Circus Schools and federations
Practise circus arts at all levels!
In a circus school, as early as five or six years old, children can explore all circus disciplines and familiarise themselves with various apparatus. Children can at a later stage specialise in one or several disciplines of their choice.
Circus schools are members of the French Federation of Circus Schools (FFEC).
For those who want to opt for a profession in circus arts, there are plenty of professional training centres to choose from. Professional schools from Europe and beyond have been shaped by the European Federation of Professional Circus Schools (FEDEC).
Teaching qualifications in circus arts are gained through a national diploma: the BPJEPS in circus arts.
Schools accredited by the FFEC are committed to adhere to a Quality Charter. A binding contract which defines the standards and a very specific framework for teachers’ training, for all aspects of Health & Safety (for individuals, buildings and apparatus), and with an emphasis on a pedagogy adapted to students individual learning style and health needs.
Schools in Gers :
AIE AIE AIE (ateliers à Mauvezin)
Bataclown (clown adulte et professionnel)
The French Federation of Circus Schools, FFEC
Its purpose and its values
Created in 1988, the French Federation of Circus Schools currently comprises of about 150 schools. Its ambition is to bring together all the actors involved in the teaching or discovering of circus arts.
Elle inscrit son action et celles des écoles dans une logique d'éducation globale de l'individu. Celui-ci peut trouver, par le biais d'une pratique artistique, un facteur de développement personnel, d'émancipation ou une occasion de « mettre en miroir » le monde.
CIRCa and the FFEC
A strong historical bond has brought FFEC and CIRCa Festival together: it was in 1988, in the midst of the very first Circa Festival that was also born the federation in its initial form: the National Federation of Circus Schools.
Ever since, the FFEC has been one of the festival’s major partners and proposes each year:
The Festival of Contemporary Circus has become the favourite event during which circus schools meet especially since it is also when the FFEC hosts its annual national gathering.
Professional training in circus arts
The logical path of progression for the study of an artistic profession frequently passes through training centres members of and accredited by the FFEC that provide initial professional training :
These training centres develop their own pedagogic approach and provide training that is not sanctioned by any diploma. Each centre has a field of expertise and offers one or two-year training courses that includes general and practical studies of an artistic field whilst being open to all forms of artistic expression and creativity.
The Lido in Toulouse, which training is internationally acclaimed and sought after by artists worldwide offers an initial two-year training that can be followed by a year of professional integration.
Intermediate and proficient training courses sanctioned by qualifications
Three schools prepare for the Diplôme national supérieur professionnel d’artiste de cirque (DNSP - professional higher national diploma of circus artists):
This training curriculum combines practice and theory and students have the opportunity to present their own artistic work in their preferred discipline. Students are guided and supported by the teaching team as well as renowned professional artists and find themselves performing in front of a public.
The Centre national des arts du cirque de Châlons-en-Champagne (CNAC) and the Ecole nationale des arts du cirque de Rosny-sous-Bois (ENACR) have closely worked together to create a common teaching framework preparing students to the DNSP (professional higher national diploma) of circus artists.
L’Académie Fratellini also prepares for the DNSP circus artist from year 3 of the training course.
European Federation of Professional Circus Schools (FEDEC)
Diplomas of the federations
Brevet d’initiateur aux arts du cirque (BIAC – certificate for the initiation of circus arts) and brevet d’initiateur monodisciplinaire (BIM – certificate for the initiation of one discipline of circus arts)
These certificates are intended for candidates brought forward by circus schools members of and accredited by the FFEC.
They provide the initiator with the basic competencies enabling them to induct beginners as young as six (under the responsibility of their teacher).
Brevet professionnel de la jeunesse, de l’éducation populaire et du sport (BPJEPS –professional certificate for the youth, general education and sports) “circus arts discipline”.
The BPJEPS in circus arts is a level 5 national diploma (BAC equivalent). Since 2008, this diploma has rapidly gained high recognition on the quality of its training for the coaching of circus arts. Certificate holders will gain competencies that will allow them to operate independently.
National teaching diploma in circus arts
As of 2016, people who wish to opt for a professional career as circus arts teacher may qualify for the National teaching diploma in circus arts, providing they meet certain criteria as a result of an exam test or upon validation of the experience they acquired.
The Centre national des arts du cirque (CNAC), the école nationale des arts du cirque of Rosny-sous-bois (ENACR) and the Académie Fratellini work together to implement the delivery and certification standards of this level 3 diploma from the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
Circus Arts as a discipline to study for the Baccalaureate
The option to study circus arts can be selected at the start of the three year study towards a baccalaureate in the Literature department. The study comprises practical artistic workshops and cultural studies.
Circus arts « arts du cirque » is taught at the Lycée Le Garros in Auch ; and their partners are CIRCa and the Pop Circus, circus school in Auch.