New Advanced Youth Circus Class!

Flying Trapeze

By Jon Worden from Learning to Fly by Sam Keen

Starting this September we’ll be running a brand new advanced class for students who are looking for more opportunities to develop themselves as young circus performers.

In this new class students will focus on their favourite circus skills, developing and refining technique. They’ll learn how to train effectively and independently and have the opportunity to create and perform solo and/or group routines.

Let’s get serious about circus!

The class is suitable for 11-18 year olds who want to get serious about circus, and are committed to developing their circus and performance skills.

Students should:

  • Be committed to learning and developing their circus skills
  • Be eager to learn to train professionally and independently
  • Show high levels of maturity towards their training
  • Have a desire to create or perform their own circus acts/routines

Some background or experience in circus, gymnastics or dance is helpful but not necessary and we recommend that you attend at least one other circus class during the week.

Places in this class will be limited. Book your place now.

If you have questions about suitability for this class please contact us.

Highlights of the Week at Airborne Circus – 17 June 2016

This week at Airborne Circus

In our 5-7s classes…

  • A performed perfect forward rolls.
  • spun a plate and threw is from his finger to the stick.

In our 8-12s classes…

  • performed “glider” on the trapeze.
  • Acrobats learned how to build a human pyramid.Human Pyramid

In our teenagers class…

  • F & G completed rehearsing for the East Finchley Festival this Sunday (come down and see them perform!)
  • Everyone (including Sam & Adam) completed a Tabata workout – with only burpees!

As always, loads more happened and lots of other circus skills were practiced by other students.

If you want to keep up to date with Airborne Circus news, information, classes and workshops make sure you subscribe to our newsletter above.

Circus Class Schedule

Highlights of the Week at Airborne Circus – 10 June 2016

This week at Airborne Circus


From Learning to Fly by Sam Keen

In our 5-7s classes…

  • M overcame his fear of hanging from his knees on the trapeze.

In our 8-12s classes…

  • Jugglers learned how to juggle under the leg.
  • Acrobats learned how to dive roll.
  • J crosses the tightwire independently!

In our teenagers class…

  • conquered her fear of forward roll to sit on the trapeze!
  • E & F attended even though they had exams!
  • And we also had a interesting discussion about Brexit!

As always, loads more happened and lots of other circus skills were practiced by other students.

If you want to keep up to date with Airborne Circus news, information, classes and workshops make sure you subscribe to our newsletter above.

Circus Class Schedule

Highlights of the Week at Airborne Circus – 27 May 2016

This week at Airborne Circus

In our 5-7s classes…

  • Everyone learned how to spin a plate like a pro.
  • H started practicing a 2-ball shower on the tightwire (unsupported) and successfully managed three rounds (off-camera!).

In our 8-12s classes…

  • Aerialists learned how to do Angel (or Mermaid under the bar) and Half Angel.
  • Acrobats learned how to stand on each others thighs and build a human tower.
  • S managed to balance on the tightwire for over 10 seconds independently!

In our teenagers class…

  • L started to learn hat juggling!

Loads more happened and lots of other circus skills were practiced by other students.

Next week is half term so our next update on the week’s accomplishments will be in two weeks.

If you want to keep up to date with Airborne Circus news, information, classes and workshops make sure you subscribe to our newsletter above.

Circus Class Schedule

Highlights of the Week at Airborne Circus – 20 May 2016

This week at Airborne Circus

The 5-7s…

  • We had a student, T, who started balancing on the rola bola – and did it independently!
  • One of the older students, H, made it 3/4 of the way along the tightwire totally unsupported for the first time!
  • And everyone practiced hanging from their knees on the trapeze.

The 8-12s…

  • We gave our students some coordination exercises to try. They did really well with it so next time it’ll be even more complicated! (Some of them were feeling shy and are out of shot below.)

  • H arrived with some brand new (and very brightly coloured) juggling balls and then successfully performed 60 catches! New target: 100 catches.
  • worked hard on his handsprings, while S and learned new ways of climbing a rope.

The teenagers…

  • We had one new student try out the class… who could already juggle 3 balls and spin a diabolo!
  • E started learning how to pass 7 balls.
  • C worked on walking backwards on the tightwire.


  • Bought some new equipment! We can’t tell you what it is though – sorry!

Loads more happened and lots of other students worked diligently on other circus skills. Check in next week for more Airborne Circus highlights!

If you want to keep up to date with Airborne Circus news, information, classes and workshops make sure you subscribe to our newsletter above.

Tickets for Gerry Cottle’s Circus Available for Youth Students

Wookey Hole Youth

We’ve been offered complimentary tickets for our youth students to go see Gerry Cottle’s Circus at Alexandra Palace.

The show – 50 acts in 100 minutes! – features performers from the Wookey Hole Youth Circus (above).

If you’d like a ticket to see one of the performances of Gerry Cottle’s Circus below please email Adam. Tickets are limited and are on a first come, first served basis (maximum 1 per student + 1 parent).

Gerry Cottle’s Circus Showtimes

Monday, 30th September 7.45pm
Saturday, 5th October 5pm

If you can’t make it to one of these performances there are 50% off vouchers scattered throughout the shops in East Finchley and the areas surrounding Ally Pally so keep your eyes peeled!

Wednesday 8-12s Proves Most Popular

Stilt WalkingOur Wednesday afternoon youth circus class for 8-12 year olds in East Finchley has proved to be the most popular youth circus session that we run this term. Although it’s the youth circus class that we’ve been running the longest, there has been a disproportionate amount of interest in that particular class leading up to and into the term. If anyone has any idea why we’d be interested to know!

