Monday the 15th of April – Friday the 19th of April (Chifley)
Monday the 15th of April – Friday the 19th of April (Kaleen)
Monday the 22th of April – Friday the 26th of April (Chifley) *No class on Thurs 25th for Anzac Day Public Holiday
Time: 9am – 3pm each day
Warehouse Circus Training Space, Chifley Health and Wellbeing Hub, Cnr of Maclaurin Cres and Eggleston Cres, Chifley, ACT (weeks 1, 2)
University of Canberra High School Kaleen, Baldwin Drive, Kaleen (week 1)
$330 per week (incl. GST) – weeks 1
$270 per week (incl. GST) – week 2 (four day week)
Warehouse Circus School Holiday Programs cater to young people who have never done any circus before right up to those who are experienced circus performers. Many participants come to a School Holiday Program in order to experience the full range of what Warehouse Circus can teach in just one week – in other words, to see what all the fuss is about before joining our Core classes! Others are avid Core class members who just can’t get enough of circus and want to get a head start on the upcoming term of training. Some are just looking for something fun and challenging to do over the holiday period. Whatever the motive for enrolling, participants inevitably leave the program feeling fit and having built lasting friendships with other young circus performers. The program involves structured workshops on specific skills, strength and coordination as well as free time. Young people learn a range of different skills including tumbling, mini trampoline, stilt walking, unicycling, Rolla bola, hula hooping, juggling, diabolo, staff or poi twirling and the basics of aerial disciplines such as tissue and trapeze (aerial not yet available at Kaleen). Warehouse Circus fosters a co-operative environment rather than a competitive one and aims to give everyone an opportunity to learn fun skills they can show off with. On the final day of each program participants are given an opportunity to show off what they have learnt in a performance for family and friends.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer our annual survey! We were flooded with positive feedback and overall, it seems members are very happy! We will be including stats from this survey in our Annual Report this year but in the meantime, a few issues have been raised about areas that members think could be improved on so we thought it would be good to provide some detailed feedback on how we are seeking to meet your requests or why certain requests may not be possible for a while. We have grouped responses under common headings and have endeavoured to answer all questions within one response to each area. This is an ongoing discussion so if you have more to add please contact us via email with further feedback and comments.
We got a significant amount of feedback from participants of the Saturday Aerial Program. Aerial participants would like to see more training time available to them so they can train more on the rig. It was also noted that the height of the rig at Chifley is limiting to some tricks.
I’ll start with some background on the aerial program that you may not know. The rig at Chifley was a product of much advocating to government by previous Boards and Staff. Finally, we were granted significant funds through the Chief Minister’s Department to install a free-standing rig at Chifley as the roof would not sustain being rigged from. The free standing rig was custom designed for the space and constructed at the maximum height allowable by the space, which means that the height restrictions we face are something that we are just going to have to deal with.
The second restriction we face is time on our timetable at Chifley to offer additional, supervised time on the rig. Further, the safest way to learn Aerial is through classes where participants are guided at all times. Open supervised rig time would only be appropriate for advanced level students where we are sure they know their limits for tricks and no new tricks could be practiced in this time as many require spotting.
The current Aerial program is very new relative to our general circus program and it has come an enormously long way in the time it has been running. The next step in this program is the establishment of rigging points at our new location on the North Side, the University of Canberra High School Kaleen. We are currently in consultation with the school and an engineer to make this happen and it should not be too far off now. We have limited use of the space so practice time may still not be an option there, but some aerial specific classes are definitely on the cards – and the roof is much higher too! We will advertise these classes as soon as we know they are possible. We will also try to make them complimentary to the Chifley classes so those wanting more rig time can enrol in both.
In the meantime, remember, a great deal of achievement in Aerial comes from the gaining of strength from week to week in order to do higher level tricks. Some suggestions for those wanting to progress faster are:
- Ask your trainer for some strength drills that you can do at home to prepare you for class
- Join another program that focusses on strength development and/or form. Our general circus classes do many tumbling and strength drills that are helpful for Aerial as well, and there is some scope to get time on Aerial in these classes also.
MASTER CLASSES/TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
We have had feedback that people want more master classes offered. Some things that members may not be aware of:
- We have started running an annual training intensive which is a collection of intensive classes across a range of disciplines. It usually runs in January, so keep an eye out on our website for details!
