How to dance circus

Dance, Tumble, and Circus | Orange County, NC


Let's get moving! Program curriculum will include dance fundamentals, gross motor and tumbling activities, and basic circus arts such as juggling. The focus is on fun, complete with props, music, and lots of energy! There will be an end of session performance to highlight what participants have learned and showcase each child's unique talents and joys, all with no extra fees or dance attire necessary!

  • Day: Friday
  • Location: Central Recreation Center
  • Instructor: Jill Chafin

Ages: Dates: Time: Fee: Program #:
3- to 5-years-old Feb. 17-Mar. 24 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. $50 811130-2023A
6- to 8-years-old Feb. 17-Mar. 24 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. $55 812130-2023A
3- to 5-years-old Apr. 14-May 19 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. $50 821130-2023A
6- to 8-years-old Apr. 14-May 19 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. $55 822130-2023A

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The two great loves of my life - Dance & Circus

Ever since I could remember myself, I’ve been dancing.

Since I was little, I used to move my body to music, any kind of music, just to feel the rhythm in my joints and to express my happiness physically.

When I was five years old, I was sent to rhythmic gymnastics classes at the local community center. It was a combination of dancing and playing with different objects – a ball, a hoop, a ribbon and clubs. I felt in my natural element.

I loved the exercises to develop flexibility, which became more advanced with time. I loved the work on coordination, and learning to control all the different objects. I loved the choreographies that I had to remember by heart. I felt as if the music was filling me from inside.

I remember looking up to my coach, thinking she was the most perfect creature on the planet

Looking back, I find it amazing that all of these exercises didn’t seem to me as difficulties or challenges. I just practiced them and enjoyed every moment of it.

One day, suddenly, they closed down the community center. They locked the gate with a big lock and there were no more classes. An experience and a process that was cut prematurely.

Classical Ballet

My next chance was at elementary school. We had to choose different classes and activities – and one option was Oriental dance. I did not think twice, since it had the word dance in it. It was such a different style, and yet so natural in my body.

At the same time – I began to take classes in classical ballet. The connection with my teacher, Dvora, was instant. She felt and understood me. It was as if she was reading my thoughts through the position of my wrist, the movement of the foot, and the direction of the gaze.

Ballet was a lot more demanding than anything I had experienced so far. It required adjusting all the muscles, concentration and attention to the smallest details, while maintaining inner fire. Looking from the outside, it was very clear if a dancer ‘had it in them or not’.

As I grew older and deepened my roots in this demanding world, the level of difficulty increased. I felt new sensations of disappointment and failure, which suddenly came in the same breath with dancing.

My most beloved thing became frustrating.

My body stopped me from dancing the way I imagined, from expressing myself as I wanted. My improvement was slow and incredibly Sisyphean. The work was very stressful.

There was also satisfaction, but no catharsis. Something was missing and I couldn’t find the words to say what it was.

My Second Home Disappeared

I worked hard and got the role of the Prima Ballerina in our small company, a title that wasn’t said out loud, and didn’t have any meaning outside the studio with the mirrored wall.

I grew up, and it was time to leave and join the army. It was very sad since I still had so much to improve in. It was another experience that was stopped before I reached the full intensity of it.

When I had to leave, Dvora, my teacher, also felt that she had to leave. The hole that had opened was too big, and she quit teaching ballet after many beautiful and successful years.

I felt as if I had nowhere to go back to, as if my second home had disappeared. Writing these words now and remembering these moments, I become deeply emotional and my eyes tear up.

During my military service I felt the urge to move and perform growing. I wanted that sweet sensation, which I had only tasted at special events like “end of the year show” or at important ceremonies.

One time, when I went to see a dance show at the Suzanne Dellal Center, I got a flier for a circus school. I thought to myself: “What a dream!” and pinned it to the board at the entrance of my room. A good friend of mine saw the flier and asked me: “Cool! Are you going?” I answered “No… What are the odds…”. He took the flier with him. A week later, after he had researched the place personally, he came and informed me: “This place is amazing! You have to go!”

So - I went…

I gained courage and stepped out of my comfort zone. The minute I walked into the school I understood that he was right. I felt home again. All around me were people in strange positions, hanging between heaven and earth, exercising various physical abilities with endless possibilities.

My heart was dancing and jumping in all directions! This is where the action is! This is what I’ve been looking for!

If you have seen our show, you could tell that this is the exact moment I talk about in the beginning of my act.

So I signed up for a training program at the circus school in Israel.

