The circus has a long-lived history worldwide. Over the years, skillsets have developed and evolved, modernising the popular shows to suit a range of audiences. From acts such as juggling, pole dancing and hula hooping, performers have mastered the art in every country, but still tapping into the history of a circus.

At Space Plans, we offer a range of courses. They allow individuals to learn the ropes of these traditional skills, strengthening their minds and body. We work closely with our sister company, CircusMash who offers aerial hoop and silk classes; a popular sport in circus performing.

Related: The History of Juggling

So, what is the history of a circus?

See below for a brief history of the magic of the circus.

753 BC

The history of a circus originates in Ancient Roman times. Roman amphitheatres referred to as circuses after the Latin word for ‘circle’, housing gladiatorial combats, mock battles, chariot races and other gruesome sports. Worldwide, ancient peoples performed acts that are today, associated with circuses. With acrobatics, balancing acts and juggling having appeared in Egypt as early as 2500 BCE.

18th Century

The modern history of a circus in England took effect in 1768 when Philip Astley, a major turned trick rider, began horseback riding with a twist. He learnt that when galloping in a circle, centripetal and centrifugal forces helped keep him balanced. By the late 18th century, this trend had spread throughout Europe and established a solid foundation in the USA.

In 1793, John Bill Ricketts began exhibiting tricks in Philadelphia and New York. These performances consisted of trick riding, tumblers, rope walkers, clowns and pantomimes.

19th Century

After Rickett sadly passed, circuses sustained their popularity in the United States. And the European circus of Pepin and Breschard, amongst other infamous shows, began their fame at the turn of the century. Circuses had begun their global impact as unique entertainment that could inspire, educate and wow audiences.

Why learn with Space Plans?

Today, the history of a circus still inspires the acts we see across the globe. While the ban on animal use was first stated in the 90s, classic circus acts such as juggling and balancing acts are still as impressive as ever. Inspiring people across the globe, circus performers are talented and humble in their offerings.

Would you like to learn a circus skill in the comfort of your own home? Don’t fret, you can continue on the beauty of circus performing with Space Plans. With an array of affordable and easy-to-follow courses on offer, we can help you establish a new hobby and improve your mental and physical health.

If you’d like to enquire today, simply get in touch with our happy and helpful team today at 0121 439 2530. Alternatively,  email us at Our courses are pre-filmed by some of the industry’s most impressive performers. Therefore, allowing all abilities to learn from the very best at Space Plans.