GRADUATES ON THE WORLD STAGE – YOU COULD BE NEXT!

PROTRACK TRAINING PROGRAM

ProTrack is the longest running professional circus training program in the U.S. Spend 3 years completely immersed in circus!

Applications for the 24.25 school year are now closed. They will reopen for the 25.26 school year in November 2025.

About ProTrack

WHY CIRCUS SCHOOL?

Perhaps you’re wondering what circus school can offer that you can’t get on your own. The answer—everything!

Dedicated career coaches are here to pay attention to your every move, correct your form, and give you the tools for training in a methodical (and body smart) way, all while you get exposed to skills, techniques, and creative exploration 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? Our coaches are here to make sure nothing falls through the cracks while 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 community of supportive artists working just as hard as you are and making gains towards a circus career every day. Seeing other people do the impossible and come back for more means there’s 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 it makes it easier on our students to find work.

The sheer number of classes and lessons! These include classes in dance, hand balancing, acrobatics, physical theater, flexibility, multiple disciplines, injury prevention, circuit training, workshops, private lessons, academic classes on everything from nutrition to the business of circus, and more. Seriously. Where else but circus school can you possibly fit this much into a day?!

Have Questions?

ProTrack Q+A Session

Are you curious about what it takes to get into America’s longest running professional circus training program? In December 2020, we held a question and answer session for aspiring ProTrack applicants and families.

You can view it in its entirety here!

WHAT MAKES NECCA UNIQUE

WHY PROTRACK?

Three important things: Our coaches, our experience, and our graduates.

These are the people that make NECCA what it is. Our coaches have decades of experience—not only working as performers in the top circuses and festivals in the world, but also in coaching people like you to live up to their potential. They know the material and exactly what it takes to get you there physically, artistically, and psychologically. They are with you every step of the way and are personally invested in your growth. This is the heart of everything that NECCA offers and the backbone of the ProTrack program.

We’ve helped over 200 students navigate the path to becoming a professional performer. Our coaches have a deep understanding of common frustrations that are encountered and have deeply individualized methods for breaking through the inevitable mental and physical blocks. Our curriculum and teaching techniques are layered with intention and detail that has served our students for over fifteen years We see the challenges before you do and we know how to guide you to trust yourself and face them—with a full team of support at your side.

NECCA ProTrack graduates are everywhere! They are in shows all over the world and coaching in circus studios across the country. In fact, chances are you already know someone who is putting their circus education from NECCA to use. Our graduates have performed in Cirque du Soleil, Les 7 Doigts, Gravity and Other Myths, Cirkus Cirkor, Circa, Cirque Eloize, Circus Monti, and an array of touring shows, international festivals, cabarets, and cruise ships. There aren’t many companies that a NECCA graduate hasn’t been a part of in some way, and we bring the benefits of these numerous connections back to our current students.

THE NITTY GRITTY

PROGRAM DETAILS

NECCA’s ProTrack is a full-time, three-year professional circus program designed to create professional circus performers ready for the world stage. We nurture and develop the next generation of working, professional artists, whose technique, artistry, and entrepreneurship are second to none.

Important Details

Students have access to extensive equipment and classes and have an opportunity to try the disciplines listed here.

  • Trapeze (single point, double point, duo, swinging)
  • Fabric
  • Rope
  • Trampoline, Mini Tramp & Tramp Wall
  • Chinese Pole
  • Hand Balancing
  • Straps
  • Partner Acrobatics
  • Lyra & Tippy Lyra
  • German & Cyr wheels
  • Clown
  • Wire
  • Juggling & Manipulation
  • Sling & Hammock
  • Static Cloud Swing
  • Invented Apparatus
  • Bungee
  • Contortion

Tuition
Tuition for ProTrack Year One and Direct Entry ProTrack Year Two students is $15,000 for the 2024-25 school year.

Financial Assistance
For more information on financial aid, please click here.

Program Dates
The ProTrack Program runs from just after Labor Day in September through the first week in June, with a 2 week break in December and one week breaks in November, February, and April.

NECCA’s ProTrack coaches include all of these amazing folks! Please note that this list is subject to change and you should inquire about coaching staff with our Program Director.

