Who are you?
My name is Sam Veale and I have been a professional entertainer for over 20 years. As well as performing, I have been teaching circus skills to children and adults for most of this time. I live in Surrey with my wife and two children.
What year groups can you teach?
All of them, but shorter classes are best for the little ones.
What kind of space do you need
A school hall or other large indoor space. I don't usually do workshops outdoors.
How long should the workshops be?
Anywhere from 30 minutes upwards. It’s usually best to do shorter sessions with the younger groups (nursery to year 1) and have as long as possible with the older year groups.
How many pupils can you teach at once?
30 (ish) is fine. Please let me know class sizes in advance.
How much do you charge?
Normally £300 for a full school day and £250 for a half day (normally up till lunch time). Just a show or school assembly is around £200. These prices can vary with time and location. Please contact me for a quote letting me know where you are and how long you want.
Do you sell equipment after the workshops?
Only if requested by the school. I can sell plates, scarves, feathers and a few other things after school or at lunchtime. Please contact me for details.
Do you have Public Liability Insurance?
Yes I do. Included with my Equity membership.
Are you DBS (CRB) checked?
Please note that the work I do with children (supervised shows and workshops) is not considered a "regulated activity" by the Disclosure and Barring Service and as such, does not require any level of DBS check. Equity have written some guidelines on them which can be found here and the DBS's own eligibility guidance is here.
What area do you cover?
I’m based in Surrey but I’m happy to travel anywhere (travel costs may apply). Most of my work is in London and the home counties.
Does the workshop vary for different year groups?
Yes. I'm able to go into greater depth with older pupils, teach more advanced skills and teach the easier skills more quickly.
What do the workshops consist of?
If I’ve done an assembly then the pupils will have seen a demonstration of the skills I teach. If not, I begin each class with a quick demo.
The first part of the class is usually juggling with scarves (lightweight cloths that float down very slowly and are easy to throw and catch). Then I move on to object balancing for which I use peacock feathers. I use these for the same reason as the scarves; they fall very slowly making them easy to balance. Next, we do plate spinning with the toy plastic plates and, if there is time, I teach diabolo (Chinese yoyo, spinning top on a string) as a class activity as well.
I finish the class with an open practice session where they can have another go at the skills they've tried so far plus a few other things (hand held stilts and other skill and balance props). During open practice I also let pupils take turns on the tight wire. The tight wire is on a freestanding metal frame, about 4 metres long and 60cm high. No child will be allowed to use this without my supervision. The teacher or teachers will need to be on hand to monitor the other pupils whilst I am busy with this.
With younger pupils (up to Yr 1) I might not have open practice especially with a shorter session. Instead, I teach tight wire during the plate spinning section of the workshop.
How long is the assembly?
Up to 30 minutes. I can do longer/shorter assemblies if necessary.
Is the assembly essential?
No, but it does save time in the classes as I have less demonstrating and explaining to do. I can work without one if need be.
Is the assembly the same as the show?
No. There is some overlap but my main objective in the assembly is to introduce the skills that the pupils will be learning. In a show, I don't have to do this and I can concentrate on entertaining everyone (i.e showing off!)
Do you work at parties and other events?
Yes. See www.circusparty.co.uk for parties and www.samveale.com for everything else.