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National Centre for Circus Arts: Step out of your box and into the circus!

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To satisfy my enduring thirst for new and exciting experiences, a jaunt to train with the stars at National Circus London was always inevitable. Located in the Shoreditch Electric Light Station, a magnificent Victorian power station adjacent to Hoxton Square, the National Centre for Circus Arts is regarded as one of the top three circus schools in Europe.

Circus skills are not only a fun challenge, but are inherently co-operative and depend on mutual coordination & trust – they are a great leveller. Additionally, they teach you about patience, encourage you to have poise & concentration under pressure, to do something you never thought possible and to master impressive skills. The skills covered during the Circus Experience Day (three hour session / £69 per person) at National Centre for Circus Arts include acrobatics, juggling, tightrope walking and the flying trapeze.

Acrobatics
Working in small groups, we assembled into human structures and balanced in different configurations. We formed mini-pyramids and used each others body weight in various acrobatic exercises which required us to work together as a cohesive team and trust one anothers abilities. I was amazed at what the human body can achieve – we are certainly stronger than we realise.

Juggling
I really enjoyed juggling – the teacher was so much fun and gave me helpful tips on how to juggle such as to focus more on throwing the balls rather than catching the balls and not to tense up, it’s easier when you’re relaxed. I was only juggling with three balls, which was quite tricky, so I can’t imagine juggling with more (where you need to be very quick and super-coordinated!).

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Tightrope Walking
Walking the wire requires great balance, focus and concentration. It is so much more challenging than it looks and really is an art.  I wore soft leather shoes to help my feet grip and curve around the wire – and I still fell off the wire every couple of minutes!

Flying Trapeze
This is one of the most popular circus acts and definitely the ultimate circus skill! My stomach was full of butterflies when I was standing on the platform and about to step off! However, once I was flying through the air, I quickly put my fears to one side.  It was a strange feeling but very liberating.  The flying trapeze is definitely a high adrenaline activity and had me buzzing for the rest of the day!

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All of the teachers were incredibly friendly and welcoming. Their passion for the circus was evident throughout.

From the big top to the animals and performers, the circus brings out the fun side in all of us! Don’t forget – life is too important to take too seriously.

Book your Circus Day Experience here.

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