Author Archives: Jessalyn Hoffman

Congrats Nick! -SANCA’s Youth Company Administrator

Meet Nick!

Nick Harden started working at SANCA on January 1, 2009. Today we announce his position of Youth Company Administrator! Nick is a circus performer and coach. He performs acrobatics and unicycle internationally with his wife and circus partner Wendy. He has performed with many companies including Cirque Mechanics, Flynn Creek Circus, Venardos Circus, Zoppe Circus, and Acrobatic Conundrum. He has shared his knowledge and love of circus with youth at many organizations around the US, including six seasons with Circus Smirkus. In addition to his work in Y-Co here at SANCA he has also worked with other youth circuses, including Circus Smirkus in Vermont, Circus Harmony in St Louis, and Circadium in Philadelphia. Nick & Wendy live here in Seattle with their two young children who love to climb on their papa! We are proud to have Nick in this position and invite you to join us in giving him congratulations!

A warm welcome to our new advisor!

Meet Rachel!

Rachel Nehmer was introduced to circus arts at French Woods Festival at the age of 12. Despite her honest attempt to pursue a normal career path, earning her BS in Biology at Haverford College and taking a job in research at UW, she couldn’t stay out of the center ring for long! In 2004, she joined Lara Paxton’s aerial ensemble The Aerialistas. Soon after she began working with her now-husband Ben Wendel to create a trapeze duet right here at SANCA.  Known as Duo Madrona, Rachel and Ben debuted at the 2005 Moisture Festival and have gone on to perform thousands of shows all over the world. Highlights include the prestigious Cirque de Demain Festival, an epic tour of Switzerland with Circus Monti, collaborative creation on two continents with Circus Syzygy, an appearance on French television with Patrick Sebastian’s Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde, and over a decade of dinner show productions with Teatro Zinzanni. Rachel’s coaching experience includes teaching at studios and schools throughout the region, such as Versatile Arts, Emerald City Trapeze Arts, Knotty Yoga, and more. At SANCA, she has worked as an instructor in the recreational program, the professional prep program, and as the director of Cirrus Circus youth company. She is so excited to be back on the SANCA team in a new leadership role.

SANCA’s Fall Appeal

Join the Supporting Act, SANCA’s monthly giving program! SANCA is looking to revamp our Every Body’s Circus program and we are looking to you, our supporters for help.

As a SANCA program, Every Body’s Circus makes sure that students of all abilities have the chance to circus with us. Every Body’s Circus adapts our recreational classes to accommodate kids with disabilities in an inclusive, non-competitive, accessible environment. EBC empowers kids to learn the joy of circus in a non-competitive, accessible, inclusive environment. Monthly gifts will help SANCA to create a dedicated space with specialized rigging and equipment for students with physical disabilities.

With your gift in the Supporting Act, our new community of monthly donors, we can design and furnish a dedicated space at SANCA for kids whose circus joy knows no limits. Join SANCA’s Supporting Act today with your monthly gift, and play a powerful role in Every Body’s Circus!

Monthly donation plans start at just $10 a month!

Join today:

New job opening!



Reporting to the Executive Director, the Advisor, Program Strategy and Community Outreach is a member of the
Executive Director’s leadership team, providing direction, vision, and strategies for all programs. In addition, the
Advisor will lead community outreach and engagement within the professional circus industry. The Advisor is an essential member of the SANCA staff and will drive strategies that create a positive and engaging circus culture within the organization.

Annual Salary: $27,000 – $34,000 Part-time position.
Benefits: Benefits include free circus classes for staff, free and/or discounted circus classes for the direct family of staff, and free use of SANCA’s gym for training and fitness.

Essential functions, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, including any of the following
representative duties, knowledge, and skills:

• Collaborates and communicates effectively with other SANCA staff to develop and implement program
strategies, community outreach, and a positive culture within SANCA.

• Provide exemplary leadership that drives the programming vision for the organization; collaborating with
internal and external stakeholders to execute state-of-the-art circus arts for the community.

• Play a leadership role in the community and develop strong partnerships with organizations that will
support and further expand the SANCA mission.

• Provides visionary strategy for programs; recreational classes, Youth Companies, Flying Trapeze, Every
Body Circus, Artists in Residence, adult performances, and workshops.

• Drives strategies for developing a positive culture within SANCA; bringing people together to share,
learn and grow both internally and externally.

• Provides strategy for the coach’s education program, minimum standards, and curriculum for all SANCA

• Develops strategy for prioritizing facility usage for all constituent groups and working across department
lines to communicate priorities.

• Partners with the Manager, Marketing and Outreach to provide program strategies for marketing

• Leads the program advisory committee; creating and driving the direction, recruiting, and onboarding
members, and communicating progress to the program staff.

The ideal candidate will have a strong reputation in the circus community, a strong background in circus arts, and exemplary leadership skills. They will work well with others and have a strong ability to foster a creative, open-minded work environment; they will be open to new and different ideas, with a willingness to celebrate the successes of their team members. Bachelor’s degree preferred. Professional work experience in the circus community is mandatory. We will also consider candidates whose experiences and learning have come through non-traditional paths.

