When You Know You’re Strong – Circus Strong!

Make your End-of-Year Gift for SANCA’s Youth Scholarship Fund today!

One of the most amazing things about circus is that it empowers Every Body.

Julaine in the middle! Performing a 3-high during “Acro-Biographies: Flipping the Page.” (2017) – photo by John Cornicello

Whether building confidence, overcoming fears, or becoming stronger in mind and body, it’s that moment of “I DID IT!” that circus provides which can transform a life.

Julaine Hall knows this better than most. You’ve probably seen Julaine on stage in a Cirrus Circus show – maybe as recently as this fall for “Acro-Biographies: Flipping the Page.” At 13 years old, she’s one of the stars of Cirrus Circus, and was invited to perform at Teatro ZinZanni’s fall 2016 family matinee shows. When she’s not on stage, then she’s working hard, practicing and rehearsing at SANCA at least five days a week on her Chinese Pole act and other circus skills.

Some of her other favorite apparatus include corde lisse, static trapeze, and aerial straps. If you know circus, then you know these all require a lot of strength! Julaine enjoys the challenges these circus apparatus give her and she says, “I may not have been born the most flexible, but I feel like my body is built for more strength based skills and acts.”

Being circus strong is a great foundation for fitness, for performance, and for life. As Julaine looks toward her future, she hopes to one day attend École de cirque de Québec – the circus training center in Quebec City and to launch a professional career in circus performance.

Julaine hangs out during “Acro-Biographies: Flipping the Page.” (2017) – photo by John Cornicello

“I think about circus all the time. It’s a lot of my life.”

Performing on Chinese Pole during “Up, with a Twist.” (2017) – photo by John Cornicello.

But that’s not all! Julaine is also thinking about what comes after performance, and she’s inspired by SANCA’s resident doctor of physical therapy, Emily Scherb – who was also a circus artist. Like Emily, Julaine wants to balance her performing career with the knowledge and skill to carry forward in the circus community as a caretaker and physical therapist. With a unique understanding of the challenges and demands that circus and performance place upon the body, she’ll be able to give back to the circus community even after she retires from performance.

Julaine’s success in circus and her ambitions for her future career might not have been possible without the support of SANCA’s Youth Scholarship Fund. Julaine was able to access the fund at a time when her family was dealing with expensive medical costs, and she didn’t have to give up on her passion for circus. Her commitment and achievements speak to how vital SANCA’s scholarship fund is to providing access to all youth in our community.

You can support our Youth Scholarship Fund by making a gift during our end-of-year campaign. No amount is too small, every contribution will make a difference for youth like Julaine who are discovering through circus that they are strong!

Meet Mose – A SANCA Student

Make your End-of-Year Gift today to change the life of a teen like Mose!

“When we first moved to Seattle, life was hard because it was a new place. At SANCA I felt included. Like I belonged.”

The first day in a new school can be really tough for almost any kid.

For youth who struggle with connections and social skills that others take for granted, moving to a new home and starting a new school where you don’t know anyone can be terrifying.That’s what it was like for Mose when he first moved to Seattle and started 5th grade at a new school. For Mose, everything seemed too loud and chaotic, and he retreated, covering his ears with headphones and pulling up his hoodie. He became more defensive and isolated.

Alex, Mose, and his mom, Valerie.

Alex, Mose, and his mom, Valerie.

At the same time though, Mose wanted to fit in and do things that other kids were doing like sports and summer camp activities. He really wanted to learn how to do flips, but he didn’t believe that he was physically capable of doing the things other kids were doing. So his mom, Valerie, started looking for options that would work for Mose.

And then his mom found out about SANCA.

Valerie spoke with Coach Alex about Mose’s challenges, and Alex had the perfect solution for acrobatic classes for Mose. Alex leads SANCA’s Every Body’s Circus (EBC) Program, which gives kids who have physical, emotional, or developmental disabilities the same opportunities to participate in fun, healthy, confidence-building circus activities that other kids do.

Mose started taking classes with Alex, and it wasn’t long before she discovered that Mose had a great imagination and that he really liked telling stories. Together they developed an epic story that let Mose and Alex play out parts of the story while they were doing circus activities and propelled their lessons from week to week.

Valerie and Alex noticed that Mose’s physical abilities improved, but more importantly, he stopped comparing his abilities unfavorably to others, and he became excited about the new things he was learning.

At the same time, Alex was working with several other boys whose challenges were similar to Mose’s. She discovered that they all shared a passion for the same video game and decided that forming a group class for the kids based on their shared interests would be a great way for them to build friendships and social connections while they learn circus skills.

