Is becoming a trapeze artist right for me?

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What do trapeze artists do?

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

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How to become a Trapeze Artist

While formal education can offer structured training and help you develop a well-rounded skill set, it is not the sole pathway to becoming a trapeze artist. Many successful trapeze artists have acquired their skills through practical training, workshops, self-study, and real-world performance experiences. What matters most is a strong dedication to training, a passion for aerial acrobatics, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement in the field.

Start with Basic Fitness
Develop a foundation of strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. Engage in regular physical activity, such as strength training, cardio exercises, and flexibility exercises, to build the necessary physical attributes for aerial acrobatics.

Find an Aerial Training Facility
Look for a reputable aerial training facility or circus school that offers master classes or short-term programs in trapeze artistry. Joining a structured program led by experienced instructors will provide you with proper guidance, safety protocols, and progressions tailored to your skill level.

Learn the Basics
Enroll in beginner-level trapeze classes to learn the fundamental techniques, grips, and positions on the trapeze bar. Focus on building body awareness, coordination, and core strength while getting comfortable with working at heights.

Progress to Advanced Skills
As you gain proficiency, progress to more advanced trapeze skills and techniques. Work on transitions, poses, swings, and eventually start incorporating flips, drops, and more dynamic movements into your repertoire.

Expand Your Skill Set
Consider exploring other aerial disciplines, such as aerial hoop, silks, or straps, to broaden your skill set and enhance your versatility as a performer.

Seek Mentorships and Performance Opportunities
Look for opportunities to apprentice or work closely with experienced trapeze artists. Participate in student showcases, local events, talent competitions, or join community performance groups. Performing in front of an audience will allow you to demonstrate and hone your skills and help you develop stage presence, confidence, and adaptability as a trapeze artist.

Build Your Physical and Mental Resilience
Aerial acrobatics can be physically and mentally demanding. Practise self-care, rest, and recovery to prevent injuries and maintain your overall well-being. Increase your mental resilience to handle the challenges and risks associated with aerial performances.

Create a Professional Network
Connect with fellow trapeze artists, instructors, and professionals in the field. Attend workshops, festivals, or industry events to expand your network, learn from experienced performers, and explore collaboration opportunities.

Consider Formal Education
While not mandatory, pursuing formal education in theatre arts, fine arts, dance, or circus arts can provide a more comprehensive training experience and help you refine your skills and artistic expression.

Comprehensive circus arts programs are often more likely to be offered by standalone schools versus performing arts institutions. Here are some sample classes from a two-year circus arts curriculum:

  • Circus Discipline
  • The Ensemble
  • Movement
  • Theatre
  • Circus through the Performative Lens
  • Circus from the Technical Perspective
  • Circus Producing and Production Management
  • Theory, Practice, and Analysis of Performance
  • The Student Devised Piece
  • Action, Reaction, and Creation
  • Movement and Composition

The typical circus arts program involves a collaborative process between the student and staff, leading to a decision about which circus discipline is suited both physically and creatively to that person. The most commonly offered aerial disciplines include:

  • Static Trapeze
  • Flying Trapeze
  • Doubles Trapeze
  • Hoop
  • Rope
  • Silks
  • Straps

Professional Organizations
There may not be professional organizations dedicated exclusively to trapeze artists, but several broader entities encompassing circus arts or aerial acrobatics provide support, resources, and community for those in the field. These associations can be valuable for networking, professional development, and staying connected with the wider aerial arts community. Here are a few notable examples:

  • American Circus Educators (ACE) is an organization focused on circus arts education, encompassing performers, educators, and enthusiasts.
  • American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) promotes the participation of youth in the circus arts.
  • Circus Now is a global organization that advocates for contemporary circus arts and supports artists in the field. It promotes circus as a vibrant and evolving art form.
  • Circus Talk is an independent circus resource center to unite the worldwide circus under one virtual tent.
  • World Circus Federation (WCF) exists for the sole purpose of preserving circus traditions for future generations.
  • European Federation of Professional Circus Schools (Fédération Européenne des Écoles de Cirque Professionnelles – FEDEC) is a European and international network of about 70 member schools supporting the development and evolution of training, teaching, and creation in circus arts education.
  • The UK Circus Network was created to support the circus community throughout the United Kingdom and in particular ‘to be the UK’s Youth Circus Umbrella.’