A note from Executive Director Kristina Wicke

Let me start by saying, THANK YOU for being a part of our SANCA Circus Community! You are at the heart of everything we do and you inspire us every day to make SANCA better, more fun, and more accessible. Thank you for your continued feedback and we are committed to taking your suggestions and manifesting positive change.
Summer is just around the corner and in our efforts to improve the quality of our program offerings, I wanted to take a moment to let you know about some exciting developments at SANCA.
Summer Camps! – Following the resounding success of our Summer Camps last year, we are working hard to ensure that this Summer is our best yet. We’re thrilled to announce we’ve added more weeks of our Specialty Camps and redesigned our ongoing partnership camps with the Seattle Children’s Theatre and the Pacific Science Center. Oh, and last year, we nearly sold out 100% of our camps and we’re filling up faster than last year already-enroll your child today!
Business Hours – We’re changing our hours slightly this Summer, have a look:
MondayFriday: 8:45 a.m. – 9 p.m.
SaturdaySunday: 9:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.*
*Note we’re shifting our weekend hours one hour later
Enrollment Periods – In an effort to streamline our enrollment process, and after much feedback from our community, we have opted to give more time for all current SANCA students to enroll through Priority Enrollment. We will be replacing our Re-enroll week with an additional week of Priority Enrollment for all currently enrolled SANCA students and families. If you are currently enrolled in a SANCA class and hope to re-enroll in the same class, we encourage you to enroll early. Doing so will not only increase your chances of enrolling in the class you prefer, but will also allow us to open more classes that you desire.
Introducing “Creative Circus” Single Serving Classes – We are excited to announce that we are expanding our Single Serving class offerings with a 55-minute Creative Circus class for each age group!

Creative Circus offers an exploratory and creative approach to circus, aiming to provide current and new students alike with chances to experience the playful side of circus, all while building skills and getting a healthy dose of physical exercise.

Creative Circus will be offered at $10 for current students and $20 for the general public.
A Note about Make-up Classes – After receiving feedback from our students, parents, and coaches about our Make-up classes, we have decided to discontinue Make-up classes and focus on expanding our Single Serving class offerings.
We know this is a significant shift for our Session students, and that changes in schedule and structure can be difficult and require a period of adjustment. For this reason, we are offering our new Creative Circus classes at a significant discount for current students. We are confident that through an alternative approach to circus that focuses more on the creative, collaborative and joyous sides of circus, we can improve the quality and variety of our programming.
Student Handbook – SANCA is debuting a Student Handbook that is a comprehensive guide to SANCA’s Session classes, policies and generally important information including overviews of all of SANCA’s programs. This is a resource for you to better access what SANCA has to offer. Starting in Summer, look for it on our website, in your confirmation e-mail, and in our office.
Finally, YOU make SANCA. We are committed to serving you better and we want to work with you to make SANCA the best that it can be. If you have questions, suggestions, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to send them to studentservices@sancaseattle.org.

May all your days be circus days,

 

 

 
Kristina Wicke

 

Nutrition Basics for Circus Training

By Adrian Hillyer, LAc, LMP

We have all been there: getting out of work late, rushing to get ourselves or our kids to class on time and either skipping food or grabbing the fastest food we can on the way. It’s rather obvious that swinging through a drive-thru to grab a burger, fries, and a soda isn’t the best way to fuel yourself before or after circus class, but what are good nutrition habits in these situations? The easy switch in this scenario is of course swapping the soda for water and the burger and fries for a salad, but that is easier said than done. It is important to prepare beforehand so that we do not get caught making hasty unhealthy habits. Here we will delve into some healthy hydration and food ideas that you can start using today around your circus training.

An average circus class length is 1-2 hours, depending on the class. The following tips are all based around that time frame, as the rules change for those training over 2.5 hours. When thinking about hydration it is important that intake is balanced throughout the day, versus drinking a large amount in one sitting, especially right before class. Research shows us that hyperhydration (too much water) can be just as negative on our bodies as dehyrdation (not enough water).

