Tag Archives: circus classes

Winter 2 classes

SANCA has a large class selection for all ages with classes in all things from juggling to flying trapeze! Check out the list below to view classes that are still available for this session. You can learn more about each class by visiting their respective link or by browsing on your own here.



Preteen Circus

Flying Trapeze for Everyone

Adult Partner Acro 3 Jam (DROP-IN)

Adult Advanced Flying Trapeze


Adult aerial fundamentals (DROP-IN)

Strength & Flex (Online)

Kid Circus

Preteen Aerial 2

Circus for Non-Traditional Athletes

Adult Advanced Trapeze

Flying Trapeze for Everyone  (DROP-IN)

Adult Intermediate Rope


Handbalance 1 (Online)

Kid Circus

Conditioning with Straps & Rings


Teen/Adult Beginner Trapeze & Lyra 1

Teen/Adult Beginner Lyra 2

Adult Aerial Fundamentals

Parkinson’s Circus


Handstand Jam (DROP-IN)

Teen Beginner Aerial 1

Intro to Juggling


10 AM Flying Trapeze for Everyone (DROP-IN)

12 PM Flying Trapeze for Everyone  (DROP-IN)

1 PM Flying Trapeze for Everyone  (DROP-IN)

Adult Aerial Strength & Flex (DROP-IN)

12 PM Adult Handbalancing 1\2 (DROP-IN)

1 PM Adult Handbalancing 1\2 (DROP-IN)

Teen Circus

Adult Beginner Trapeze 1


Intro to Chinese Pole 


Juggle Jam (DROP-IN)

10 AM Flying Trapeze for Everyone  (DROP-IN)

11 AM Flying Trapeze for Everyone (DROP-IN)

12 PM Flying Trapeze for Everyone  (DROP-IN)

Teen classes

Parents: Are you looking for teen activities for after-school or weekend days? SANCA has a large class selection for teens, from juggling to flying trapeze! Check out some of our popular classes below. You can learn more about each class by visiting their respective link or by browsing on your own here.

Circus 101
Saturday from 1:00 PM to 2:25 PM w/Coach Echo

Beginner aerial 1
Friday from 5:00 PM to 6:25 PM w/Coach Erika

Beginner Aerial 2
Monday from 5:00 PM to 6:25 PM w/Coach Gabby

Beginner Aerial 2
Sunday, from 12:00 PM to 1:25 PM w/Coach Erika.

Intermediate Aerial
Sunday from 1:30 PM to 2:55 PM w/Coach Jasmine

Trampoline 1
Sunday 11:00 AM to 12:25 PM w/Coach Keller

Trampoline 2/3
Tuesday from 6:30 PM to 7:55 PM w/Coach Keller

Intro to Chinese pole | ages 11 +
Sunday from 3:00 PM to 4:25 PM w/Coach Raymi

Unicycle | ages 11+
Friday from 5:00 PM to 5:55 PM w/Coach John

Unicycle | ages 11+
Sunday from 12:00 PM to 12:55 PM w/Coach John

Intro to Juggling | ages 11+
Friday from 6:00 PM to 6:55 PM w/Coach John

Tightwire | ages 11+
Saturday from 11:30 AM to 12:25 PM w/Coach Christine

Youth All Levels Flying Trapeze | Ages 10-18
Tuesday from 5:00 PM to 6:55 PM

Youth All Levels Flying Trapeze | Ages 10-18
Saturday from 5:00 PM to 6:55 PM

Youth Advanced Flying Trapeze | Ages 10-18
Sunday from 3:00 PM to 4:55 PM

Flying Trapeze for Everyone | 6+

-Saturday from 12:00 PM to 12:55 PM
-Saturday from 1:00 PM to 1:55 PM
-Sunday from 10:00 AM to 10:55 AM.
-Sunday from 11:00 AM to 11:55 AM.
-Sunday from 12:00 PM to 1:55 PM
-Monday from 6:00 PM to 6:55 PM
-Tuesday from 7:00 PM to 8:55 PM

Pay Per Flight | 4+
Friday at 6:00 PM


Circus Fun without Funds for Furloughed Friends

Press Release
January 22nd, 2019

Circus Fun without Funds for Furloughed Friends

SEATTLE, WA – The School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts (SANCA) is pleased to announce the opportunity for Federal Employees to enroll at no cost in a SANCA Winter Session class. A furloughed federal employee and/or an immediate family member(s) may enroll in classes with space available, provided any class-specific pre-requisites are met.

SANCA provides quality instruction in unique physical arts in a safe, supportive, nurturing environment that provides both challenge and reward to the student. We offer classes for kids of ALL ages, from 2-adult. Circus Arts include acrobatics, trampoline, juggling, tumbling, unicycle, tightwire, aerial arts, and rolling globe balancing.

SANCA will waive the enrollment costs (tuition and registration fee) for these Winter Session classes. We will extend our enrollment period for furloughed employees and their families until February 2nd at 5pm. This offer is for students not yet enrolled in our Winter Session. Enrollment in our one-time Intro to Circus classes and weekly Winter Session classes is available, but you must sign up by February 2nd. Flying Trapeze classes are excluded.

