“Social circus is a social intervention that utilizes circus training to help at-risk children positively handle their situations.” Circus Mojo Evaluation report (linked below)


At PWB we aim to provide outreach programmes that use social circus to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people. Our aims in terms of research are three fold.

  1. To keep abreast and act as a resource of current research on the benefits of social circus. (see links below)
  2. By conducting our own monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) programme to contribute to this body of research. We currently have 3 evaluation reports available on our Evaluation page. And have listed a sample of current research that we are aware of below.
  3. To gain funding to conduct our own direct research on the benefits of social circus, especially to physically, mentally or financially disadvantaged young people. If you are a funding body looking to organise some research on the benefits of teaching performance arts and circus skills to disadvantaged young people – then we would be happy to hear from you regarding any collaborations.


Click below for a link to a recent article on the inclusion benefits of teaching circus skills as part of PE in Wales (see also).

Juggling the timetable: why every school should teach circus skills in PE lessons

Public Health England gives lots of evidence why offering circus skills to young people is beneficial – we come under Promising Principle 5 – “Offering Choice and Variety”


Also both Bolton (2004) in his PhD Thesis on “Circus and Education” and Maglio and McKinstry’s (2008) qualitative study on “Circus and Occupational Therapy” identified the following benefits:

  1. Provides a fun, motivating and intrinsically reinforcing experience that requires hard work, persistence, resilience with rapid rewarding feedback.
  2. Increases positive risk taking both physically and emotionally, in a safe and supported environment promoting courage.
  3. Promotes physical health and body awareness through activity.
  4. Enables participants to acquire a broadened skill base relating to circus as well as more generic ‘life skills’.
  5. Increases self-confidence and self-efficacy and an opportunity to explore creativity and imagination.
  6. Improves social connectedness, trust, cooperation, sharing, teamwork, and leadership skills within the group.
  7. Provides opportunities for calming rhythmic activities, increased sensory feedback, a focus on balance, and coordination.
  8. Creates a space in which participants feel a sense of belonging as well as allowing expressing self-individualisation, identity, and image.


One PWB-UK Manager (South), Jamie Moore, was a research assistant in a recent study on the benefits of teaching Poi to older people. You can see him at work in this video on a typical research day during the study:

The benefits of teaching poi to older people by Kate VanWest:

This same lady did a PhD on the benefits of learning Poi:


And a PhD thesis by Tia K. M. Kiez on:

“The Impact of Circus Arts Instruction on the Physical Literacy of Children in Grades 4 and 5”
[NB: This has a great reference list with hyper-links to a lot of great articles too.}

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