Graduates On the World Stage - You Could Be Next!
Why Circus School?
Perhaps you're wondering what circus school can offer that you can't get on your own. The answer is EVERYTHING!
Dedicated career coaches there to pay attention to your every move, correct form, give you the tools for training in a methodical (and body smart!) way, and give you the skills, techniques and creative instigation you didn't even know existed.
Work the things you don't want to work. That's right - Don't you have things you KNOW you should be working on, but somehow always find a reason not to? Of course you do! Circus school coaches are there to make sure nothing falls through the cracks and you become a well-balanced artist with all the skills.
A group of people working as hard as you are! There's nothing like being in a group of supportive artists working just as hard as you are and making gains every day towards a circus career. Seeing other people do the impossible and come back for more means that there is inspiration around you on a daily basis.
Networking. We hold auditions for other organizations and happily send referrals to a vast number of performance companies for our graduates. People call us to find their next performer and that makes it easier on our students to find work.
Sheer number of classes and lessons! Our program works out to about $10/hr for the year. That includes classes in dance, hand balance, acrobatics, physical theater, flexibility, academic studies, multiple disciplines, circuit training, workshops, private lessons and more. Seriously. Where else but circus school can you possibly fit this much into a day?!
NECCA's ProTrack is the longest running Professional Training Program for circus artists in the United States. Our graduates have performed in Cirque du Soliel, Les 7 Doigts, Pippin, Cirkus Cirkor and an array of touring shows, international festivals, cabarets and cruise ships. NECCA has helped to set the standard of professional training in the United States and many of our graduates are now recognized coaches at training facilities across the country.
Year One is designed to build a strong foundation and focus on the physical body. Students have 2 classes per week in dance, tumbling, handstands and physical theater and 1 class per week in active flexibility, juggling, partner acrobatics, circuit training, act creation and academic studies. Academic classes cover injury prevention techniques and pre-hab exercises, physiology, fundamental guidelines of athletic training and time management, nutrition, an introduction to creating, circus history and a study of contemporary circuses, as well as how to audition effectively. In addition, students have group warm up and mobility work as well as fitness and conditioning many times per week. Students have private or semi-private lessons in their major area of study and enroll in 2 of our evening classes in any subject we offer. Students have a full evaluation every three months to make sure that they are meeting their goals and progressing. An act is created in the major training area, but these acts are considered part of the learning process and not "final" pieces.
When students finish Year 1, they will have made gains in their tumbling, handstands, flexibility, movement quality, technique, performance quality, skills and physical fitness. They have become an "expert" on their own body and what it needs to feel good, train effectively and stay motivated. They will also have an act in their major discipline that pushes their abilities and prepares them for the next level of training and will have had a chance to try enough new disciplines that they can start to narrow down the choices for a minor focus.
Year Two builds on the foundation of the first year and focuses on the artist. Students have 2 classes per week in dance, tumbling, handstands and physical theater and 1 class per week in circuit training, academic study, active flexibility and juggling. Academic classes cover physiology and anatomy, introduction to rigging, examining and building work as an artist, methods of creating, and an introduction to the business side of being a professional circus artist. In addition, Year 2 students have 9 hours per week designated for their major discipline - an average of 2-2.5 hours of this is 1-on-1 with a coach. They also have 4 hours per week designated for their minor discipline - an average of 1 hour and 20 min of that is 1-on-1 with a coach.
At the end of Year 2, students should at minimum have a solid and consistent handstand, intermediate to high level tumbling passes, a high level of flexibility both passive and active, understand several modalities of creating and physical theater, be a comfortable and compelling mover, and have a clarified vision of what they would like to accomplish as an artist. Students finish Year 2 with a first draft completed of their major and minor acts. Both are presented in a year-end show as works in progress.
Year Three is the final year and designed to ensure that students are performing at an elite level and prepared to work in the industry. Year 3 will admit 5-10 students who will focus primarily on their major and minor acts. Students will also be guided through developing a character over the year separate from their acts, and will create both promotional and business materials they will require later. In addition, this group will develop a full-length show that will embark on a small tour at the end of the program. Graduates of Year 3 may also be eligible for sponsorship in International Circus Festivals.
The weekly schedule of the year 3 students involves 8+ hours of training in their major and 6+ hours of training their minor. They have 1 theater class per week, focusing solely on creating a character (for use in or out of their acts) by spending a full year discovering and researching their character from scratch. In addition, students will have 1 academic class per week in the form of hands-on material building. This class is designed to help students learn to build a website, read contracts, sew costumes, create promotional materials and edit video, learn basic Photoshop or similar software, take a headshot and professional photos, and build a resume. They will learn about several other details of running the business side of being an artist as well including tax information, music rights, booking work as a free-lance artist and applying and auditioning for jobs. Additional classes may be required as part of the program for students who need additional work in a specific area as determined by the ProTrack coaches.
Graduates of the 3rd year leave NECCA ready for life as a professional circus performer. They have acts and skills ready for hire in professional touring shows and ensembles or as an independent performer. They understand what it takes to make performing a full-time job and have the professional materials needed to work in the market. They will also have experience touring a small ensemble show at the completion of the program, giving them a chance to see what life is like on the road and to give them exposure in the industry. After that, they have access to our network of contacts and support in finding auditions and connecting with companies. In addition, select students will be eligible for mentor-ship and sponsorship in International Festivals.
How do I apply?
|Applicants interested in ProTrack first submit an application along with a video and references. The deadline for application submissions for 2019-2020 will be early February. Then, they may be invited to live auditions March 9 & 10. Acceptance into one of the three years of our program is based on levels competence in:|
- Circus Arts Modalities
- Dance & Movement
- Form & Body Awareness
- Tumbling & Acrobatics
- Theater & Performance
Applicants for 2019/2020 may be accepted into Year 1 or Year 2. Year 3 is reserved for students moving up from year 2 and invited guests.
1. Make your audition video and download it to YouTube or Vimeo
Guidelines for video submission.
2. Complete our digital application form. It will be available mid-November.
3. Provide two Letters of Reference
Click here for reference submission form to provide to reference providers.
4. Pay your application fee.
5. If you have any questions, please contact the Program Director HERE.