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What do we teach and who do we teach?

At Belfast Community Circus School we provide a host of different classes for people of all ages and backgrounds.

If you are looking for classes for children aged 2-7 years old, have a look at Itty Bitty Circus.

If you are aged between 8 and 18 years old, read about our Youth Circus

If you are part of a group and would like Belfast Circus School to teach your group circus skills, please have a read at Outreach

If you are an adult, we offer amateur Adult Circus classes and short courses.

If you are a professional performer, you can find out more about our training space or masterclasses.

To book a team building workshop for your staff or group learn more

silks stilts Trapeze hoops

What skills do we teach?

At the Belfast Community Circus School we teach many different skills, which are subdivided in aerial, acrobatics, and equilibristics and manipulation. Aerial skills take place on apparatus which hang from above. Acrobatics covers a range of different skills where the body itself is manipulated into feats of balance, agility and motor coordination. Equilibristics and manipulation (or juggling) involves moving and controlling objects.

Juggling

Juggling (balls, scarves, clubs, rings). The skill of keeping a number of objects in the air at the same time, by continuously throwing and catching the objects. The student can use different methods to throw and catch the objects which will create different patterns. At Belfast Circus School we teach juggling with scarves, balls, clubs and rings.

Ronan rehearsing before the 2009 Festival of Fools show

Globe

The rolling globe is a skill in which the student balances atop a large sphere. Various gymnastic or juggling stunts may be performed while the student moves and controls the position of the ball with the feet and/or hands.

Tightwire walking

Tightwire walking (or funambulism) is the art of walking along a tensioned wire between two points, using only one's body to maintain balance.

Devilstick

Devilstick uses a stick and two handheld sticks. The devilstick is pushed and lifted by the two handheld sticks causing the stick to flip, wobble, spin, and fly through various manoeuvres or tricks.

Hula hoop

Hula hoop – a number of hoops are twirled around the waist, limbs or neck.

Rola Bola

Rola bola involves the student balancing on a flat board that is placed on top of a cylinder.

Hat manipulation

Hat manipulation involves the performer throwing and catching, spinning and passing one or more hats.

Plate spinning

Plate spinning is a circus manipulation art where a person spins plates, bowls and other flat objects on poles, without them falling off. Plate spinning relies on the gyroscopic effect, in the same way a top stays upright while spinning.

Diabolo

A diabolo is shaped like an hourglass and rests on a string tied to two sticks. It is whirled and tossed into the air.

Cigar boxes

The student manipulates several rectangular wooden boxes, catching, stacking and balancing on hand or chin.

Stiltwalking

Stiltwalking uses stilts equipped with steps for the feet to stand on, or straps to attach them to the legs, for the purpose of walking while elevated above a normal height

Contact juggling

Contact juggling involves the manipulation of one or more objects, typically a crystal ball, keeping it in contact with the body. Focuses on fluidity of movement and gives the appearance that the ball has a mind of its own.

Unicycle

Unicycle is a one-wheel bicycle with a small seat upon which the student rides forwards, backwards, performs jumps and other balancing skills.

Chair stack balancing

Acrobats balance on one or more chairs. The chair(s) may be balanced on other objects and/or on just one or two legs while the acrobat(s) themselves may also perform balancing acts on the chair.

Trampette

This small trampoline leads to big heights! Students will learn how to hit the trampoline and jump into acrobatic tricks.

Trapeze

An aerial apparatus with a bar, suspended by ropes, from which you perform a wide range of movements including balances, drops, hangs, and strength and flexibility manoeuvres on the trapeze bar and in the ropes supporting the trapeze.

Silks

Silks or Tissu: you climb, wrap, rotate, and drop within a piece of fabric that is draped from the ceiling, requiring both strength and agility.

Rope

Rope or Corde Lisse – Literally meaning “Smooth Rope”, Corde Lisse is a single length of rope hanging from above, which the aerialist wraps around their body to hang, drop and slide.

Spanish Web

An aerialist is suspended high above on a single rope, while spinning at high speed from ankle or wrist. The rope is spun by another person, who remains on the ground holding the bottom of the rope.

Cloud Swing

Cloud Swing is a rope suspended from the ceiling at two points so it forms a swing. The performer combines static and swinging trapeze skills, drops, holds and rebound lifts.

Aerial Hoop

Aerial Hoop where the performer twists themselves in, on, under and around a steel hoop or ring suspended from the ceiling, usually about the size of a hula hoop.

Handstands

Handstands require the performer to support their body in a stable, inverted vertical position by balancing on the hands. In a basic handstand the body is held straight with arms and legs fully extended, with hands spaced approximately shoulder-width apart. There are many variations of handstands, but in all cases a handstand performer must possess adequate balance and upper body strength.

Tumbling

Tumbling refers to performers twirling their bodies around, performing forward rolls, cartwheels and summersaults.

Acrobalance

Acrobalance consists of partner lifts, where the performer lifts his partner in many different poses and positions.

Hoop diving

More than two thousands years ago, hoop diving evolved from performers imitating the flying movements of swallows as they leap nimbly through narrow rings.

Table slide

Students run and slide along a table, over, under and around which they perform acrobatic feats.

Staff

Staff manipulation involves twirling, swinging and throwing one or more long sticks around the body and into the air.