At the same time, I met Gal Baz. Together we dreamt even bigger and went to study circus at the “Carampa” school in Madrid. There I learned skills and techniques from the best teachers in Europe. I was truly inspired. I developed a personal style, unique to me, which I love.

Trainig in the circus school

Keeping Balance

The combination of these two worlds was inevitable for me. The ballet with its strict rules, seriousness and precision kept me from losing focus in a world of unlimited creativity. The circus on the other hand, spices things up with laughter and playfulness and allows twists, which don’t exist in the classical world.

This is how I keep my balance – Literally.

"Circus Ballet" - a phenomenon of the XXI century

A scene from the fantastic show "Swan Lake" performed by Chinese circus artists

Dance art has been created over many centuries, developing inseparably with the evolution of mankind, its culture, reflecting the outlines of the historical eras of peoples taking on new forms and directions. Being reborn, it had a significant impact on the development of social culture as a whole. Dance always identifies the aesthetic and spiritual and moral values ​​of society, reflects the human needs of its time, its ideals and spiritual quest. Circus art, having a sacred beginning, like dance, is built on centuries-old canons with the active use of choreographic means of expression that correspond to the spirit of the times and mental belonging. The level of modern circus programs is very diverse and subject to stylistic multi-genre, where choreographic art is one of the main expressive artistic means and technologies. Moreover, dance art, in addition to its traditional forms, has received a wide response in various arts and sports in recent decades.

So, on the arenas of the world there is a reformation of circus programs, the creators of which are in a constant search for new creative approaches. Today, interest in the art of the arena and its transformation into a grand performance show has increased significantly through the merger and interaction of choreography and circus elements such as acrobatics, tightrope walking, gymnastics, pantomime, juggling, tricks, clowning, etc. This process is directly related to the fact that the present stage of the development of the world circus art is characterized by a self-forming individual original performing style of artists, honing not only stunt virtuosity, but also improving their professional skills, including artistic image, expressiveness, plasticity, performance technique, etc.

The most skilled circus performers turn their professional eye to the technique of ballet elements and actively apply them in their programs. For example, the result of the reformation of the symbiosis of circus and choreographic art in the arenas of leading western circuses was a completely unique phenomenon of world culture - a large-scale enchanting international show. Thus, the Canadian circus "Cirque du Soleil", the German circuses "Ronkalli" and "Flic-flac", Chinese circuses are vivid examples of the introduction of circus choreography.

The analysis of the problem under study showed that, being a reflection of the spirit of its time, modern circus choreography develops in several directions at once, these are: classical and folk dances, and elements of modern plasticity are also actively used. Today, circus choreography is a school of excellence that develops its own methods and performance technologies.

An interesting fact is that dance is still a spectacle, a social ritual, but its main function is that it is a modern art capable of synthesis with other arts. As a new expressive means of actual artistic expression, it contributes to the disclosure of the philosophical concept of the circus act, as well as the scenic circus character.

The evolution of circus art is inseparable from the history of the evolution of human civilization. The origin of circus art is due to the ritual culture of the society, the peculiarities of the life and way of life of the people, the origin of new types of crafts, as well as the human desire for games and magical mysteries. It follows that the driving factors for the emergence of the art of the circus were the social, religious and labor aspects of society. The formation of individual circus genres is based on the individual qualities of the person himself, his desire for perfection, for a miracle, for a dream that leads beyond ordinary life and opens up new opportunities, his desire to delight and entertain, in his weakness and in the manifestation of pride.

Circus is the art of realizing human potential. Circus performances are based on overcoming the most difficult physical obstacles, as well as comic tricks, in most cases borrowed from buffoons and comedians of folk booths. By its very nature, the circus is always eccentric. Its main means of expression is a trick, an action that lies outside the bounds of ordinary logic [1, p. ten]. There are many definitions of a trick, for example: “A circus trick is a separate complete fragment of any circus act, even if it is the most ordinary in terms of technique and short-lived in execution, but it is completely independent and closed in itself, and is the simplest exciter of a reaction that affects the viewer in such a really performed way. resolution of a task that lies outside the usual circle of ideas and in this circle seems unsolvable” [2, p. 314].

Dance is a kind of art, the material of which is the movements and postures of the human body, poetically meaningful, organized in time and space, constituting a kind of unified artistic system. Dance is closely connected with music, together with it forming a musical and choreographic image. In this union, each component depends on the other: the music dictates its own laws to the dance and at the same time is influenced by the dance [3, p. 205].

