Moscow State Circus gives school pupils big top lesson

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Media captionThe Moscow State Circus gives primary school children some skills lessons.

The Moscow State Circus has given south Wales primary school children a lesson in how to wow under the big top.

About 20 pupils from Port Talbot's Eastern Primary School learnt juggling and other skills from performers in Cardiff.

The circus responded after the school asked for a workshop to help build pupils' self-esteem and confidence.

Teaching assistant Leighanne Palmer said the school was "overwhelmed" when they agreed.

Julie Davies, also a teaching assistant, said wellbeing was "highly important" to the school and they had hoped to find a way to build the children's social skills and emotional literacy.

The circus responded to a letter asking for its stars to give the children some hints on performing.

Callum, 10, of Year 6, said: "I've never been to a circus before, so it's been really fun to learn things like skipping and juggling."

And Carys, 11, of Year 6, who wants to be doctor when she is older, said her favourite exercise had been the skipping - but for an eccentric reason.

"If you're on a stage you can actually jump more quietly than on normal ground," she said.

Image caption Carys, 11, and Callum, 10, were among those who attended the workshop

The pupils made the visit at Cardiff City Stadium, where the circus is running part of its nationwide tour.

Ms Palmer said the experience had been "absolutely fantastic".

"It hit home when we asked the children before they came how many children had seen the circus and no-one had. That was very poignant to us."

Jenia Didyk, 28, who performs on the Ukrainian double swing, said the event was like a "prize" for the performers.

"It was very fun and I think maybe in the future some [of the children] may be professional artists," he said.

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