EDITION: Ferbuary - April '08


Are you over 6 years old? Have you ever wanted to ride a unicycle, swing from a trapeze or juggle more than two balls without dropping them? Maybe you think attaining these skills is beyond you ... But what if you met a real life magician who could persuade you otherwise?

I recently dropped in to see Brian at his circus school for children. Brian does magic tricks, trapeze, juggling and unicycling and you may have seen him around town wearing a very, very long pair of trousers and some rather large boots. He has performed at Manumission since he came to live in Ibiza 15 years ago. For the last year and a half he has also been teaching local kids some of what he knows – an idea he says was partly inspired by having children of his own. He also pointed out that as an artist, especially in the winter “you have to create your own work and direction”.

So how did Brian get into the whole world of magic and circuses in the first place? “Many years ago my job as a photographer fell through and I was offered a job as a clown.” He had never tried it before but found that he had stumbled on a ‘innate talent’. He travelled as part of a circus for sometime before coming to Ibiza.

There are three other teachers at the circus school as well as occasional visitors each bringing their special skills in dancing, acrobatics, juggling or magic. When I visited they were all too busy with the kids to talk much, the children being clearly transfixed on their role models as they led them through the necessary exercises.

The class started with a fairly lengthy warm up session – which Brian says is needed because “it takes a lot of muscle strength to manipulate some of the equipment”. Then slowly the room began to fill up with unicycles and juggling hoops. Seconds later one child was half way up to the ceiling whilst another kept perfect balance on top of a giant ball and I couldn’t help but notice that most of them had big smiles on their faces.

So apart from having fun what are the aims of the school? Brian’s hope is “to bring out the highest potential in each child, by helping them to develop creativity, physical skills and self-esteem”. Children are encouraged to “explore and discover what they most enjoy and where their particular talents lie”. He says many children end up surprising themselves and end up mastering things they might not have thought possible.

Frequently throughout the year the kids put on shows in San Miguel and at various fiesta and charity events and they are involved in designing and producing the show in all its aspects. Over the next years Brian says he hopes to build up more classes on the island but that at present he is prevented from doing so because he and all of the teachers work for next to no money, doing what they do because they love it and want to share their skills with young people.

The hall is provided by the ayuntamiento of San Juan and various parents and well wishers donate equipment and costumes – of which the school is always in need. Brian points out that specialist equipment is harder to come by as it is often expensive and must be well maintained to keep it safe. The fees are kept “very low” so as to make the experience possible for all.

According to teacher Valeria children of many nationalities attend and the age range has typically been from about 6-13. However a new class for older children and adults has recently begun and Brian hopes that this will also “become an open space for amateurs and professionals wanting to share or improve their skills”.

If you are interested in receiving more information about the school and its classes and events please phone Brian Scruggs on: 676 008 154 or contact him at ibicirco@yahoo.es