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About us

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The Surrey Circus Centre is a supportive and welcoming space, where absolute beginners and those that have well and truly caught the Circus bug, can hone their passion for Aerial. 

 

Originally founded in 2021, we have classes for all ages, starting from 6yrs old up to 85yrs and above (yes, we have taught a superstar 85yr old Trapeze artist!). No matter your fitness level or age, we’re here to help you on your Aerial journey and to welcome you into our amazing community, here at the SCC.

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Alissa Blackledge - SCC Founder

My Story

My life on the stage started at the age of 4 and it’s safe to say, I’ve never looked back! Ballet, gymnastics, performing arts, pantomimes & horse riding were my absolute groove growing up, as having dyslexia & dyspraxia (I know, how am I a circus artist when I’m so clumsy!?) anything physical and artistic was my happy place. Then I discovered Figure Skating and trained at every opportunity, as I was absolutely hooked! I competed and taught on the ice, alongside performing arts and dance until it came to University time, which is when I decided dance was the career for me and I graduated with a 1st BA Hons degree in Dance & Physical theatre, but it felt like it was missing…. 

 

Thankfully we did a workshop at the end of my degree in Circus and I completely fell in love. Climbing to the top of the silks and clambering on the Trapeze and Hoop, I knew the second I got in the air, this was what I was meant to do. It had the acrobatic elements of gymnastics, the spinning of figure skating and the artistry of dance and performing arts - I’d found it! After 6 weeks of adults evening classes, I auditioned and received a scholarship for the National Centre for Circus Arts and moved down to London to study. Graduating with a 3 yrs Masters degree in Circus Arts, specialising in Dance Trapeze, I ventured into the world looking for a Circus to run away with. 

 

3 months later, I got a contract to perform my specialty Figure Skating Trapeze act, Silks, Hoop & fire on roller skates in Marrakech for 6 months. 6 weeks later after arriving home, off to Germany, Scandinavia & Russia I went for another 6 months (my poor husband), followed by a 6 month contract with Strut ‘n’ Fret circus company performing across Australia. Lots of corporate, cabaret & short contracts, performances nationally and internationally, including The Brit awards with Hugh Jackman; my circus career was in full flow and I couldn’t be happier! and then BOOM!… Covid. 

 

As a Circus Artist, surprisingly I wasn’t a key worker (I know!) and having recently moved to Surrey, I was in search of somewhere to train, but I couldn’t find anywhere? Upon finding the church, the structural engineer & a rigger, I thought surely there are more people in the area that need a space like me? And so, the Surrey Circus Centre was born! A centre for not only Circus, but also a community.

I still perform a variety of disciplines and specialty acts alongside teaching and love helping fledgling aerialists learn to fly. My aim was to share the joy of Circus in a safe and supportive space, where everyone feels welcome and where anything is possible.

Come on in! 

Some of my performances over the year - 

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