Jonathan – Circus School 2021

Trust and communication are key for people to develop their capacities. This is something that Jonathan has shown this term training circus with us. He started training in the Funktionsvariationer group this fall and despite his excitement, he would show insecurities and would sometimes be uncomfortable with the exercises we proposed. 

For us, teachers, the challenge was to find exercises that were reasonable for Jonathan to try and that would not put pressure on him, but rather invite him to try to find his boundaries and work around them. His interest was there, he never missed one class and was engaged in the lesson during most of the time. We just needed to find the right approach to offer him an opportunity to distinguish his comfort and uncomfortable zones, and from there embrace the right challenges and test himself in a way that would not create anxiety, fear, insecurity or self devalidation. In other words, we were looking to offer Jonathan a space for just the right challenge, as we like to call it. That is, something that would challenge him in a way that would bring out self-esteem, self awareness, concentration, satisfaction and, of course, joy. A learning process conducted with respect for what he wants or does not want to do, and how far he is willing to get out of his comfort zone.

During the term, getting to know Jonathan a bit better week after week, we felt that he was getting more comfortable, more able to communicate with us and feeling safe and at ease in that environment. That made it possible for him to have a good time and learn so much circus! In the last class of the term, he was able to do something that might have seemed impossible in the beginning of the term. He proudly called everybody in the room to look at him, to see what he had achieved.  

His expression of surprise, happiness and pride was so beautiful to see and I was so thankful to be part of this development process of Jonathan, not just learning circus tricks, but learning so much about himself. Learning to appreciate what he is able to do, but also learning to set boundaries and reasonable challenges (lagom utmaningar) for himself. This process is crucial for any individual to build self respect, self understanding and self esteem, something that we at Cirkus Unik value so much and pursue. 

Jonathan is a fictitious name.

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