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Graduate Highlight: Maya Tregonning Comes To You Live From London

At NICA, students tend to complete their study, hone their skills, then almost immediately head off to the airport to tour the globe! One such shining example is 2017 graduate Maya Tregonning, who - since graduating from NICA's courses - has performed across Australia and globally with multiple, renowned circus companies.

On her latest adventure, Maya took the time to answer a few quick questions about life at NICA, and where it has since taken her.

Photography by Chapel off Chapel

Q. Give us the Tregonning Fairytale: tell us about your NICA journey!

I graduated from NICA in 2017 after 4 years of study (I did the Certificate III & Bachelor course). I specialised in aerial ladder, foot juggling & group acrobatics. Before choosing my specialties, I had only ever trained aerial silks, trapeze and some ground acrobatics - I had never seen or heard of foot juggling. So, they seemed like a bit of a random choice at the time - but I had a really great time studying them all and, obviously, learnt heaps.

Q. What was your background before you got to NICA? Did you grow up with circus or a similar physical background

Before NICA I lived in Perth and trained at the WA Circus School. I danced for fun from ages 3-12 (in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap & acrobatics), and then made the switch to circus when I started high school, because the circus training space was close to my new school. I did aerial silk classes once a week for a year before joining their performance program, and later with that program I traveled to Melbourne in 2010 and visited NICA for the first time which inspired me to audition for the course three years later.

Q. What have been your career highlights so far?

So far my favourite career moments have been visiting Tasmania with Circus Oz last year, where I got to meet and perform in front of my grandma’s siblings. With my family living in Perth it’s not often that I get to perform for them, so that was special for me. Another favourite was my first performance after graduating. My best friends and I performed our self directed and produced show Out of this World at Woodford Folk Festival. There really is nothing as great as working with your mates.

Q. Where is circus taking you next: what are you working on? 

I’m currently sitting on a train from London to Edinburgh, and tomorrow we have our first show as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I’m working with Dummies Corp in Don’t Mess with the Dummies, which we will do every day for a month and then we come back and do a Melbourne Fringe season. So that’s what’s in the immediate future, but circus is hard to plan because you never know what you will be doing next!

Q. What line of wisdom or advice would you give to someone about to embark on their circus career? 

Learn from the people who did it before you. Talk to your circus idols, take any workshops you can, ask to train with people who inspire you and ask lots of questions. In my experience, people in this industry are really great at giving help if you ask for it.

Q. Why should someone study at NICA?

NICA has incredible facilities, dedicated staff and a great program. I learnt so much about the circus industry during my time there, as well as a wide range of skills to set me up for my circus career. I also got to study with an amazing group of people who became some of my best friends. 10/10 would recommend!

Follow Maya's circus on Instagram to see where she goes next. Considering studying circus and forging a career like Maya? Check out our course info and make sure to subscribe to the mailing list for prospective NICA students. Follow NICA on our hashtags #NICAAuditionJourney and #NICAAustralia


Article added 06 Aug 2019

National Institute of Circus Arts

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