The national diploma in professional circus arts certifies the acquisition of a professional qualification for working in the field of circus arts, whether as a performer or creator/director. It is a level II / European level 6 diploma,  registered in the national register of professional certifications (RNCP). Integrated into the European scheme of higher education, it is obtained in conjunction with a university diploma or degree. As part of this double course, the Esacto’Lido has set up a partnership with Jean Jaurès University in Toulouse to award a diploma in the “performing arts – specializing in communication and interpretation in circus arts.“
There are 3 years of study, the academic year is from September to June. These 3 years of higher education allow students to explore creative gesture, perfect their specialty and acquire the keys to becoming a professional circus artist.

The DNSP-AC curriculum forms a broad exploration through multiple stages of training :

Objectives as defined by the professional and official certification framework.

I – Working as a circus artist

A – contribute to the implementation of a show or a circus performance

B – perform in the circus number or show

C – preserve individual physical integrity and that of others, ensure the safety of the workplace and equipment

II – Sustain and develop artistic creativity and skills as an interpreter

A – 1 – develop and enrich the techniques and vocabulary relating to the discipline

– 2 – develop the fundamental technical and artistic components of the discipline

B – maintain and develop physical capacities

C – broaden knowledge of circus culture and other arts

D – develop autonomy and adaptability

III – Valuing your skills and building your professional career

A- know how to position yourself professionally

B – maintain knowledge of the socio-professional and technical environment related to the  profession

C – develop and expand professional relationships

D – if necessary, participation in the promotion of  work

The teaching team distinguishes between contributions, artistic exploration and support.

THE CONTRIBUTIONS refer to teaching related to the body, specialties, artistic creativity and to university courses.

  • specialty courses and internships
  • intake course
  • theory class
  • French learning support
  • FLE courses for non-French speaking first year students


ARTISTIC EXPLORATION refers to times dedicated to research and artistic awareness.

  • circus-related expression classes
  • artistic research course
  • Group creation time
  • artistic workshops

ACCOMPANIMENTS correspond to personalized working time devoted to the artistic development of students, considered in their social and personal dimensions.·

  • implementation of a tour
  • individual interviews
  • evaluations
  • feedback from public presentations and research
  • integration tutoring

Time for presentations and meetings complete this training system :

  • Public presentations: participation in circus trials and large-scale artistic events such as  (CIRCa festival, Occitanie Fait Son Cirque En Avignon festival, tours abroad and in the Occitanie region, etc.) give students the opportunity to experience public performances and the professional world.
  • Openness and meetings : the training offered is based on the principle of openness and meetings with professionals working not only in the circus but other cultural fields. These opportunities offer professional immersion, European mobility, artistic discovery, cultural visits, meeting with other students and participating in conferences.
Each training semester is based around a succession of thematic weeks allowing students to evolve in a well-balanced annual rhythm. This organization aims at pacing the acquisition of skills and technical development over a set period . In this way there are 5 successive  thematic weeks throughout the year: mixed, specialty, circus and artistic essays in addition to options.

Week composed of input courses and artistic exploration (specialty courses, theatre, dance, theoretical courses, research, etc.).

Week allocating time for options (show management, security, writing, music, “more body”, transmission and public meeting). The student chooses 1 main option per year which is equivalent to 20 hours. Possibility of increasing time of chosen option in agreement with the head teacher.

Week dedicated to the student’s specialty with external speakers.

Week devoted to research for the circus trials with the bias of leaving only 1 specialty course on Friday. Theatre and research classes continue.

Artistic internship week, no other classes take place except those programmed at the university.

Consult the annual schedule


The validation of the DNSP-AC is based on a double curriculum with the circus school and university. The performing arts course given at the university is composed of several teaching units including :  communication and circus interpretation.

  • UE 101 – 201 – 301 – 401 : knowledge of heritage, history of dance and circus
  • UE 202 – 402 : show analysis (a selection of shows to be seen as defined at the start of the year)
  • UE 107 : methodology
  • U3 307 – 407 : computer science education
  • lectures on the history of dance and seminars on the history of dance / jazz are also mandatory to validate the exams

The main objective of the theory lessons is to acquire a knowledgeable understanding of circus research and to learn how to write proposals and show reviews in the view of making grant and funding applications.

Find out more about the diploma in performing arts and communication at Jean-Jaurès University in Toulouse.

As there is a double curriculum there are two different assessments organized by the university and the Esacto’Lido corresponding to the two different programmes.

The general principles of course assessment at Jean Jaurès University in Toulouse are governed by the curriculum testing charter adopted by the Commission de la Formation de la Vie Universitaire (CFVU). For DNSP-AC students, depending on the teaching units, there are either written or oral assessments or written course project work. These continuous assessments are based on compulsory attendance. 

The school’s pedagogy, based on the principles of new education, advocates the concepts of autonomy, exchanges and team work. These principles are reflected in the assessment procedures where the student’s personal assessment is considered  equally to that of the teachers.
The school  does not have a classic method of evaluation and features a marking system based on four areas of progression.

Study Regulations establish the essential rules for life at the Esacto’Lido. Enrollment at the school automatically implies full acceptance of these regulations by the student.


Students enrolled at Esacto’Lido must enroll at Jean Jaurès University in Toulouse.

Tuition is free, only fees related to the university course are requested: contribution to student life (CVE: 92 € in 2020) and registration fees (170 € for the year 2020-2021). It is essential to complete the CVE in order to be able to enroll at the university.

Scholarship holders or beneficiaries of an annual allowance grant are exempt from the contribution to student life.

Moving to and living in Toulouse is the student’s responsibility. The school does not provide accommodation or food.



