Is becoming a circus performer right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do circus performers do?
Career Satisfaction
Are circus performers happy with their careers?
What are circus performers like?

Still unsure if becoming a circus performer is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a circus performer or another similar career!

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How to become a Circus Performer

Becoming a circus performer can be a challenging and competitive process, but there are several steps you can take to start your journey:

  • Identify your interests and skills: Circus performers come from a variety of backgrounds and have diverse skills. Identify the areas that interest you the most, such as acrobatics, aerial acts, clowning, juggling, or other disciplines, and determine what skills you need to develop to become proficient in those areas.
  • Find a training program: Look for circus schools or training programs that offer classes or workshops in the areas you are interested in. These programs can provide you with the technical training and practice necessary to develop your skills.
  • Attend auditions: Many circus companies and productions hold auditions to find new performers. Attend auditions whenever possible, and be prepared to showcase your skills and unique talents.
  • Build a strong network: Developing relationships with other circus performers, trainers, and producers can help you find opportunities and build your reputation in the industry.
  • Keep practicing: Becoming a successful circus performer requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and practice. Continuously work on improving your skills and developing new acts that showcase your talents.

Circus Schools and Training Programs in the United States
Here are some details about circus schools and training programs in the US:

  • Circus Center: Located in San Francisco, California, Circus Center offers a variety of circus training programs for both youth and adults. They provide classes in disciplines such as acrobatics, aerial arts, juggling, and contortion.
  • New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA): Based in Brattleboro, Vermont, NECCA is a renowned circus school offering professional training programs, recreational classes, and workshops. They have a diverse curriculum that includes aerial arts, hand balancing, partner acrobatics, and more.
  • National Circus School of America (NCSA): Situated in Sarasota, Florida, NCSA offers a comprehensive professional circus arts training program. They focus on a wide range of disciplines, including aerials, acrobatics, balance techniques, and clowning.
  • Circus Harmony: Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Circus Harmony is a social circus school that uses the circus arts to promote youth development and social change. They offer training programs, workshops, and community outreach initiatives.
  • The Actors Gymnasium: Based in Evanston, Illinois, The Actors Gymnasium provides circus training programs and classes for individuals of all ages and skill levels. They offer courses in aerial arts, acrobatics, clowning, and physical theater.
  • American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO): AYCO is a national organization that supports the development of youth circus programs across the United States. They provide resources, training opportunities, and networking platforms for young circus enthusiasts.
  • San Diego Circus Center: Located in San Diego, California, the San Diego Circus Center offers professional circus training programs, recreational classes, and workshops. They specialize in disciplines like aerial arts, hand balancing, and contortion.
  • The Circus Project: Based in Portland, Oregon, The Circus Project offers circus arts training and performance opportunities for youth and adults. They provide programs in aerials, acrobatics, juggling, and physical theater.

Circus Schools and Training Programs Worldwide
There are several circus schools and training programs from around the world that are highly regarded for their quality of instruction and comprehensive curriculum.

  • École Nationale de Cirque (ENC): Located in Montreal, Canada, ENC is one of the most prestigious circus schools globally. It offers a comprehensive three-year program that covers a wide range of disciplines, including acrobatics, aerial arts, juggling, and more.
  • National Centre for Circus Arts (NCCA): Based in London, UK, NCCA is a leading institution for circus arts education. It provides full-time courses, undergraduate and postgraduate programs, as well as professional development courses for aspiring circus performers.
  • Ecole Supérieure des Arts du Cirque (ESAC): ESAC, situated in Brussels, Belgium, offers a three-year Bachelor's degree program in circus arts. The curriculum focuses on individual artistic development, technical training, and creation of original acts.
  • Codarts Circus Arts: Located in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Codarts Circus Arts offers a four-year Bachelor's program in circus arts. The program includes training in disciplines like acrobatics, aerials, juggling, and equilibristics, along with theoretical and performance studies.
  • The Circus Space (National Centre for Circus Arts): Based in London, UK, The Circus Space is one of the oldest and most respected circus schools. It provides a wide range of courses and programs for aspiring circus artists, including full-time training, evening classes, and professional development workshops.
  • Cirkus Cirkör: Situated in Stockholm, Sweden, Cirkus Cirkör offers a variety of programs catering to different age groups and skill levels. They provide professional training programs, workshops, and courses focusing on contemporary circus and artistic expression.
  • Ecole de Cirque de Québec: Located in Quebec City, Canada, this school offers professional circus training programs as well as recreational classes for all ages. It emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to circus arts and fosters creativity and innovation.
  • Ecole de Cirque de Lyon: Based in Lyon, France, this circus school offers a range of training programs, including a professional three-year course, preparatory courses, and workshops. It focuses on traditional circus skills, physical theater, and contemporary circus practices.