By Andy Hirst
A Huddersfield magician has revealed his dyslexia at school sparked his quest to master world class circus skills.
Michael Jordan – who has just finished a Christmas season at Blackpool’s iconic tower and is to do some shows at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in his hometown in February – has talked about how he had to learn to balance to help his dyslexia at school.
Michael attended Manor Road School in Golcar and then All Saints at Bradley. At All Saints he used a wobble board – balancing on a board on a large semi-circular ball – which is supposed to help dyslexia by strengthening muscles, posture and co-ordination to enhance eye muscle co-ordination and make reading easier.
Michael realised he was a natural at this fine art of balancing and that ultimately led into later self-teaching himself circus tricks such as juggling, unicycling, stilt-walking and plate spinning.
The 31-year-old will be using these skills at a special circus skills workshop at the Lawrence Batley Theatre on Saturday, January 28 where he’ll be teaching youngsters aged 10 and above circus skills and magic. This is a run up to three shows he’ll be doing at the theatre in February.
Michael said: “When I had to use the balance board at school the idea was to find the centre of gravity and then hold it for as long as possible. I discovered early on I had a talent for it and was able to balance for far longer than anyone expected.”
Michael bought his own balance board for home and when he became a magician wanted to branch out into circus skills to add even more variety and entertainment to his shows.
“That balance board certainly helped both my dyslexia and my co-ordination so I could quickly grasp circus skills,” he said.
These are the kind of skills he’ll be passing on to youngsters who attend the circus skills workshop from 11am to 12.30pm on January 28, along with some magic.
“The oldest trick in the magic book is the ball under the three cups and can you spot which one it’s under,” said Michael. “I’ll be showing them that one along with a more intricate trick involving elastic bands.
“They’ll also be able to have a go at spinning plates, juggling three balls and even have the chance to try out a wobble board.”
Tickets are just £7 but if they also buy a ticket to one of Michael’s three upcoming shows the £7 will be knocked off the price of the ticket so the workshop will essentially be free.
Michael will first be at the Lawrence Batley Theatre on Sunday, February 12, doing a special Gasps and Giggles Show aimed at youngsters aged 3 to 7. It starts at 2.30pm.
He’s devised it with fellow magician Darren Mac and it revolves around a zany puppet character called Andy Floss in a show packed with magic, games, sketches and songs, with lots of audience participation.
Michael will then be performing as High Jinx a week later on Saturday, February 18, featuring his world-class illusions and circus skills. The shows are at 2.30pm and 7pm. They often sell out to it’s always best to book early.
To book the workshop or any of the shows go to the Lawrence Batley Theatre website https://www.thelbt.org/