Learning the art of circus
Our full-time circus program is delivered over a 41-week school year with a principal aim to provide elite-level technical skills and artistic learning for young people who have the dedication and attributes to become professional, industry-ready circus performers. However, it also embraces students of varied abilities, who may not yet have determined their future course and want to experience the physical benefits and creative joys of a circus training environment within a school education.
Students train between 10 and 20 hours per week, more during rehearsals and production weeks, in a training schedule structured to minimise impact on their academic education.
Training proceeds through three structured levels of advancement and culminates in graduation. In the Preparation group, younger Fruities and those with less developed skills learn to control and understand their bodies and are trained in the fundamentals of four major disciplines – balance, acrobatics, aerials and manipulation.
In the Foundation group students further develop the four disciplines, increase core strength and agility, improve their understanding of body mechanics and specialise in a particular discipline or apparatus.
Students with the highest levels of skill and commitment join the Development group where they continue to improve core strength and agility while fine-tuning specialised skills and developing acts.
After progressing through these levels, some graduates will go on to perform with leading Australian and international companies, having gained a broad range of advanced circus skills, a safe and collaborative approach to their work and personal qualities to meet the challenges of being on tour.
Others choose to further advance their training to degree-level with organisations like the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, École Nationale de Cirque and École de Cirque de Québec.
Certificate III in Circus Arts
In partnership with NICA, Swinburne University and Wodonga Secondary Senior College, Year 10 students can enroll in our Certificate III in Circus Arts course.
This provides a vocational qualification in elementary level circus skills and knowledge. This course is suitable for aspiring young circus artists seeking a recognised qualification and as a pathway for further learning, including a step towards Bachelor of Circus Arts courses.
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in this program, which is offered with no additional fee to the student.
A culture of safety
Safety is at the heart of everything we do. It is the number one priority and nothing takes precedence over safe practice.
All circus training and performance takes place under the supervision of experienced trainers, a designated safety officer and at least one qualified first aid officer. Equipment safety checks, audits of current safety procedures and on-going safety training are carried out regularly.
The wellbeing of our young artists is managed and monitored with access to physiotherapists for evaluation and advice, nutritional guidance and qualified welfare officers based at our partner schools.
Discovering the world of performance
The circus program includes multi-disciplinary training in dance, drama and other skills.
The emphasis is on a holistic approach to create a complete artist, focusing on physical development, skills technique and creative learning.
The four attributes we expect our students to focus on are Physical, Academic, Creative and Social. The ability to contribute positively in these areas is essential in our circus and for future success, whether within the industry or a different chosen field.
The Flying Fruit Fly Circus is an award-winning performing arts company, touring acclaimed family shows around Australia and overseas. Performance experience is a vital component in the development of our young circus artists and we try to give each of them as many performance opportunities as possible.
Not everyone will find themselves in a touring production. The process of casting our shows is largely like any other performing arts company.
Generally, cast members are the more experienced students but our younger artists often participate too. As a project develops, the Artistic Director and Master Trainer choose cast members based on a range of criteria including skills, performing ability, track record and suitability for a role.
Touring is our window to the world.
We tour around Australia and internationally to perform at major arts centres, theatres, festivals, corporate functions and community events.
A production with a cast of 16 requires an entourage of 10 – trainers, riggers, teachers, chaperones, touring and production crew – and the circus covers travel, accommodation and catering expenses as well as production costs like costumes and equipment.
While circus is the chosen specialty for our students we ensure their academic learning is not disrupted. A teacher is integral to the touring party and time is set aside each day for supervised study. A teacher from our school will join the touring party when time is set aside for supervised study.
Being on the road with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus can be an amazing life changing experience.
The Flying Fruit Fly Circus charges an annual fee for the Circus Program. This represents approximately 25% of the overall annual cost of training each student. The balance is subsidised by the Australian Government’s Ministry for the Arts, helping us to keep fees modest and accessible.
Enrolment in the Flying Fruit Fly Circus is an annual commitment.
We provide discounts to families who pay their total annual fee in advance and to families enrolling two or more children.
If a student is to be withdrawn from the circus, one complete term’s written notification is required and fees are payable for that term in full.
If your family is eligible, you may receive financial assistance to help meet the costs of your child’s education at the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.
Who is eligible?
You may qualify to receive assistance if:
a) Your child is attending the Flying Fruit Fly Circus and one of our academic partners – Wodonga Middle Years College (years 3-9) or Wodonga Senior Secondary School (year 10 -12) or an approved Year 12 equivalent – as a full time student.
b) your family is facing one or more of the following:
- Health issues resulting in serious financial difficulty
- House fire
- Natural disaster
- Serious financial hardship
How to apply
Please contact the Student Support Officer at the Flying Fruit Fly Circus to discuss your circumstances and request an application form.
The Circus also offers the annual Noel Tovey Scholarship.
Noel Tovey Scholarship
The purposes of the scholarship are to:
- Provide financial support to students who could benefit from a Flying Fruit Fly Circus learning experience but who are financially or otherwise disadvantaged
- Build the profile of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus in the region and nationally
- Establish recognition of Flying Fruit Fly Circus as an organisation that rewards potential and capacity and
- Attract gifted young performers to the Flying Fruit Fly Circus
Places are strictly limited and the application process is annual. For more information on eligibility and how to apply please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 6043 0777