Review of ASK training in Lodz Poland April 2019 – Stephanie Hay
I was lucky to be given a place at the 3rd ASK event in Lodz, Poland.
The main task of the week was to produce an information booklet which would be given to Circus Schools across Europe to support their assistant trainers. I spent the week working on the introduction pages along with 4 other trainers and assistant trainers.
I found this booklet to work very well as it provided me with some further insight as to what trainers want their assistants to know and showed me the similarities in circus schools across Europe.
Alongside the booklet we also got the opportunity to have training and discussions in a range of topics such as Conflict management, creativity, engaging young people, funding and potential collaborations and exchanges. I found each of these topics deeply interesting and realised that each theory mentioned throughout the week was relevant to my circus school and my own teaching methods.
At the start of each session, trainers and A.T’s were encouraged to present a game which they used at their own circus school; For me, this was one of the highlight’s of the training as Modo uses games at the start of each session to focus the young people and by playing and learning new games I have come home inspired to try new things with my group.
I think that the group of people attending this training worked really well as there was a mix of ages, ethnicities and experience (Over 300 years circus experience all together!). This meant everyone in the group was able to learn from each other and share their own experience and I learned a lot about the running and beliefs of different circus schools. Although the age range was so varied, I found that I got along with everyone and could approach anyone with any questions I had.
The organisation of the event was excellent – Prior to the trip we were given all the information we needed including tram/bus routes, times and addresses, I found this very helpful as I would have been completely lost without this information!
On arrival, we were met in reception and given all the information we needed for the following week and the tram tickets we needed to get there. The training centre was also excellent; the space was large and with the large park outside we never struggled for space. I also found the heritage of the city and the centre very touching and this made me futher research the city on arriving home.
We were given plenty of time for socials, this included meeting with the local juggling group, an Escape room, a visit to an art museum and time in the evenings to sit down and talk with the other members of the group.
I felt that the introductions on the first day of training played a significant part in how the group mixed over the week. One of the facilitators read out a number of statements and you had to ‘cross the line’ if this was true. This gave everyone a good chance to learn about their peers without having to initiate a conversation. We were also regularly split into small groups for further discussion which allowed me to speak to everyone individually and learn more about them.
Overall, I found the week inspiring and have returned back to Scotland excited to try out some new games with my group and apply some of the new theories I learned to my own work and teach my colleagues about everything I learned over the course of the week.