Foundation Course in Circus Arts

This course is a professional development 16-week, full-time, intensive training course for people over 16 years, who have a background in gymnastics, dance, physical theatre or similar. Our aim is to fast track you into the circus world with a solid foundation in a wide variety of circus disciplines.

Created by AirCraft Circus Academy

We have been running this course for 10 years and have trained over 200 students, many of whom are now working in the circus industry, including the London cabaret scene, Big Top Circus Shows and Cirque Du Soleil.

Next Course Term: 

Monday 24th August to Monday 14th December 2020

Free Informal Auditions: book at a time that suits you
AirCraft Circus Academy have specifically designed this Foundation Course in Circus Arts for those individuals who would like to gain a solid and rounded foundation in aerial and acrobatic core disciplines, create an act and have the chance to perform in front of a supportive audience.
The timetable runs for 16 weeks, Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm, with a 1 week break in week 9. Each day students will be taught up to 4 physical, creative and complementary classes totalling 30 hours per week. Additionally, after completion of the course, students will have the opportunity to perform in our annual celebrations of all things circus in either Greenwich Circus Festival (autumn term), or our Summer Circus Festival (spring term).
 In the first dew weeks, importance is given to working with the body, gaining strength, increasing flexibility, and preventing injury, within a safe and structured group environment.  There will be taster classes in specialist circus skills such as Harness and Dance Trapeze.
As the Course progresses there will be more emphasis on act creation, performance skills and show production. You will learn circus rigging, lighting design, sound, costumes and make up, which are essential skills for any aspiring circus performer. The course will finish in an end of term showcase spectacular. Your act will be photographed and filmed, with the option of a professionally edited demo reel.
We are looking for disciplined and creative individuals with a passion for learning. It is not necessary to have prior knowledge of aerial or acrobatic skills, however you will need to have a base level of fitness. 


For more information and applications please follow the links below 
Course Outline:
The first 8 weeks of the course focus on gaining strength, stamina, flexibility, and building up a skills repertoire.   
Skills covered include:
Aerial Core - Static Trapeze, Hoop, Rope, Silks and Flying Trapeze
Acrobatic Core - Tumbling, Acrobalance, Chinese Pole, Handstands, Trampoline and Trampet 
Performance - Improvisation, Ensemble, Physical Theatre, Act Creation and Production
Production Technical Skills - Rigging and Safety, sound, lighting, marketing, makeup/hair, costumes, stage management 
Complimentary Skills - Dance, Conditioning, Contortion, Flexibility, Extension, and Injury Prevention
Week 9 is a well deserved break week, in order to rest and recover the body and mind, before the second stage of the course.
In week 10, the focus moves to Act Creation in your chosen skill.  Classes will still be taught in all skills but time will be given to creating and practising your acts and developing a final performance.  You will learn about act creation and the show creation process including sound, lighting, rigging, hair and make-up, costumes, marketing, and stage management. Our school converts into a fabulous performance venue with excellent production capability. We have black drapes, fully rigged lighting grid and sound system. We have excellent audience capacity with cabaret style table and seats. Everything you need to support your first performance.
Although focus is on individual acts, you will be encouraged to work together as a team in order to create your show. We will guide you to design your own flyer and actively market your show through flyering and social media. After the showcase we will guide you on CV presentaion, website design, photos, showreels, contacting agencies and self promotion.

Past Student Shows

I do not live in the UK how do I apply?:
Please see the Auditions page (also linked above). In terms of Visa entry, you will need to look into this with your own countries Visa office. AirCraft Circus Academy can supply you with a letter highlighting your acceptance onto the course, please note this incurs a £25 admin fee.

You will need to source accommodation yourself, as there are no housing facilities at the school. It is recommended to research rental rooms online in the SE18, SE7, SE10 or SE2 London postcodes on, gumtree, or loot. These areas are very close to the school and students have no problems finding accommodation, usually in a house share. If you would like further information please contact us anytime at or call 020 8317 8401.
If you already have circus experience and want further training take a look at our Intermediate Course in Circus Arts
Here's what past students have to say about the course:

"This course was literally the best thing I have ever done! You learn so much in such a short space of time and grow both physically and mentally. The course is challenging but so much fun and so rewarding. So much so that I did the Intermediate Course as well."
(Merryn, Foundation Course Student, Autumn 2017)


"There's a lovely atmosphere at Aircraft and the teachers are great! I have loved every minute of this course and would recommend it to anyone whose considering a professional career in circus or even just to learn and have fun."
(Anon, Foundation Course Student, Spring 2016)


"Amazing course, so much fun and you learn loads of skills without the commitment of a year!"
(Charlotte, Foundation Course Student, Spring 2015)