wellbeing appears warranted.

Mental health of circus artists: Psychological resilience, circus factors, and demographics predict depression, anxiety, stress, and flourishing

Fleur E.C.A. van Rens a, *, Brody Heritage b

a Discipline of Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Perth Australia b Discipline of Psychology, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

Circus artists perform physically demanding skills in a high-stress environment, yet little is known about their mental health. We explored emotional states of depression, anxiety, stress and flourishing in a sample of 500 circus artists. The predominantly female sample (n = 415) encompassed a range of performance levels (amateur 50%, part/full-time professional 41%, student 6%, retired 3%), with aerial acrobatics (71%) being the most frequently represented main circus discipline in the sample. Compared to previously established normative scores of a non-clinical population, circus artists scored higher on scales of emotions reflecting depression, anxiety, and stress, and lower on flourishing. They also scored higher on both state and trait resilience compared to previously established normative scores. Using a Bayesian estimation procedure, linear regression analyses showed that resilience, circus factors, and demographics (i.e., age and gender) explained between 24% and 51% of the variance in emotional states of depression, anxiety, stress, and flourishing. Consistently, circus artists with higher levels of state/trait resilience reported higher levels of psychological wellbeing, indicated by lower levels of emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress, and higher levels of flourishing. Therefore, the development of interventions for circus artists who experience lower levels of psychological wellbeing appears warranted.

Physical Literacy and Resilience in Children and Youth

Philip Jefferies1*, Michael Ungar1, Patrice Aubertin2 and Dean Kriellaars3

There is growing interest in the relationship between physical and psychosocial factors related to resilience to better understand the antecedents of health and successful adaptation to challenges in and out of school, and across the lifespan. To further this understanding, a trans-disciplinary approach was used to investigate the association between the multidimensional constructs of physical literacy and resilience in children at a key stage in their development.

Physical Literacy Is a Social Justice Issue!

Shawn Ladda

With the recent reorganization of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) to SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators, I am encouraged to hear discussions about a strategic plan intentionally committed to diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Why? Because education and health, including quality health and physical education,
is a social justice issue! Social justice is based on the principles of equality and opportunity (Stoll, 2011) — in other words, for our profession to be socially just, we must not only offer opportunity in theory but also ensure a commitment to diversity and inclusion in practice. SHAPE America’s involvement with pro- grams such as Let’s Move! Active Schools (LMAS) is a great example of how our mission of physical literacy connects
to social justice. The LMAS goal is to raise a healthier generation of children, through a comprehensive approach to improve overall health and academic performance (www.letsmove.gov/active- schools; Rosenthal, 2013)

Physical Literacy: Philosophical Considerations in Relation to Developing a Sense of Self, Universality and Propositional Knowledge

Margaret Whitehead

This paper opens with a presentation of the philosophical underpinning and rationale of the concept of physical literacy. This is followed by an articulation of the concept of physical literacy. Three subsequent sections then consider aspects of the concept in a little more detail. The first investigates the relationship of the physical literacy to the development of a sense of self and to establishing interaction with others. Here the philosophical approach is informed by writings on cognitive development and recent neurological insights. The second considers the universality of the concept and looks briefly at the views of existentialists and of contemporary sociologists. The third section addresses the place of propositional knowledge in being physically literate. The implications of objectifying the body in descriptive language are weighed against the fact that verbally expressed understanding and knowledge are an integral part of Western culture. The debate presented is one of a series that has, over the last five years, mapped the author’s work on developing the concept of physical literacy. The aspects chosen to be discussed here are three that have generated considerable interest and debate. In conclusion, there is a short reflection on the implications of the views discussed for education and physical education.

Physical literacy: why should we embrace this construct?

E Paul Roetert,1 Todd S Ellenbecker,2 Dean Kriellaars3

In this editorial, we provide a brief expla- nation of the physical literacy construct and its potential to contribute to the education, safety and overall development of a healthy life for the full lifespan. Although there has been a significant focus on teaching the competence component of being physically active, there has been a lack of focus on teaching people the confi- dence, desire, motivation, enjoyment and social benefits of physical activity.1–3 Therefore, we challenge the sports medi- cine and health-related professions to embrace and implement physical literacy’s holistic approach (both mind and body) to physical activity. The term physical literacy has been used in the academic literature since the 1930s1; however, it was not until the 1990s that the construct was re-intro- duced, embraced by several countries and gained significant attention.1–3 Following a number of iterations, the International Physical Literacy Association settled on the following definition: Physical Literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and under- standing to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.4 Much of the available research thus far has focused on the sport and education sectors and specifically on the younger generation.1 3 5

Re-imagining the development of circus artists for the twenty-first century

Jon Burtt and Katie Lavers

Circus performances now take numerous, diverse forms and these demand a new kind of circus performer, one who is adaptable, self-motivated and creatively innovative. The article argues that much current circus training is out of sync with the new requirements of this evolving industry. It re-imagines the development of elite circus artists, proposing an approach to training performers so that they are not only able to perform their ‘acts’ at the highest technical and artistic level, but are also able to function well as self-motivated, self-regulated, multi-disciplinary artists who are creatively innovative.The article outlines ‘Integrated Training’, an innovative approach to training physical skills developed by Jon Burtt, in which a focus is proposed which includes, alongside the development of high-level physical skills, attention to the development and training of cognitive skills such as self-efficacy and self-regulation, and the constructing of learning and teaching environments that effectively enhance creativity.The article proposes that Integrated Training has the potential to provide an effective basis for the development of the new kinds of artists currently required for the circus arts industry.

Skill Development Versus Performativity Among Beginners in Aerial Practice:
An Embodied and Meaningful
Learning Experience

Maria Kosma1 , Nick Erickson2, Chase J. Savoie3, and Mark Gibson4

The purpose of this quasi-experimental, phenomenological study was to use embodied cognition in understanding learning experi- ences in skill development and performativity (e.g., storytelling and emotional expression) among 17 beginners in aerial practice (Mage1⁄420.591.37years old). Eight people were in the treatment-group class (skill development and performativity) and nine individuals participated in the control-group class (only skill development). Four themes emerged from the analysis: linking other exercises to aerial (e.g., cheerleading, dancing, and gymnastics) and uniqueness of aerial (e.g., artistic aspect while in the air); success in meeting aerial goals (at the posttest, performativity was valued more in the treatment group than the control group); exercise changes due to aerial, such as enhanced upper-body strengthening activities and stretches; and lessons learned, including importance of condi- tioning and small class size, switching Teaching Assistants (TAs), and silk awareness. Practitioners in community-based movement education programs like dancing and physical theater should recognize the need for embodied knowledge by emphasizing not only skill development but also performativity for enhanced learning experiences within supportive class settings. Although adding performative qualities to skill learning is more challenging than skill development alone, it can lead to enhanced performance, joy, and meaning of movement.

The effectiveness of performative aerial practice on mental health and the love of movement

Maria Kosma, Nick Erickson, Chase J. Savoie & Mark Gibson

The purpose of this phronetic, quasi-experimental study was to examine if skill-based and performative aerial practice (treatment group-class, n = 8) was more beneficial on mental health and the love of movement than only skill-based aerial practice (control group-class, n = 9). The total study population included 17 under- graduate, beginner students in aerial practice (Mage = 20.59). Based on Cohen’s d and two-way repeated measures ANOVA, depression and stress decreased over time with an upper-level small (d =.27; η2 = 7.6%) and medium (d =.55; η2 = 19%) within-subjects effect, respectively. Five qualitative themes emerged, including positive psychosocial and physical changes, healthy lifestyle choices, con- tinuance with aerial practice – especially for the treatment group, and challenges with aerial silks, especially for the control group. Beyond skill development, including performativity qualities in aer- ial practice (dancing, expressing emotion, story sharing) may be key to the love of movement and long-term exercise participation.

