SANCA’s Summer Circus Festival opens August 15th

SANCA’s Summer Circus Festival opens August 15th

by Maia LeDoux last modified Sep 04, 2014 10:44 PM

History

Join us for our first Summer Circus Festival, August 15-24, 2014, including the SANCA Staff Show, “Everyday Miracles” and SANCA Goes Late Nite Variety Shows, curated and directed by David Crellin aka Armitage Shanks.

SANCA’s staff show, “Everyday Miracles”, transforms everyday actions through the beauty of circus, elevating the mundane into the marvelous. Circus artists are superheroes performing these little miracles every day, affecting other people, spreading mystery and joy.

Audiences will be treated to the beauty and athleticism of contemporary circus arts. Festival performers include: Tanya Brno, Kari Hunter, Acrobatic Conundrum, Adrienne Jack-Sands, Oliver Parkinson, Armitage Shanks, IMPulse Circus Collective , Sara Sparrow, Vivian Tam, Jill Marissa, Scotty Walsh, Lara Paxton, Mick Holsbeke and many more talented artists.

STAFF SHOW Everyday Miracles
August 15th – 17th with Acrobatic Conundrum
Friday 8pm, Sat. 8pm, Sat.y 10:30pm, Sun. 6pm
Tickets: www.Brownpapertickets.com/event/772395

August 22st – 24th with IMPulse Circus Collective
Friday 8pm, Sat. 8pm, Sat.y 10:30pm, Sun. 6pm
Tickets: www.Brownpapertickets.com/event/772395
WHERE: SANCA 674 South Orcas St. Seattle, WA 98108

SANCA goes Late Nite, an evening of raucous thrills with live music & special guests, including: Vivian Tam, Adra Boo, Duo Finelli, Marta Brown, Esther deMonteflores-Webner/Laura Burch, Bridget Gunning, Tanya Brno, Professor Scotty Walsh, Jenny Penny, Caela Bailey, Nash Fung, Florial, with music by Bucharest Drinking Team on August 15th and by Chaotic Noise Brigade on August 22nd.

WHEN: Friday 10:30pm, August 15th & August 22nd
WHERE: SANCA, 674 South Orcas St., Seattle, WA 98108
TICKETS & MORE INFO
www.Brownpapertickets.com/event/772405
1-800-838-3006

SANCA Summer Circus Festival is August 15th – 24th, 2014.

www.sancaseattle.org/about/sanca-is-ten

https://www.facebook.com/events/1441844909415093/

SPONSORS These shows are supported by grants from 4Culture and the Office of Arts & Culture | Seattle.

Beyond Intro to Aerials

If you’ve been to SANCA you’ve probably seen people climbing the rope and working on the trapeze. Looks easy when other people do it, don’t you think?

I’m going to tell you a secret and introduce you to some amazing women. The secret is that aerial work is hard. Almost everything hurts at first, and all the skills take practice and conditioning—especially if you get started as an adult without a background in gymnastics or rock climbing. Does that mean you can’t do it? Or that you shouldn’t do it? Dare you try? Of course you should! It’s fun, challenging and exciting. You can take your strength, flexibility and courage to new heights.

I want to you to meet the women of the daytime aerial class “Beyond Intro to Aerial”. These fit babes have all been in the aerial program for at least a year, and most of them have been working on the foundation skills of the Intro program for almost two. Not one of them could do a pull-up or straddle in the air when they got started.

“My brain would say pull-up. And I wouldn’t even move.” ~ Erin H.

Now Erin’s rocking pull-ups. On the first day of aerial class everyone learns the basics of how to climb. Does that mean we all climb to the top the first day? Nope. We learn the basic leg wrap to hold our bodies in the air and then we begin.

“You have to be excited about the little things. The first week I could do two climbs. The next week it was four!” ~Rachel D.

