Acrobatics Workshop Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:06:56
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No matter which figures or pyramids are being tried, the facilitator must make sure that there are catchers present to prevent injuries. Participants should be instructed how to catch one another and to take responsibility for others in the group. 1. Description of the activity Part 1 Warming Up & Trust Exercises A. The participants are put into pairs. One partner becomes a guide, the other becomes blind. The guide takes their blind partner for a walk (around the grounds, over obstacles, etc.) while holding hands. After some minutes the partners change roles.

Variations: Follow the same steps as above, but have the seeing partner lead with only one finger. Alternatively, have the seeing partner lead using only their voice no physical contact between partners. B. In pairs, participants stand face to face with their feet together and holding hands. Each person leans back carefully with full body strength by stretching their arms. The challenge is to maintain balance. C. All participants stand together in a circle and hold hands. Count off into 1s and 2s. On the signal, using all their strength, the 1s lean inside while the 2s lean outside. After a few seconds, carefully pull back into a normal circle and then change (2s inside, 1s outside).

D. In small groups (3-7 persons), one person stands in the middle of a circle. Standing stiff and without moving their feet, the one in the middle falls from one person to another and is slowly passed around inside the circle. After some moments, change roles. Give everyone a chance to be in the middle. Variation: you can also do this with just three persons. The one in the middle is slowly passed forward and backwards between two persons.

Part 2 Stretching Before trying actual figures, it is important to warm up the joints and the muscles. Gently stretch legs, arms, neck, and shoulders. Dont forget to pay attention to the wrists and ankles, too. Part 3 First Acrobatic Steps 3A. Napoleon (3 persons):  The first person goes down and takes the bench position; the second person goes up and forms a bench on top of the first person (see diagram 4)  The first person goes down and takes bench position; second person goes up and stands on the shoulders and hip of the bench. Keeping their balance, the bench slowly starts to walk forwards on their hands and knees (see diagram 10). (Remember you must NEVER stand in the middle of the benchs back, only on their shoulders and hips!)

The third person is always the catcher for the person who is up. 3B. Knee stands (4 persons)  The first person goes down and takes the bench position; second person sits down on the benchs hips (facing benchs feet); taking the second persons hands, third person goes up and stands on second persons knees (keep holding hands). If second and third person can balance on their own, the bench can walk away, leaving the two in balance position. The fourth person is the catcher.

3C. Galion figure (4 persons)  The same as 3B (above), but second and third person open op their arms on one side and look in the same direction. (You still need the fourth person as catcher.) Part 4 Pyramids and standing on shoulders Once participants have grasped the basic steps, they can proceed onto building pyramids and making new shapes (see diagrams in section D Some Pyramids). 2. General remarks Who can do acrobatics?

Acrobatics can be used with groups of all ages: teenagers, adults, even children from 4 or 5 years of age. It is important to include the warming up and trust-building exercises, especially if the people in the group do not know each other very well. Stretching and warming-up the muscles is important to avoid accidents. Everyone in the group should be taught the catchers tasks. The group has to take responsibility for itself it is up to everyone to look out for one another.

Why use acrobatics? Acrobatics is a perfect method for team-building at any age. Its good to learn to give and to take help from one another. Even if you have only a short amount of time, participants can learn amazing things like building pyramids or standing on shoulders. Acrobatics can help people learn about taking responsibility for others but also about respecting limits (their own and other persons). The atmosphere in the workshop should allow participants to say if they dont want to try a certain figure or activity.

An extra touch If you have more time (e.g. the group stays together several days), the participants can put together a presentation. This is a great way for the group to show off what they have learned (especially good for children and young adults). Accessibility Some groups may have specific needs (e.g. older participants or individuals with physical or mental disabilities), but these are not reasons for people to be excluded. For example, past experiments with acrobatics has shown that its possible to include people who might be missing a limb or even those in wheelchairs. There may be some limits, but in most cases it just takes some fantasy to create new forms and figures which include all members of the group.

3. Literature There are many resources to be found describing acrobatics and other circus activities. Two of these include: 1. Rudi Ballreich, Udo v. Grabowiecki (Hg.), Zirkus spielen. Ein Handbuch, 1999 Stuttgart/Leipzig. Not only about acrobatics but all circus skills you can use with young people, tips for presentation as well. (German language) 2. J.M. Fodero/E.E. Furblur, Creating Gymnastics, Pyramids and Balances. Leisure Press, Champaign, Illinois, 1989. This book focuses only on acrobatics and has a great amount of drawings for figures for 2 persons up to pyramids with 15 or more persons. For beginners to advanced. You can find some figures presented in the book on the Internet: (A German-language edition of this book is available under the title Menschenpyramiden.)

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