Of the most ancient dance sources, Egyptian images are the most understandable and distinguishable, in which poses are demonstrated. Each pose had its own meaning, so it is believed that they were the original phrases of the ancient dance art. They were widespread not only in the early period, but also much later. Having arisen 3 thousand years BC. e., they "took root" and thus were passed on to all subsequent generations. Often, the images show dancers performing tricks that today are classified as acrobatic. So, the first makings of circus art in China appeared among artisans and workers employed in the agricultural sector. The results of the creative activity of Chinese specialists have always been distinguished by special elegance and special grace. As in China, in Greece, whose cultural development dates back to the Bronze Age, there could be no talk of life without spiritual entertainment and spectacles. Greece was the progenitor of many popular philosophies, as well as the first representations of silent mimes, ironic over a serious attitude to life. These facts testify to the first shoots of clowning.

Thus, the historical processes of the origin of circus and dance art determined their common features and causes, due to the socio-cultural life and the psycho-emotional essence of a person. The close interaction of these two types of art has been noted since ancient times. At the same time, they are demarcated, endowed with their own laws of existence, specific content, forming a union in only individual works of innovators of circus and dance art.

The analysis of circus programs led to the conclusion that the artistic image receives the most complete disclosure precisely in the creative implementation of the circus act in symbiosis with dance performance. The plasticity and dynamism of the choreography, like a skillful cut of a diamond, helps the artist not only to fully convey the manege image, but also to show his individuality and talent in the performance, to improve the aesthetic perception of the viewer. Here is a very illustrative example: I. Serbina, performing folklore dances on a wire, was a unique phenomenon. And the point here is not at all in choreographic training, not in the virtuosity of mastering the wire, not in the novelty of the technique of performing the dance on the wire, not even in the choice of the genre of the act. Since childhood, V. Serbina performed in acrobatic numbers, for more than ten years she was a tightrope walker on a wire, first with her sister, then alone, she worked honestly, professionally, with success, but no more. And only the inclusion of a folklore dance in the number allowed, finally, the individuality of the actress to sound. The incendiary temperament of V. Serbina, frozen by the previous salon solution of the number, broke through in the sparkling "lady". As soon as the actress moved her shoulder, shifted her eye, stamped her foot, the audience was mesmerized. And V. Serbina danced to a friendly, rhythmically organized flurry of applause. Thus, the life temperament of the actress transformed the very nature of traditional wire dances” [1, p. 57]. Therefore, it is the dance or the little piece of art that spiritualizes the performed trick.

A scene from the fantastic show "Swan Lake" performed by Chinese circus artists

Circus shows of world significance, such as the ballet and acrobatic performance "Swan Lake" staged by Chinese choreographer Zhao Ming, conquered the whole world and quickly gained audience recognition. The idea of ​​creating this performance is quite simple - to combine the most spectacular elements from two traditions - circus and ballet, together with a unique and complex costume design, original lighting design and non-traditional scenography.

Mr. Pan Hao, one of the patrons of the Chinese troupe, revealed the secret of the success of Chinese artists: “Any kind of art is a language. In this sense, we have our advantages. The circus art of our country strikes with the technique of performance, but does not carry drama. Ballet is a great dramatic art, however, it loses to the circus in terms of entertainment. We found a successful combination of Tchaikovsky's music and traditional Chinese performance and, thus, won the hearts of the audience" [4].

The production is based on a skillful and harmonious combination of a masterpiece of the legendary Russian ballet and classical dance with ancient Chinese acrobatics. The Chinese interpretation of the world classic is focused on the modern audience and carried out by high professionals. An important factor influencing the viewer is the global public interest in China as a prosperous country in various fields of economy, technology, culture and art. In view of the popularization of the Chinese circus, a new stylistics in the circus has received worldwide recognition, which is a symbiosis of circus and choreographic art, combining the power of a trick and the refined plasticity of dance - “circus ballet”.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             á ballet by P. I. Tchaikovsky "The Nutcracker". The new work was a harmonious symbiosis of classical ballet and unique elements of rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatics, which, on the whole, were united by a single action. The artistic and acrobatic ballet "The Nutcracker" has become one of the brightest events in the cultural life of not only St. Petersburg, but also Russia. The performance received rave reviews from both ordinary spectators and professional ballet fans. All of them noted with what thrift the creators treated the classical production of the Nutcracker ballet, and also with what care and professionalism the elements of rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatics were woven into the classical outline of the performance [5].

