Vilma is a child who has not taken so much place in the class during the circus lessons. She has participated actively since Cirkus Unik came to her school for the first time, but it has always been as if something is holding her back. She acts as if she is a little afraid of the exercises we do and her friend often speaks in her place. Some might have just called her shy, but during the spring term of 2020 we were honored to see another Vilma who is strong, brave and loves the circus.
We came back to the school during the spring term after having had a break during the fall. The kids were overjoyed to have the circus on schedule again! This time, the class teachers had chosen to divide the children into smaller groups that were designed so that group dynamics would be the best possible. We could immediately see the results of the distributions and the lessons were very calm.
This time Vilma had started a new grade with new constellations both in class and in the circus lessons. As the weeks went by we noticed that she dared to take more space and she had found a new favorite moment; aerial acrobatics in the trapeze. As soon as Vilma entered the gym she wanted to start practicing the trapeze. She struggled hard and in just a few lessons she had managed to do many new exercises. She never complained that the exercises were difficult and seemed to appreciate that we challenged her. We encouraged her new fervor and let her spend extra time practicing aerial acrobatics. We felt that Vilma needed a little extra attention from us educators in order for her to take her place fully. Quite quickly Vilma began to express that she did not think that the little circus training she was getting in school was enough, she wanted to practice more circus because she had obviously found “her stuff”. Now, Vilma has signed up for Circus Unik’s regular circus school to be able to practice aerial acrobatics regularly.
As a circus educator, it has been great fun to see this child’s development and I feel that the circus has helped Vilma find her strength. It is so important for a child to feel that one has “his thing” which is his own and the circus became Vilma’s thing. She chose it not to do the same as her friends but because she found her own interest in it. It feels great that Cirkus Unik had the opportunity, thanks to financial support from Erik and Lily Philipson’s Memorial Fund, to come back to Kannebäck School so that Vilma had the chance to find “her thing”.
* Vilma is a fictitious name.