- We seek to arrange training opportunities with professionals whenever they are in town with some time up their sleeve.
- We ran a rotating master class program in terms 2 and 3, 2012. The response was average. The feedback was many families could not afford the time and additional cost of these classes. We want to look at relaunching this program this year but need to rethink the form so that we get enough enrolments to make it viable. We are very keen for workable suggestions about this! Things to consider: do you want one off classes or ongoing programs (ie. once a month)? What disciplines are you interested in? Do you know of a specific trainer you want to work with? Have you spoken to your class mates – is there are group of you interested in the same thing?
A suggestion was that we give members an opportunity to vote or suggest classes for the upcoming year. Well the good news is, while there is no formal voting system, effectively you CAN do this! Through our annual survey you can suggest classes you would like to see run – or you can just send us an email. If we get enough interest in a certain thing, we make it happen! Maybe not straight away, as there is a lot of work involved (sometimes waiting for the opportunity of a specialist trainer in town), but we do invest time and energy in selecting classes that we think will be worthwhile and popular – not only based on your formal feedback but on your discussions with trainers in classes about what you would like to learn. That is how all our master classes are decided on. The message here is; Warehouse is your organisation. We make decisions based on you and the feedback you give us all the time – we never make decisions in a vacuum. If something is missing that you would like to see, let us know! If we don’t respond with a class it is because we have not had similar interest from enough members to make it possible or that there are no trainers that we have been able to secure to teach the class.
SCHOOL HOLIDAY PROGRAMS FOR UNDER 8s
A number of you want to see holiday programs for the under 8s. This is a great idea and we will be looking into the feasibility of this over the next year. We have only relatively recently started teaching for under 8s (compared with 22 years of working with the 8 – 17 age range) so we are going to need some development and planning time before we move to this next stage. We do find that catering for teenagers in holiday programs means that we are filling a particular gap in Canberra that would otherwise not be catered for. A consideration is that an under 8s holiday program would need to be in addition to our existing holiday programs which means that finding space is tricky. With our 8 and over programs filling earlier every holidays, we need to plan carefully for yet another stage of development, but rest assured, the idea is in the mix with all the rest and is likely to be a part of our growth in future years.
Marketing of performances and events was raised with the suggestion that Warehouse Circus should seek some professional marketing. We acknowledge that a number of areas, in particular, around Circus for Life 2012 could have been marketed more efficiently to the wider Canberra community. Unfortunately at the time we were down one person in the office for a period of six weeks which hindered our marketing efforts.
In September we hired Katy to fill a Marketing and Operations role. Katy did a fantastic job pulling together the Circus for Life campaign which was sketchy before she arrived, but with only just over a month lead time and a small office team, it was difficult to get every event out there as much as we would have liked. Rest assured though, this is on our list of areas to improve on in 2013, with marketing plans for Circus for Life 2013 already underway. We did a full debrief on areas for improvement and are planning, among other things, to hold a media launch of the festival this year.
That said, the festival is currently entirely funded by Warehouse Circus so it won’t be possible financially to do a great deal of paid advertising. Of course, fund raising is always an option. Volunteer led fundraising is by far the most effective as it means that all funds raised can go back towards the event (rather than going back to paying for the wages it took to organise and supervise the fundraiser!). If anyone has fundraising ideas they would like put forward and/or coordinate, we would love to hear from you. We will be putting together a fund raising committee this year so look out for the call for volunteers in the newsletter! For the regional tour some very successful busking groups were taken out on weekends by volunteers. This served the dual purpose of raising funds and raising awareness about what we were doing – this might be a simple way to build our advertising budget for 2013.
TRAINER FEEDBACK AND INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPANT DEVELOPMENT:
It has also been suggested that trainers set aside some time to provide individual participant feedback to parents after sessions in order to ‘build community, give feedback re progress, express where to from here’. We can see how this might be valuable for parents but unfortunately, with over 240 participants now enrolled, this is not feasible to offer as an added service, either time-wise for trainers (who may have back to back classes) or financially with fees as they currently are. I thought, instead, it might be good to address the possible ways in which parents and participants might proactively address their individual progress through our core circus program.
