Photo shared with kind permission of Cirkidz


Circus is good for your health!

We knew it! The amazing folks at Cirkidz have teamed up with the University of South Australia to have a look at the mental health benefits of circus skills, and the results are pretty impressive.

Their research shows that participation in a circus arts program led to improvement across four key areas concerning children’s mental health and well-being:-

    • stress relief;
    • self-esteem;
    • confidence; and
    • socialisation.

Physical vs social benefits

The physical benefits of circus skills classes are well recognised; increased strength and coordination are a natural byproduct of being active. But being part of a circus community is quite a different experience to being involved in more mainstream competitive sports. The focus on problem solving and creativity in circus skills encourages children to think outside the box and value their individuality.

Life skills

The Cirkidz study focuses on how experiences during childhood shape our futures. Our early experiences should create a foundation for positive mental and social development. The skills that children learn in circus school go way beyond the physical acts of balance and strength that you see; they are encouraged to work as a team, support each other, take inspiration from each other and respect each other.

While this sounds no different to many team sports children might participate in, a huge difference is the fact that children can succeed as a soloist or as part of a team in circus skills, and there is never any need to announce winners or losers. This allows circus students to focus on their own progress and celebrate their own successes based on how they feel about themselves and their efforts, rather than their sense of achievement being intrinsically linked to a ranking system.

Social return

Based on their findings, the University of South Australia estimated that for every one dollar invested in a circus arts programme, $7 of social return may be generated. So you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving circus a try!

Find out more

If you want to read more about the study then head to Cirkidz‘ Facebook page, or drop them a message. Or just get yourself down to your local circus school and experience the benefits for yourself!


If you’re interested in coming to a class at CirqueScape then check out our drop-in class schedule, or feel free to contact us on

We also offer termly courses for kids & teens… click here to find out more.

Want to know what life in a circus is like? Then read about our founder’s circus adventures!

What’s the point in a goal if you’re not enjoying the journey towards it…?


Having goals is a good thing, right? It gives us something to aim for, a bit of direction and purpose. But bad goal setting can be more damaging than having no goals at all.

The problem is, goal setting has become pretty complicated these days… before you can set a goal it seems you need to decide the goal of your goal. Confused? We’re not surprised. On the goal menu today we have specific goals, stretch goals, results goals, incremental goals, learning goals, mastery goals, performance goals, #couplegoals… is the words “goals” losing all meaning? Let’s refocus.

The problems with goals:-

1. Getting bogged down in one goal at the expense of living life

We’ve probably all either witnessed it or been guilty of it at times – one thing becomes the be-all and end-all of life as we know it. The goal of getting that job or nailing that trick becomes our nemesis. It. Will. Not. Defeat. You. Except it does, by reducing your life to a single elusive purpose and skipping off with your sanity.

2. Engaging in unhealthy or risk-taking behaviours to achieve goals

This is a common problem with weight loss and fitness goals, but can creep into play with any goal. Late nights at the office to get that promotion, under-eating or overtraining, acting out of character to win approval from someone influential, breaking rules and regulations that exist to keep you and others safe. These behaviours can often appear to offer short-term gains, but are the potential long-term sacrifices worth it?

3. Becoming frustrated or demotivated by a goal that actually isn’t within our control

If your goal is to get a specific job then there are several ways of doing that. One way is to make yourself the best candidate for the job. Another is to suck up to whoever does the hiring and firing and hope that nepotism wins the day. If you choose one of these strategies then someone else might choose the same strategy and do it better. Or, you might be the best candidate for the job and nepotism could rule. Ultimately, you can’t control the outcome. Which can be soul-destroying.

So… what’s the solution to these problems? Basically, diversity is key – have a range of goals. Break down your aims and make them achievable. The two questions you really need to be asking yourself when you’re goal setting are:-

1. Why do I want to achieve this goal?

Be open minded when you’re asking yourself this question. Think about what other goals might lead you in the same direction, perhaps even in a better way. Adjust your goals if needed. Give yourself a more manageable and achievable short-term aim that will set you on the right path. You haven’t failed at your original goal if you make these adjustments, you’re just being flexible about your journey. Why not give yourself the best chance of long-term success and happiness?

