My name is Lauren Herley, and I am a corde lisse (vertical rope) artist, contortionist, handbalancer, acrobat . . . in short, a circus artist.
SANCA welcomed me into their doors when I was 18, when I decided to pursue the art of circus. Their kind, humble, and knowledgeable staff helped me and guided me to find a training program that suited me best. I was a young former competitive artistic gymnast, swimmer, and musician, and naive still to the world of art and contemporary circus. But SANCA took me and introduced me to the world of circus art. I had the privilege to train with Kari Podgorski and Terry Crane as my first teachers and to train in the same atmosphere as Duo Madrona (Ben Wendel and Rachel Nehmer), who at that time were preparing for the 29th Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain, and later performed two seasons with Teatro ZinZanni.
I began to learn and see the great and superior potential within this beautiful work. I became more driven and filled with fortitude than ever. What an honor it was to be in a school where kindness, humility, discipline and hard work were all strongly encouraged. Shortly after I began training at SANCA I began teaching as well, SANCA became my second home and now as I am always many, many miles away I still feel that closeness.
I spent only about ten months at SANCA before I left to further my training and my career, but I still look back at SANCA, and the more circus schools and companies I experience the more I realize how SANCA is one-of-kind. There is no place like it. I feel blessed to have it be in the city of my birth, Seattle. Every time I return home to visit, SANCA re-welcomes me ever so warmly, offering me a beautiful space to train and to teach. Chuck and Jo are such knowledgeable people whom I feel blessed to have had as guides in the beginning. I feel as if I am a better person because of SANCA.
Now I am finishing my time at l’ecole nationale de cirque de Montreal. I have had experience with Cirque du Soleil, and have performed at international performances such as the 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremony in Vancouver, B.C. I am now preparing for the 32nd Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain opening spectacle. I credit SANCA for starting my career. I would not be who I am today, or experienced the success I have if it were not for those welcoming doors and the people at SANCA who accepted me into their space. SANCA will always have a special place in my heart, and because of SANCA, I will never stop dreaming.