Now Rachel is doing two climbs all the way to the top of the rope as a warm-up activity. When she first started the class, Erin G. couldn’t hold her feet off the ground. At SANCAthon 2012, she climbed the rope 10 times in an hour to help raise money for our scholarship program, no sweat—and she could have kept going. Jenn says, ” I couldn’t do a straddle on the ground rolling back to touch my toes on the mat.” Now she’s doing straddles in the air.  Serenity joined the class in 2011. The biggest adjustment for her was getting used to hanging upside down. She loves the company of the other ladies and brags about all the awesome chicks from aerials. There is a lot of camaraderie in the group as everyone cheers each other along and enjoys each other’s successes.

“The turtle wins the race!” ~Lauren M

Aerials helped Lauren quit smoking and start a general lifestyle overhaul that includes running and multiple days of aerial training each week. She also got the surprise side benefit of added flexibility and is doing splits for the first time in her life.

Congratulations ladies!
Thanks for reminding us all that it’s never too soon or late to get started. There is always more to learn and you can always get stronger.

Beauty Blog: Hands

Want paws of steel that don’t crack or peel? This SANCA Beauty Blog will take you in for an extreme close-up on the digits of some of your favorite Aerialists.

Do you or someone you love adore aerials?! If so, you’ve probably noticed thick calluses and dryer skin. Want paws of steel that don’t crack or peel? This SANCA Beauty Blog will take you in for an extreme close-up on the digits of some of your favorite Aerialists.

Consider yourself among the privileged few that will get a peek at the proverbial ballerina’s feet. 

All that chalk keeps your hands dry when you work on the bars—but it also makes your hands dry in general. You don’t want them to be slippery on equipment, but you also don’t want hands like work gloves with calluses that crack or peel. What is a budding aerialist to do? Here is some advice from aerialists around SANCA.

Aerials coach and veteran aerial performer “Sally Pepper” (AKA Kari J. Hunter) prescribes, “Wash, lotion and use coconut oil. Before you train, wash your hands well and then wipe with rubbing alcohol on a clean towel. This will ensure that your hands are very clean and oil-free. Moisturize anytime your hands feel dry.”

Globe-trotting trapezist and SANCA coach alum Rachel Nehmer, the flyer of Duo Madrona fame, says, “Supple calluses are the key to long term hand health”, and uses moisturizer before bed. As the flyer in a duo she rarely touches the bar, but she has some mega-special muscles between her thumb and pointer finger. 

Ben, the base of Duo Madrona, has his own beauty regime: “After a hard day of training, hold a cold beverage in each hand.”

Tom Hanna, SANCA coach and resident one-man variety show (really, he plays guitar and accordion too—and you should see how he opens an apple!), has this advice: “Pumice your hands after the shower, it smooths the calluses without taking them off. It keeps them from tearing.”

Aerialist & flying trapeze coach Alyssa Hellrung recommends, “Never underestimate the magical power of rosin. No moisturizer for me, as the climate here in Seattle is very good for hands. But in Florida and humid climates the skin on my hands would rip often. I just deal with it.”

Thomas and Justin, who perform as Duo XY, shared with us some special flyer and base calluses they have from their hand grip. They advise to moisturize at night before bed. Thomas is sporting a sweet vacation mani/pedi, and Justin got a moisturizing paraffin wax dip while on vacation. It helped for a little while.

And finally, new aerialist Naami says…”Suck it up.” (It hurts for a while.) “When it gets so bad you can’t grip….stop.”

So there you have it:
Keep your hands clean and moisturize them.
If you have raised calluses then you should file or shave them flat.
Make sure you don’t have oil on your hands when you are training.
And you kind of have to suck it up.

