CIRCUS STARS: Circus and Autism- TEDX
Back in 2010 I began working with kids with a range of disabilites, many of them had a diagnosis of
Autism of some kind. I found that my natural method of teaching was really resounding with these kids
and I wanted to work out why. I also had the voice and memory of Reg Bolton in my ear reminding me
that circus research is an area that needs more contribution, particularly from artists. So I shipped
myself back to Uni and wrote some research, opened a circus school solely dedicated to kids on the
spectrum and quickly found that circus and autism are a match made for each other. The chaos and
energy of the circus compliments the chaos and energy of the autism spectrum. Since then I have
presented at the Asia Pacific Autism conference 2015, published my research in an international
journal and in June 2017 I was invited to present a TEDX talk on my work. I hope that this TEDX talk
opens up the minds of clinical practitioners working with autism, I hope it exposes and advocates for
the incredible potential that circus holds and most importantly that it helps the world to see autism as
a super power and not a deficiancy.
About Kristy Seymour
Kristy has worked with children and young people as a youth circus trainer since 2004. She began using circus as a social and physical therapy tool in 2006, working with refugee children, children with disabilities, street children and youth at risk. She began using social circus as a tool to support the development of children with autism in 2010 and in 2012 she completed her research thesis – “How circus training can enhance the well‐being of children with autism and their families.” . From this research she founded her circus school “Circus Stars” which is solely dedicated to children on the autism spectrum. In 2015 she presented an excerpt of her research at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference in Brisbane.
Kristy’s work is highly regarded in the circus sector, she has fostered an international network. Her research is promoted by Cirque du Soleil’s social circus department Cirque du Monde and is widely used throughout the international youth circus industry as a theoretical tool for using circus for children with special needs.
Kristy began her circus career in 1999, starting out as an aerialist. She now specialises in training, artistic direction and circus research. She is well known and respected for her extensive work in the Youth Circus sector, leading a team of inspiring artists as the Head Trainer of Flipside Circus in Brisbane 2004‐ 2010. Working as a creative producer and choreographer, she has collaborated with leading arts organizations, venues and festivals such as: Strut n Fret Production House, The Brisbane Powerhouse, QPAC, Out of the Box Festival, the Brisbane Festival, Adelaide Fringe as well as the Woodford Folk Festival.
She is also one of the founders of The Circus Corridor a creative collective of dedicated performing artists, directors and community workers operating as a channel between Southeast Queensland and Northern Rivers region of NSW. Bringing together the talent of these regions and contributing to the development and sustainability of innovative contemporary circus practice.
Kristy is currently completing her PhD titled: “Bodies, Temporality and Spatiality in Australian Contemporary Circus” at Griffith University Gold Coast.
Thanks to Kristy for the little blurb to go with this post and for your awesome work in both the circus and wider community!
All power and success to you mate,
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