Circus fun as Worthing steps into the ring

Rain failed to stop 600 people trying out various circus skills. Pictures: Liz Pearce
Rain failed to stop 600 people trying out various circus skills. Pictures: Liz Pearce

Damp weather did not stop 600 people rolling up to see if they might be the next high-wire whizz, or if their feet were better off staying on solid ground.

Entering its fifth year, the CircusSeen fun day returned to Worthing and offered children and adults alike the chance to learn circus skills from the professionals.

Hosted at Beach House Green in Lyndhurst Road on Tuesday, August 8, the workshop featured everything from juggling and hula hooping to high-wire walking.

Local circus skills teacher Kate Wright, who helped organise the event, said: “Last year around 1300 people attended the fun day under a sunny sky.

“This year we had around 600 people throughout the day despite the weather.

“We run this event each year to give the public a taster for the circus arts world and show them that the skills are complex, fun and help young and old to co-ordinate and concentrate their body and minds to achieve new skills.

“It’s such a great way to get out into our community to meet new people and share all the benefits – and our love of circus skills!”

The free event welcomed children and adults of all ages and abilities.

It also featured amusement rides, ice cream and a special show from CircusSeen’s youth circus performing some of their own work.

Kate said: “We demonstrate that people from the c ircus are not just clowning around - we work and train hard over the years to get to this level of skill and that the benefits to well-being, both physically and emotionally, are outstanding and life changing.

“We also show adults not to take themselves too seriously, that it’s not just kids that have the right to play and have fun!”

Kate first got involved in performance art in 2000, when she saw Poi – a type of dance involving swinging weights on strings.

Teaching herself the skills, Kate went on to become a Poi dance instructor in Brighton with her own troupe: Poi Passion School of Poi and Fire Performance.

She added: “Being dyslexic and without any GCSEs, circus skills saved my life - they gave me a reason and helped me help others to overcome difficulties such as depression, behavioural and learning difficulties, mental health problems, addiction and so much more.”

Nine years ago she set up CircusSeen with fellow director Nick Cook.

Now the company offers a variety of workshops for people aged between three and 100 years old.

Kate said: “Everyone can have a go and experience the benefits for themselves.

“We cover a wide range of schools, charities, and corporate and private clients, working across Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Kent and beyond.

“Circus skills change lives for the better.”

For more information, visit the CircusSeen website at www.circusseen.org or call 07900 063 767.