Bellevue Girl Finds Success in Circus Skills

http://www.bellevuereporter.com/entertainment/225657571.html

Saffi Watson brings oohs and ahs from the audience
— Image Credit: Courtesy Photo, Teatro ZinZanni
posted Sep 28, 2013 at 2:20 PM

By Gabrielle Nomura
Special to the Bellevue Reporter
For the majority of 12-year olds, extracurricular activities are all about self-improvement: mastering the art of shooting a ball through a basket, speaking a new language or mastering a dance move.
Saffi Watson, a Tillicum Middle School sixth grader and Bellevue resident, knows all about practice.
The talented contortionist and gymnast can hold her limbs in an ever-moving sculpture, like a living work of origami art. Saffi’s hands know the floor well; she’s used to resting her entire body weight on them in a variety of poses. In these handstands, her ballerina-like feet hover high above her head. With a smile on her face, she radiates warmth and poise during her performances.
Saffi has performed on a hoop suspended from the ceiling and been shot out of a cannon, just to name a few acts.
She’s also extremely practiced in the art of making audience members “ooh and ahh,” having taken this talent to the stages of Teatro ZinZanni, Moisture Festival and Cirque Dreams Illumination.
During a run of a ZinZanni family show, “In Tents” two years ago, Watson, only 10 at the time, left audience members waiting with baited breath.
As childlike music plucked like the metal heart of a jewelry box, Watson moved slowly and deliberately. Smiling serenely, she blew kisses, clutching a teddy bear.
Suddenly, her head began to fall backward. As if a magnet was connected to her pigtails and her tailbone, she arched backward, discovering the space behind her ankles. Planting her palms to the floor, the girl’s supple torso bent generously. With her entire body in an “O” shape for just a moment, Watson suddenly released her legs, which gracefully launched out behind her onto the ground, like “the worm” dance move.
Circus arts are a healthy and positive activity for all young people, even if they aren’t born with exceptional flexibility like Watson.
Unlike gymnastics or ballet, there’s less of an emphasis on competition or being the best. Here, it’s about affirmation and teaching kids a wide variety of skills. They can use these as performing artists, or simply to increase their self-esteem said Erica Rubinstein, a coach of Watson’s who teaches at Seattle’s School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA).
“Every skill, every body type has a place and is valued,” Rubinstein said.
This appealed to Saffi’s parents, a singer and pianist who are both performers themselves.
Clifford Watson just hopes his daughter grows up to be healthy and happy.
“We signed her up for gymnastics because we noticed she would jump off the sofa and do crazy things,” he said. “With a kid like that, you can either get them to stop, or you can help them harness and use that talent.”
To learn more about classes in the circus arts for all ages, go to sancaseattle.org.
Gabrielle Nomura is a former staff writer with the Bellevue Reporter. She lives in Seattle.

The girl on the flying trapeze

This blog post is a post from Dawn Parsons’ personal blog. Dawn’s daughter, Lucy, had a stroke as an infant leaving her with hemiparesis, a weakness in one side of her body

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The girl on the flying trapeze

Lucy has been attending SANCA (School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts) for one year. We first went there on a field trip while she was doing her constraint therapy camp last summer. She started working with Jo every Saturday for one hour and the progress that we have seen is amazing.

Lucy does everything from tight wire, trampoline, rolling globe to trapeze.  This past week she attended a summer camp for a week, 3 hours a day. On the fourth day the kids were told they would get to take a flight on the flying trapeze.

Now, the only trapeze Lucy has been on is 5ft off the ground..this would be the real deal!!

So, they harnessed her up, and she climbed the 30ft+ ladder without a moment of hesitation (I was a little freaked out as is obvious by the video 🙂

Lucy’s biggest concern was that she would not be able to hold on very long, as her weakend left side would cause her grip to slip.  When she first started doing trapeze she could only hold her left hand grip for no more than 3 seconds or so…as you can see in this video..she has come SO far in her strength.

