Applying Circus skills to Realise Opportunities

Course Outline


ACRO is personalized learning, where you get to achieve the outcomes you want, and you get to shape the career you want. We provide the space and support to make it happen. But generally, we are interested in helping you to gain skills and projects that can be immediately applied to improve your opportunities to have a circus career.


While you control what projects you work on, we think that projects students work on could include:

· An individual performance

· A group performance

· A roving act

· Circus Teaching skills

· A skill level that meets NICA prerequisites

But what you achieve is limited only by your imagination, your effort, and, the laws of physics.

Who can do the Course?

We are open to any offers, but we will prefer people who have had a strong association with circus for several years, and, who are committed to a circus ethos that embraces diversity and non-competition. However, if you have a background in another area, such as gymnastics, or improvisation, you are welcome to also apply.


What happens in the course?

This course:

  • Has no assessments – we don’t judge how you are going, you do! You will be asked what you want to achieve at the beginning of the course, and we will try and help you achieve this

  • Has relatively few classes – we don’t think you learn how to be a circus professional in a classroom, instead, we give you time in a supported space to develop the skills and projects that you want, and that you think you can use to develop the opportunities you see.

  • The classes will concentrate on practical issues, such as registering as a business, tax, insurance, charging and costing appropriately, train the trainer, safety, injury prevention, rigging issues, etc. There will also be classes in specialist skills based on student requests, but a lot of the skills training will occur when there are circus trainers supporting the open training sessions

  • Has 2 week-long creative developments run by Robbie Curtis. The focus of these weeks will be on developing ensemble performance, but it also a time when there is another outside eye to support your individual performance development.

  • Simulates living as an independent circus artist. The circus artists who make a living out of their art are self-motivated to develop their own projects and are keen to collaborate with others. They turn up to the circus space to practice, they help and teach each other skills, they share opportunities. This course is designed so that you can do that, with the added help that there will be trainers there each day. Some days they will run a class for part of the day, others they will be there to offer advice and help as you work, but for a lot of the time, you will be working on your own projects, or working on group projects, you need self-motivation, but you will be developing the habits of a professional circus artist.

  • Wants you to earn money. We want your projects to work, and to start earning you money. When you learn to teach circus, we want you to start getting paid. If you develop any act, we want to help you to develop a plan to start using it to earn an income. When you perform the group act, you will get your share of the tickets sales.You will start earning money by the end of the course, or we will return 10% of your course fees.

  • Provides an opportunity to develop an ensemble performance, and, perform it. You will have access to our space to perform this piece, and any money earnt, after paying for tech, is divided amongst the performers.

  • Is structured into 3 days, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9 am to 3 pm, but we expect that you will be motivated to work longer hours than this.

  • Has 2 creative development weeks, where Robbie Curtis, acrobat, juggler, dancer, creative director who is ex-Circa, Cirque Du Soleil and many other circuses, will support you in developing your acts, and the group act.


Who will be teaching me?

Like everthing else in this course, you will get a say on who is teaching you. While at times you may make a request for a particular teacher, it is more likely that you will describe to us the skill you want to develop, or the issue you want to learn about, and we will find someone who has skills in this area to support your development. So instead of telling you who will be teaching you a particular subject, we have listed the people below who have already agreed to support this project, and we have given a list of the sorts of skills and abilities that they have indicated they are interested in developing in emerging artists. 

  • Artists.

These artists have more than 200 years of circus experience between them. They all have different skills and experience. some were trained at NICA or Circoarts, some have performed in major companies, some have a strong history of solo and small group performance. Some have concentrated on teaching, and all have a variety of high level circus skills. The people committed so far are:

Alicia Battestini

Bevan Clouston

Corie Hurry

Dan Gorski

Dave Evans

Jane Davis

Leland Kean

Mark Douglass

Mel Kisela

Myke McQuaid

Nat Harris

Nathan Kerr

Neisha Murphy

Robbie Curtis

Sarah Hudson

  • Learning areas covered.​


Skills. Impro, clowning, juggling, hoops, various other object manipulation, stilts, unicycle, and various other equilibristics, inversions, acro, toss, tumbling, silks, lyra, trapeze, cloud, various sideshow skills, MCing


Knowledge. Safe practice, circus teaching skills and pedagogy, production skills, busking, international social circus, working collaboratively, inclusive practice, marketing, submission writing, running a business, charging a sufficient amount to make a living, running a youth circus/troupe, being self directed, planning circus skill and performance development, finding resources (including props and costume), developing a professional support network.

Artistry. Developing ideas, developing acts, adapting acts to different audiences and situations, putting narrative into shows, creative direction, characterisation, creative feedback processes, creative development in a group.

When is the course?

The course is planned for semester 2, 2020, starting Monday 3rd August, with a 2 week break during the September/October school holidays and finishing on Friday 4th December. The course runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday from 9 am to 3 pm during semester.

How much does it cost?

The course costs $3,300, but you will need to purchase insurance (min $69, but could be more depending on what you want to insure) and Working with Children Check ($80). We are currently looking at buy now/pay later options that may be available to you

How do I apply?

Fill out the application and get it to us by July 14th. While we do accept late applications, they will only be considered after the inital applications have been assessed.

For further information please call (02) 4285 0066 or send questions to

© 2020 by Circus Monoxide