Here are a few general concepts for drinking water both before and after class:

  • Drink water throughout the day. Trying to hydrate all at once right before class can be as bad as being dehydrated
  • Drink a light amount of fluids during exercise (about 100-200ml per 20 mins)
  • Increase water intake for 1.5 – 2 hours after your work out

When it comes to food, we want to pay attention not only to what we are ingesting, but also when we are ingesting it. The food we choose to eat is what is going to be broken down in order to fuel us for training and promote recovery afterwards. Food can be broken into three parts: Carbohydrate, Fat, and Protein. Each of these plays a vital role in our health and performance. We often give carbs and fat a bad reputation, but they are actually very useful. Carbohydates help to create instant fuel for our bodies and good fats such as Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for our cell membranes and can help decrease inflammation in the body. What we want to limit or avoid are simple refined sugars (such as soda) and high levels of saturated fats (specifically trans fats found in foods such as French fries and that greasy burger). Good sources of complex carbohydrates can be found in fruit, veggies and grains. Good (unsaturated) fat can be found in foods like nuts and fresh coldwater fish. Protein is the third component mentioned above and is fundamental in building and repairing muscle tissue. While the commonly known high protein foods are meats, there are also many plant based proteins, such as beans, legumes, and nuts to round out a balanced diet.

Here are a few general concepts on eating before and after class:

  • 30g of carbs within 30 mins of class
  • 5-10 g protein 30 mins before class
  • Small amount of fat before workout to promote satiety
  • 30g of protein within 30 mins after class (this is more for muscle repair versus mass gain)
  • 60-90g of carbs post workout (2:1 or 3:1 ratio with protein)

Considering these general concepts, we can look at a few food combinations to create healthy and easy to prepare snacks before and after class. There are countless combinations but a few simple examples of pre-work snacks could be:

  • An apple and a spoonful of almond butter
  • Banana and a ¼ cup of mixed nuts
  • 1 cup of yogurt, granola and fresh berries

When we look at post workout ideas, we can think more of a full meal than a light snack. It may not take a great deal of food to get through a 60 min training session, but we want more food for recovery.

Examples of some food combinations for balanced recovery could be:

  • 3-6 ounces of fresh salmon, 1 cup broccoli, ½ cup brown rice
  • 1 cup kale, 1 cup spinach, 3-4 ounces of chicken, olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
  • ½ block of tofu, ½ cup quinoa, ½ cup black beans

The above listed tips are very general but can provide a start to a strong nutritional foundation to build on. Everyone’s nutritional needs can vary based on goals, training time, and level of fitness/health.

Nutritional supplements are another great option for reaching athletic and nutrition goals but should be used as a supplement to a healthy diet. Starting to pay attention to the foods we eat can drastically improve our level of performance, recovery, and overall well being.

SANCA’s Social Circus program receives a $5,000 grant!

The Lucky Seven Foundation has awarded SANCA a $5,000 grant for the Social Circus Program.

SANCA Social Circus uses circus arts as means of positive intervention for Seattle’s most vulnerable communities, and is dedicated to deepening and expanding safe space for youth. The Social Circus curriculum combines circus arts with educational social intervention to help young people, using an arts-based curriculum that emphasizes 21st century skills: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. The program works with Seattle’s most vulnerable populations, including youth who are homeless, refugees or immigrants, or have disabilities. We help young people develop confidence, realize their strengths, and discover hidden talents, and work with them to enhance their quality of life, boost their self-esteem, and encourage their participation and active involvement.

The Social Circus program partners with 30 schools and youth organizations, giving $46,000 in free circus classes to at-risk youth annually. Partners include Powerful Schools; South Park, Delridge, and Garfield community centers; Refugee Women’s Alliance; the Broadview Shelter; and Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.

Thank you Lucky Seven Foundation!

SANCA Welcomes Our New Experiential Programs Director Nathan Drackett!

We thought that we’d get a closer look at Nathan Drackett. He moved to Seattle and joined SANCA as a coach last summer, and recently became the Experiential Programs Director. We thought we’d ask a bit about his mysterious Chicago background.

SANCA: How’d you end up at SANCA?

Nate coaching at The Actors Gymnasium

Nate: I started training circus in college at The Actors Gymnasium, a smaller non-profit circus school with a mission very similar to SANCA’s. I taught and trained there as a coach for over 10 years and learned the inner workings of a circus school.
My wife Lauran and I wanted to move somewhere cleaner and prettier than Chicago to raise a family, so after a tour of the SANCA facilities led by Nickolai we were hooked.

SANCA: Why SANCA though?

