Different Types of Circus Skills and Acts

Picture Of Elephant Act

Circuses employ different types of artists in an attempt to make program that will be colorful and interesting to the audience. Here are some of circus skills that these artists are proficient in:

  • Chair acrobatics : acrobats that use chairs use them as a balancing acts, for vaulting and in contortion. Chairs used in balancing can have notches cut out so they could be placed at unstable angles.
  • Diabolo is a juggling prop consisting of an axle and two cups or discs. Juggler uses two stick with a sting between them to juggle the diabolo.
  • Fire breathing : artists who breath fire actually hold fuel in their mouth and then by breathing a fine mist of it over an open flame.
  • Human cannonball is a circus act where a person is shot out of specially made cannon. When the first human cannonballs appeared, these cannons were made to work on a spring. Toady these canons are made to work on compressed air.
  • Human pyramid is gymnastic and circus formation here acrobats position themselves kneeling or standing in a row and they carry a next row of acrobats which in turn carry next one and so on.
  • Juggling is manipulation of objects where a person (juggler) throws objects in the air and then catches them. These objects can be harmless like balls, clubs, or rings or something like knives, fire torches or chainsaws.
  • Plate spinning is a skill with which a person spins plates, bowls or some other flat objects on poles, without them falling off.
  • Flying trapeze is a trapeze (horizontal bar which is connected to the ceiling with two vertical bars) which acrobat uses by jumping from a platform with the trapeze so that gravity makes the trapeze swing. Horizontal bar is here tied with ropes to the ceiling instead with bars.
  • Trick riding is performance of doing stunts while riding a horse. It is the oldest circus show.
  • Aerial silk (or aerial contortion, aerial ribbons, aerial silks, aerial tissues, fabric, ribbon, or tissu) is an acrobatic performance special fabric that hangs from a ceiling. It can be done solo or in group.
  • Cloud swing is an acrobatic skill performed on combination of swinging trapeze and tightrope. It is done on a swing made of thick rope.
  • Lion taming is training of lions but the term can be used also for training and taming of other big cats like tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, and cougars.
  • Knife throwing is, as its name says, skill of throwing knives. In circus, knives are thrown around human target. These knives are balanced and don't have edges – just a point.
  • Tightrope walking (also known as funambulism) is a skill of walking on a rope. There are few sub-variants of tightrope walking: tightwire, highwire, slackwire, skywalk, slacklining, freestyle slacklining, funambule and jultagi.
  • Contortion is a circus skill whose basis is dramatic bending and flexing of the human body. Contortionists are naturally (and because of training) flexible. Some of them can take unusual positions while other can, for instance, place themselves in a small boxes.