Youth Programme Beginners
The Beginners Programme was established in 2009, to provide a foundational circus programme for children between the ages of 7 and 12.
This recreational programme takes place once per week, on Saturday mornings for 2 hours, during which time children are encouraged to attempt a variety of circus skills, and to play and learn together. The primary aims are for children to develop a basic level of circus skills, and for children from various backgrounds to experience the value of working and playing together. Through their weekly engagement, they develop a sense of belonging, a willingness to learn new skills and enjoy the rewards of positive social interactions.
Zip Zap’s Beginners programme is very popular and welcomed 82 participants during the 2022 programme year. The children were very excited to work towards their goals of learning circus skills across a variety of disciplines, and most participants reported learning what they had hoped to during the training sessions. The programme encouraged physical activity in a creative environment, and the children were able to develop, grow and learn through play. Physical assessments helped instructors to assess the progress and capabilities of the participants and also ensured effective programme content to meet programme objectives.
Participants view Zip Zap instructors as role models and this helped all the children to feel safe, motivated and nurtured throughout the programme. The Beginners programme instils greater confidence in the majority of the participants, which created a huge amount of excitement as the children prepared to showcase all they had learned during the programme year at the annual year-end Programmes Show & Tell event.
The programme fosters diversity and creates the ideal space for children from various backgrounds to create friendships, learn from each other and grow together within the group. These are key components to encouraging teamwork, which is central to the programme.
Advanced to Simunye
A Rising Star
Leah Roman is 11 years old and attends Springfield Convent School in Wynberg, Cape Town. She was inspired to join Zip Zap after watching one of our shows. She joined the Beginners programme in 2020, aged 8 years old. Being naturally shy, her mom believed that joining the programme would provide valuable opportunities for Leah to make new friends, learn new things and grow in confidence – all of these have indeed happened!
Leah’s favourite discipline is aerial scarf, although she has also tried trapeze. She knows that there is lots of hard work that remains if she is to reach her goal of becoming a professional circus performer, travelling, and performing, and experiencing other circuses across the world.
Leah works consistently hard and perseveres until she has reached her goal. All her hard work and commitment was rewarded when she was awarded of the 2022 Shining Star Award in the Beginners programme, celebrating her outstanding achievements in
developing skill, talent, and technique in her selected circus discipline!