Nate: Well, frankly SANCA’s size was the first thing that struck me on that tour with Nickolai. The sheer number of students and performers that walk through SANCA’s door every day is quite heartening. Then I learned that it was SANCA’s mission to make the joy of circus available to all ages and backgrounds, and I knew that this was kind of place where you could really make a difference in the world.

SANCA: How do you think you’ll make a difference?

Nate: As of this year I came aboard as SANCA’s Experiential Programs Director. I get to direct some of SANCA’s most exciting programs: Flying Trapeze, Camps, School Groups, Corporate Events, Parties, and Workshops. A lot of the students that come to SANCA for one of those programs have never been to SANCA before, or even experienced circus first-hand at all. First experiences can really be transformative, especially when you get to learn to do the seemingly impossible. I bet if you ask anyone at SANCA to tell you a story of their first circus experience, many would include phrases like “I never thought I could…”, “I was really good at _____ for some reason”, or “I LOVED IT”. These are words of empowerment, of self-discovery, and strength. If I can help bring these three to just one person a day, I’d call that making a difference.

SANCA: What do you like to do when you’re not “under the tent”?

Nate: I actually can’t get enough of games. Board games, video games, you name it. I also love anything outdoors: hiking, biking, running.  An ideal day for me is a hike in the mountains with my wife and my dog Balto. He’s the 7-month year old husky-mix currently in contention as the cutest dog at SANCA.

SANCA: Well we’ll have to hold back on judgment on that one for the time being…

Nate: That’s very generous of you.


And if you haven’t seen Nate yet, you can catch him in the King 5 Evening show’s Friday Field Trip. Nate not only helped the Evening Team work on their trampoline skills, he taught them the fanciest flourish for a finale.

Look at my pants!

 

SANCA Women’s Circus: Changing, Healing, and Growing Together

by Amber Parker   new-amber-headshot

 

Two and a half years ago, I was a recreational student at SANCA, studying aerial fundamentals and growing exponentially as a person through circus arts. I found things at SANCA I never thought I’d find: community, joy, healing, and a question that I couldn’t stop asking myself: Can circus be used as mental health therapy?

I shared this question with Jo Montgomery, SANCA’s founder, and she said, “I’ve always thought circus could be a great mental health treatment, but that’s not my area of expertise. I’m really excited you’re thinking about this.” Then she handed me a copy of Women’s Circus: Leaping Off The Edge, a book about a women’s circus troupe in 1990’s Australia that used circus arts education as a way to confront childhood trauma and heal as a community. After reading this book, I had an answer to my question: Yes, circus arts can absolutely be adapted and expanded to become a multidisciplinary creative arts therapy.

Today, I am a coach at SANCA in the Every Body’s Circus program and attend Antioch University where I am earning a dual Master’s Degree in Couples and Family Therapy and Drama Therapy. I work primarily with adult women, often plus size women, who want to use circus arts as a way to re-connect with their bodies and support their mental health. By studying and coaching congruently I am in a unique position to learn counseling and psychology theory and apply it in my coaching practice, which deepens my understanding and work at SANCA. However, it’s my students, and not theory, that teaches me most about what it means to heal. After two quarters of working to create SANCA’s very own Women’s Circus, I’d like to share with you the lessons my students have taught me so far.

Body work is emotional work

Every time we sweat, get out of breath, stretch, bend, or otherwise become embodied, we remember the stories of our body. For survivors of trauma, these body memories can trigger trauma related responses, such as panic, irritability, anger, or feelings of insecurity. In the 2014 novel, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma,  Bessel A. van der Kolk, says,

“Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.” (p.97)”

When your experiences with struggle and pain are connected to past or current experiences of abuse, addiction, or mental health issues, and not healthy things like physical activity, we avoid pain and struggle at all costs. Thus, we learn to avoid the struggle and pain of exercise, too. However, struggle is an unavoidable truth of life, as is physical and emotional pain. Circus teaches us about healthy struggle, we experience pain that is normal and non-abusive. When my students become angry, frustrated, or triggered, we stop. We talk about what’s happening with them on an emotional level. Sometimes, we cry. It’s part of the journey.

Coach Amber works with her student Shannon on the trapeze.

A big part of the work we do in Women’s Circus centers around the idea that the way you do one thing is the way you do everything, thus, the way we approach circus is emblematic of the way we approach life. For instance, when a student is struggling with confidence in her ability to learn circus skills, we will take time to discuss how that struggle shows up in other parts of her life. One of my first students, Shannon Callahan, has used the trapeze not only to get in touch with her physical self, but her emotional self, too.