Please email your cover letter and resume to The position is open until filled. Questions may be asked by email only to

Covid-19: Direct Exposure Policy Update

Direct Exposure: An individual was within 6 ft of another individual that tested positive, for more than 15-minutes.

  • Anyone that has been in direct contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID 19 is to immediately monitor symptoms AND take a PCR/at-home/antigen/molecular test:
  • Immediate quarantine is no longer required as long as there are no symptoms and the individual tested negative immediately after exposure. 
  • If an individual tests negative, they are welcome to immediately return to activities and be tested again at the five-day mark after exposure.
  • If any symptoms are present, individuals may only return to activities if they are post-symptomatic and have received a negative test result.
  • If the test is positive, they must remain in isolation for 5 days. They may then return to SANCA as long as they are symptom-free.
  • If symptoms persist after 5 days of isolation, the student must remain out until symptoms subside.
  • Students do not need to retest after the stated isolation period but should continue to mask and social distance when returning to activities.
To view our full Covid-19 Policy visit

Welcome our newest Board member: Fawzi Belal

Fawzi Belal is an equity strategist with a wealth of experience in creating outreach strategies to foster inclusion, belonging, and strong communities. His drive to foster equity for his communities is inspired by his experiences as a new immigrant in survival mode during his teenage years. Fawzi is a family person, a father of two amazing boys, a former professional athlete and coach, and an unapologetic trauma-informed leader. He holds a Masters in Human Service and Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on D&I and has a deep belief in using deliberate inclusive practices to bring out the best in everyone. He also earned a Diversity and Inclusion certification from Cornell University and is an IDI Qualified Administrator ( and offers consulting services for sports teams in DEI:

We are more than happy to have Fawzi on our Board. Please join us in giving him a big warm circus welcome!

Monkey Pox – Health Alert 8/6/22

Important Monkeypox Information



Number of cases in Washington: 175 

Total number of cases in the United States: 7,510 

Monkeypox spreads in several ways, such as through prolonged skin-to-skin contact and bodily fluids. Know how to identify distinctive symptoms, rashes, or sores that can look like blisters or pimples. Seek care and protect others if you suspect infection. Monkeypox is a treatable viral disease primarily spread through higher-risk behaviors – such as sex with multiple partners or being in crowded, indoor spaces where people have close skin-to-skin contact and close breathing. 

Cases around the region are included among the 3,487 on July 25. Everyone should know how to identify the rashes and protect themselves – both before and after an infection. 

Monkeypox usually appears on individuals as distinctive rashes or sores that can look like blisters or pimples. Risk remains low for those not engaging in higher-risk activities, but shared bedding and clothing is another vehicle for spread. 

Know how to identify the rashes and sores so you can seek out a post-exposure vaccine through health care providers if needed. There are also simple, non-pharmaceutical precautions people can take to protect themselves when in these higher-risk environments. 


Simple actions can help protect you from exposure to monkeypox: 

  • Consider covering exposed skin in dense, indoor crowds 
  • Don’t share bedding or clothing with others when possible 
  • Before having close, physical contact with others, talk to your partners about their health and any recent  rashes or sores 
  • Stay aware if traveling to countries where there are outbreaks
  • When around people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox, avoid: 
  • close, skin-to-skin contact, such as through kissing, hugging, cuddling, or sex; 
  • sharing bedding, clothing, or utensils. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. PROTECT OTHERS 

There are also actions you can take to protect others if you have symptoms – particularly a rash consistent with  monkeypox, such as these: Source:

If you have one of those tell-tale rashes or if you have had contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox: 

  • Stay home if you are feeling sick 
  • Contact a health care provider as soon as possible for an evaluation 
  • Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others, including sexual contact, until a medical evaluation has  been completed 
  • Inform sex partners about any symptoms you are experiencing 
  • Cover the rash with clean, dry, loose-fitting clothing 
  • Wear a well-fitted mask 
  • If you are contacted by public health officials, answer their confidential questions to help protect others  who may have been exposed 


There are other contagious illnesses that can cause rash or skin lesions that should also be treated. For example,  syphilis and herpes are much more common than monkeypox and can look similar. 

Anyone can get monkeypox, but some groups are currently at higher risk. Many of the current cases are within networks of self-identified gay and bisexual men, trans people, and men who have sex with men. People in these networks are currently at higher risk, though people of any sexual orientation or gender identity can become infected and spread monkeypox. 

We continue to urge the media, government officials, and the community-at-large to support those at highest risk,  encourage others to take precautions, and avoid stigmatizing a particular group or person for monkeypox. With cases of monkeypox spreading, know how to protect yourself and others so you can help keep our whole community safe. 


  • Monkeypox Guidance and Status in U.S. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Monkeypox: Social Gatherings & Safer Sex (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Monkeypox: Pets in the home (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 
  • Monkeypox Guidance & Status in California (California Department of Public Health) First Alameda County Resident with Confirmed Orthopox Virus Infection, Suspected Monkeypox (Alameda  County Public Health)

Camp Volunteer opportunity

Our day camps allow students to develop physical skills, increase confidence, build self-esteem and get physically fit. If you are passionate about the circus arts and looking to gain volunteer hours, this might be the right opportunity for you! 