2. Does success in this goal ultimately depend on something I can’t control?

If it does, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad goal to have. Just try to make sure it’s not the goal you’re most focused on, and certainly make sure it’s not your only goal. Give yourself the opportunity to be the master of your own success at least some of the time. If your goal is to get a particular job, make it your main aim to be an outstanding candidate for the job by improving yourself. If you end up getting the job as a result it’s a bonus. But if you don’t then you’ll be better prepared for the next time an opportunity comes about.


Always remember that success is in the eye of the beholder. Not smashing every single goal you set at your first attempt, or even your second, third or twentieth attempt, is NOT the same thing as never achieving anything worthwhile. Be kind to yourself, and celebrate every victory. Some days that will just be getting out of bed in the morning, and that’s ok!


For some interesting reads on goals, check out these articles:-

Harvard Business School – Goals gone wild

Forbes Magazine – Why setting goals can do more harm than good

Everyone’s heard of FOMO, right? But have you heard of FOTU? And is it holding you back?

“I’ve always wanted to try that, but…” is something we hear a lot here at CirqueScape.

“… but I don’t think I’ll be any good at it”

“… but I’m worried I won’t enjoy it”

“… but I’ll probably feel really out of place”

All of these concerns have FOTU in common… fear of the unknown. Now, we’re not trying to do FOTU down. A little bit of FOTU is a healthy thing. It’s what will keep you out of the honourable mentions of the Darwin awards. But if it’s not kept in check then it can raise its head every time you consider stepping outside your comfort zone.

Here’s the thing… whether it’s silks, trapeze, or aerial hoop you try, everyone can achieve something in their first aerial class. Whether you meet your own expectations depends on how realistic those expectations are. Chances are you’re not going to be rewriting the stars quite like Zac Efron and Zendaya on your very first day. But then you don’t have the magic of CGI to defy physics for you (shhhhhhh… you didn’t hear it from us that some of those moves aren’t real).

Almost nobody walks into an aerial studio for the first time and immediately looks like they were born to fly on a trapeze (there’s always one though, right?!)… but that’s not what it’s about. Aerial and circus arts are about challenging your own abilities and running your own race. There’s always something new to learn. Even if you’ve been doing it for years. Where you start doesn’t matter, there is ALWAYS room for improvement. What would be the point in carrying on if there wasn’t? The most important things are:-

  1. You’re doing it safely
  2. You’re enjoying it
  3. That’s it. That’s what’s important in recreational aerial arts.

If you’re nailing step 1 and step 2, then progress will happen naturally. If you really can’t get the hang of both of those steps, it’s time to stop. Some people like tennis, some people like chess, some people like hanging upside down from swinging metal bars, others don’t. And that’s ok… you do you. Just make sure it’s not FOTU that’s stopping you from trying out something that you might actually really enjoy. The bottom line is, you’re never actually going to KNOW whether you’ll be good at it, or you’ll enjoy it, or if you’ll feel comfortable… unless you get out there and try it. If it turns out you don’t enjoy it then you can just… stop going! But you’ll have gained so much from just giving it a go.

Stepping out of your comfort zone once in a while offers huge benefits for your mental health, so in the run-up to mental health awareness week why not treat yourself to something a bit out of the ordinary? If you want proof of the feel-good factor our classes have then go and have a look at the reviews section of our Facebook page. Or book yourself in for a class and leave your own review… what have you got to lose?! Check out our class schedule and book in here!

Don’t just take our word for it, click the links below to check out a couple of great quick reads on the benefits of overcoming your fears and trying out new stuff… and let us know if this blog post encourages you to try something new… we’d love to hear about it!

HuffPost – A look at the incredible benefits of trying new things

Psychology Today – Happiness & trying new things