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Introducing: prep school!

In May of 2020, Aloft made the difficult decision to suspend our beloved Full Time Training Program. The program, which began in 2013, has graduated over 50 students, with the vast majority going on to professional circus careers or advanced schools. We decided that, in the face of a global pandemic and deteriorating job market for circus professionals, it was the safest and smartest move to suspend our program until the future came into better focus. 

 

Nine months later, the outlook is still uncertain. Rather than push ahead with our two year model, we’ve found that shorter intensives offer greater flexibility to students, our coaches and facilities--enabling us to adapt more readily to the changing COVID landscape. Additionally, with professional and pre-professional programs popping up around the US and the world, we have been examining where there is a need for specific kinds of instruction for developing both professional and pre-professional circus artists. We’ve created a new program that can exist in the immediate pandemic environment AND help create strong and vibrant circus artists in the US, and we are thrilled to announce Aloft’s Prep School Program!

Prep School!

 

Prep School is a preparatory program, designed to nurture, train, guide and advise circus students with their sights set on auditioning for pre-professional and professional training programs, (including Aloft’s Two Year Program, set to return in 2022). Students will receive training 20 hours/week over 3 months in Aloft’s beautiful and inspiring facility. They will study the core skills required for most circus programs--ground and aerial acrobatics, strength, flexibility, physical theater, object manipulation and dance.

 

Students will also be coached in audition prep, receive guidance and advice on the best schools to apply to, receive help with applications and letters of reference, assistance with filming of audition videos, and anything else needed to make their transition to circus school smooth and successful.

 

The ideal candidate for this program is enthusiastic and excited to learn with some background in movement arts--an intermediate recreational circus student, a gymnast looking for a longer career, theater artists hoping to expand into circus.

 

There is no audition required for this program, but spaces are limited and students will be invited based on an application. Please apply here!

Session One: June 7-August 28

Session Two: Sept 7-Dec 4

Program Cost: $3000 ($1000 deposit due upon acceptance)

Financial Aid: We have limited aid available to BIPOC students.

Daily schedule: Specific times TBD. 4 consecutive hours/day
 

“Aloft’s full time program has helped me grow physically, mentally, and artistically. The coaches are so talented and helpful! The program gives you time to explore a variety of circus arts, then allows you to hone in on what you are passionate about. In addition to outstanding aerial training, Aloft offers a variety of apparatuses that are not often available, including tightwire and tramp wall. The lab year gives you the opportunity to work with circus professionals that share their experience, training methods, and practical advice about succeeding as a circus professional. I consider myself extremely lucky to have participated in it, and would recommend it to anyone hoping to become more technically proficient, creative, and physically expressive.” Christine Conroy

“I am a graduate of two training programs and Aloft’s full time training program was by far the most valuable one to me. It pushed me to grow in ways both professionally and personally and  to reach my career goals. Some of my favorite aspects of it were the comprehensive group disciplines and classes, working one on one with my instructor on the development of my ideas and act creation, the classroom knowledge we received about the business side and the beautiful show we put together at the end. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to be challenged, changed and deeply moved by this unique experience.” Kristi Taff

“I came in to Aloft’s full time training program  with a burning desire to be a badass successful rope artist, the program not only offered me the opportunity to advance significantly in my rope skills, but also allowed me to grow as a generalist. For that I will forever be grateful. Post the program, I continued to work with my coach and within a year found myself working as a professional rope artist. Within a year of graduating the program I had performed  my act at festivals throughout the United States as well as being invited to perform as the 5th US artist at the 16th International Festival of Circus CIRCUBA in Havana, Cuba in 2017”. - Bre Lawson 2016

“The full-time program at Aloft is more than a circus school.  It's a spiritual journey. It was one of the coolest things I've ever done, and I've done a lot of cool things. I gained so much as a result of the life-changing Aloft full-time program, including a supportive community, a group of lifelong friends, tremendous mental and physical strength, and a safe place and time for creative free expression. The coaches in the program will help you get stronger both as an acrobat and as an artist.  Here muscular strength goes hand in hand with the strength to speak up with your own unique voice. The world outside is trying to crush your beautiful spirit; don't let it! Join the circus! Get strong! Fight back with style! Being an artist today takes strength and guts. The full-time program at Aloft will give you both. The full-time program at Aloft has found the perfect balance between the development of technical skill and the fostering of artistic creativity. Itt has so much to offer: incredible professional coaches, an enormous variety of classes and disciplines, a beautiful training space, and a community on the forefront of circus in the U.S.” -Whitni Battle (Gyata Dingo)

Check out a great article about Full Time Program in ACE magazine!
Listen to director, Shayna Swanson, talk about the program on the Artist Athlete podcast!
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© 2015 by Aloft Dance. All rights reserved.

Address:
3324 W Wrightwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
Contact:
christinealoft@gmail.com
312-771-2478
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