Full-day camps are 9 am-3 pm. 

Volunteers are expected to: 

  • Assist with set up at the beginning of each day.
  • Greet campers as they arrive and help them find cubbies, as well as escort them to their coaches.
  • Be a welcoming influence throughout the day, showing enthusiasm and celebrating the successes of campers.
  • Assist campers with transitions between circus stations, facilitating the movement of camp groups through the gym space.
  • Uphold SANCA’s COVID-19 guidelines, reminding campers about proper social distancing and mask-wearing.
  • Assist individual campers with finding an available bathroom, a band-aid, or an ice pack
  • Be available to coaches who may need extra support throughout the day. 
  • Help to supervise during outdoor mask breaks and lunchtime.
  • Other duties as outlined by Misty the camps manager. (Tie-Dye, Crafts, assisting on the floor, etc.) 






Camps Manager

Misty Doty

Program Director

Tom Hanna

SASS – SANCA’s Annual Showcase Spectacular!

We’re bringing our circus magic back to Broadway Performance Hall.
SASS is returning December 2nd-4th!


What is SASS?

SASS is SANCA’S Annual Showcase Spectacular!! Every year SANCA presents a showcase of unique circus performances featuring students, alumni, staff, and community members. This showcase is for one weekend only. We hold four shows, each featuring a different lineup of spectacular local and internationally renowned circus performers alongside SANCA’s tremendously talented student performers.

At its core, SASS is a community showcase displaying all of the hard work our students and staff put into their art. Which we want to celebrate! Audiences will be treated to daring displays of acrobatics, high-flying aerials, juggling, and much more! Trust us, you DON’T want to miss out!

Now is the time to start thinking about your acts! Act submissions are open to staff, students, and community members. Already know what you’d like to do? Fill out the Act Submission Form to let us know you plan to participate.

Fill out the Act Submission Form here:…/1FAIpQLSdkDK52WiTbX7…/viewform

We’re Hiring! Camp Coaches

Circus Camp Coach
School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts

Reports to: Camp Manager

The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA) is looking for energetic and enthusiastic circus coaches for circus camp. Camps run Monday – Friday, 9am-3pm. All hired coaches will be trained to coach to SANCA’s standards of safety and skill progressions. 

Description: SANCA’s Camp Program provides a fun, engaging, and safe experience for children between ages 6 and 15, with camps grouped by age into pods of 6. Coaches will instruct campers in trampoline, tumbling, aerial rope and silk, static trapeze, partner Acro, German Wheel, Unicycle, juggling, and other circus skills. Coaches will help to create an exciting and fun experience that includes teamwork, a positive atmosphere, and the joy of circus, helping campers through the challenge of learning new things by breaking difficult or complex skills down into steps, and helping their students feel successful, whatever their rate of progression. 

Camp coaches are part-time, with hours ranging from 18 to 33 hours per week.  Coaches are scheduled in AM (8:30am-1:30pm) or PM (10:30am-3:30pm) shifts.  

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Adhere to SANCA’s policies, objectives, and rules 
  • Support SANCA’s Mission and Vision 
  • Participate in SANCA Camp staff training 
  • Present a warm and welcoming demeanor towards campers and parents, and engage with campers in a fun and constructive manner
  • Maintain a safe environment for the student, physically and emotionally
  • Supervise and instruct campers in a variety of circus skills and apparatuses, including the Flying Trapeze tent, Tie-Dye, or Crafts as assigned by SANCA’s camp manager
  • Coach circus classes with an emphasis on safety, positivity, and small steps to success. 
  • Follow the curriculum and weekly rotation
  • Present a high level of professionalism as a teacher/representative of SANCA
  • Prepare for each day’s classes before camp begins
  • Communicate with other coaches teaching at the same time as you to maintain good flow throughout the gym and rotation of use of equipment
  • Communicate with the supervisor about needs, challenges, and student progress
  • Be present and ready to greet campers 30 minutes before camp starts and work with other coaches to clean up camp areas 30 minutes after camp ends (this is paid time)
  • Help campers develop social skills during snack, lunch, and other ‘down’ time
  • Provide motivational support and guidance to campers
  • Communicate and enforce SANCA’s COVID protocols


The ideal candidate would have

  • Have experience working with culturally diverse youth 
  • Have experience teaching youth 
  • Have good classroom management skills 
  • Have a working knowledge of child’s physical and cognitive development 
  • Have a broad knowledge of circus skills and safe progressions (especially, tumbling, Acro, juggling, tightwire, rolling globe, trapeze, trampoline) 
  • A Willingness to learn
  • Be a strong leader, patient, mature, and dependable 
  • Have First Aid/CPR certification  
  • Ability to lift equipment and spot students where appropriate
  • Ability to motivate and effectively communicate with co-workers, parents, and students
  • Exercises mature judgment and sound decision-making
  • Demonstrates enthusiastic attitude and positive demeanor

Minimum requirements are:

  • Experience working with youth 
  • Working knowledge of circus skills 
  • Pass a background check 
  • Patience and ability to deal with stressful situations 

Email resume to: Program Director, Tom Hanna at

SANCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.