What Kind of Skills Do Circus Performers Use in Their Acts?


Quick Answer

Most circus performers use skills requiring physical flexibility, coordination, fitness and endurance. From clowns to tight rope walkers, these performers spend hours practicing their acts. Circuses tend to divide their performer skills into categories such as aerial, acrobatic, equilibristic and manipulation.

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Full Answer

Juggling is an example of a form of entertainment combining manipulation of objects with equilibristics. Using balls, scarves, rings or clubs, jugglers create various patterns with objects in the air as they repeatedly throw and catch them.

Tightrope or tightwire walkers use a variety of the above-mentioned skills, including flexibility and coordination, to perform their acts, which involve moving along a wire stretched taut between two points using only the body to remain balanced. Plate spinners use manipulation to rapidly spin plates and bowls on the tips of poles, while stilt walkers rely on coordination and general fitness to maneuver on stilts elevating them several feet above normal height.

Trapeze artists utilize acrobatic and aerial skills while hanging from the trapeze and executing drops, balances and hangs. This category of circus performer must be strong and flexible to pull off the act. Tumblers rely on flexibility, coordination and fitness to perform cartwheels, somersaults and forward rolls, while unicyclers use the same skills to pedal forward and backward.

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