Bryce Beckett learned a long time ago the correlation between life and circus skills.
For the last few years Beckett, circus performer, early childhood educator and social worker and psychotherapist Poe Liberado has been developing a program for all ages through facilitating discovery, growth and play.
Beckett has found it is a particularly important tool for young people in building trust, development emotional intelligence, community and respecting boundaries.
“I am motivated to do what I can through play to fortify the spirit and help kids, families, and adults to look inward, listen, and take courageous actions,” said Beckett. “I love it when people are having fun noticing the voice of fear in themselves and reprogramming it. I love to see people developing trust in themselves and respect for each other.”
To that end, starting Oct. 17 his Inspire Circus group will be offering a five-week, after school program for kids seven to 13 called Circus After School at Concordia Lutheran Church and School.
“We try to teach kids to trust in themselves and to represent their boundaries and also to build an awareness that if something’s hard it’s not that they can’t do it, it just may require an investment and that’s a choice they can make,” said Beckett, who created a similar program last spring in Kelowna for the parks and recreation department. “It’s a life skill that we try to reprogram the way we maneuver through our society so later on in life if people feel supported and trust themselves.”
He’s been taking the course to special events and festivals and ran a camp in Naramata last summer.
“We take a skill such as juggling, you have to make a choice to invest in learning that,” said Beckett. “It’s pretty quick, once kids learn the word ‘can’t’ they start applying it to everything that’s hard or they don’t want to do.
“With juggling we ask them about challenges they’ve had in their lives so building an awareness of the stories we build better selves.”
Other skills the kids learn include stilt walking, clowning, balancing, partner acrobatics (especially good for the trust component) and other games as a catalyst for personal development.
Rounding out the team at Inspire Circus are musician, magician and teacher Micheal Treadway and artist Isaac Jordan.
“I am motivated to do what I can through play to fortify the spirit and help kids, families, and adults to look inward, listen, and take courageous actions,” Beckett says. “I love it when people are having fun noticing the voice of fear in themselves and reprogramming it. I love to see people developing trust in themselves and respect for each other.”
The cost of the program is $150 and registration can be made at www.inspirecircus.com