Thus, at the present stage, there is a tendency to borrow the experience of Chinese masters in staging classical ballet performances. Modern classical ballet undergoes minor changes and goes beyond academicism, taking on new modern trends and trends, namely the expressive means of circus art genres.

A scene from A. Zalevsky's show

Moreover, the study of the problem of the spiritual in the art of choreography and circus contributed to the discovery of a new trend in the development of circus ballet. The problem of the spiritual is a manifestation of the spiritual world, individual personal characteristics in the field of creativity in the concept of symbiosis of circus art and choreography. Anatoly Zalevsky, one of the most sought-after tightrope walkers on the planet, devoted his creative activity to this problem, its analysis and its various aspects, having formed a new direction in circus art - the “circus of the soul”. A. Zalevsky is an Honored Artist of Ukraine, a star of the circus "Cirque du Soleil", the owner of the circus "Oscar" - the highest award "Golden Clown" of the International Festival of Circus Arts in Monte Carlo. And he is also the founder of the genres of "balance on the floor" and "equilibrium on a slippery surface", the founder of the studio "Rizoma", the director and soloist of the show "Rizoma" and its new version "Rizoma. Time". In his professional activities, he came to the realization that at the present stage of development, circus art involves a well-coordinated union of virtuoso tricks, choreography and high dramaturgy. Their synthesis, according to the definition of A. Zalevsky, “expresses the soul with the language of the body” [5]. A. Zalevsky developed his philosophical worldview in the performance "Rizoma". The performance, created on the basis of the synthesis of theater, choreography and circus art, is an evolutionary genre of the "circus of the soul", which has become the "face" of an outstanding equilibrist and innovator. Here is how he himself defines the style of his "plastic circus": "Now the circus is undergoing regeneration - it goes from external to internal, from a clear trick to dramatic feelings, emotions. We are used to the fact that the basis of the circus is a trick, but now the inner state of the artist is no less important. Therefore, we see a synthesis of the arts on the basis of the circus - and theater, and ballet, and opera. To separate the circus of the past and the circus of the future, I came up with the definition of "Soul Circus" - that is, "the circus of the soul", the inner component of the actors" [6].

Scene from Eloize show

The world-famous Cirque du Soleil and Eloize also support the idea of ​​a "circus of the soul". In 2010, these circuses formed an alliance for joint creative work. Both circuses also have in common that each performance tells a certain story - more allegorical in the Cirque du Soleil and more everyday in the Eloize. The Eloize Circus focuses its productions on the desire to show how ordinary guys who fool around in the evenings on the sports ground can do fantastic and incredible things on stage8. Thus, the directors of the circus set out to reveal the inner world of both the dancer and the circus performer.

“All the numbers on this show are bricks, and we are the glue that holds everything together. When there are no words, it seems to me that it is much easier to tell a story by dancing than by acrobatics alone. The Cirque Eloize show is unique in that we are all working on the same project, but the viewer can see everyone on stage as a person, with his/her own characteristics,” said Forty Nguyen, dance choreographer in the Eloize circus’s iD show [ 7]. The title of one of the best performances of the show rightfully belongs to the duet: a plastic etude on the air "canvases" of the miniature performer Amy Votey and street dances performed by Baptiste Montasier. A flurry of applause confirmed this. The production merged ballet romanticism and the dynamics of street dance - break dance.

A scene from the Eloize circus show

Comprehensive studies of cultural and art phenomena, as well as the self-affirmation of the “circus ballet” genre, have revealed another remarkable trend in its development - these are enchanting grandiose show programs, in which a large number of artists of different directions are involved: circus, choreography, stage and show business. A clear illustration of such show programs is the works of the circus "Cirque du Soleil", which are examples of the new genre of "circus ballet".

The modern socio-cultural level of society and the viewer himself with a high potential of spirituality and aspiration for aesthetic ideals sets new tasks for the creators of stage art, directors, choreographers, artists, which lead to the search for new forms and technologies of works of art, performances, show programs :

- creation of new original, deep in its ideological content, original artistic images and circus performances;

is an active search for a combination and symbiosis of seemingly incompatible types of art with the functional goal of the essence of circus art - to surprise the viewer not only with a beautiful spectacle, but also with the idea itself.

In the context of the synthesis of the arts, symbiosis is an artistic integration of the arts, in which the art forms (circus and dance) interact equally, forming a new genre of "circus ballet". Moreover, circus and choreographic art are interdependent, mutually influence and mutually enrich, and also influence the final result of the reproduction of a holistic artistic canvas. At the same time, each type of art is characterized by specific patterns, which preserves their originality and uniqueness.