Shannon says, “The emotional piece really comes in when we talk about how the trapeze represents life. I keep going back to that. When I go through something emotionally difficult, I now ask myself, ‘How is this problem like the trapeze?’ And I always find a connection. So, now, I ask myself- how would I deal with this if I were on the trapeze? How do I overcome it? How do I work with it, accept it, embrace it? How do I evolve?”

With every lesson my students teach me more and more about the emotional messages that live in our body and how they come through when we move. I’ve found that by making space for emotional processing during lessons, we can unpack those messages in a supportive, non-shaming environment. Instead of living in fear of ourselves, circus teaches us mastery over struggle and lets us reclaim our bodies and hearts from trauma.

Adults Need Play, Too

It turns out the play is just as important for adults as it is for children. Play is a vital component to the process of learning and growing, and since we never stop learning and growing, adults need it, too. In an NPR piece about the importance of play, Dr. Stuart Brown of the National Institute of Health states, “Play is something done for its own sake…it’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome.”

Mary tries out a trick on the lyra.

Indeed, this reflects what one of my students, Mary Dempsey, said to me when I asked her why circus is healing: “I get to play here. I’m not just surviving.”

When I play with my students, I see them transform. The laugh, they yell, they delight in their bodies. A student who comes in heavy with sadness leaves bright, exhilarated, and beaming. When I watch my students play I see them write a new story about themselves — that they are resilient, they are strong, than can change. My student, Cassidy Sweezey, is a great example of how playing at SANCA brings her relief, happiness, and connection to her body.

Cassidy says, “Today I wasn’t very motivated to do anything athletic or fun at all, but just coming here and being in this environment, messing around and playing, all of a sudden we’re moving and learning skills and having fun. It’s contagious. Just being around everyone here is inspiring; no matter what they’re doing. I’ve never experienced any stress or discomfort here, so my body just goes into a state of feeling safe and comfortable. I felt awful when I got here, I felt really depressed and bummed out, but now I feel really good.”

Visibility is Revolutionary

Amber and Cassidy after a great circus class.

We live in a society that tells women they are not enough. Not thin enough, successful enough, valuable enough. When these messages are reaffirmed through traumatic experiences, we believe them to be true. If our culture, family, or intimate partners have told us these stories about ourselves throughout life, we literally do not have any other script about who we are. The way I see these messages come in students is most often through poor body image or shame about their size. I remember what it was like to be the token fat girl in my first circus class, how othering that was. I was lucky, though, to have other fat women in my life who showed me there’s not just one way to have a body. Similarly, through circus arts my students confront what it means to be in a body society tells us is unhealthy and shameful.

My student Shannon says, “Because of my size, I try to hide. I try to become smaller. But, when I leave circus, I hold my head higher. I take up space, I feel bigger. I deserve that.”

With every catchers hang, straddle back, or elbow bridge, they destroy the notion that fat equals unhealthy. Whether they know it or not, when my students dare to be fat, active, and visible, they not only give other women permission to do the same, they challenge a pervasive, destructive cultural narrative about size.

Recently, a child in nearby class watched a student of mine on the trapeze and said to his coach, “But…big people can’t do trapeze,” to which she replied, “Yes, they can. Watch them.”

Welcome SANCA’s New Executive Director – Kristina Wicke

I am pleased to announce that Kristina Wicke has accepted an offer from the SANCA Board of Directors to become Executive Director. She will begin full-time on October 31st, and is already meeting with SANCA program managers and lead staff.

kristinawicke-cornicello-2309-sq-smKristina has a long history of excellent and dedicated service to SANCA. She served on the board for ten years of SANCA’s twelve-year history. Twice, Kristina has answered the call to serve as President of the Board, most recently during the past year. Kristina also has an excellent presence in the local and national arts community. In the past 20 years, she has served as company manager of the 5th Avenue Theater, general manager of ACT: A Contemporary Theatre, associate general manager of A Christmas Story: The Musical during its move to Broadway, and tour manager for The Flying Karamozov Brothers. Kristina brings a wealth of business acumen to the position of Executive Director, having served for three years as the store manager of the thriving local business Title 9 Sports at Greenlake — the company’s most successful location.

