Galway Community Circus continues to expand its long-term partnership with University of Galway working towards a third-level education for circus teachers in Ireland.

Since November 2022, Galway Community Circus has been a company in residence at University of Galway via the Arts Council’s Young People, Children and Education (YPCE) Residency Scheme, and will continue the residency until the end of 2024.

The goal of the residency is to embed Youth and Social Circus in the curriculum of three degree courses across disciplines in order to educate a new generation of teachers on the benefits of circus in children’s education.

In 2023, this important partnership also saw us co-deliver our very first 12-week module for the Designing Futures programme, an initiative developed to help students succeed in life and the future world of work, as well as participating in the Arts in Action programme, where we discussed youth circus, our residency and the exciting circus research projects that are taking place.

YPCE Residency with University of Galway

Galway Community Circus are currently artists-in-residence at University of Galway as part of the Arts Council’s YPCE Residency programme where we have enriched modules across BA degrees delivering workshops, seminars and public events. Through this residency, Galway Community Circus brings our celebrated work with children to the education sector. The goal of this residency is to continue the collaboration between Galway Community Circus and University of Galway on embedding Youth and Social Circus in the curriculum of three degree courses across disciplines to educate a new generation of teachers on the benefits of circus in children’s education.

Through the residency, in collaboration with staff and students, Galway Community Circus contributes classes and workshops on modules across three disciplines; BA in Early Childhood Education and Professional Practice; BA in Children Studies and BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance.

To date, Galway Community Circus has delivered workshops as part of the Applied Theatre, Children and Creativity, Promoting Inclusion in Early Years Care and Education and Understanding Children’s Early Learning modules. We also hosted the first ever conference on circus and education at the University in November 2022 with speakers and contributors across academia and the circus education sector.

You can read more about the residency here.

“Yesterday’s session exceeded my expectations. It was brilliantly pedagogically coordinated, and I loved the intentionality and depth of Davi’s debrief as well as the practical session. It is such a gift to get to learn and reflect on my own pedagogy as well as working with Galway Community Circus alongside my students. GCC fit so well as partners with this module and my thought, about one hour in, was how do we keep this going always?” -Dr. Charlotte McIvor, Senior Lecturer, Head of Discipline and Head of Undergraduate Studies, Drama and Theatre Studies, School of English and Creative Arts

Designing Futures

Galway Community Circus co-delivered our very first full 12-week module at the University of Galway for the Designing Futures programme, an initiative developed to help students succeed in life and the future world of work.

The module was called ‘Fail Better: Taking Risks and Developing Resilience through Circus’ and offered students the opportunity to build personal resilience, investigate the benefits of risk-taking and the importance of failure in a learning process by practicing circus skills. In the weekly workshops, students were introduced to juggling, tightwire and acrobatics while also attending lectures on risk, resilience and failure from a range of different disciplinary perspectives.

Read more about the module here.

“It’s important to bring an activity like circus that is practiced at a youth/community level to third-level education. It adds value to circus as a practice, but it can also help change the way circus is perceived. Circus can be seen as just playing around, but it allows participants to learn how to fail, to co-create, to regain body awareness, and to find parts of themselves they may have forgotten about that are important for living a happy and healthy life.”-Davi Hora, circus artist and Galway Community Circus tutor

Arts in Action

We were delighted to be a part of the Arts in Action programme in November 2023 at the University of Galway. At the event, we discussed the details of our exciting partnership as company-in-residence at the University, funded by the Arts Council’s YPCE Residency Scheme, introduced the individual circus artists involved in the residency, and heard about some of the exciting research projects taking place from Dr. Ian Walsh.

Circus artists and Galway Community Circus tutors Lisa, Davi and Isabela gave insights into their careers and showed off their circus skills for those in attendance.

Actions for 2024

We are delighted to be company in residence for a second year at the University of Galway from November 2023-2024.

For our second year in residence at University of Galway, we will continue to focus on teaching in different classes in the three degree courses of Early Childhood Education and Professional Practice, Children Studies and Drama and Theatre Studies.

Artistic development actions will include Galway Community Circus presenting  workshops/shows as part of the University of Galway Arts in Action programme, as well as individual research projects.

Actions for promoting Youth and Social Circus in education will include public talks reflecting on the residency.

More updates to come as the residency continues!