Circusing A Nation | Eclectic Cake: Circusing A Nation

Monday, 31 March 2014

Circusing A Nation

It's been almost three years since I first walked into Circus Space. My introduction to aerial arts revealed just how weak my upper body was, how much rope burn hurts but it also showed how much I loved circus. And this hasn't changed. Every week, I look forward to the thing that thrills and scares me. Each time I jump off that trapeze platform, I truly feel like I'm flying. Nothing can compare to that sensation unless, of course, I were to sprout wings.

Credit © Bertil Nilsson
Over 25 years, the school has trained over 50,000 acrobats, jugglers, aerial hoopers, trapeze fliers, silk climbers and unicyclers. It's the only place in the UK where you can study for a degree in circus arts, they have classes for toddlers and welcome pensioners with open arms. Chances are, if you've seen a circus performance in the UK in the last quarter century, Circus Space had something to do with it. So it's fair to say that their new National status has been well earned.

Credit © Bertil Nilsson
"Most people are probably unaware that modern circus was invented in London in the late 18th century by a chap called Philip Astley. It is a constantly evolving tradition and Circus Space has been the ringmaster for the last 25 years, developing the skills of some of the best circus performers, aerialists and acrobats in the world. I'm thrilled it is to become the National Centre for Circus Arts and know it will soar to even greater heights." The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

The National Centre for Circus Arts was officially launched in mid March. As someone who has seen first hand the incredible things this school has made happen, I'm so pleased it's been recognised as having a pivotal role in British circus.

Credit © Bertil Nilsson
The centre has taught me that anything – with practice and dedication – is possible. I've gone from someone who couldn't hang from a bar for more than a few seconds to someone who can now fly on the trapeze, tricks and all, for minutes at a time. I've watched other students completely freak out in fear just from climbing up a ladder then, days later, go on to throw themselves off the trapeze backwards! I know the incredible instructors can teach anyone to juggle in just half an hour. And I've watched, open mouthed, as a woman went from lying down to standing whilst a hench man was stood on her back!

Credit © Bertil Nilsson
This place is incredibly inspiring! But fear not, I'm not planning to run away with the circus just yet, I'd miss this space too much!


If you'd like to experience the circus for a day, roll up, roll up here.

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