Kristina is thrilled to bring her passion for circus to this next stage of SANCA’s growth. She says, “I am honored that the Board of Directors has placed their confidence and faith in me to lead SANCA into its next chapter. SANCA is an amazing organization doing singular work in the community, and I’m excited to begin the journey. I am looking forward to the challenges and the fun!”

SANCA has experienced incredible growth and success in its relatively short life. Kristina is the Board of Directors’ unanimous choice to lead the organization’s continued success. The Board has the fullest confidence that Kristina will continue to be an excellent steward of SANCA’s mission to improve the mental, emotional, and physical health of children of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities by engaging them in the joyous creativity of acrobatics and circus arts. We are confident that in Kristina Wicke we have found the right leader to help us all write the next chapter of our important work. Please join us in extending her a warm welcome in her new role at SANCA.

SANCA’s Board of Directors and staff would like to extend our utmost gratitude to Carl Bystrom for his service as Interim Executive Director. We are grateful for his contributions in managing SANCA through a time of transition. Carl’s dedication to the staff, students, and the greater community of SANCA are deeply appreciated, and SANCA continues to be a thriving organization because of Carl’s leadership this past year.

Sincerely,
Gaye McNutt
SANCA Board President

When $13.21 makes all the difference

“The kids had such a sense of pride and accomplishment after they went on the flying trapeze. While a sense of accomplishment is important for every child, it is especially important for kids in our program who have been severely traumatized. We cannot thank you enough!” —Kayla Blau, Broadview Shelter & Transitional Housing Program

Ready to take that leap!

Ready to take that leap!

A contribution of just $13.21 is all it will take to make a huge difference for our Flying Trapeze Program!

SANCA’s Flying Trapeze Program is a crucial part of our work with underserved youth like those who visit us from the Broadview Shelter, Street Youth Ministries, Refugee Women’s Alliance, and so many more.

For many of these kids, flying trapeze is their first experience of building their own confidence and self-esteem in a safe and supportive environment where they can also have fun and take a break from their daily struggles.

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Rene, a blind student, learns to fly.

Classes for these youth are ALWAYS FREE. A guiding principal of SANCA’s mission and vision is that no child will be turned away due to lack of funds. We never want to say no to a kid who wants to experience flying trapeze and the boost in confidence it brings.

At the same time, the flying trapeze program is SANCA’s most expensive program. It requires more highly specialized equipment, and the largest coach-to-student ratio out of any program we run.

Helping to fund the equipment we need for flying trapeze is a huge part of what keeps our program running for these kids.

A ventilation fan for the tent will keep our students cooler and drier when flying, and will preserve and maintain expensive equipment by preventing damage due to moisture and mold.

We need to raise $10,703 by August 31st to purchase the fan. Will you help us?

Just $13.21 from you, and each of our other currently enrolled students and families, will meet this goal! Please make a contribution to the Fund our Fan campaign today!

Carl Bystrom headshot smThank you,
Carl Bystrom
Interim Executive Director

Fund Our FAN! – A campaign to install a ventilation fan in the Flying Trapeze Tent

We just launched our Fund Our FAN campaign to install a ventilation fan in our Flying Trapeze Tent – and I want to send out a huge thank you to our first six donors who took the swing on the first day!

Thank you Velibor Peric, Autumn Sakai, Lori Adams, Kevin Nelson & Raina Domek, Nikki Watters, and David Greenspoon!!

Flying trapeze is a huge part of the circus experience – it’s an amazing confidence builder, an exciting and fun way to overcome fears, and a wonderful way to build team spirit and camaraderie in a non-competitive environment.

Every year at the SANCA School of Flight we:

  • Bring underserved and at-risk youth from communities and organizations like the Broadview Emergency Shelter, Refugee Women’s Alliance, Powerful Schools, and others to experience flying trapeze. In learning to fly, these youth have positive and meaningful experiences with peers and mentors that can be life changing.
  • Give hundreds of summer camp youth a flying experience they will never forget.
    Run classes for more than 3,000 flyers.
  • Hold spring and fall shows with four teams of performing flyers ranging from ages 5 to adult.

