What is an Acrobat?

If you've ever seen Cirque de Soleil, you've seen some of the best acrobats in the world!

An acrobat combines strength, grace, balance, and flexibility with elements of dance, gymnastics, and contortionism. There are various forms of acrobats; gymnasts, tightrope walkers, jugglers, trapeze artists, and contortionists being the most popular. Some acrobats work with animals, balancing and performing acrobatic stunts on top of moving elephants or horses.

What does an Acrobat do?

A gymnast up in the air using aerial silks.

An acrobat is a performer who performs physically daring and athletic feats, typically involving agility, balance, and coordination. Acrobats often perform in circuses, variety shows, and other live entertainment venues. They may perform a variety of acts, such as tumbling, balancing, contortion, aerial acrobatics, and juggling. Acrobats may perform solo or as part of a group, and their routines can involve intricate choreography and costuming. The role of an acrobat requires extensive training, physical strength, and coordination, as well as a strong work ethic and dedication to perfecting their craft.

A day in the life of an acrobat can vary widely depending on the type of performance, venue, and individual schedule. However, here are some common activities that an acrobat might undertake:

  • Training: Acrobats typically spend several hours each day practicing and perfecting their skills, either alone or with a partner or group.
  • Rehearsing: Acrobats may also participate in rehearsals with the rest of the performers, refining their routines and working on coordination with the other acts.
  • Performing: Depending on their schedule, acrobats may perform several shows a day, either in a theater or in an outdoor venue. They may perform a variety of acts, including tumbling, balancing, and aerial acrobatics.
  • Maintaining physical fitness: Acrobatics is a physically demanding discipline, and acrobats typically work to maintain their strength and flexibility through a variety of exercises and stretches.
  • Traveling: Many acrobats travel extensively, performing in different venues and locations. They may also spend time on the road, traveling between performances.
  • Rest and recovery: In between performances and training sessions, acrobats may need to rest and recover, especially if they have sustained an injury. They may also spend time stretching and massaging to prepare for their next performance.

This is just a general overview, and the day-to-day activities of an acrobat can vary greatly depending on their individual schedule and the demands of their performance. However, acrobats typically spend a significant amount of time practicing and performing, as well as maintaining their physical fitness and preparing for their next performance.

Are you suited to be an acrobat?

Acrobats have distinct personalities. They tend to be artistic individuals, which means they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive. They are unstructured, original, nonconforming, and innovative. Some of them are also investigative, meaning they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive.

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What is the workplace of an Acrobat like?

The workplace of an acrobat can vary greatly depending on the type of performance they are involved in. for example, large performance companies may hire many acrobats for a single show and may stay and perform at the same venue night after night. Alternatively, working for a mobile company like a circus may require the acrobat to travel extensively and offers the opportunity to see different parts of the world.

Here are some common settings in which acrobats may work:

  • Circus: Many acrobats work in traditional circuses, performing a variety of acts in front of live audiences.
  • Theater: Acrobats may also perform in theaters or other indoor venues, either as part of a variety show or as a standalone performance.
  • Theme parks: Acrobats may also perform at theme parks, either as part of a live show or as a walk-around act.
  • Street performances: Some acrobats perform as street performers, entertaining crowds in public spaces such as parks, plazas, and other outdoor venues.

Regardless of the setting, the work environment for an acrobat is often fast-paced and physically demanding, with long hours and extensive travel requirements. Acrobats may also be required to perform in challenging conditions, such as extreme temperatures or inclement weather. However, for many acrobats, the excitement and thrill of performing in front of live audiences makes the challenges of their workplace well worth it.