The Wednesday youth circus class for 8- 12 year olds is now full but there are still places available in our youth circus for 8-12 year olds on Monday afternoons.

Find out more about our youth circus classes or see our youth circus class schedule now.

The New Year Begins

Wednesday saw our first sessions of the new academic year.


Our Wednesday 8-12 year olds class has proved to be very popular this term, with only one remaining space available.

Our teenagers are all back (bar Michaela who’s off to Circomedia in Bristol, and Eliza, who’s moved back to Italy) and are raring to go. They’ve all expressed an interest in developing their strength and technical skill this term so that’s what we’ll be focused on (rather than developing their acts, which we’ll start working on in 2014).

We’ve still got spaces available in our teen and Monday classes in East Finchley and our 8-13s in Mill Hill so check out the for a circus class that works for you.

All of our other circus classes begin next week. The Home Educators circus classes, classes for 5-7 and 8-12 year olds start on Monday in East Finchley. The 8-13 year old class and adult aerial classes will also be starting in Mill Hill.

Get details about our youth circus classes in East Finchley or Mill Hill

See the adult aerial class schedule


Teaching Tip 1: Know Why You Are Teaching

About a year ago I wrote six tips for teaching youth circus and I thought it was about time I followed up with something similar. Rather than write six more tips I decided that I’d go into a bit more depth into those six original tips one by one.

Photo by Claude Fisicaro

Context is decisive

I enjoy teaching far more than I ever enjoyed performing. My performing career was pretty short-lived. I didn’t love it. I performed because I should; because that’s what circus artists do. It wasn’t an authentic expression of my passions, my desires, or of me. It was a struggle, an effort and, although I enjoyed performing while I was actually performing, it was ultimately unfulfilling for me.

When I was about 10 and learned to juggle the first thing I did was try to teach the other kids in my class. Teaching for me has always been a much more natural expression of myself. It’s easy for me; it’s fun.

Why do you teach?

Stop and consider for a moment why you teach.

If you’re teaching because you love it, brilliant. But if you’re teaching because you have to, because you need the money, or for any other reason, you’re probably not going to be satisfied by it, and your students won’t get as much from your teaching.

Context is everything.

Even if you need the money – and believe me I still need the money I earn from teaching! – creating a bigger, more powerful context for yourself will give new life to your lessons, it’ll bring you more enjoyment, and it’ll have students respond better to your teaching.

Creating a Context

There are many ways to create a new context but before you try to create a new context make sure you distinguish your current context. Up until now, why have you been teaching?

Think about your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations leading up to, during and after your class. Think about the things you said and how you responded to students questions, comments or actions. Look at who you’re teaching for (are you teaching for yourself or are they for another person or organisation?) and what you or they have said about the classes, students, or even the business.

If you look at your whole experience of teaching you’ll start to discover the context you’ve had for teaching so far.

There’s nothing wrong with your current context, it just may not be as empowering or enlivening as you’d like. And there’s nothing to say that you can’t have an empowering context one day and a disempowering context the next.

Maybe it’s empowering, maybe it’s not, but whatever it is it’s the context you’ve had.

Once you’ve discovered and distinguished the context you’ve had so far you have an opportunity to create something new.

Creating a context could be as simple as making declaration of why you are teaching.

[A declaration] brings forth the possibility that it speaks, in the very act of speaking it.  Such speaking has a direct and lasting impact; in the very act of speaking, it alters the course of events.

~ Werner Erhard

It could be imagining or creating a vision board of where you see your classes or students in 5 or 10 years time.

It could be creating a dream holiday and realising that each class is moving you one step closer.

It could be creating a show with your students for the end of the year or term.

Whatever you create, it’s got to be big enough that it inspires you, that it pulls you forward and gives you a new lease of life for your teaching. A small, ordinary context will shrivel and die a quick death.

Having an unusually large goal is an adrenaline infusion that provides the endurance to overcome the inevitable trials and tribulations that go along with any goal. Realistic goals, goals restricted to the average ambition level, are uninspiring and will only fuel you through the first or second problem, at which point you throw in the towel. If the potential payoff is mediocre or average, so is your effort. I’ll run through walls to get a catamaran trip through the Greek islands, but I might not change my brand of cereal for a weekend trip through Columbus, Ohio. If I choose the latter because it is “realistic,” I won’t have the enthusiasm to jump even the smallest hurdle to accomplish it. With beautiful, crystal-clear Greek waters and delicious wine on the brain, I’m prepared to do battle for a dream that is worth dreaming. Even though their difficulty of achievement on a scale of 1-10 appears to be a 2 and a 10 respectively, Columbus is more likely to fall through.

The fishing is best where the fewest go. There is just less competition for bigger goals.

~ Tim Ferris

Once created, your new context needs to take root. If it only lives in your head it will be like a mug of hot chocolate: gone too soon, leaving nothing more than a yummy memory.

Now, there’s nothing to stop you from creating and recreating each time it fades, but for your new context to live, grow and even expand it needs to live outside your memory. Share it with your friends, family, colleagues, students; make a vision board, stick post-it notes around your home, book your holiday flights, create a business or draw a picture. It doesn’t matter what you do as much as it matters that you do something. The more it lives outside of your mind the stronger it will be and more real it will become.

Context is everything. And knowing why you do what you do is at the heart great teaching.