We need to ventilate the tent. It is:

  • Too hot in the summer
  • Too damp in the winter
  • Equipment gets damp and moldy and needs extra maintenance
  • Flyers must use a lot of extra chalk to stay dry and safe

A ventilation fan provides:

  • Airflow and cooling on hot summer days
  • Reduces condensation and moisture in the winter
  • Keeps equipment dryer and in better repair
  • Makes the environment safer, cooler, and more comfortable for our flyers
  • A huge savings in ongoing equipment maintenance time and costs

This equipment installation will cost SANCA $13,843 – but your contribution today will help defray those costs and invest in the future of flight for all our students.

By supporting the installation of a ventilation fan, you’re helping SANCA to continue to share the joy of flight with thousands of children, youth, and adults in the years to come.

We can’t do it without you! Please join our campaign today.

Carl Bystrom headshot smThank you!
Carl Bystrom
Interim Executive Director

Blue Angels are back again!

The Boeing Seafair Airshow featuring the Blue Angels is August 5th-7th.

Blue-AngelsThe Blue Angels are expected to arrive between Sunday July 31st int he late afternoon and Monday morning August 1st. Please be prepared for the noise, be patient during times when you cannot hear your coach or classmates, and if the noise is distressing please let someone know if you need a moment in a more quiet room.

The US Navy Blue Angels will be practicing on Thursday August 4th from 9:45 a.m. – noon and 1:15 – 2:40 p.m. They will perform August 5th-7th from 1:15 – 2:30 p.m. Seafair takes place at Genesee Park, but the Blue angels take off and land at Boeing field (just south of SANCA). The take-offs and landings can be incredibly noisy.

And they’re off!

-by Amber Parker

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Nick & Wendy in New York City performing with Cirque Mechanics Pedal Punk

It’s nearly summer and there’s lots of changes around SANCA! Our P3 students are graduating, students of all ages are enrolling for new classes and summer camps, and some members of our community are leaving for the season to go on amazing adventures. Among those going on summer adventures are Cirrus Circus members Lyla, Lea, Anna, and Cheya, as well as coaches Nick and Wendy Harden. They are all heading to Circus Smirkus Camp, a youth circus program, for three months of training, performing, and immersion into traditional traveling circus life.

Circus Smirkus is in “the middle of nowhere,” as Nick Harden said when I sat down with him and his wife and co-performer, Wendy Harden, to talk about this incredible journey. Located on a 35 acre pasture in rural Vermont, Circus Smirkus camp is truly an experience of the old circus life. Replete with large, European style Big Top tents, Smirkus accepts approximately 30 students between the ages of 11 and 18 each year to enhance their skills in acrobatics, juggling, aerials, and performance for one month before beginning a 2-month tour all over the northeast.

Nick, who has participated in Smirkus camp in previous years, will be a main acrobatics coach for this year’s campers, and Wendy will be staying in the dorms with campers as their den matron. When asked what they were looking forward to most, Nick reported that, in addition to how rewarding it is to work with youth, having an opportunity to be immersed in circus culture (free from cell phone reception!) and carry on the tradition of the traveling circus is something he loves most about this work. And it is a lot of work! Nick says of their training, “We spend a month in rehearsal putting together the show, and then tour the show around the northeast for about two months. The kids are the show, there’s only one adult in the show. We spend three days in one spot, and then move on to the next town. We go to 10-15 different places and perform between 2-5 shows in each location, but no more than 2 shows a day. It’s a full circus, they have set up duties in addition to their performances. All together we call it 60 shows. In rehearsal we say, ‘remember, you gotta do this for 60 shows.’ ”

smirkus-tent2-1sm-with-logoThis is Wendy’s first year with Circus Smirkus Camp, and she’s excited to be with the campers during such a rich, transformative time in their lives. She says, “Something I’m looking forward to is the bond with all of the campers, or the troupers as they call them. Spending an entire summer with these 30 kids who are away from their parents for maybe for the first time, who are going into high school for the first time, having their first crush or have their first bout of insecurity… that’s a really rich time for these kids going in and out of adolescence and I’m excited to be around that, to bond with them and help them deal with those challenges.”

The campers, or troupers, at Circus Smirkus Camp are indeed entering into a rich time in their lives, a time that will only be enhanced by the supportive, creative, and talented team leading them on their circus tour. We’d like to wish the very best to Nick, Wendy, and the group of Cirrus Circus youth performers as they work hard, learn new lessons, and carry on the grand tradition of the traveling circus!