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Circus skills are a group of pursuits that have been performed as entertainment in "circus, "sideshow, "busking, or "variety/"vaudeville/"music hall shows. Most circus skills are still being performed today. Many are also practiced by non-performers as a hobby.
"Circus schools and instructors use various systems of categorization to group circus skills by type. Systems that have attempted to formally organize circus skills into pragmatic teaching groupings include the Gurevich system (the basis of the Russian Circus School's curriculum) and the Hovey Burgess system.
Hovey Burgess system
The Hovey Burgess pedagogy divides circus skills into three categories, each subdivided into three skill levels.
||Toss juggling: balls, rings, clubs
||Gyroscopic juggling: "devil sticks, "diabolo, "plate spinning, etc.
||Headstands and hand balancing
||Balancing: on rolling objects ("unicycle, "rola bola, etc.), on "stilting" objects ("stilts, freestanding ladder, etc.) and human columns.
||Rigging: "trapeze, "horizontal bar, "slackwire, "tight wire, etc.
||Turning the body along its long, medium and short axes
Hovey Burgess has been known to compare his system to "Newton's third law (i.e., "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction"). Vaulting is concerned with action; juggling is concerned with reaction; equilibrium is the intersection of action and reaction.
|This section does not "cite any "sources. (March 2014)
Circus skills which involve balancing or maintaining "equilibrium. The term applies equally to acts in which the performer balances on a piece of equipment or a prop, and acts in which the performer balances a prop on a part of their body.
- "Acro dance
- "Aerial hoop (lyra, cerceaux)
- "Aerial silk (tissu, fabric, ribbon, silks, aerial contortion)
- "Aerial straps
- "Animal training
- "Artistic cycling
- "Baton twirling
- Bungee trapeze
- "Chair balancing
- "Chinese pole
- "Chinese yo-yo
- "Cigar box juggling
- "Cloud swing
- "Club swinging
- "Contact juggling
- "Corde lisse (vertical rope, smooth rope)
- "Cyr wheel (roue Cyr)
- "Danish pole
- "Devil sticks
- "Fire dancing (fire twirling, spinning, manipulation)
- "Flag spinning
- "Flying trapeze
- "Foot juggling / "Icarian games
- Freestanding ladder
- "German wheel (Rhönrad, gym wheel)
- "Globe of death
- "Hair hang (hair suspension, hair hanging)
- "Hand to hand (main à main)
- "Hand balancing (équilibre)
- "Hand walking
- "Hat manipulation
- Hoop diving
- "Human cannonball
- "Human pyramid
- "Juggling (balls, clubs, rings, etc.)
- "Jump rope (skipping ropes, double-Dutch)
- "Knife throwing (impalement arts)
- "Lion taming
- Mexican cloud swing
- "Multiple trapeze
- "Object manipulation
- "Perch (equilibristic)
- "Physical comedy
- "Plate spinning
- "Pogo sticking
- "Poi spinning
- Rebound straps
- "Risley (antipodism)
- "Rola bola ("balance board)
- "Rolling globe
- "Roman ladders
- "Russian bar
- "Russian swing
- "Spanish web
- "Stage combat
- "Static trapeze
- "Stilt walking
- "Teeterboard (Korean plank)
- "Tightrope walking (or "slackwire walking)
- "Trick riding
- "Trick roping
- "Tumbling (power track)
- "Voltige (equestrian vaulting)
- "Wheel of death (Space wheel)
- ^ "The Classification of Circus Techniques" by Hovey Burgess. The Drama Review: TDR, Vol. 18, No. 1, Popular Entertainments (Mar., 1974), pp. 65-70. doi:10.2307/1144863.
- ^ "Circus Glossary". Circusland Company. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
Icarian Games: One of varieties of antipode [foot juggling] genre. In this instance a performer's partner plays as antipodist's props used for tossing and juggling
- ^ "Aerial Acts". Flying High Circus, "Florida State University. Retrieved 13 November 2012.