This little peanut amazes me everyday with her attitude and determination!


all the kiddos doing a little warm up

Lucy blog post: warming up

there she is …first on the list!
Lucy blog post: list of names

making her way to the top!
Lucy blog post: climbing the ladder
Lucy blog post: flying
The smile right before this picture was the biggest I had ever seen!
Lucy blog post: in the net
She might not be willing to do this every week but she has done it once, and that’s more than I can say for myself 🙂

Circus Camp: Stella’s Story

SANCA’s circus camps come with two options, half days or full days. It was 6 year-old Stella‘s first time at circus camp, soshe signed up just for half days of camp for the week to see how she liked it. She arrived bright and early, and Stella and her fellow campers met their coaches Zach and Molly. All morning long campers got to explore many of the fun activities at SANCA: trampoline, tight wire walking, rolling globe, juggling with other campers, even acrobatics and aerial rope. At the end of camp Stella‘s grandmother arrived at Noon to take her home. “Grandma!” exclaimed Stella. “You’re here too early! We’re still playing!”Stella was smitten with circus. She signed up for full-day camps from then on, which means she got to spend more time doing all the fun activities in the SANCA gym. Best of all, Stella got to spend more time doing her new favorite circus thing- flying trapeze! She seems to have a talent for it, and she sure has a lot of fun doing it. She did great when her family came to watch her swing, and everyone cheered when she flipped into the net at the end.

Stella‘s enthusiasm and circus success are a fun inspiration. Thanks, Stella!

This circus comes to town juggling fun with life lessons

Seattle is hosting its first American Youth Circus Festival, in which 300 students and instructors are honing their skills in circus-related events.

By Jack Broom
Seattle Times staff reporter

They’ve come from as far away as Tampa, New York — even London — for workshops on topics such as “Intermediate Club Passing,” “Human Pyramid to the Max” and “Totally Useless Skills.”

By the time they head home Sunday, these visitors, from 8 to 21 years old, will be slightly better at juggling, unicycle riding or flying on a trapeze.

More importantly, they’ll be a step closer to being strong, confident, goal-oriented, community-minded young adults.

Seattle is hosting its first American Youth Circus Festival, drawing 300 students and instructors from across the country — and a handful from beyond — for five days of lessons and practice sessions in dozens of circus-related skills.

“This is what we were hoping for,” said Jo Montgomery, looking out at a sea of activity in a Georgetown warehouse complex Thursday morning.

Nine years ago, Montgomery, a pediatric nurse practitioner, co-founded Seattle’s School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts (SANCA), the host organization for this week’s festival.

Since its birth in Sarasota, Fla., in 2001, the festival has been held each odd-numbered year. Many attendees are members of circus schools, clubs, troupes in their hometowns.

Some will seek careers in the performing arts, but promoters of circus instruction say that in any career, these students can benefit from skills developed here, such as a willingness to learn, to improve, to work as part of a team and to break a daunting task into smaller, doable steps.

Over the length of the festival, which includes some 150 workshops, participants have time both to sharpen existing skills and sample new activities.

Case in point: Ciara O’Connell, 17, of Tampa, Fla., in the past has done stilt-walking, contortion and aerial-hoop performing. On Thursday, she tried riding a unicycle, not offered at her troupe at home. With a buddy alongside to help steady her, she gradually made progress balancing on the single wheel and getting it to move forward.

“At first you’re afraid you’re going to fall on your face,” she said, “but you keep doing it, and the fear goes away.”

Brothers Michael and Christopher Patterson, of London, 17 and 14, have been practicing circus skills for about nine years, dating to a day their mother intended to put them into tennis lessons.

When she found out tennis wasn’t offered at their gym that day, she saw “circus skills” on the schedule and signed them up.

“And since then I’ve been hooked,” said Michael.

On Thursday, the brothers were trying out a “German wheel,” in which a performer spins a kind of a cartwheel inside a round frame.

The most unusual workshop may have been “Totally Useless Skills,” taught by Rick Davis, of New Hampshire, who was among the founding members of the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) in 2001. He said it includes “disappearing body parts, pencil tricks, palm reading, yodeling, odd finger snapping” and more.

