Before your Workshop

Being organised and prepared before facilitating your workshop will help it run smoothly. Use the ‘Workshop Checklist’ provided under ‘Useful Links’ to confirm you have all necessary materials to start.

That being said, the playful essence of these workshops means surprises can occur. Stay flexible, improvise when needed and most importantly, have fun – the more you run these sessions, the more comfortable you’ll become handling unexpected developments.


Circus activities work well when there is music playing. It helps loosen everyone up and direct the energy of the room. Head to our Spotify page to check out the playlists we’ve set up to suit various moods. You can find the link under ‘Useful Links’ in the right-hand side of this page. Consider:

  • Is the volume suitable for the group?
  • We recommend using music without words (instrumental) during activities when giving instructions. This is crucial for helping people to focus on what you’re saying
  • What type of music are you playing to set the mood? We like to choose tracks which are bright and uplifting
  • Music is a powerful way of connecting with people who are living with dementia. We’ve witnessed some amazing reactions when people hear their favourite song. Spend some time finding out what kind of music your participants are interested in. You could then curate a playlist for the participants based on their own musical tastes or favourite songs – which really helps with engagement and community-building.
  • Sometimes it may be hard find this out from the participants so remember to ask your colleagues as they may have more knowledge about an individual’s needs, likes and dislikes

Setting up the room:

A group of older people and care home staff sit in a circle and run bunting between them, smiling
  • Choose a large, well-lit comfortable room where you will not be interrupted, and set up the chairs in a large circle with space between each chair. This is important so that participants have room to extend their arms and use the equipment without bumping into one another. Make sure there is an open space at the centre of the circle for you to stand when delivering instructions and for the participants to see everyone else across the circle
  • Ensure there are chairs set up in the circle for colleagues, assistants or visitors so that everyone is included
  • Switch off any TV or radio
  • Start your music just before the session to set the mood
  • Introduce yourself and the other people who are leading the workshop. You might want to ask everyone in the circle to say their name and others to respond by giving them a verbal hello or smile or a wave back
  • Start the workshop with some introductory games, to connect with the participants whilst the other participants are arriving. Once everyone is in the room commence with an essential physical warm up to ensure safe delivery