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NICA trapeze
Photograph: Supplied/NICA

Exhilarating circus classes you can take after work or class

Equal parts fun and fitness, these NICA classes and workshops will have you flying

By Time Out in association with National Institute of Circus Arts
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If you’ve been looking to switch up your workout routine or find the kids a new after-school hobby, consider signing up for a term of circus arts. Run by the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Prahran, these classes aren’t just clowning around but a serious exploration of circus’s creativity and athleticism in a fun, accessible environment. Holiday workshops for kids will also provide a joyful, fun-focused circus experience and keep them entertained over their school breaks. 

Whether you’ve always wanted to swing off a trapeze or finally master a handstand, NICA’s experienced trainers will gently coach you from whatever skill level you’re currently at using world-class facilities. Total beginners needn’t be shy either, with opportunities to have a go at circus’s many disciplines to find the one you love.

Keep the kids blessedly busy with NICA’s circus holiday program. No matter what their fitness level, they’ll be able to learn fun tricks like juggling, tumbling, plate-spinning, pyramids, aerial hoop and more. There’s an option to attend for a half or full day, or even the whole two weeks (Jan 10-21), and a minimum 1:8 trainer-student ratio ensures everyone is safe and looked after at all times. It’s the perfect holiday pastime for curious, active kids, and most importantly it’ll save you from those dreaded cries of boredom.

Nervous about jumping into circus arts for the first time? Dip your toe in the proverbial waters, commitment-free, at NICA’s Come and Try Circus Day on Saturday January 22, where anyone over the age of 16 can try their hand at popular circus specialties. Designed for complete beginners, it’s where you can get a taste of any (or all) disciplines of your choosing, from hula hoops and trapeze to tumbling, handstands, partner acrobatics, trampoline and juggling. It’s a great chance to try that one apparatus you’ve always been curious about.

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This isn’t your average after-school sport. Young’uns aged 5-17 can sign up to a full term of weekly circus classes designed to develop creativity, coordination, flexibility and balance. Students are placed in small groups with peers of similar skill level to foster a safe and supportive environment, starting with the fundamentals before learning new skills. It won’t be long before they’re impressing their friends at lunch with high-flying antics. The term runs January 31 to April 9.

Swap mundane treadmill slogs for exhilarating classes that’ll take your fitness to new heights – literally. Combining the best of sport and art, the classes will improve your coordination, strength and flexibility while building your confidence in a supportive and social environment. There’s a huge variety of classes designed for beginners through to experienced hands across disciplines like aerial rope, trampoline and tissu (you know, that thing where the performer tumbles through the air holding onto silk ribbons). Pop in once a week after work or on Saturday mornings and you’ll soon be addicted to the thrills.

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