National Centre for Circus Arts
Founded in 1989 as “Circus Space”, The National Centre for Circus Arts is one of the best circus schools in the world and it is at the heart of a network of Circus organisations that are leading the renaissance of Circus in the UK. The organisation champions and supports excellence in Circus Arts in the UK and around the world and is helping to change the perception of circus in the UK by providing an unparalleled launch-pad for present and future performers with over 40 circus companies accessing studio time and funding through the National Centre for Circus Arts.
From the age of two with no upper limit, the National Centre trains over 700 people each week and over the past 25 years has trained over 50,000 students through their courses, classes and workshops across all programme areas including Higher and Further Education, professional artist training workshops and tuition, recreational courses and classes for adults and young people, business and team building workshops and experience days. The National Centre for Circus Arts is the only place where it is possible to receive a BA Hons degree in Circus Arts. More than 80 students a week train on their Further & Higher Education programmes. The school is an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama and degree awards are validated by the University of Kent.
The National Centre for Circus Arts educates all students in a safe environment in which they can learn how to manage risk while taking creative and artistic leaps of faith. Every student is trained by highly skilled educators within a framework that upholds health and safety best practice. A degree in Circus Arts from The National Centre for Circus Arts offers more than just training in performance, students are also provided with training in business and career development so that they can establish a fruitful and fulfilling life as an artist.
The National Centre has a proven track record for producing some of the World’s finest circus performers through its degree level programmes. 93% of all graduates from the National Centre for Circus Arts are still working in the industry three years after graduating. Companies who have employed recent graduates include the Royal Shakespeare Company, NoFit State, Cirque Du Soleil, The Roundhouse, The V&A, Les 7 Doigts de la Main and National Theatre. Nearly 100 specialist performers from the Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts.
The National Centre for Circus Arts is a registered charity housed in the Shoreditch Electric Light Station. Originally an electricity generating station built in 1896, the site was rescued from dereliction in 1993 and, following extensive restoration and reconstruction, reopened as Circus Space – helping to kickstart Shoreditch’s regeneration. The National Centre for Circus arts has retained the original names for areas in the building with the two largest training rooms called the Combustion and Generating Chambers.