They’re simple physical tasks that might first look impossible, but which can be readily learned, he said.

Learning underlies every aspect of the festival, and local students are also taking advantage of the offerings.

Emma Cady, 15, of Seattle, planned to attend a workshop in mime, even though her core circus activity is performing dancelike maneuvers while suspended on a colorful fabric strip.

That event, aerial fabric, “is an amazing physical activity,” she said. “It keeps you in shape and gives you a feeling of accomplishment.”

Aidan Aprile, 13, also of Seattle, has become such an accomplished juggler that on Thursday he was able to help teach new students, which he finds particularly satisfying.

He has performed at senior centers, fundraisers, parties and events, and said the nervousness that comes with being on stage gradually dissipates.

“You surprise yourself by learning to do something you might not have thought you could,” he said.

SANCA, which has more than 1,000 active students weekly, doesn’t turn away students who can’t afford the activity, and has awarded some 1,250 scholarships since 2004, backers say.

Chuck Johnson, SANCA co-founder and current AYCO president, said the wide range of activities offered through circus programs make it more inclusive than the gymnastics he did in his school days.

“Gymnastics is about competing,” he said. “What we do is about working together.”

Jack Broom: jbroom@seattletimes.com

Seattle Times: Get Your Hoop On!

Pacific NW Magazine

Hula hoop it up and get your cardio, core groove going

Hooping stabilizes the core and is good cardio. But more importantly, it’s super fun.

By Nicole Tsong
Special to The Seattle Times

 

BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Instructor Leslie Rosen, right, leads a beginning hula hoop class at the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts.

Where to start

School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts 674 S. Orcas St., Seattle 206-652-4433

ON THE FIRST day of hula hooping class at the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts (SANCA) in Georgetown, you get to pick out your hoop. A big, awesome, heavy hula hoop.

Then you put it down and are handed a plastic hoop the size of a Frisbee. My face fell.

Our class, the first one in a 12-week series, gathered in a circle to learn some hoop fundamentals, which apparently start with arms. Teacher Leslie Rosen had us extend one arm forward, thumb up, and hang the mini-hoop between thumb and first finger. She told us to start with a big circle and then little ones to keep the momentum going to spin it around our hand.

Easier said than done. Hoops went flying. More specifically, mine went flying while my fellow hoopers for the most part appeared to calmly twirl.

We learned to stop the hoop, reversed directions and switched hands. We figured out how to move the hoop all the way up to our shoulder by lifting our arm, then lowering it to twirl the hoop back to our hand.

Hoop chasing continued. I grew concerned that 12 weeks might not make a difference for someone as hoop-lessly talented as me.

We moved up to mid-size hoops. They were slightly easier to spin. We learned how to hand hoops off between people while keeping the hoop in motion. We walked with spinning hoops. We handed off spinning hoops. Sometimes I succeeded. Sometimes hoops went rogue.

Finally, we were allowed to pick up our original hoop.

We spun it around our hands first, then hallelujah, we set up to hoop around our waists.

Leslie had put one foot forward for balance and showed us how to move our hips to keep the hoop spinning. Thankfully, the bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to keep it going. And the best part was that the only place the hoop could fall now was down.

Leslie coached us to keep our hands pressed in prayer in front of us instead of dangling like “T-Rex arms.” She pointed out when I did the “woodpecker” with my head, bobbing back and forth as I hooped, and tried to get me to keep my upper body stable.

Once we got the hooping, we worked on walking in a circle in both directions and also learned to do quick spins at the speed of the hoop, which was fun and made me dizzy.

By the end of 12 weeks, hoopers learn to spin the hoop around their knees, to get it back up to their waists, to spin around their chests, necks and above their heads. Hooping stabilizes the core and also works the shoulders when spinning a hoop on your hand. It also is good cardio if you keep going. And going. And going.

More importantly, it’s super fun. One cool element of taking a class at a school for circus arts is that all the circus arts are going on around you. We were surrounded by aerialists, jugglers and people jumping on trampolines.

