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HOT: NICA Circus Classes, Prahran

The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) run circus classes for children, teenagers and adults in their huge training centre in Prahran.

Classes are term-based and held after school/business hours and on Saturday mornings. Plus every school holidays NICA run a 3 hour or full day workshops for children aged 5-12 years, with separate workshops for teenagers aged 12-17 years. Lady AB was invited to experience NICA’s school holiday program.


Within a 3 hour workshop students have the opportunity to try a number of different circus activities.

These fun-filled sessions will include juggling, tumbling, mini tramp, static trapeze, aerial ring, tissu, hula hoops, tight wire and more. The best thing is that they’re training with and amongst real circus artists, using real apparatus. The ratio is 1:8 max.

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For a 3 hour session you need to bring a water bottle and snack – if you stay for full day you need to pack a lunch and another snack for the afternoon.

Lady AB is not generally a ‘sporty’ child but she loves the NICA 3 hour program so much that every school holidays she begs to return.  While parents do not stay for the sessions from the brief glimpse I got it seems that the kids are encouraged to give everything a try,  building confidence in a fun and supportive environment. Not to mention that learning circus skills enhances fitness, coordination, strength and flexibility.

HOT Tips:

  • A 1:8 trainer/student ratio ensures the safety of participants.
  • Participants need to wear clothing in which they can move easily. Suggested attire would be tracksuit pants, shorts or leggings, with a fairly close fitting T-shirt or singlet and a jumper or jacket to put on between activities. Long hair needs to be tied back and remove all jewellery.
  • For safety, parents and friends are not permitted in the training space once a class has commenced.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before the start of the first class for registration and to complete any missing forms. You will need to sign an indemnity form.
  • NICA is located at 39-59 Green Street (Corner Green & Thomas Street) and note that  both streets are one-way.). Enter the NICA building through the glass doors at 41 Green Street, closest to the corner of Thomas Street.
  • The entrance to NICA has keypad entry and each term participants will be issued with a new passcode.
  • Car Park Locations Car parks are located at Woolworths (off Cato Street) and at Melbourne Polytechnic on Thomas Street. Roads surrounding NICA have limited street parking.
  • Flinders Street Station take the Sandringham Line train to Windsor or Prahran Station.
  • Tram Routes 78, 6 or 72 all have stops close to NICA. Tram routes 5 and 64 run along Dandenong Road – a short walk from NICA.
cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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