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Acrobat

Do amazing dance-athletic acts for the entertainment of audiences.

What does an Acrobat do?

Acrobats perform gymnastic feats that require tremendous strength, balance, agility, and motor coordination. As an Acrobat, therefore, you’re equal parts Performer and Athlete. Employed by circuses, acrobatic troupes, and other performance groups—variety shows, for instance, or dance companies—you turn your body into performance art by combining elements of dance, gymnastics, and contortionism.

This job has a long history. Though it’s hard to imagine a world without electronic entertainment, people were having fun—courtesy of Acrobats—long before there were televisions to watch, movies to see, videogames to play, or social networks to browse. In fact, Archaeologists in China and the Mediterranean have discovered drawings of Gymnasts dating back more than 2,000 years.

The daily work of an Acrobat consists of an act, or repertoire, that you create, rehearse, and perform on a regular basis. Depending on your talents, that act might include juggling, trapeze, contortion, tightrope walking, or gymnastic stunts, including flips, handstands, tumbling, and trampolining. Sometimes you perform on a bare stage, but often you can be found on top of props, including platforms, bicycles, balls, and even animals, like horses and elephants.

Whether you’re performing or competing—many Acrobats participate in acrobatic competitions, either for prize money or prestige—your goal is always the same: to entertain people by making your body do unbelievable things, the result of which is a series of audible “oohs” and “aahs” from your audience!