I was impressed, but not distracted. Hula Hoop Mastery or Bust.

Nicole Tsong teaches yoga at studios around Seattle. Read her blog at papercraneyoga.com. Email: papercraneyoga@gmail.com.

A talk with aerialist Jonathan Rose, part of Moisture Festival 2013

Originally published March 17, 2013 at 5:47 AM | Page modified March 17, 2013 at 7:52 AM

  • Seattle aerialist Jonathan Rose, who’s had a thing for the circus life since he was 18, will be happily spinning and dangling from a rope at the Moisture Festival, which runs March 21-April 14, 2013.

    By Michael Upchurch
    Seattle Times arts writer

Seattle aerialist Jonathan Rose can ascend a rope so smoothly that it looks as easy as riding up an escalator. His five-minute routine takes phenomenal strength, but you’d never guess it from his calm demeanor as he turns himself over, under, sideways and down in midair.

“I do kind of like the heights,” Rose said last month, while taking a break from training at Seattle’s School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts (SANCA). “I can’t be right-side up for too long. The blood starts to leave the brain.”

Rose, 33, is one of dozens of gifted performers taking part in the Moisture Festival, Seattle’s grand circus-arts bash that celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. It opens March 21 at Hale’s Palladium in Fremont and continues for three weeks at various venues.

Looking at any Moisture Festival act, you find yourself asking: How did the exotic figure onstage get into this business? Surely there has to be a story behind it?

In Rose’s case, there is.

He grew up in Seattle where, he says, he played “all the usual sports, but never got real passionate about team sports or competitive sports.”

So far, so average.

When he went off to college in Indiana, however, major restlessness set in.

“I was really bored,” he says. “Bored out of my mind.”

So he decided to drop out and take a bicycle tour of the Southwest: “I wanted to see all the national parks. I’d never seen the desert before.”

On a detour to see Mexico’s Copper Canyon, his bike was stolen, so he hitched a ride to a small town where, one day, the circus arrived.

“After the show,” he recalls, “I asked them if I could join.”

They told him to show up the next morning with his bags packed. Rose wound up spending more than a year and a half with Mexican circuses, first as a roustabout, then as a performer: “They gave me small parts in the show, clowning bits. Eventually I had a hula-hooping act.”

He was also put in charge of the elephant, Maurice, and the hippopotamus, Pepe, despite the fact that he’d had no previous experience looking after pachyderms.

“It was when I was in Mexico that I first saw a video of Cirque du Soleil,” he says. “It was one of their early shows and I was just totally blown away.”

He soon realized he had a greater interest in performing than in shoveling animal dung. Searching online, he learned that SANCA had just opened in Seattle. So he came home and signed up for aerial lessons — at age 24.

That, he admits, was a late start. It’s also unusual for anyone born outside the circus world to enter it. But nowadays, with more and more circus schools popping up, outsiders entering the fold are discovering and mastering circus disciplines later in life.

Between performing and teaching, Rose is getting by.

“At this point, it’s definitely at least a part-time job,” he says. He also works part-time as a bus driver for King County.

How do Rose’s parents like having a circus performer in the family?

They’ve gradually accustomed themselves to the idea, Rose says. “I mean, by now, over the course of my life, I’ve made all kinds of decisions that they’ve disagreed with. … When I first left college to ride a bike to Mexico and join the circus down there, that was kind of the beginning of the end for their expectations of me,” he says with a big laugh.

About a year ago, he had his own second thoughts about his career choice.

“I actually had an extended moment of doubt and thought I needed to get a ‘real job’ — so I pursued firefighting for a while,” he says. “It was a lot of fun … really satisfying work. But I missed the artistic expression, and I missed the culture of circus, the community. It’s two completely different types of people. So I came back — and I’m glad I did.”

Michael Upchurch: mupchurch@seattletimes.com