High School Circus - A Climb of Strength


Circus artistry brings discipline, fitness, flexibility, beauty, and strength. For a trained professional circus acrobat, you have to have the correct mind and the correct instrument to be safe and display the beauty that is modern circus. Building the circus instrument takes time and a lot of work. At a circus high school in California, students can build their artistry as they prepare for high school graduation. What elements make up a circus school?


Tumbling - Tumbling is part of traditional gymnastics. Using a sprung floor and matted floors, circus artists learn how to build the strength to flip, turn, tuck, and jump in a variety of tumbling passes.



Circus Prop Arts - In every circus, there is an element of artistry that uses a variety of tools of the trade. Juggling, unicycle, stilts, ribbons, poi are part of the circus tools that can be used during a performance. As circus evolves, household and found tools also become part of the experience. The use of pitchers and glasses as circus props have gained popularity and many people have seen the circus world slip into their favorite restaurant as their server pours a drink for dinner.


Ground Arts - Some of the most memorable circus acts that people talk about are encompassed with ground arts. Ground arts are a combination of gymnastics, cheer, and balance as artists create mystery through hand balance, body balance, acro balance, and contortion.


Ballet / Dance - Part of the training needed for a great circus artist is the fluidity and grace that is inherently learned by the training and discipline of dance. The fundamental of ballet teaches circus artists turnout and point. The combination of circus and ballet helps improve the circus lines, the strength of fluidity between tricks, and the retention of choreography.


Aerialist - A great aerialist act in a circus will take your breath away. Whether the artists are on trapeze, tissu, lyra, Spanish web, or a new aerial prop that has been invented by the circus community - seeing the artistry above the stage floor is mesmerizing. Aerialist is the combination of gymnast strength and ballerina beauty.



Acting - One of the most important parts for the story of the circus is the acting that every circus act must have to make the audience believe. Circus artists round their knowledge and their artistry by having the understanding and the skill of acting. Acting helps make the illusions real.


Encore High School in Southern California is a free public school with one of the largest youth circus programs in the country. The program has been developing over the past twelve years and is part of a 100,000 square foot facility located in the high desert, including a 10,000 square foot big top. Encore has busing from the Inland Empire (15 freeway and 215 freeway stops) and throughout the high desert to train young circus artists. Graduates from the program have been offered contracts worldwide and have been accepted into postsecondary circus schools in Florida and Canada. Even if a student doesn't want to run away with the circus, the artistry taught through the school and through master classes are a great way to gain confidence and other great traits that make students great candidate employees.


Every year, Encore creates a rock 'n' roll based circus that members of their circus conservatory take part in. Youth circus artists can enroll in this free program grades 7 -12 and make it part of their academic education. They choose how they want to participate and can choose between a traditional five day per week school program or a hybrid program where they take circus classes two to three days per week and then complete academics online at home. Encore is currently enrolling circus arts programs for the fall 2020.


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Petey the Pirate is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's arts program is currently taking applications for the fall 2020 enrollment. www.encorehighschool.com. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredtied. Copyright 2020.

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