CircusWorks is a grassroots organisation that believes in the power of community. As well as offering support and advice to our members, we form a network that brings together youth circuses across the UK with circus artists, teachers, academics and other important voices, to encourage mutual support across the sector. We’re a friendly bunch – come say hello.
CircusWorks members have access to up-to-date research on a huge breadth of topics relevant to circus and youth circus. We disseminate the work of circus and physical literacy academics across the globe, as well as circus artists, teachers and organisations that are constantly developing new resources and practices.
Our own research projects generate resources for youth circuses and circus professionals, as well as tracking the UK youth circus sector as a whole, and the issues facing it.
CircusWorks represents UK youth circus, nationally and internationally. Our work raises the public profile of youth circus, and generates opportunities and income for the sector. As a member of EYCO (the European Youth Circus Organisation), CircusWorks represents UK youth circus in Europe, creating opportunities for UK youth circuses on international projects. We also speak on behalf of UK youth circuses to funding bodies, educational institutions and other organisations that influence the UK youth circus sector.
We are currently working with Circus Change Up, co-convening their Youth Circus and Circus in Education missions. Circus Change Up seeks to develop a coherent vision for the future of circus in the UK, through grassroots consultation and collaboration.
We create and collect research, curriculums, tools, videos and other resources for youth circuses and circus professionals. Some of our resources include:
Through our partnership with EYCO (the European Youth Circus Organisation), we are able to offer circus teachers and professionals regular opportunities to participate in free, all-inclusive circus training courses in locations across Europe. Learn new skills, network with other circus professionals from many different countries, and see the world at the same time!
Our events and conferences are incredible opportunities to learn from some of the top circus artists, teachers and thinkers internationally, at massively subsidised prices. CircusWorks members get discount tickets to all our events, and some events and training opportunities are members-only.
We run incredible events for young people and professionals in the circus and youth circus sector, in the UK and across Europe.
Our main, annual events are the CircusWorks Conference and Festival (see below).
Smaller events we run include teacher training, professional skill workshops, advice and support sessions, performance opportunities for young people, youth circus exchanges and more. Check the What’s On section of the website for more information on upcoming events and opportunites.
Every year we run 3 packed days of workshops, talks, Q&As and discussion groups for professionals in the circus and youth circus sector.
These include lectures on the latest research conducted by top international circus academics, skills workshops with some of the most incredible circus artists in the world, discussions on ‘hot topics’, subject-specific workshops (e.g. on teaching inclusively, how to fundraise etc.), and talks and Q&As with important voices in the sector.
Due to Covid-19, we were unable to run our usual ‘in-person’ conference in 2020 – and so the Un-Conference was born! Throughout 2020, the CircusWorks Un-Conference brought together a community of circus and youth circus professionals across the UK and internationally, and offered support, training, and a lot of laughter! Find out more about our plans for 2021 here.
The CircusWorks Festival brings young people from youth circuses all over the UK together for a week-long circus bonanza!
Hosted in a different location each year, the festival gives young people the chance to learn from internationally renowned circus artists and teachers, make friends across the country, and perform in a real big top!
Young people are also given the chance to see an array of incredible circus shows, as the CircusWorks festival is usually ‘attached’ to a larger festival or event (e.g. the Edinburgh Fringe).
We exist for you! As the UK youth circus umbrella, our role is advocate, research, and network on your behalf, provide you with all the resources, training, contacts, advice and support that you need, and organise events and opportunities for you and your staff. CircusWorks is a grassroots organisation that takes direction from its membership – by becoming a member, as well as gaining a wealth of resources, you support the UK youth circus sector by adding your voice to the conversation. Join us.
Our research and resources are invaluable to anyone working professionally in the circus and youth circus sector! Whether you’re looking for teaching tools, curriculums, skill-specific resources, academic research, information on rigging, fundraising support or administrative resources, tools and templates. We also offer circus professionals training opportunities nationally and internationally, discount access to circus conferences, workshops and other events, and can connect you to youth circuses and other institutions across the UK.
Membership for teachers and professionals is just £4 a month. Join us today.
We believe every young person has the right to learn circus. If you have a child you think might be interested in becoming part of a youth circus, check out our Youth Circus Map to see if there are any near you!
Circus is a non-competitive, teamwork orientated form of exercise, that particularly suits young people who struggle with competitive sports. There is such diversity of skills that there’s something to suit everyone – whether your child is a technical minded juggler, a natural clown, an acrobat, or wants to fly – by joining a youth circus children gain a community, a creative form of expression, and a chance to perform.
While most youth circuses are highly inclusive, some, like Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists in the South West of England, specialise in creating integrated circus performance. Whoever your child is and whatever their strengths, consider bringing them into the incredible world of youth circus!
First of all, if you’re 0, well done for getting this far.
If you’re not yet part of a youth circus, check out our Youth Circus Map to see if there’s one near you!
If you’re already part of the circus world, check out the ‘What’s On‘ section of our website: we often post opportunities and events for young people.
So do we!
Youth circuses are the future of circus – quite literally. The passion for circus that youth circuses develop in young people, goes on to create the circus performers and audiences of the future. The more young people we can involve in circus from an early age, the stronger the professional circus sector will become.
Consider becoming a CircusWorks Supporter to help us support the future of circus.
Circus is a unique artform – it combines performance, self-expression, adventure, skill, strength, flexibility, co-ordination, endurance, timing, teamwork and trust.
Young people who engage with circus not only improve their physical abilities and learn new skills – they gain an artform, a mode of self-expression, and often (since so much of circus is rooted in teamwork and trust), deep connections and friendships. Youth circuses can have a truly transformative effect on young people; offering a sense of community, purpose and passion.
Circus is a vast, diverse artform: from the sequins and delight of traditional circus, to the limitless possibilities of contemporary circus, to fusions with dance, clowning, mime and cabaret. Young people who become part of a youth circus discover a world in which they can be whoever they want to be – whether they want to clown around, or fly.
If you care about the arts, sports, exercise or young people, supporting the youth circus sector is not a bad idea! Consider becoming a CircusWorks Supporter today.
Membership rates are competitive and offer exclusive benefits to organisations and individuals.
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