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Circus Scholarships Give Underprivileged Youth New Options

Circus Scholarships Give Underprivileged Youth New Options

Local Circus School Helps Kids Reach New Heights

Penrose, AUCKLAND – 5 July 2017 – The Dust Palace is pleased to announce its 2017 circus scholarships are now open. Having successfully completed the 2016 graduating class showcase, the new scholarship auditions are now set for 8 July.

“It seems every year our scholarship kids get better, our 2016 class just put on a fabulous show so we’re expecting the auditions this year to be packed – but don’t worry we’ll make space for everyone,” said Eve Gordon, Director and Choreographer at The Dust Palace.

Auditions are open to young people aged 10 to 24 and are held at The Dust Palace at 1/739 Great South Rd, Penrose, Auckland. The programme targets youth from all backgrounds that share a theatrical passion for performance.

Since 2014, The Dust Palace has offered scholarships to underprivileged youth as a part of The Dust Palace Scholarships Programme. The scholarships cover 10 young people for one year worth of tuition fees at the studio, providing those with limited resources the opportunity to access circus training in aerial dance and acrobatics.

“There’s a lot of kids that can’t afford acting or theatre classes, and others that just know they want to get into the performing arts somehow – these are the kids that we hope turn up, catch the circus bug, and learn some skills that can literally take them around the world,” said Eve.

Anyone can do circus, and the company is skilled in training children from all backgrounds.

“You just don’t know who’s going to walk through the door or what skills they’ll have. We’ve had rugby players, ice skaters, gymnasts, musicians, you name it – by the end of the year they’re all flying through the air,” said Eve.

Lasts years scholarship class graduated last weekend while showcasing the exceptional skills, knowledge and confidence in circus aerials they gained during the programme. Since beginning the scholarship programme, Eve has seen students use their circus training to develop life skills such as self-awareness, tenacity, motivation, confidence and a sense of community.

“Circus provides a lot more opportunity and education than people or parents realise. Other than learning straight circus skills our kids get a good look at theatre and event production, not to mention public speaking and performance skills. We’ve had students through the programme who now work as circus artists throughout New Zealand, and some who have continued on to tertiary circus courses. Some will end up working internationally in the big circus shows” said Eve.

Previous circus or performance experience is not required to audition for The Dust Palace Scholarship Programme. All that is required is the desire and enthusiasm to learn and develop, to meet the age criteria, and to commit to two classes per week for a year.

“Registrations for the Dust Palace’s 2017/18 Scholarship Programme are open, and anyone who’s interested needs to come out on Saturday to the studio to give circus a try, or even just a have a nosy!” added Eve,

For more information on auditions or to speak with someone from The Dust Palace please email or

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