Coach Sam Joins Le Rêve!

SANCA’s hand balancing and acrobatics coach, Sam Lewis, recently got a part with Le Rêve – “The Dream” at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas! Set on an aquatic stage, Le Rêve is a show about uncovering the subconscious, featuring aerial-acrobatics, water ballet, synchronized swimming, and comedy. Founded by the co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, Le Rêve has won “Best Show in Vegas” several years in a row. You may have seen Sam training in the South Annex working on his hand-balancing and chair-balancing routine, or even taken a class with him!

Originally from Spokane, Washington, Sam is a professional acrobat with more than five years of professional performance experience in both hand balancing and hand-to-hand acrobatics. He has trained under artists in Cirque du Soleil and world champion sports acrobats. He also has experience coaching hand balancing classes and teaching private lessons and workshops all around America. Sam has been coaching at SANCA for about a year.

In 2014, when a hand-to hand move went wrong, Sam snapped his bicep and required surgery. As fate would have it; his first day with Le Rêve will be the fourth anniversary of his surgery. As he prepares to pack up and head on to the next adventure, say hi if you see him training!

We know we’ll see him down the road.

Congrats Sam!

Lyla Goldman Goes to Circus School – in Finland!

SANCA gives a heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS! to Lyla Goldman, who has been accepted to Salpauksen Sirkusartistikoulutus — The Salpaus Circus Center in Lahti, Finland, and hopes to major in unicycle and aerial fabric.

Photo: Amira Silverman

Lyla was one of SANCA’s earliest students and members of Cirrus Circus (originally known as the SANCA Youth Performance Company). She practically grew up at SANCA over the past ten or so years, riding around the gym on her unicycle, often in the company of the Zuckerman twins – Anna & Leah — with whom she formed a unicycle trio act – Tricycle – that was a mainstay showstopper in Cirrus Circus shows over the years. Lyla also took to aerial arts early on, and has performed solo and group fabric, trapeze, and lyra aerial acts. She has performed at Cirrus shows throughout the Seattle area including at Moisture Festival, Seattle Center’s Winterfest, Teatro ZinZanni, and of course, at SANCA.

With Cirrus Circus Lyla has traveled and performed in Europe at the London International Youth Circus Festival in England, at NoFit State in Cardiff, Wales, and at Island Circus in Sylt, Germany. She has also twice toured with Cirkus Smirkus  along the East Coast and worked at the Smirkus summer camp.

Photo: Amira Silverman

Salpauksen Sirkusartistikoulutus – The Salpaus Circus Center is a vocational school in Lahti, and offers the only vocational circus degree in Finland. The school helps their students to become unique, creative, versatile, and technically highly skilled artists with a professional attitude. A healthy ratio of humbleness, respect, and self-esteem are valued highly in the educational environment, and the school feels one of the sources of success in the daily work is the powerful dynamic of group collaboration in aiming toward mutual goals. Salpaus Circus Center enables the training of almost all circus disciplines, and provides the opportunity to create shows and perform in a professional environment. One of the main annual events is a unique student-produced Kukko Festival.

Congratulations Lyla! We wish you all the best in your future circus career!

Coming Soon – New Tumbl-Trak!

Tumbling students at SANCA can look forward to an exciting new extended Tumbl-Trak with a new spring bed, coming just in time for our Fall Session classes! Students can also look forward to new aerial fabrics and updated rigging blocks for our aerial equipment.

A big thank you to 4Culture – the cultural funding agency for King County for providing a $4,000 equipment grant. Thank you 4Culture!

Proposition 1 — Providing Arts & Culture Access for All in King County

by Madeline Anderson
SANCA Development Assistant

 

Social Circus Director Ian Jagel works with a group of teens from Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

Voter ballots were mailed today for the August King County Election! We are really excited about the prospects of the upcoming election here at SANCA because Proposition 1 on the ballot could provide up to $65 million annually in funding for the arts county-wide, and represents a significant boost in funding for SANCA’s circus arts programs.

This August, King County voters will have the opportunity to increase public access for arts and cultural organizations, like ours. Proposition 1 proposes a 0.1% increase in our current sales tax to fund a grant pool to be distributed to arts and culture organizations in King County. Funds would be directed toward programs that increase access to geographically or economically disadvantaged youth. The program is estimated to cost the average family only $30/year, and will dramatically increase the availability of equitable cultural and arts programming in King County. We believe this is a cause everyone in our community can rally behind.

All organizations that receive grant funds will be held accountable in their pursuit of providing equitable and accessible programs. Granted organizations are responsible for maintaining accurate documentation measuring program benchmarks, visitors served, and community impact. Funds will be distributed through 4Culture, a trusted, well-grounded arts and culture funding organization which has been granting funds and providing contract oversight for more than 40 years.

What this means for SANCA

A child from Helper Hands learns to balance while taking an Every Body’s Circus camp.

At SANCA, we have always believed that every child deserves the right to access arts education. Arts and culture programming focused on access and equity bring an important value to the community. We know, for example, that if youth currently experiencing homelessness have the opportunity to express themselves through art and build community, the impact can be life changing. If passed, Proposition 1 may provide a huge opportunity to increase our Social Circus outreach programs, giving even more youth the opportunity to experience the joy of circus, reduce isolation, build community, and develop healthy life habits.

The proposition includes the stipulation that 20% of granted funds go toward “Public School Access.” What this means is that granted organizations must partner with local schools to ensure equitable access to programs. This is something near and dear to our mission at SANCA, where we have already partnered with more than 30 local schools and community centers in our Social Circus programs. An increase in funding directed to these programs would expand our reach and allow us to work with even more youth.

Stable funding for our Social Circus and Every Body’s Circus programs will also give us the opportunity to do things like offer paid internships for older youth, give staff the opportunity to participate in race and equity training, and provide specialized training for working with students with disabilities. Proposition 1 funding would even help pay for bus fare so that transportation isn’t a barrier to accessing cultural and arts institutions like SANCA. These improvements would help us better serve our community and expand access to programs, all good things!

What you can do
Talk to your friends about what being a part of the SANCA community (or any other community arts organization) has meant for you and your family. Share your experiences and talk to your friends about the impact of expanding access for our community.

If you have a SANCA story you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email us at development@sancaseattle.org. And most importantly, don’t forget to vote in the August election!

For more information about Proposition 1, check out their website at www.culturalaccesswa.org. If you are interested in volunteering, visit https://accessforallwa.org/get-involved/volunteer.

New Grants for Equipment and Support!

SANCA received two grants in June to fund the purchase of a Genie Lift Aerial Work Platform, which will be used to service and maintain all of our aerial rigging, lights, fans, and heaters. We would like to thank The Norcliffe Foundation for a $5,000 grant, and the Norman Archibald Charitable Foundation for a $3,500 grant for the purchase of a Genie Lift.

SANCA just received two grants for general support – a $5,000 grant from Growing Tree Foundation and a $500 grant from The Ruddell Kroll Charitable Fund. Thank you!

We are deeply grateful for the support of our grant partners.

New! The SANCA Student Handbook

All about SANCA! Do you have a question about taking classes at SANCA? What to wear? When to arrive? What are general classes and what are specialty classes? Who to talk to when you have more questions?

You can find all these answers and more in the new Student Handbook! SANCA is debuting a Student Handbook that is a comprehensive guide to SANCA’s Session classes, policies, and important information including overviews of all of SANCA’s programs. This is a resource for you to better access what SANCA has to offer. Download a PDF copy of the new SANCA 2017 Student Handbook

A Letter from the Executive Director

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:

  • Monday – Friday: 8:45 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday – Sunday: 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
Executive Director

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!