Anyone who has:

  • Trained circus extensively enough and they are ready to take it to the next level.
  • Mastered what recreation classes can offer and needs a full time program in order to realize their potential.
  • Has experience in high level gymnastics, dance, ice skating or another athletic performing endeavor and is ready to apply their skills to circus.
  • Decided THIS is what they want to do with their life!

What to Expect

Yearly Breakdown

Each year’s schedule is designed to meet every student where they are and help them achieve the goals and make the gains they’ll need to work in the industry. The program consists of a full-time schedule of classes including a major and minor discipline, dance, theater, tumbling, hand balancing, juggling, flexibility, partner acrobatics, conditioning, creation, injury prevention and rehabilitation work, and professional development to learn the business of being a performing artist. In each class, you’ll find masters in the field working with students of every level—challenging them creatively, artistically, and athletically to bring out their best and guide them each step of the way.

Designed to build a strong foundation and focuses first and foremost on the physical body and preparedness of living the full time circus life. Students dive into the curriculum and assess what physical blocks they may have, as well as what experience and knowledge they will need to fine tune their artistry and athleticism.

Their schedule is individualized according to their interests and level in a variety of areas (determined by periodic assessments). The weekly schedule includes:

  • Private or Semi-private lessons in a Major Discipline
  • Physical Theater
  • Dance
  • Tumbling & Acrobatics
  • Hand Balancing
  • Juggling
  • Partner Acrobatics
  • Strength, Endurance, and Cross Training Classes
  • Mobility & Flexibility
  • Prehab & Injury Prevention
  • Professional Development Classes Covering an Array of Topics
  • Two evening classes in subject areas of the student’s choice.

Builds on the foundation of the first year and focuses on the student’s artistry. Students continue to strengthen their foundation while building their skills and expertise as they begin to focus on two primary disciplines (a major and a minor) and work to construct acts in each. Each student has dedicated time to train their major and minor daily, supported by supplemental classes throughout the week in:

  • Physical Theater
  • Dance
  • Tumbling & Acrobatics
  • Creative Exploration
  • Juggling
  • Partner Acrobatics
  • Strength, Endurance, and Cross Training Classes
  • Mobility & Flexibility
  • Prehab & Injury Prevention
  • Professional Development Classes Covering an Array of Topics

The third and final year is designed to ensure that students are performing at an elite level and prepared to work in the industry. Year Three students will spend dedicated time on finalizing their major and minor acts as they strengthen necessary skills as an ensemble in partner acrobatics , acrobatics, dance, and physical theater. The third year culminates with a devised ensemble show, directed by a guest director that tours theaters throughout New England with the professional support and assistance of NECCA coaches and staff.

Students should expect to be in rehearsal or touring full-time in April and May.

Please note: Tours may be modified due to COVID-19 restrictions and policy changes.

START YOUR CAREER TODAY

APPLICATIONS & ADMISSIONS

Applications for the 24.25 school year are now closed. They will reopen for the 25.26 school year in November 2025.

Get Prepared

About the Application Process

Most applicants will apply and be considered for Protrack Year One. This is our foundation year, and best for building the technique, artistry, and professionalism to advance through the rest of Protrack and into professional performance.

However, we may invite a *very limited* number of applicants to join directly into Protrack Year Two. If you would like to be considered for direct entry into ProTrack Year Two (PT2):

  1. For Year Two, read these prerequisites.
  2. If you fulfill all the prerequisites, complete the full application and indicate your interest in direct entry to year two in the final question.

Applicants that apply for Protrack Year Two will also be considered for ProTrack Year One.

How to Apply
  1. Make your audition videos and upload them to YouTube. Be sure you read our video guidelines below.
  2. Complete our digital application form.
  3. Provide two Letters of Reference.
  4. Pay your application fee.

All applicants interested in NECCA’s ProTrack Program must submit the required videos and references along with their application.

Acceptance into the program is based on levels of competence in:

  • Circus Arts Modalities
  • Dance & Movement
  • Form & Body Awareness
  • Flexibility & Strength
  • Tumbling & Acrobatics
  • Theater & Performance

Please Note: Foreign students who will need a VISA to attend NECCA must apply in the first round.

