Instructor- E-Learning

New E-learning Session Available!

The goal of this program is to educate circus arts instructors. These instructors will be qualified to provide an initiation to various circus disciplines in the context of recreational activity. These instructors may also serve as educators in the social services arena, introducing young people at risk to the circus arts.

Circus arts instructors are able to find employment in many areas. These include: schools devoted to circus arts as recreational activity, municipal recreational facilities, day or vacation camps, or resorts that offer leisure activities. Instructors may also be called upon to animate after-school programs in educational facilities. Community and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which may also incorporate these arts as a form of social education, have occasion to call upon the services of circus arts instructors. The research have demonstrated the positive impacts on youngsters of the practice of circus arts, particularly in terms of motor skills, emotional resilience and self-confidence. Practicing circus reduces the differences between genders in terms of motor skills.

The École nationale de cirque (National Circus School) now offers an online version of the circus arts Instructor program in English. The program takes place over a period of 17 weeks. It consists of mostly virtual sessions along with a week of onsite training with the School's teachers in Montreal or another city depending on the session. 

Upon graduating from the School, instructors may further their professional development by enrolling in the Trainer in Circus Arts program, receiving credit for the first 5 courses and their 90 hours work experience internship.

Online registration

Educational Objectives

  • Class Management (45 hours)
  • Introduction to Circus Techniques (75 hours)
  • Supervising the Creation and Production of a Performance (45 hours)
  • Setting up and Striking Acrobatic Apparatus (45 hours)
  • Lead a circus program in the context of social education (60 hours)
  • Work Experience Internship (90 hours)

Virtual Classes

Online learning is made available through the Moodle platform used by many institutions of higher education. Students have access to a wide variety of learning tools: blogs, forums, video conferencing. Videos and other learning materials in PowerPoint or PDF format are accessible at all times. Students may access quiz-type tests to conduct self-assessment and verify their progress. A weekly meeting is held via video conference at a specified time with the teacher and all members of the virtual class. 

Wondering how a virtual class looks ?


In-Person Classes

One week of training is planned. You can choose between both cities, either in Montreal (Canada) or in Dublin (Ireland). The live session serves to complete some learning and assess specific skills. (See the official session schedule for dates).

The Online Instructor program culminates with an internship to integrate what has been learned. Each student is responsible for finding the internship, either within his/her community or outside it, in organizations or institutions where the circus is practiced as a recreational activity.  The student must also find and have approved by the School a circus arts trainer to serve as internship supervisor. The internship, that consists of 90 hours, should begin at week 11 of the course calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Course calendar - February to June 2019Open or Close

    E-learning Program 

    Note that a 2hrs weekly meeting is held via video conference each Saturday at 9 am (EDT = Eastern Daylight Time zone), with the teacher and all members of the virtual class. 

    WeekDateCourses and Modules for the week
     February 16thWelcome Session
    09:00 - 10 am
    1February 18th to 22ndClass Management
    2February 25th to March 1stClass Management
    3March 4th to 8thClass Management
    4March 11th to 15thSocial Circus
    5March 18th to 22ndSocial Circus
    6March 25th to 29thSocial Circus
    7April 1st to 5thRigging - Equipment
    8April 8th to 12thRigging - Equipment
     April 15th to 19thHolidays : week off
    9April 22nd to 26thRigging - Equipment
    10April 29th to May 3rdRigging - Equipment
    11May 6th to 10thCreation & Production
    12May 13th to 17thCreation & Production
    13May 20th to 24thCircus Initiation
    Safety on Aerials
    14May 27th to 31st

    Circus Initiation


    June 1st to 7th

    Intensive Week at the National Circus School
    16June 10th to 14thCreation & Production
    17June 17th to 12stCircus Initiation
    Pedagogical Circuit for Acrobatics
  • Tuition FeesOpen or Close
    Tuition fees

    Admission Fee

    $ 30

    Registration Fee

    $ 130

    Accessory Fee

    $ 120

    Tuition Canadian/permanent resident Student - Montreal (can be paid in 2 payments)

    $ 1,415

    Foreign and French Student (can be paid in 2 payments)$ 2.260

    * Fees in Canadian dollars, subject to change

  • Student Services and Financial AssistanceOpen or Close

    Student Services

    The School offers a range of student services such as on campus housing, a library, a bursary program, food services and health services. Find out more about student services.

    Financial Assistance

    Full time Canadian students or those who have permanent resident status in Canada are eligible for loan and bursary programs offered by the Ministry of Education of the province in which they officially reside.

    The National Circus School Foundation offers assistance to students who lack sufficient financial resources to pursue professional training at the School no matter what their citizenship. The Bursary Evaluation Committee reunites once a year, your financial help request form must be submitted before April 30th 2018 (for school year 2018-2019). Find out more.

  • Candidate ProfileOpen or Close

    The ideal candidate for this program is a highly motivated and autonomous student or professional who possesses mastery of the English language, spoken and written, and also meets the regular requirements for admission:

    • Completion of secondary school or equivalent
    • Has interrupted studies for at least one school year or has completed one year of post-secondary schooling
    • Has a functional knowledge of the English language, spoken and written
    • Practical experience in the fields of circus arts, sports, dance or theater would be an asset
    • Demonstrate the ability to communicate

    Technology required:
    The student must have easy access to a computer equipped with software that enables video playback and supports video conferencing.

    Go to the following URL for an overview of the course interface:

  • AdmissionOpen or Close


    • Completion of secondary school or equivalent
    • Has interrupted studies for at least one school year or has completed one year of post-secondary schooling
    • Has a functional knowledge of the English language, spoken and written
    • Practical experience in the fields of circus arts, sports, dance or theater would be an asset
    • Demonstrate the ability to communicate

    Competency Exemption

    A candidate selected may receive credit for previous training or professional experience acquired, conditional upon providing proof. The applicant must also pass an examination to be exempted from any given course.

    Documents to enclose with admission application:

    • Online Application Form, completed 
    • One passport-sized photograph (JPEG) 
    • A birth certificate with the name of the parents
    • The latest transcripts and/or diplomas available (secondary school, college and/or university)
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Any relevant document confirming an participation to an artistic or sports-related activity

    For more information on the admissions policy, see this document. (French only) 


    New session!
    Starting February 16th
    Registration deadline : February 4th


    For any questions please contact the Registrar via or (514) 982-0859 ext. 239.

The development of this online program was funded by the Québec Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de la Science and by the bilateral Canada-Quebec and the Protocol for agreements for minority-language education and second-language instruction.The School extends its gratitute to the Cirque du Soleil for its contribution on the Social Circus course as well as sharing videos and guides that come from the Basic Techniques in Circus Arts document developed in conjunction with the School.

Register for this program

Online registration
Next session :

Winter-Spring 2019
From February 16th to June 22nd 2019
Registration before February 4th

The program requires 360 hours
To complete this virtual class, one-week in person training will be given at the National Circus School in Montreal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Instructor graduates' testimonies

"My time in Montreal was fantastic! When I brought the activities and skills that I learned in Montreal back to my school I noticed that there was 100% engagement in the activity." 
Andrew Woloshyn (Physical Educator, Alberta)

"Once the students feel they are in a safe environment and this can be attained, they are very easy to work with in an enjoyable environment."
Valerie Pratch (Physical Educator, British Columbia)

"I feel like I have better control over my classes, my leadership is stronger, student autonomy is developing, and my classes drain me less. I enjoy it more and take a lot more satisfaction from it now because of the skills I have developed over the last six months."
Lindsay Bellaire (Circus Coach, Ontario)