Some Thoughts on Circus Spaces and Community - CircusTalk

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Some Thoughts on Circus Spaces and Community

I was almost thirty years old when I joined the circus school in my new city, Ghent, around the turn of the century. A few years earlier I had migrated from a small town many miles further, and from a broken relationship, and I found it really difficult to integrate in this city full of people. How to make contact with other people? Where to belong? I often felt lonely, considered my self as a Lost Soul, just as so many other thousands of people in that big city.

Through some coincidences, someone I just met taught me how to juggle one night, and then another person popped up and invited me to an open space for jugglers in the circus school that had just started in my neighborhood. One thing led to another, and I soon was there three nights a week. Then they asked me to help out with managing the bar, and later on with giving workshops and organising some small performances. I joined the Board and later became an employee and regular circus teacher.

Without being fully aware of it, I stumbled upon a vibrant community, where I made a lot of friends, shared love and life lessons, travelled and dined together, cared and was being cared for, went to marriages, hospitals and one funeral. I definitely belonged there, and I contributed as much as I wanted. Being part of that local circus community changed and coloured my life extensively.


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