Whenever possible, we ask applicants to attend a live audition. The Academy generally holds two open auditions in the UK and at least one open audition in the USA each year. Those attending an open audition are asked to participate in a round-robin of general physical skills assessment with our training staff. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to present a sample of circus skills they are developing, such as juggling, unicycle, silks, trapeze, handstanding or contortion, either as a brief demonstration or as a short presentation piece. This is meant to demonstrate your strongest skills in a presentation and, although you are not necessarily expected to present a full circus act, choreography and music will be considered favorably.

I you are unable to attend an open audition, we also allow video auditions.  These should showcase a variety of skills to demonstrate your basic physicality and flexibility, as well as any circus skills or acts in progress.  The total video audition should not exceed 8 minutes may be posted online to Vimeo or YouTube, or can also be submitted on DVD or USB flash drive (please note that DVDs and flash drives cannot not be returned).

Preference will be given to applicants providing strong physical auditions and demonstrating  either an existing act in a traditional or contemporary circus skill OR a high degree of proficiency in a foundational skill, such as gymnastics or dance.


While you do not necessarily need to have a high degree of previous circus training or performing skills to join the course, good health is absolutely required as the course can be very physically demanding. You will be asked to provide documentation confirming your good health from a qualified person, such as a doctor or nurse practitioner, stating that there is no existing condition or reason why you should not undertake circus training. The ACA does not consider physical disabilities to necessarily be an impediment to successful circus training and we encourage those with disabilities to apply to the course.

Any physical training and exercise you can do before the course starts will help you immensely. Strength training, overall conditioning and flexibility will assist in developing your skills in all circus disciplines. Always seek proper advice before undertaking any fitness training. Feel free to download our Pre-Season Conditioning recommendations as a rough guide to getting started.

Because students will live full-time with the circus, you must be 18 years of age or older; there is no upper age limit for joining the course and we have had successful students up to 40 years old and from all backgrounds. We do require all students to have basic proficiency in verbal and written English, in order to participate fully in academic units of the course.


You can download our application form as a Word document or as a pdf form

We prefer that application forms are sent by email to
Applications may also be sent by post to Circus Headquarters, Enborne, Newbury RG20 0LD, UK.

We will contact you to keep you informed of events and audition dates through this website or by email.