Found in the popular inner-city suburb of Melbourne, Prahran; the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) is the only course providing nationally-recognised circus qualifications in Australia. A hangout spot for many university students, Prahran has much to offer down to its iconic main strip Chapel Street, from cafes to op shops, restaurants and nightlife. Having spent nearly three years exploring the vicinity around NICA, I have many fond memories of secret bars, world-class coffee, and vintage op shop finds – and I still haven’t explored it all.
. Tucked away, just off Chapel Street, NICA stands as two main training facilities joined by a brightly lit foyer. As a recognised branch of Swinburne University, the Prahran campus has been home to NICA’s faculty staff and coaches since 2001. The two buildings encompass all the elements a circus school has to offer. There are several aerial points rigged throughout the space, allowing students to suspend themselves mid-air on a variety of trapezes, aerial hoops, and interesting shapes. There are students found spinning on Roue Cyr that drive themselves around in continuous circles. Some juggle, some balance steadily across a wire — a few dive through the air on swinging trapeze. Walking through the buildings, you might notice there are more people upside down than the right side up. ...
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