If you have any questions, please email us here.

Interested in financial aid opportunities for ProTrack? Check the information on our Financial Aid page to apply!

More Info

Admission & Application Resources

The ProTrack Governance Panel, composed of Program Directors, faculty and coaching staff, reviews all applications to determine admission. 

Consideration is given to the whole person: application, level of competency, video content, letters of reference, personal interview, as well as demonstration of potential excellence, professionalism and good judgment.

Applicants must have the following requirements to be considered.

  • Training in the circus extensively with a strong desire to get to the next level.
  • Near mastery in current training with a need for a full-time program in order to realize their potential.
  • Experience in high level gymnastics, dance, ice-skating or other athletic performing endeavors and a readiness to apply their skills to circus.
  • Committed to the circus as their life’s vocation.
  • Excellent health (medical certificate may be required)
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proof of accident and health insurance is required
  • Foreign residents that need a visa to attend must apply in the first round by January 8, 2024
Video Guidelines

Remember that your personality is important to us, so be sure it shows through.

Once you make your videos, please title them “First Name, Last Name, 24.25 NECCA Audition, Video #” then upload them to YouTube. Make sure the privacy settings are on Unlisted or Public, depending on your preferences, do not use the Private setting.

You can view a demo video of some of these skills here.

To apply for Protrack Year One: As part of the general application process you will need to create 3 separate videos.

To apply for direct entry into ProTrack Year Two: You will need to create 4 separate videos – the 3 listed here and a video of your secondary apparatus skills.

Please compile your footage in the order listed here.

Note: We would like to see as many of the skills and movements listed as possible and we understand that training for all the various disciplines and roles in circus sometimes means having different skill sets. Do your best!

Video Guidelines Checklist For Download & Print Here.
If you have the means to make a digital copy, please fill that out and upload the link in the online ProTrack application.

Part 1: Begin with a short introduction letting us know who you are.
Tell us your name, your nationality, and main discipline. (without music, only head and shoulders in view, MAX 30 seconds)

Part 2: Share Your Creative Side
What is circus to you? Use your creativity! (music and soundscape are optional, MAX 1 minute)

Part 3: Dance Theme
Natural Elements of Air, Water, Earth, Fire. (Choose at least 2 elements and play with their differences and oppositions. Perform in the space and sound of your choice, video editing is prohibited, full body in view, camera must remain still. MAX 1-2 minutes)

Part 4: Theater Theme
Opposites: Create 2 oppositional characters. Examples include a wild ape and a runway model, or a physicality that is very heavy as if filled with lead and one that is very light as if filled with helium. With the camera as your partner, do 2 scenes – one as each character. (format should be along the lines of: enter, create a situation with the camera as your partner, create a resolution and ending.

Characters can be verbal or nonverbal. If you do speak, use your mother tongue. Choose an indoor or outdoor location. We’re looking for open, available, dynamic and creative artists ready to leave their comfort zone.

No equipment and no video effects/editing. Don’t forget to have fun!!! MAX 1-3 minutes)

 Part 1: Act or sections of acts on your main discipline. (don’t use footage of group performances unless you are very clearly in view and can note who you are very clearly (ie ‘in red shorts’ or circled on the video, etc.. MAX 3 minutes).

Part 2: Skills and Technique in main discipline that are not shown in your act selection. Compile approximately 2 minutes of skills that you’ve mastered most recently.

Part 1: Handstands (Max 3 minutes)

  • Kick up to handstand, camera viewing from the side. Hands do not leave the floor and the shape is attempted in both phases of the movement (up and down). 3 reps linked together
  • Tuck up to handstand, camera viewing from the side. Hands do not leave the floor and the shape is attempted in both phases of the movement (up and down). 3 reps linked together
  • Straddle up to handstand, camera viewing from the side. Hands do not leave the floor and the shape is attempted in both phases of the movement (up and down). 3 reps linked together
  • Pike up to handstand, camera viewing from the side. Hands do not leave the floor and the shape is attempted in both phases of the movement (up and down). 3 reps linked together
  • One freestanding handstand viewed from the side. (0-60 seconds) If this is not accessible to you at this time, show one 10 second handstand back to the wall.
  • Belly against the wall handstand (hold for 90 seconds, camera view from the back)