Thus, at the turn of the 21st century, circus choreography and circus ballet were intensively developed. The introduction of traditional genres of choreography and the art of the arena creates unique opportunities and conditions for the formation of a synthetic actor, a universal master, equally perfect in the art of trick and dance plasticity, capable of demonstrating them in an established and harmonious correlation. In the practice of circus art, the refusal to use the elements and vocabulary of choreographic art in many respects limits the artist, closes him within the framework of one specific work, deprives him of unique opportunities for artistic development and reaching a new level of perfection. And vice versa, the appeal to the art of dance provides circus art with new tools for the "voluminous" and bright disclosure of the artistic image, the creative justification of its arena activity.

The result of the study showed that the symbiosis of circus and choreographic art is a unique resource for the implementation of new world discoveries in the circus arena in the future.

List of notes:

  1. Nemchinsky M.I. "On the Manege of the Circus - Artist". M: Soviet Russia, 1974. S. 10.
  2. Kuznetsov E. Circus. Origin. Development. Perspectives. M.-L.: "Academia", 1931. S. 314.
  3. Belyaev A. A., etc. Aesthetics: Dictionary. Moscow: Politizdat, 1989. S. 205.
  4. Meeting with the world. Popularization of Chinese culture abroad // CRI-Online. [Electronic resource]. URL: (04/17/17).
  5. Belaga N. Ballet or circus? Or maybe their symbiosis? // [Electronic resource]. URL: (18.04.17).
  6. Zalevsky A. In the new circus, emotion is more important than the circus // [Electronic resource]. URL: (18.04.17).
  7. Podkorytova M. Behind the scenes of Cirque Eloize. How a show about love is created // [Electronic resource]. URL: (19.04.17).

Citation link:

Zhanmyrzaeva H. B . "Circus Ballet" - a phenomenon of the XXI century // Qazaq Ballet - an online magazine about the choreographic art of Kazakhstan / URL: (Accessed: ??. ??.????).

90,000 will teach the foxtrot of pensioners ... in the circus

Komsomolskaya Pravda

Society Interesting

Elena Zaitseva

January 11, 2011 19:403

Here the social project “Mastery lessons” [photo + video]

- what a funny! And the hands are as gentle as a toy - boys and girls admire Gosha's gibbon and carefully stroke their new acquaintance on the head. The children from the orphanage have not yet had to shake hands with a monkey. And here they were allowed not only to touch, but also to take pictures, and right on the arena!

- Just don't look in the eyes, - the trainer and clown Igor Gusev immediately warned. - In monkeys, this is a sign of aggression - it can pounce.

This is the first lesson that schoolchildren received in the Yaroslavl circus.

- There will be others, - its director Natalya Shulga promised. - Today the fencing duet "Breter" gave the children the first fencing lesson. We hope that soon we will have a fencing academy for children, adults and artists. Well-known trainers - the father and son of Hotima introduced the children to the Ara parrots. Other famous artists will come next time. Therefore, we will invite children to our “Lessons of Mastery” regularly, once or twice a month, in order to make the world of the arena clearer for them and teach them the basics of animal training.

Gibbon Gaucher likes shiny things. Photo: Elena VAKHRUSHEVA

Gibbon Gaucher likes shiny things.


Yesterday at the first lesson the children not only managed to get acquainted with large colorful parrots, but also heard the famous Brazilian singer Gabriella.

- I dream of building a house in my country for children who don't have their own, she said. - In the meantime, I came to Russia to get to know the Russian guys better.

A fencing academy will be opened in Yaroslavl


Soon a "school of magicians" will also open in the circus. Magic lessons will be taught by illusionists. The children will not only learn the secrets of magicians, but also learn to surprise themselves with illusions.

The Breter fencing duet gave the children their first fencing lesson.Photo: Elena VAKHRUSHEVA

The Breter fencing duet gave the children their first fencing lesson.


Another project that will start at the circus on January 20 is called "Social Dances". It will be for the elderly. The director of the imperial ballet Gediminas Taranda and veterans of the circus, who are now retired, have already been invited to the first such lesson. At these meetings, older people will be taught tango, foxtrot and other dances.

- But this is not the main thing, - the director of the circus is sure. - Our main goal is to create a platform for people to communicate.

The circus launched a social project "Lessons in Mastery"

Elena Vakhrusheva, Elena Zaitseva

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