Guidebook for Social Circus Trainers

Léopold Paquay & Adeline Dubois
Caravan Circus Network
Number of pages
Document producer
  • Contemporary circus

With the support of the European Commission through the European Lifelong Learning Programme, 8 circus schools, members of the CARAVAN association and 2 universities have put their energy together during five years to produce the Guidebook for Social Circus Trainers.

It is a unique document setting the minimum competences of a social circus trainer and giving methodological propositions on how to teach these competences. It is the basis of the 1st European training programme for social circus trainers.

Context – Social Circus

Social circus is an innovative tool for education and social inclusion of children, young people and adults with fewer opportunities. Targeting specific schools, neighbourhoods and public from disadvantaged urban areas, social circus is also an intercultural tool favouring community links between participants, raising their self-esteem and confidence, improving their physical literacy and developing their life skills. This has led to the creation of a new profession: social circus trainer. 


The project is based on a bottom up methodology seeking to take into account partner’s local contexts. The definition of the competences of social circus resulted from a 2-year field observation carried out by Caravan between 2009 and 2011. Months of observation, analysis, meetings, discussions, essays, exchanges, trainings and the development of a framework of competences for social circus trainers, have led to the creation of a common European curriculum. This gave birth to the Guidebook for Social Circus Trainers.

The Guidebook is divided into 5 main chapters:

  • Teaching Learning Unit A – Social Context
  • Teaching Learning Unit B – The Act of Teaching
  • Teaching Learning Unit C – Management / Steering of Teaching
  • Teaching Learning Unit D – Creativity and Circus Techniques
  • Teaching Learning Unit E – Foundations