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Acrobat or Circus Artist
Acrobats are performers, usually in a circus, who perform tumbling and gymnastic routines to entertain the audience. Acrobats normally have a gymnastics background but if not, they can be taught.    
There are various levels associated with the absolute beginner. Acrobats are taught how to do a basic forward and back roll, cartwheel, handstands and how to use springboards and trampolines. Beginners and beginner / intermediate acrobats practise the same movements as absolute beginners, they just do it a little faster. Intermediate acrobats are able to do a back flip. Advanced acrobats are able to link various movements together and the aim of these acrobats is to improve on their technique and line.

Acrobatic balancing requires two or more people to work together. One acts as a "base" and the other balances on top of that person. Acrobats are also able to juggle with balls, clubs, rings, on their own or in groups; walk on stilts and ride a unicycle. Before acrobats sign up for aerial classes (static and flying trapeze and cord lisse), they usually need to go for a day course in "an introduction to circus skills".

Satisfying Aspects
- working with your body and getting it into peak condition
- entertaining people
- travelling and thus seeing different parts of the country and possibly the world

Demanding aspects
- the possibility of injury and, if serious enough, having to give up this field
- not being able to perform as age advances
- too much travelling and thus maybe not enough stability regarding home and personal life

An acrobat should:
- be at least 16 years old and have a gymnastics background
- be extremely fit and agile
- have strong determination to succeed
- have the willingness to put in a lot of hard work
- be adaptable
- enjoy travelling

School Subjects
No school certificates are required; however, it is recommended that you progress as far as you can at school level.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences

To train as an acrobat, you would have to join a troupe or circus and have someone agree to become your trainer. Attending a circus school first could be advantageous.

Employment opportunities for acrobats are limited

Employment options include: circuses, performing troupes

Zip Zap Circus School      
Postnet Suite 123
Private Bag X4
Hout Bay, 7872
Tel: (021) 421-8622 Fax: (086) 517-4362