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École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque Toulouse-Occitanie

Higher school

FEDEC member since 1998

Internationally recognized, the Toulouse-Occitanie Graduate School of Circus Arts (Ésacto'Lido) is one of the three schools in France authorized to deliver the National Superior Professional Diploma of Circus Artist (DNS-Pac).

In addition to Higher education, the school offers various professionalization modules intended for young artists who wish to be accompanied in the structuring of their artistic project. In this dynamic, the school has initiated a reflection on continuing education in partnership with regional actors. 

Ésacto'Lido is also developing a research program on the pedagogy and teaching of circus arts in partnership with academics, artists and professional actors of the circus network.

The uniqueness of the school's pedagogical approach is officially recognized and valued by the institutions that initiated the graduate school project in 2018 and continue to support it (Toulouse Métropole, Toulouse City Council, the French Ministry of Culture, the Occitania Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs (DRAC) and the Occitania Regional Council).

Singular Educational Methods

The school’s educational approach serves the artists. It helps them find their signature and artistic authenticity. It builds on circus techniques and revisits drama, dance, visual arts and any other creative form that might influence and enhance the artistic offerings of the contemporary stage, yet without losing the distinctive features of the circus.

The training course places special emphasis on personal style and searching for a body language specific to the circus entertainer. 

This educational approach leads students to: 

  • discover the part of derision which inhabits them, the faults which compose them so that they find their authenticity,
  • improve themselves in the techniques of the movement through the body and vocal preparation, dramatic acrobatics, and research in the various fields of artistic gesture,
  • view themselves as ‘top-level athletes’ in their circus art, where everyone should fully achieve the movement true to themselves, without a model predetermined by the long History of circus.

Students are supported with self-confrontation where there is no way out or solution other than themselves and their experiences. Therein lies the teaching of Ésacto'Lido graduate school.


  • 1988 : The Circus Arts Center is established in a former local cinema.
  • 1994 : Development of creative workshops to train amateurs to become professionals.
  • 1998 : Creation of a recognised vocational training course with the funding of the “Mairie de Toulouse”, the French Ministry of Culture, and the “Région Midi Pyrénées”.
  • 2006 : Development of a third year of vocational course, dedicated to professional integration, in partnership with “Circuits”, subsidized by Auch venue.
  • 2008 : Creation of the PACT studio (Pépinière des arts du cirque de Toulouse / Toulouse Circus Arts Incubator) in cooperation with la Grainerie.
    Inauguration of the new premises in Argoulets.
  • 2018 : Creation of the prefiguration association of École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque Toulouse-Occitanie.
    Alain Taillard is appointed director of the Esacto'Lido.
  • 2019 : L’école supérieure des arts du cirque Toulouse-Occitanie (Ésacto'Lido) welcomes its first class of students who will follow a 3-year training course.
  • © Boris Conte
  • © Boris Conte

Curriculum offered

  • Higher education: DNSP circus artist (180 ECTS - European Credits Transfer System).
  • Support for professional integration.
  • © Boris Conte


  • Acro dance 
  • Aerial acrobatics
  • Aerial pole
  • Chinese pole
  • Equilibristics
  • Floor acrobatics 
  • German wheel/Cyr wheel
  • Highwire
  • Juggling - Object manipulation
  • Rope
  • Silks
  • Slackrope
  • Static trapeze
  • Trampoline
  • Unicycle
  • Washington trapeze

Registration link on the Esacto'Lido website.

  • © Esacto'Lido

Learn more about this member

Founded in 1987


  • Director: Alain Taillard
  • Director of Studies: Marie Céline Daubagna
  • Educational Director and Head of Continuing Education: Aurélie Vincq

Teaching language(s)

French (standard)


École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque Toulouse Occitanie - Ésacto'Lido
14 rue de Gaillac
31500 Toulouse

+33 5 36 25 22 20

  • © Boris Conte
  • © Boris Conte
  • © Aitana Trevine