Visa applications for foreign students must be made upon validation of admission. Foreign students must apply for their visa on the France-visas site (a long-stay visa equivalent to a student residence permit (VLS-TS)).

VLS-TS validation: within 3 months of your arrival in France, you must validate your VLS-TS and pay a tax in addition to the visa fee. The online process allows you to be a regular resident and to be able to cross the border into the Schengen area.





– grants based on social criteria: awarded according to your family situation and income

– ad hoc assistance: assistance for students who temporarily encounter serious difficulties (assistance awarded by a commission on file)

– an annual allowance for students who encounter on going difficulties: this aid is reserved for students who are not eligible for grants based on social criteria. Financial aid can be allocated to students in a situation of proven independence (not benefitting from parental support), in the event of family rupture or in the event of resumption of studies. The specific annual aid cannot be combined with a grant based on social criteria.

For more information on CROUS aid: www.crous-toulouse.fr


Housing assistance

To help you pay your rent and your expenses you can benefit from housing assistance. To determine if you are eligible, you can simulate an application for housing assistance on the site www.caf.fr


Other aid

University social services can also assist you in obtaining various aid:

– free travel pass

– food aid

– financial assistance for a driving license

– biannual loan of a computer (request to be made to the IT System Department (DSI): dpo@univ-tlse2.fr or on site, Presidency Building (entrance opposite the MDS2 amphitheater)


Administrative Support

Throughout the year students benefit from support with administrative procedures related to student life. A reference person (pedagogical secretary) within the school is available for help concerning: Caf, social security, regularization of the situation, medical appointments, etc. This support has been put into place to enable students to continue their studies without having to face  difficult administrative procedures.


Educational support

As well as administrative support, educational support is offered to students to during their time at university. In addition to the support courses given by Ghyslaine Belmonte, Karine Saroh is available  for students who require help on issues related to  teaching organization and exams (use of the ENT, contact with teachers and researchers, spectators, follow-up to conferences, etc.).


Medical service

The department of sports medicine at Purpan University Hospital (Toulouse) carries out medical visits at the beginning of every school year. A talk on the importance of nutrition is also programmed annually.

A medical service within the school is also available to students. Every two weeks, a specialist sports doctor is available by appointment. If required, medical treatment can be administered or a referral to another specialist can be requested.


Commitment against discrimination

L’Ésacto’Lido is committed to developing common lines of thought for employees and students regarding issues of discrimination and all forms of harassment. The aim is to provide the school with a mechanism to prevent inequalities in order to :

– prevent discrimination by identifying and monitoring everyday practices that could lead to a breach of respect and equality that everyone deserves.

– set up a neutral space for the identification and expression of these problems

– develop a space for dialogue and consultation

– identification of criminal behavior and organize its sanction


Crous de Toulouse-Occitanie
58 rue du Taur – Toulouse
0 806 800 131 de 9h30 à 15h30 (prix d’un appel local) ou 05 61 12 54 52

CAF de Haute Garonne
24 Rue Riquet –  Toulouse
3939 ou 0810 25 31 10 (0,06€/min + prix d’un appel local)

Welcome Desk
41 Allées Jules Guesde – Toulouse



  • An acceptable level 4 diploma for university entrance (baccalauréat or DAEU equivalent)
  • Applicants aged between 19 and 26 born on or after January 1 1997 (exception due to the absence of selection in 2023)
  • A high level in your specialty
  • Proof of 500 hours of practice per year for 2 years
  • Medical certificate of fitness for the practice of intensive sports.
  • Good level of spoken and written French is essential in order to follow university courses – B2 level required in French

Special case: if you do not have a level 4 diploma, you must provide the last obtained diploma with your grades, teachers recommendations as well as certificates of professional experience (internships, employment contracts etc.)

The application form must be completed online – it will be posted online from December 18 to the end of February.

The selected candidates are invited to an audition in May. This day built around  4 themes: the dynamic body (flexibility, tone and acrobatic abilities), the body in movement (dance), the body on stage (theatre), circus techniques (individual presentations to demonstrate technical level and degree of artistic expression).

At the end of this day, around 25 candidates are invited to a 4-day internship in May. During this internship, the candidates  participate in collective and individual workshops focused on research as well as artistic expression and dance. In order to check the level of French, a written French assessment takes place at the start of the course. Following these 4 days, 12 candidates are selected to join the DNSP-AC course. 


There are 8 stages to your application file that can be completed in several installments. To do this, save your current application (“save” button at the bottom of each page).

Once the completed file is sent you will receive a confirmation email.

  • Only completed files with all the required documents are accepted.

Selection calendar dates

  • Applications close on February 19 2024 at 11:59 p.m.
  •  Pre-selection auditions from May 13 to 22 2024
  • Workshops for final selection of candidates from May 24 to 27, 2024

L’Ésacto’Lido propose aux étudiants ayant validé le DNSPac un module de formation Professionnalisation de 600 heures.

Le DNSPac étant un diplôme niveau II / niveau européen 6, inscrit au Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP), validé avec une licence « arts du spectacle – parcours communication et arts du spectacle : cirque interprétation », il peut conduire à une inscription en Master, mention arts du spectacle, culture et communication, sciences de l’art, etc.

Débouchés :

  • interprète artiste de cirque en compagnies de cirque ou du spectacle vivant, en cabarets ou dans des sociétés de production d’événements, d’audiovisuel ou institutions publiques et parapubliques
  • directeur de compagnie, metteur en scène ou piste, dramaturge, etc.
  • ouverture aux métiers connexes (animation, régie, scénographie…)

Taux de réussite en 2022 : 100%

Taux de satisfaction : 88,49%

Taux d’insertion à 18 mois : À venir en 2024