Social Circus

Outreach, Every Body's Circus, and Therapeutic Circus Arts

Social Circus Overview

Ben VanHouten VanHouten Photography, Inc. 206-933-8753

SANCA Social Circus is dedicated to cultivating powerful personal and social transformation through educational programs, performance and the therapeutic process.  Founded on the core values of the Social Circus movement–community, empowerment and play–SANCA Social Circus is committed to establishing long-term relationships with individuals and communities.


Circus arts provide non-competitive, individual and team activities with a range of creative, physical, and social experiences for youth. Our programs aim to empower youth by promoting trust and cooperation among peers, increasing self-esteem, improving concentration, and developing physical literacy.

Funding for this program is provided
in part by the following sponsors:


Twist 2015 NSI logo

What is Social Circus?


“Social Circus is the application of instructional and cooperative techniques from the world of circus arts to help accelerate desired outcomes in youth development, therapeutic or community development settings.” 
– From American Circus Educators Association

Ben VanHouten VanHouten Photography, Inc. 206-933-8753

“Social Circus is an innovative social intervention approach based on the circus arts.  It targets various at-risk groups living in precarious personal and social situations, including street or detained youth and women survivors of violence.  In this approach, the primary goal is not to learn the circus arts, but rather to assist with participants’ personal and social development by nurturing their self-esteem and trust in others, as well as by helping them to acquire social skills, become active citizens, express their creativity and realize their potential.  Social Circus is a powerful catalyst for creating social change because it helps marginalized individuals assume their place within a community and enrich that community with their talents.”
– From Cirque du Soleil


SANCA’s outreach program partners with community organizations that work with at-risk populations in the greater Seattle area to provide accessible and affordable circus arts education.

Every Body's Circus

Every Body’s Circus (EBC) follows SANCA’s mission of making circus accessible to everyone. In this program, we offer Individual and Group Circus lessons by specially trained circus coaches who are supervised by a Licensed Social Worker. Lessons are available to children with physical and or socio-emotional difficulties. We will work with you to decide which option is best for you and your child.

Social Circus Staff

The coaches and administration that work together to bring the joy of circus to everyone, regardless of abilities or financial means.



“In my five years at SYM, I have rarely seen a group return so excited — it made me wish I had been able to join them. The thing that I valued most in observing the group return was the opportunity for staff and youth alike to have such a fun experience together with equal footing. We find that it is these types of opportunities that build relationships, break down walls and provide opportunities to bond. When these relationships are formed, we are better able to provide individualized resource and assistance that can better help young people gain stability. We will definitely be returning with groups to SANCA!”

– Kate Phillips, Program Director, Street Youth Ministries

Ben VanHouten VanHouten Photography, Inc. 206-933-8753

Ben VanHouten