Part 2: Ground Acrobatics (Max 5 minutes)

  • Rebounding tuck jumps (10 reps, any camera angle, full body in view)
  • Standing jump half turn, full turn, one and a half (start facing camera)
  • 3 consecutive forward rolls (side view)
  • 3 handstand forward rolls: tuck, straddle, pike (side view)
  • Dive roll (2 reps, side view)
  • 3 consecutive cartwheels, go for fluidity and connectivity (show both sides/legs, side view)
  • Walkovers – 1 each direction (side view)
  • Front Handspring with step out (side view)
  • Round off (show 2 on the same side from each direction, side view)
  • Back handspring with step out (side view)
  • Lines: Show 2 different passes where you integrate both left and right cartwheels, a handstand, a jump, and if possible a flight skill (anything that either rotates or travels with air time)
  • Flow Phrase: 1 phrase of acrobatic movements on hard floor that are not percussive or ‘punch the floor’ skills. (MAX 1 minute)
  • Optional Additions: Show us your 3 best skills and your personality (connected or not)

Part 3: Partnering

  • Base and Fly a thigh stand (side view, full view of both bodies)

Part 4: Coordination (Max 5 minutes)

  • Juggling: 3 balls/clubs, patterns and tricks (15+/- catches)
  • Stick Balance (10 seconds, facing camera)
  • Swiss Ball Balance: standing on feet for 30 seconds. (modify it by kneeling or sitting in a hollow body position on the ball as needed. Facing camera)
  • Hula hooping (60 seconds, facing camera)

Part 5: Strength (Max 7 minutes)

  • Max pull-ups (pronated grip or palms facing forward, pull to your highest and go all the way down to straight arms in between. Pull-ups with palms facing you or without fully straightening arms between will not be counted. Facing camera)
  • Max toe touches to bar (side view)
  • Max rope climb with legs in L or straddle (start facing camera)
  • Max pushups (elbows at 45 degrees to side body, side view)
  • Max pistol squats (modify with candlestick roll or support as needed, side view)
  • Max box jump (max height, 1 rep, side view)
  • V ups (30 reps, side view)
  • Hollow on back (2 minutes, side view)
  • Long arch on belly (2 minutes, side view)
  • L sit on chairs, benches, or ground (30 seconds, side view)

Part 6: Stability (Max 2 minutes)

  • Diagonal Plank (30 seconds each side, side view)
  • Swiss ball bridge on one leg (20 seconds each side, side view)

Part 7: Flexibility (Max 2 minutes)

  • Right, Center, Left splits (10 seconds each)
  • Forward pike fold against block (10 seconds, side view)
  • Forward fold legs apart (10 seconds, side view)
  • Back bridge from standing (hold 10 seconds without adjusting. Modify with supports or a spot as needed). Stay in your bridge and shift over hands to open shoulders (hold 10 seconds). Tighten your bridge to your capacity (hands as close to feet as possible and hold for 10 seconds). Adjust as needed and rise to standing (with modifications or supports/spotting as needed). Camera viewing from the side.
  • Slow squat. (camera viewing from side, go as low as you can for count of 4, hold, rise for a count of 4)
  • Slow relevé/toe raiser. (camera viewing from side, go as low as you can for count of 4, hold, rise for a count of 4)

In a youtube video, please submit 2-3 sequences of material in your secondary discipline, and 3 skills you’ve recently mastered. Show us your favorite movement qualities and sequencing where applicable (max 2 minutes).

SUPPORTING OUR MISSION

DONATE TO NECCA

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.

SUPPORTING OUR MISSION

DONATE TO NECCA

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.

Many Thanks To

Our Sponsors

Please join us in thanking these companies for their support of NECCA.

Grant Sponsors
Year Round Sponsors
Circus Springboard Sponsors

To Circus Springboard Sponsors: Valentine Talland and Nagesh Mahanthappa. Thank you for your support!


Copyright © 2019 New England Center for Circus Arts
Skip to content