What is Circus School?

Mary McMahon

A circus school is an educational facility which offers training in the circus arts, ranging from acrobatics to mime. Several circus schools are world-famous, offering extensive and renowned programs which feature former stars of the circus, while others are a bit smaller, but sometimes just as good. You may have a circus school in your area; you can find out about local circus schools by searching with your favorite search engine.

Circus schools provide training in all aspects of circus life, from acrobatics to juggling.
Circus schools provide training in all aspects of circus life, from acrobatics to juggling.

Several things are covered in a circus school. Many place stress on safety, teaching people to do a wide assortment of tricks in a way which is safe for them, other performers, and spectators. People who rely on props are taught to use them safely and to check them on a regular basis, and they learn about things like rigging trapezes and silks for aerial acts. Many circuses pride themselves upon excellent safety records, and despite the daring look of aerial performances especially, there is a heavy focus on safety within the circus industry.

Some performers start circus schools to teach one specialty, such as juggling.
Some performers start circus schools to teach one specialty, such as juggling.

Showmanship skills are also commonly offered. Students at a circus school will learn about how to create their own acts, adding dramatic flair and emphasizing special skills, and they will also learn about the presentation of acts and their circus in general. People who want to become ringmasters or other circus staff who work with the public may take special classes where they learn about public relations.

The classes offered at a circus school vary widely. Some, for example, choose to teach only a particular skill among the huge assortment of circus arts, while others have a very wide program to meet a range of tastes. It is common for former performers to start up small circus schools which offer training in their specialties, so you may find jugglers teaching about juggling, for example, and trapeze artists teaching aerial skills.

People can also study to be clowns, animal handlers, comedians, and riggers, learning about the complex technical work behind the circus. Depending on the type of circus school to which one goes to, it is sometimes possible to obtain employment immediately after graduation, typically with a circus which has an agreement with the circus school. Others offer free job listing services to graduates, along with placement assistance, while some schools expect graduates to make their own way in the world.

If you plan to run away and join the circus, circus school is the place to start. Circus schools take students of all ages and levels of ability, as long as they are enthusiastic and committed.

Circus schools teach the performance skills needed to join a troupe.
Circus schools teach the performance skills needed to join a troupe.

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