We are happy to take calls and emails at the office regarding a participant’s progress. We can get the relevant trainer to call or email you back, or we can arrange a face to face meeting with you and/or your participants to discuss specific personal, training and performance goals or any issues with classes. If you have quick questions, trainers may have time to address them directly before or after class but please understand that at times this is not possible due to busy timetabling. It is important that trainers are able to take adequate breaks between classes so we recommend scheduling a time with the office. Our trainers are also present at our mid-year and end of year shows as well as any community events that we might be performing at and may have time to chat then.
It is important to remember that while we do cater for many students who are working towards carers in the industry, our classes are first and foremost, community based circus classes which aim to promote social inclusion, fun and fitness. High achievement in skills is encouraged but not forced – this is not the only goal of circus training. This is reflected in our choice to run predominantly General Circus Classes rather than classes based around specific disciplines. There is a market in the industry for the well-rounded performers that come out of Warehouse Circus, but we do not emphasise specialisation from a young age to maximise a child’s potential to be ‘the best’ at what they do. We instead focus on forming lasting bonds within troupes, creating performances as a team and providing opportunities for everyone.
That said, if a participant aspires to a high level of skill in a particular area, they have room to develop this at Warehouse. Many students, especially those at intermediate level and above, will be able to manage their own progress in a pro-active way through ongoing discussions with their trainers during class. Part of the requirements for an intermediate participant is that they are proactive in their approach to training. Intermediate troupes keep training journals in which they log their progress and record their act development. Once they have acts developed that can be performed for an audience they can be invited to perform at community events. We select appropriate events for them very carefully to make sure their first performing experiences are positive. Encourage your participant to ask questions and speak up about their goals to their trainers. While our trainers try to challenge all participants no matter what level they are at, they will be able to cater to individual training goals to a greater extent if your participant can let them know.
PROGRESSION THROUGH THE CIRCUS:
We get a lot of questions about progression through the circus. We understand that this can be confusing but an overall understanding of how our programs and troupes work can help you to know where your participant might be up to. It is important to say first that progression through the circus is different for everyone based on age, skill level, maturity and attitude. It is common for participants to stay at one level for a number of years. This does not reflect negatively on the participant or the class.
When you join the circus you will first go into a circus program based on your age. These are: Tiny Tucks (for 3 – 5 yr olds); Half Highs (for 5 – 7 yr olds); Kick Ups (for 8 to 13 yr olds); Teens (Beetroots/Bok Choys – for 13 – 17 yr olds) and; Adults Class (18 yrs old and up). From here, you will be contacted any time you change age brackets and invited to move classes. Once you are in a Kick Ups program, the next stage is to be invited into an Intermediate Troupe. Troupes differ from programs in the following ways:
- You can enrol straight into programs while Troupes are invitation only.
- Program enrolment is based on age and availability of places in the program while invitation into a Troupe is based on a number of factors including skill level, maturity and attitude as well as balancing the class dynamic, ages, gender balance, group size and skill level and trainer skills on that class, to allow for participants to get the most out of training. Because invitations are based on a broad range of factors it is quite common for participants to spend several terms, even years, in a Kick Ups program before being invited to join a troupe. You can rest assured however, that our trainers are continually keeping watch for participants who are ready to participate in a troupe and when the time is right, we will be in touch to make the offer of a place.
- Each Warehouse Circus Troupe has its own individual name (ie. Spuds, Sprouts, Karrots etc.).
- In Troupes, more responsibility is placed on the participant for managing their own behaviour, training and progression.
- Troupes keep a training journal where they log their progress and write performances.
- Once troupe members have completed performances in their journals they may be asked to perform at community events on behalf of Warehouse Circus.
- Where possible, an intermediate troupe may be involved in a performance as part of the Warehouse Circus annual special project (for example, a show for Circus for Life, involvement in a Regional tour production etc.).
The one exception to the above definitions is the Teens troupes, Beetroots and Bok Choys, which function simultaneously as introductory programs for teenage participants who are new to circus and as troupes into which Kick Ups or Intermediate troupe members might progress. For example, an Intermediate participant who is 13 or older might be better suited to training with a 13 – 17 age group and might decide to transfer into a teens troupe.
