New Dates Coming Soon

Circus Essentials Training Program

Freestanding rig

About the Program

This online series will challenge your physical and artistic skills with group training and personalized attention. Get back into circus shape or find your new circus groove with a team of coaches and fellow students who will keep you honest about your training and encourage and inspire you to reach your goals. Training alone is hard, so why do it?

You’ll get the best of NECCA with group trainings and one-on-one sessions. We’ll meet three days a week for basics like flexibility, hand balancing and conditioning, plus conversations and creative challenges to keep your artistic side engaged. Plus you’ll get three 1 hr private skills lessons that includes personal training guidance with a coach in your focus area, and access to NECCA’s online course library.

More Details

This program is for students ages 18 and up (or permission of instructor) with a current circus arts practice who are looking to intensify and broaden their circus training. This can be your ‘get into shape’ fitness program or a way to deepen your professional circus training journey.

Circus activities that you can do in the Circus Essentials program include anything that you have access to the equipment needed for training. Use your living room, your back porch, your aerial rig, or a training studio! If you can find space to train it, and have reliable internet access, we can help you!

We will meet three days a week (Mon/Wed/Fri) for 4 1/2 hours of group training, including a warm-up, flexibility, and conditioning. We’ll end each day with specialized workshops and creativity sessions, including an opportunity to share what you are working on with your peers. You will also have three one-hour private lessons each week—just you and a coach to help you with your specific needs in your focus area while also helping you develop and refine your fitness plan.

We will be meeting via zoom sessions. Therefore, students training on material that has potential for physical injury must have another person nearby for safety reasons. This person needs to be capable of dialing 911 in case of an emergency.

Participants should have the following items on hand:

  • Yoga roll (36″ long is ideal, but the shorter options will work)
  • 2 large (5″) yoga blocks
  • Two lacrosse or tennis balls
  • Variety pack of therabands (light, medium, and heavy—approximately 4′ long each)
  • A clear wall space or door

We suggest participants have a laptop to access the internet – a phone or iPad will work, but may be a bit more frustrating as a tool.

July 27 – August 14, 2020

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 11:00 am–3:30 pm EST

Plus eight one-hour private lessons (three per week, except the final Friday), scheduled individually with each student. Private lessons will generally be at 10 am EST or 4 pm EST. Participants are encouraged to train at least one more day each week.

The program is directed by Elsie Smith with Serenity Smith Forchion, Jenna Ciotta, Marlon Archer, Megan Mallouk and Tony Duncan—plus a variety of private lesson coaches depending on focus areas.

$1000 (deposit of $500 due by July 13, balance due July 27).

Fill out the application form and include a video of your current skills. Please include any fitness, sports, or circus activities that you are currently doing, including your desired focus area. Additionally, please demonstrate as many of these core skills as you can:

  • Forward roll and dive roll
  • Cartwheel: (both sides)
  • Handstand: against a wall or free-standing
  • Back bridge: push up from laying on ground
  • Splits: left, to straddle (center), to right
  • Pull-ups: please show that your feet are not on the ground at the start or end of the skill.


NECCA is a nonprofit that’s committed to the people it serves and the community within which it thrives. We rely on our many generous donors to continue to be a place that’s accessible to everyone, where creativity and artistry soar, and where the seemingly impossible becomes possible—every single day. Please consider joining others in supporting our work. Thank you!

Many Thanks To

Our Sponsors

Many Thanks To

Our Sponsors

Many Thanks To

Our Sponsors

Copyright © 2019 New England Center for Circus Arts