Circus bow exercise

In a circle, participants each get a chance to step forward, say ‘I failed’ and bow. After each bow the rest of the participants give a warm round of applause.

Time: 10 min

Number of participants: 2 – 200 in pairs.

 Game flow:

Have the participants stand in a circle. Tell them that everyone will get the chance to step forward into the circle, then say anything along the lines of ‘I made a mistake’ or ‘I failed’ and then give a big bow. The rest of the group then give a round of applause.

This exercise is called circus bow, because whenever a trapeze artist makes a mistake and falls down into the net, he will make a summersault out of the net and bow towards the audience as if that was exactly what was supposed to happen.

Debrief questions:

  • How did it make you feel being applauded for a mistake?
  • How did it feel to applaud the others?
  • What can we learn from this exercise?
  • How can we help one another to feel safe to take risks?

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