Both the teen troupes and the intermediate troupes can feed into our Advanced Performance Troupe, or ‘A Troupe’. Once again, A Troupe is an invitation only class. As with intermediate troupes, invitations to A Troupe are based on a number of factors including skill level, maturity and attitude as well as balancing the class dynamic, ages, gender balance, group size and group skill level. There is no specific formula for entry but if you are keen to be invited, you can talk to your trainer about areas you might need to work on in order for this to happen. Participants in A Troupe have made the commitment to training twice a week as well as being available for additional show rehearsals when required and to being available for community events throughout the year. This commitment is given to Warehouse Circus in exchange for an extra night per week training so there is an expectation that A Troupe members will make themselves available for most public shows by Warehouse Circus.
Warehouse Circus participants from both A-Troupe and Teen Troupes can be invited to participate in our Trainee Trainer program. Participants are invited who: have appropriate interpersonal skills; have appropriate skill level; and have expressed an interest in becoming a Trainee Trainer. The Trainee Trainer program runs as required.
For those performers who are aspiring professional performers, have their own transport and can manage themselves at events, we run an Emerging Artists Program. This is a developing program which currently involves weekly mentoring sessions and professional performance opportunities.
We have had some concerns expressed about some of our intermediate students not progressing as rapidly as parents might have hoped. Performance and training opportunities for our Kaleen classes has also been raised.
This is a complex issue with many things to consider. First, it is often the case that skills develop so that no progress is demonstrated and then suddenly a student progresses rapidly. This is because of the strength involved and also the level of difficulty of some disciplines. Inters students do go through stages where they are hitting a wall with training, this is normal and will pass. Secondly, we don’t tend to consider mid and end of year show as a chance for participants to show off everything they can do. It is not feasible with the number of students we have performing. For inters, if they are committed and working hard towards acts in their journals, they will be invited to perform these acts occasionally at community events. Last year, our Chifley inters had the opportunity to produce a major show. Due to the newness of the class at Kaleen and the logistics of it, we could not involve Kaleen participants in this show. However, with Circus for Life 2013 on the horizon, we are working on ways to make sure Kaleen participants get a bigger performance opportunity to work towards this year.
We have also started a Kaleen mentoring program where inters from our Chifley program who have been involved for a long time, come and participate in Kaleen. Already we are finding that the energy and enthusiasm from the Kaleen Karrots has increased immensely.
END OF YEAR SHOW:
It has been suggested that the End of Year Show is too long and perhaps we should consider moving the AGM. We agree! We are looking at ways to improve the Mid and End of Year Shows logistically. We have found that having two halves with the AGM in the middle is only just feasible at our current size. It allows parents to just come to one half if they find the whole day too long. Although as we grow this will get less sustainable! We are hesitant to move the AGM as we have a history of very low turn outs and need a quorum of members to vote in the new Board – however, it is not a long meeting and doesn’t add too much to the length.
We are in the process of putting more info on our website about how our general structure works so it is more readily available but for now, I hope I have been able to address most of the questions and suggestions raised through our survey. Thank you to everyone who has given us their input – we really appreciate it and we do take it on board so keep it coming!
Yours in Circus,
Welcome back to another term of circus fun. Hope you all had a fantastic break and that everyone who is going back to school today has a great first day back!
Thanks to all our amazing School Holiday Program students, you were a delight to have and we were amazed to see how much you were able to learn and improve!
Looking forward to seeing you all in term classes again starting from today!
From the Warehouse Circus Team
We are excited to announce the new School Holiday Program for January 2013 to be held at Kaleen! The new space at the University of Canberra High School Kaleen gym will be host to the fourth week of school holiday programs: it is a 4 day program (Tuesday to Friday) running from the 29th of January to the 1st of February.
There are three weeks of Holiday programs earlier in January, which will all be held at Warehouse Circus HQ in Chifley.
The program involves structured workshops for developing specific skills, strength and coordination, as well as having free-time. Young people learn a range of different skills including tumbling, mini trampoline, stilt walking, unicycling, Rolla bola, hula hooping, juggling, diabolo, and staff and poi twirling.
More classes will be announced for the Kaleen space in 2013!
Circus for Life Festival of 2012 has come to a close!
We now set our sites on the up and coming end of year show that will show case each and every Warehouse Circus core class troupe.
You can come and check out all the amazing new tricks and skills they have learned this year at this fun event to wrap up the year in style.
Click Here for more details!
The Circus for Life program is jam packed with circus activity in three separate locations, including the Warehouse Circus HQ, The Street Theatre, and the Belconnen Community Theatre.
Click Here for more info about the Circus for Life Program including events, ticketing and how you can get involved!