NICA: The future of circus is you

AAR-NICA-Dhani-Johnson-&-Gemma-Truong-photo-by-Cameron-GrantEver dreamt of joining the circus? Well, here is your chance to dream big. The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) is looking for the next generation of circus performers and this could be you.

Are you a young circus artist, gymnast, dancer, actor, parkour athlete, musical theatre enthusiast or a natural clown?  This is your chance to show off your skills and take them to the next level.

As Australia’s only circus arts training institute offering a Bachelor of Circus Arts, positions are highly sought after. For the 2023 intake there are only 25 positions available. NICA also offers the Certificate IV in Circus Arts.

NICA’s Head of Circus, James Brown was a foundational student and graduated from the program in 2003. He has toured the world performing and believes ‘‘the rigour and discipline that the course instils makes NICA graduates sought after performers,” he said.

“Our artists are grounded in technique, with 4-5 hours physical circus training per day, along with a range of performance and movement training, business, physiology, nutrition and other essentials to work in a circus environment.”

“We equip our students to be industry ready, so that they have a long and sustainable career,’’ said James.

NICA second year student, Gemma Truong, spent 10 years training as a dancer before applying for NICA. “I was hesitant as I knew very little about circus… (but) being a dancer was a big advantage in the circus industry,” she said.

“My advice for someone considering NICA is to not be afraid of giving everything a go, no matter your level of experience,” said Gemma.

Proudly flying under the flag of Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology, NICA is an internationally renowned centre of excellence providing tertiary-level, innovative education, training, performance, research, leadership, and talent to the local, national and global circus arts industry.

NICA makes the extraordinary world of circus arts a professional reality with world-class training, innovation, evidence-based research, and development. It’s through these tools that they create truly extraordinary, vocationally-elite, industry-ready artists.

NICA has established relationships with Cirque du Soleil, Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, Shanghai Circus School, all schools in the FEDEC in Europe and Taiwan National Academy of Performing Arts.

National auditions are being held from 19 September to 10 October 2022. Applications for auditions close Tuesday 30 August 2022.

Auditions will take place across Australia on the following dates:  Melbourne 19 – 21 September, Darwin 22 September, Cairns 23 September, Adelaide 26 September, Perth 27 September, Brisbane 30 September, Mullumbimby 3 October, Sydney 4 October, Canberra 9 October and Launceston 10 October.

For more information about the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) and its programs, visit: for details.

Image: Gemma Truong and Dhani Johnson – photo by Cameron Grant