“Being at SANCA is the best part of the week because it starts the weekend!” – Mose

Now, Mose takes a weekly group circus class and a class with Alex. In the group classes, in addition to learning circus, the kids get to:

  • Learn to work as a team, and take turns being the leader.
  • Learn to express their feelings, and learn how to say “no.”
  • Develop a sense of personal space.

Mose is learning to trust people, and now he has a safe place to reflect and talk through things that are happening in his life.

Circus can change lives — and you can help be part of that change too! Alex’s EBC program is in such high demand that more than 10 kids are on a waitlist, and some may have to wait as long as a year before they can take EBC classes at SANCA.

The only way we can help these kids is by hiring and training more coaches to work with them. With a larger team of trained coaches SANCA will be able to provide more group classes, summer camps, and one-to-one lessons for youth who need extra support. Often this includes joining regular circus session classes with peers in their age group, with just an extra coach on hand to help out when needed.

Make your gift to SANCA today to guarantee life-changing opportunities for kids like Mose.
$41.89 — covers the cost of two 1-hour circus classes.
$253 — underwrites a 12-week session of circus classes.
$1,005 — gives a student circus classes for an entire year!

We cannot do this work without your help.

With deepest gratitude,

Kristina Wicke
Executive Director

P.S. Send your gift of $41.89 or more before December 31st to cover the cost of two 1-hour circus classes for kids like Mose. If your employer matches, you can double the power of your gift! You can also give online or set up a monthly giving plan.  

2017 Community Update & Letter from the Executive Director

 

READ OR DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE SANCA 2017 COMMUNITY UPDATE


As I sit here sipping my coffee, watching the sun come up, listening to what seems like the beginning of the endless rain of the Seattle winter, I look back over this past year at SANCA and I’m endlessly grateful.

Grateful for our staff — who show up each and every day to enrich the lives of our students and make every day a little more fun. With more than 1,000 students and families coming through SANCA’s doors every week, it’s a busy circus! It’s a joy to see all the activity in SANCA, from tots learning to tumble, to adults learning new ways to work with their bodies, to our staff and visiting professionals who continue to amaze and inspire all of us toward ever more challenging feats of circus.

  • Youth Scholarships: I’m very pleased to share that SANCA has continued its commitment to make circus possible for any child through our need-based scholarship fund. This year we gave $221,645 in scholarships to 847 youth to take circus classes or participate in Social Circus and Every Body’s Circus.

Grateful for our partners — who help us bring circus to more kids in schools and community centers throughout Seattle. We’ve continued our work with wonderful partners like Broadview Emergency Shelter & Transitional Housing; Powerful Schools; Refugee Women’s Alliance; Rainier Boys & Girls Club; Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative; and the South Park, Delridge, and Garfield community centers.

  • Circus works! Over the past year, SANCA partnered with the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) to participate in a Socio-Emotional Learning Study conducted by AYCO and the Weikart Center that unequivocally demonstrated that circus arts improve the socio-emotional health of youth. Compared with national data of youth development programs, social circus has proven to be among the top-ranking, exemplary programs.

Grateful for YOU, our supporters — who have faith in us and the work we do to bring circus to the world — which is exactly what we did this year! I’d like to share with you some of this year’s highlights and the impact you have made with your support – read or download SANCA’s 2017 Community Update.

I am grateful. Each and every day.

Kristina Wicke
Executive Director

The Acrobatic Conundrum return to Seattle with TWO new shows!

The Acrobatic Conundrum, the contemporary circus group founded by Terry Crane, have spent the last three months touring the western United States with their show, Love and Gravity. Now they have returned to Seattle presenting two new shows: a cabaret, “Volume 5,” and an evening-length performance, “The Fig Tree Waltzes.”

The Acrobatic Conundrum have been artists-in-residence at SANCA briefly this fall, in preparation for their shows at 12th Ave Arts, and we caught up with Terry after one of his training sessions at SANCA to ask him a few questions.

SANCA – “A circus artist trains and works so hard in bringing their art to the stage. Powering up with healthy food must be very important. What is the best snack to pair with your apparatus of choice?”

Terry: ” I just started learning multi-cord. Definitely pairs well with spaghetti. I guess that makes me the meatball.”

SANCA – “What do you take with you on the road to help you feel like you aren’t a homeless vagabond?”

Terry: “Not a homeless vagabond… what an idea. I take a posse of 5 other circus artists so I feel like a wandering saltimbanco. I also take an e-reader everywhere so my whole library can follow me. ”

SANCA– “Finish this sentence: At the end of a best day in circus I feel…”

Terry: “…like an underground rockstar. Top of the charts, but living out of my mom’s garage. I’m not really… I swear. Circus makes me feel like a happy human; strong, agile and with a subtle swagger.”

You can see The Acrobatic Conundrum perform in December, but don’t hesitate or they’ll be off again on a new adventure! Tickets for their shows can be found here.

 

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