The Love of Aerial Practice: Art, Embodiment, Phronesis

Maria Kosma*, Nick Erickson

Background of study: Given the importance of movement and low exercise adherence among young adults, it is imperative to understand reasons for the love of movement. Objective: The purpose of this phronetic, qualitative study was to examine if the values of aerial practice encompassed elements of embodiment, techne (art), and phronesis (practical wisdom). Method: Participants were 13 undergraduate college students in an aerial practice class. Individual-based interview topics included exercise behavior and the values and meaning of aerial practice. Results: All participants were active regardless of aerial practice classification (e.g., beginners vs advanced). Beyond aerial practice, other exercises included dancing, yoga and aerial yoga, Pilates, aerobic activities (e.g., running and spinning classes), rock climbing and hiking, weight lifting, somatics and acrobatics. Based on the first theme, the love of aerial practice, techne aspects reflected fitness, skill improvement; challenging, infinite learning and determination. Art, performativity, fluidity included techne and embodiment, while the sensation of whole-body movement encompassed an embodied element for the love of aerial silks. A combination of phronetic and embodied elements were sense of community and inclusivity; novelty; it fits me. Embodied qualities of the second theme, challenges with aerial practice, included fear, injuries, bruises, pain. Fitness, skill, performance and the struggle to learn new movements linked to techne and the integral parts of movement. Phronetic categories regarding situation-specific reflections were time on the silk and unhealthy competition in the business world (territorial traits and lack of sharing). The third theme was future exercise plans and its categories included phronetic (decision-related) elements: practice and/or teach aerial silks; keep exercising. Conclusion: Artistic, embodied, and phronetic approaches in movement education can enhance the value and pursuit of movement.

Welcome to the Cyborg Circus Show: Imagining Disability Futures beyond Normative Bodies
A Manifesto

Shay Erlich

What is the Cyborg Circus Show? Is it a concept, a show, a practice orientation? Could it be all of the above, and what might it look like in each of these forms? The Cyborg Circus Show is an exercise in juxtapositions and possibilities peeking through the horizon. What are its genealogies? How do we imagine its futures? How can the Cyborg Circus Show provide new spaces to affirm the lived experience of disabilities in the circus arts?

The cyborg and the circus, each in their own way, have come to represent an unshackling of the human form from various types of bodily limitations. As such, to live as either a cyborg or a circus performer means that these bodies may have experiences that have not been previously understood, or even understood to be possible. In other words, both the cyborg and the circus share elements of the posthuman, where the limits of humanity and the human form are pushed to nearly the point of breaking and being perceived as another figure entirely (Braidotti 2013).

The figure of the cyborg (Haraway 1991), for example, can be understood to be the mediation of the human form via technology. From this perspective, a cyborg is a being that is neither fully biologically human nor completely technological. Whether such mediation is considered an elevation or a degradation of the human form often depends on one’s view of technologies and of the seemingly irreversible incorporation of technology into every aspect of our being. In today’s world, humans with disabilities are often at the forefront of cyborg technology. Wearable and implanted technologies are used to alleviate human suffering. They can replace bodily functions lost to disability, either through congenital conditions or simply as a result of the degradation of bodily functions over time. As such, these technologies evidence a posthuman potential.

What Is Physical Literacy, Really?

Paul Jurbala

Physical literacy has become an increasingly influential concept in the past few decades, and is being woven into education, sport, and recreation policy and practice, particularly in Canada. The term is based on a metaphor that likens movement fluency to language literacy. Use of a metaphoric rather than a theoretical foundation has enabled various interpretations and re-definitions of the term. This article aims at an understanding of physical literacy that encompasses and reunifies the interpretations, helping physical literacy to be theoretically understood, practically researched, and instrumentally employed. The division of the holistic physical literacy concept into various interpre- tations is traced and the metaphoric basis of physical literacy is discussed. Through this analysis the unifying theme of communication is identified, and based on this a new definition of physical liter- acy is advanced and a model of physical literacy development is proposed. A series of questions that invite a multi-disciplinary approach to physical literacy research is presented.