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Youth Circus

Youth Circus Performance Troupe 2011

YOUTH CIRCUS (ages 8 - 18 years)

Youth Circus runs on Saturdays with the following classes:

  • Beginners - 10am-12pm
  • Intermediate - 1pm-3pm
  • Advanced - 3.30pm-5.30pm

We also run new classes for 8-12 year olds at St Martins Hall on the lower Newtownards road on Saturdays from 10-12pm and 12.45 - 2.45pm

The dates below apply to both locations, except where marked differently

2017 - 2018 dates April 1st, 8th, 22nd May 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th (No class on 20th May at St Martins) June 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th (1st July - class at St Martins only) Sept 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th Oct 7th, 14th, 21st Nov 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th Dec 2nd, 9th, 16th Jan 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th Feb 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th Mar 3rd, 10th, 24th

NO CLASS April 15th, Oct 28th, Dec 23rd, Dec 30th, Mar 17th

From humble beginnings meeting on a patch of grass every Saturday, the Youth Circus now has over one hundred members, still meeting on Saturdays, but now in a state of the art circus building. There are three sessions each week of the school year where members learn how to juggle, walk on stilts, spin diabolos, perform acrobatic manoeuvres, walk the tightwire and perform on the trapeze.

Despite all the learning, there is a large social element to the Youth Circus, reflecting the fact that it provides a unique opportunity for many young people to meet up with others from different communities.

All the teachers used by the School are trained in circus techniques, First Aid and Child Protection issues.

Members of Saturday Circus also have the chance to take specialist advanced classes in acrobatics, trapeze, juggling, Chinese pole and clowning. Over the past year, members have had access to training in backstage and technical stagecraft.

To register your details on our waiting list or for more information, email or call 02890 236 007.


For more than twenty years, Belfast Circus School has been providing opportunities for young people to take part in performances - both frontstage and backstage. Members of the Youth Circus have been responsible for staging Ireland's first circus theatre shows and introducing a new genre to the public here. Shows have ranged from large scale productions at Belfast's Waterfront Hall starring more than forty young people, through to informal cabarets performed to friends and family.

A highlight in 2012 was Journey to the Land of Giants production, a co-production between Belfast Community Circus School and The Beat Carnival also featuring members of the Rathgael Gymnastics Club. It was the largest touring street performance ever created and produced in Northern Ireland, and was also the first Northern Irish production to open the international Festival of Fools. It starred 53 young people from Belfast Youth Circus and Rathgael Gymnasts, working alongside 16 of Northern Ireland’s leading professional Circus and Carnival artists from The Beat Carnival and Belfast Circus School. The show was a humourous sideways look at our iconic stories of Finn McCool, the Titanic, and Samson & Goliath by way of an action packed journey featuring circus, acrobatics, aerial trickery, puppetry, gymnastics and physical theatre, accompanied by live music and percussion. In Summer 2012, Youth Circus members created a small performance troupe which toured shows to youth and community groups across Northern Ireland. From Sept-Dec 12 members have been working hard on the annual Youth Circus Christmas Cabaret.

The emphasis for young people taking part in performances is that they enjoy their experience, but many participants have taken it all very seriously and gone on to become professional performers, teachers and technicians.


With a co-founder from Australia and tutors from across the globe, it is perhaps not surprising that the Youth Circus should have a strong international dimension. Over the years, members have taken part in exchanges with youth circus groups around the world. This has seen young people travel to USA, Australia, Peru, France, Germany, Belgium and the Republic Ireland. They have also worked alongside young people from Finland, Holland, Argentina, Russia and Luxembourg. Our international reputation even extends to Canada, where we have been invited to speak at seminars organised by Cirque du Soleil.

Belfast Circus School is also a founder member of Caravan - a pan European federation of youth circus schools committed to sharing best practice and promoting international exchanges. See Run Away with Circus menu for more information