PORTLAND, Maine — Recreational training in circus arts can lead to improvements in physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development, says Jacqueline Davis, Ed.M., a Harvard educated scholar and member of the advisory board of Portland’s Circus Conservatory of America. D
Davis will visit Portland, Maine, on Aug. 7 and 8, to discuss the Conservatory’s recreational program, Circus Atlantic, and the benefits of recreational circus on youth and adult development.
Davis, a former professional mime who trained under Marcel Marceau, coined the term “Developmental Circus Arts” as a way of categorizing the remarkable benefits of circus arts training on individuals, as witnessed by her and other circus educators.
“What we see in circus is that all aspects [of the individual] are addressed,” says Davis. “This makes circus a potentially powerful tool for positive youth development. … There are many, many stories about kids—and I’m saying ‘kids’ because that’s my focus, but it doesn’t have to be kids—whose lives were transformed through training in circus arts. In some cases, people have said circus literally saved their lives.”
Jacqueline Davis is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, undertaking research that will further develop her theory and contribute evidence regarding the effects of circus arts on youth development. She will be in Maine August 7 and 8, 2014. Opportunities for photos of and interviews with Circus Atlantic students are also available, upon request.