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Friday, October 5, 2012


Teacher wants circus skills on the curriculum
By Canterbury Times
whitestablepeople.co.uk
October 05, 2012
WHILE Paul Tann's friends were getting part-time work in shops and bars, his first job at the age of 16 was as a stilt-walker.
Three years after deciding to roll-up Kent Circus School in Whitstable, he continues to teach magic tricks and circus skills to people of all ages and abilities across the district.
It's a balancing act for the 31-year-old, who juggles teaching with performing at events and festivals, and spending time with his family.
The colourful character lives in Canterbury with his web-designer wife B, 32, their 10-year-old son Jacob and three cats.
He showed Lowri Stafford the 'human blockhead' trick by inserting a biro into his nostril and explained why circus skills should be on school curriculums...
What can you do?
I do juggling with balls and scarves, fire juggling, fire breathing, plate-spinning, cigar box manipulation, close-up magic tricks, ride the unicycle, walk the tightrope, and I'm a specialist in diablo.
I also do freak shows, which involve balancing a kitchen knife on my tongue and hammering a six-inch nail into my nostril – known as the Human Blockhead trick.
Gruesome. Have you ever hurt yourself?
Never, and I've been doing this for 14 years. I'm very safety conscious – I have fire insurance and I'm first- aid trained.
I always tell my audiences "don't try this at home"!
And this is how you make your living?
I'm a circus performer and magician. Through my business, Kinetic Workshops, I teach circus and magic skills in schools, colleges, universities, theatres, community groups and even young offenders' institutions.
I've taught in most schools and colleges throughout the district. I also teach children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. The second part of my business is Paul Incredible, which involves performing at events, festivals, weddings and so on.
Recently, I've performed at the Hop Garden Burlesque Cabaret at The Ballroom in Canterbury and the Wam Bam club in Soho.
What are the benefits of learning these skills?
It helps to build dexterity, co-ordination and teamwork skills. It's more about personal development than competing with others.
It's also very physical and can help tone you up – I think it should be as much a part of the curriculum as football or gymnastics.

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