Circus Maximus: a crash course in confidenceBy Matt Hardy
The Cirkidz 2016 Circus Maximus event was the first for our family. Our daughters—one aged nine, who’s part of the Live Wirez performance group, and the other seven, in Tackerz—have only been taking classes with the organisation for a few months. But the changes my wife and I have seen in them as a result of their involvement in this joyous end-of-year showcase, held at the Cirkidz Bowden facility on November 20, have us ready to sign up for life.
First and foremost, their spirits are soaring. They had an absolute ball. Their fantastic trainers made the entire process light, creative and fun, and applied not an ounce of anxiety-inducing pressure to “get it right”. The kids were given a basic performance plan and storyline to work with, based around a plane crash in a magical land (all passengers survived, you’ll be glad to hear!), but were invited to contribute their own ideas on its execution; and those ideas were respectfully and enthusiastically responded to. Our girls felt included and valued, and their confidence skyrocketed.
This has since manifested in them conceiving and playing a host of imaginative games at home that involve noticeably more creative role playing, and are based on collaboration, not competition.
Secondly, they’re now more prepared to stand up for themselves. As just one example of this, in the week following Maximus our formerly longhaired eldest daughter had the courage to go through with getting a significantly different haircut—it’s now quite short—despite a couple of her friends at school saying, rather unhelpfully, they didn’t think it would suit her. She did this, after a great deal of thought and reflection, for two reasons. One, she believed it would be easier to manage during her circus classes, and two, “it just felt right for me”.
We’re convinced the diversity and lack of judgement at Cirkidz—the celebration of each person’s uniqueness that was so clear at Maximus—has played a huge part in this.
And finally, our girls are more responsible. We’ve noticed that, rather than always asking us to do things for them, or with them, they’re getting on and doing things themselves. Again, the clearest example comes from our nine-year-old. A week after Maximus, we grabbed a quick lunch in a busy city café. Just as our food arrived, we noticed her hands were quite dirty, so informed her she’d need to wash them before eating. To our astonishment—and great pride—she simply stood up and calmly took herself off to the bathroom; no humphs or groans, and no asking mum to accompany her through what could easily have been an intimidating crowd.
So, although the actual performances at Maximus were wonderful to watch, for us they’re not the main attraction. It’s the contribution Cirkidz is making to our children’s growth and development as people that will keep us in the front row.
Myf (Tackerz) and Adi (Live Wires) before their big day: