What we teach
Circus includes a huge variety of different skills, using different apparatus in a wide range of ways. We categorise circus skills under four types:
Acrobatics involve the rotation and movement of the whole body through space, and usually in contact with or with support from the ground. Acrobatics skills include handstands, tumbling, acrobalance and contortion.
Aerials include trapeze, silks, rope, lyra (aerial ring) and other apparatus that are suspended off the ground
Object manipulations include apparatus that are moved by the hands and body, such as juggling, diabolo and hula hoops
Equilibristic and locomotion skills involve the balance of the body and linear movement. Skills like riding a unicycle, stiltwalking, walking globe, and German Wheel fall under this category.
How we teach
At CirQuest, we believe circus is for every body. We use a strengths-based approach and, because no two learners are the same, our teachers use many different kinds of instruction. Our ongoing teacher development and mentorship ensures that our dedicated, passionate teachers are always refining their skills. We celebrate the individual differences of all our students and help every CirQuest student to develop to their full potential.
Ben began his circus career as an adult with just one aerials class a week but soon realised he had contracted a full-blown case of circus fever. A qualified engineer and economist, Ben is focused on circus for the present and has formed a circus company with Jess Smart - Yip Yip Circus. Ben thoroughly enjoys teaching everything circus from aerials to acro to juggling!
An outlandish vagabond from another world known as "Pirateman" during the weekend... but on weekdays Michael is a good all round circus teacher from the Joondalup area. Michael's specialties include crystal ball "contact juggling" as well as regular juggling and manipulation/spinning based props like staff, poi, hoops... basically anything you pick up and use when your feet are on the ground.
Former international touring circus artist and rigger Isobel Lyall was a co-founder of Disco Cantito Association and CirQuest Circus School, Isobel is also an occupational therapist working in her own private practice. As a child she was a passionate, but not well co-ordinated gymnast who, like many who struggle to learn motor skills, found teaching to be her calling and to inform her own learning as a teenage gymnastics coach. Isobel was an accredited level 2 gymnastics coach in her early 20's before discovering that in circus, you can adjust your clothing for decency or comedy without losing points (and can even gain some). She oversees the CirQuest program as its principal teacher, works as the General Manager of Disco Cantito Association, and teaches our early childhood classes and satellite program in Swan View.
After hanging up her secondary teacher hat to follow her circus calling, Jess has recently returned from a two-year journey across the globe learning, teaching and performing circus everywhere she went. Jess teaches our Next Step and adults aerials classes, mentors junior teachers, and brings her own special kind of brilliance to our school every time she walks in the door.
Natasha's circus story began in a community circus program in Tasmania, Slipstream Circus, and her strong background in social circus is evident in her teaching style. She is now studying horticulture and teaches CirQuest's very popular hoops classes.
Mandy began circus in a Disco Cantito youth social circus project in Carnarvon, the Gascoyne Youth Circus. Her love of aerials training has only been eclipsed by the discovery of the German Wheel. She is currently studying forensic biology at Murdoch University, teaches our children's classes, and works as part-time administration assistant for Disco Cantito Association.
After many years of intensive training in gymnastics, sports acrobatics and cheerleading, Cat strayed
into circus performance at the age of 17, beginning with a South-East Asian tour through Singapore,
Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia with Australian circus company Lunar Circus. Since then, Cat has worked closely with a variety of performance companies to present both large and small scale shows around Perth including corporate and community performances. As well as being an experienced performer Cat is one of Perth’s premier circus trainers, specializing in aerials and acrobatics. Cat holds gymnastics coaching qualifications and has trained and taught circus all over the world including Canada, England and Italy.
Emma has been a wheeler since 2004. She has trained with the Harlequin Spirals, Japanese wheeler Emiko Tajima and with Melbourne Wheel Gymnastics founder Jarrad Cuff. She trained at the 2010 International Training Camp in Valencia with accredited German trainers.
Narrowly avoiding a career in design, Sven Hopla has been performing circus throughout the UK and Europe for the past 9 years and is now home in Perth. A graduate of both the Academy of Circus Arts and Circomedia, where he specialized in aerial rope under Jonathon Priest, he has performed with the likes of Arcadia Spectacular, Invisible Circus, Jean-Paul Zaccarini, Curtis Eller and his American Circus and, most importantly, as giant kangaroo in the 2012 London Olympics. As well having a strong foundation in technical skill Sven is keenly interested in the theory behind what makes circus work and how that knowledge can give birth to new techniques and performance styles in the air. He also secretly juggles.
An enthusiastic young performer with the Act Belong Commit Canning Vale College Circus Troupe, Leighton takes any opportunity he can to perform and sets the goal of making people laugh, often through his own fallability. Leighton usually performs with diabolo, but is well versed in the ways of most manipulation based disciplines. You may see him walking around dressed as the grinch or like he just came back from the 80's - don't worry, he's with us!
The newest member of our CirQuest team is Rhiannon, who as the eldest of three siblings already has a lot of the skills required for being a circus teacher - patience, boundless enthusiasm, and the love of being in motion. Rhiannon assists with the Busy Bodies and Circus for Home-School kids' classes and is well on her way to becoming an early childhood teacher in the near future.