Visit our class schedule https://www.sancaseattle.org/classes/ to see which classes are not yet full, and then call our front office at 206-652-4433 to enroll. On the first day of class please bring your Federal Employee ID or furlough notice and state ID with you to SANCA. Waivers must be completed prior to class for all students: https://sancaseattle.org/classes/waiver-student-information-form/

This a first come first serve opportunity

SANCA is the largest circus school in the United States, recognized nationally as a leader in youth circus arts education, safety, and instructor training. The school is located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, an area with limited access to arts and cultural opportunities, especially for children. Founded in 2004 with five students, more than 1,000 students now take classes at SANCA every week.

SANCA offers experiences that are physically challenging, socially enriching, and teach physical literacy to people of all ages. SANCA’s services to the community include recreational classes and day camps to provide youth with a safe, social, constructive environment for physical arts. Our programs broaden community engagement, reach diverse audiences, and encourage participation in the arts. SANCA’s programs for youth reach those with the least access and opportunity to participate in healthy, creative, physical activities.

SANCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Established in the heart of Georgetown in 2004, we serve youth and families with a highly innovative array of circus programs. SANCA’s mission is to improve the mental, emotional, and physical health of children of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities by engaging them in the joyous creativity of acrobatics and circus arts.

674 S. Orcas St. Seattle, WA 98108 206-652-4433 www.sancaseattle.org office@sancaseattle.org

Meet Elijah

Elijah Calhoun 2Elijah has grown up at SANCA, starting with Baby & Me classes with his mother Rebecca six years ago. At first, they came to SANCA for fun, but as Elijah grew he struggled with movement and balance — they discovered that he had Sensory Processing Disorder and motor delays. He took longer to learn movement skills such as learning to walk up stairs, and cross-body motions were harder for his body to understand. Elijah needed to be talked through how to move his body.

His physical and occupational therapists agreed that classes at SANCA offered great complimentary activities for his therapy. More importantly for a young boy who didn’t like traditional sports, circus classes kept him happy and having fun. With lower muscle tone than normal, it was important that Elijah stay physically active, and circus kept him engaged without the stress that comes from competitive sports.

As he grew older, Elijah enrolled in one-on-one classes through SANCA’s Every Body’s Circus program. This enabled his coach, Tyler, to spend more time working with him in a setting that kept Elijah more active. It also gave Tyler the opportunity to re-enforce Elijah’s occupational and physical therapy. Tyler even met with Elijah’s therapists to gain a better understanding of his needs and challenges.

Elijah says, “Circus is fun! I like aerial a lot, but only about a foot above the ground.”.

elijah-aerial-fabricElijah used to find jumping very difficult and he was afraid to try it. Tyler was able to break down the skill of jumping into very small steps that were easier to learn. Tyler could see that Elijah was able to jump, but that he just needed the confidence to do so. Starting with small jumps, Tyler held Elijah’s hand; they eventually progressed to several jumps in a row together. Then Elijah held just one of Tyler’s fingers while jumping, and later Tyler followed behind Elijah, holding the back of his shirt as he jumped. Tyler shows Elijah that he can do a skill, and teaches him in small steps, which helps Elijah overcome his fear and build his confidence.

Rebecca, Elijah’s mom says, “Even if you don’t think your kid is a ‘circus’ kid, give SANCA a try. Every kid finds something here that they love to do.”.

Now, Elijah participates in playground activities like climbing on the jungle gym, playing tag, and sometimes even soccer. He no longer needs occupational and physical therapy. His classes at SANCA keep him active, healthy, and learning new skills. Elijah says the thing that his circus classes help him with the most is having fun.

Circus school: Getting fit while having a ball

By Vanessa Renée Casavant, Seattle Times staff reporter

Using nothing but their hands, balance and trust, the two remain in unison for more than half a minute until Montgomery says she’s ready to come down.

The exercise demonstrates more than just focus and agility for their students at The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts in Seattle. It shows what a little bit of trust, some hard work and a lot of fun can accomplish.

Montgomery, a former gymnast and pediatric nurse at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle, and Johnson, a professional gymnast and founder of the Cascade Youth Circus in Portland, opened the school in January 2004. Their goal is to get kids more physically active in a fun atmosphere that instills confidence.

With a trapeze, unicycle, two huge trampolines and a tightrope, it’s hard not to have a sense of childlike enthusiasm here. Kids are allowed to be kids in this space, Montgomery said.

“We don’t say wrong, and we don’t say don’t,” Johnson said. “Students don’t leave feeling punished, they leave feeling refreshed.”

Shiloh Ratcliffe, physical-education specialist for Seattle Country Day School, took her seventh- and eighth-grade classes to the circus school twice a week last year as part of a program to introduce students to nontraditional forms of exercise. She said 90 percent of the kids voted the circus school their favorite exercise.

The benefits of juggling

There are five types of classes offered at the circus school — juggling, acrobatics, trampoline, aerial (trapeze and hoop) and a combination class. Johnson and Montgomery rotate students among the different activities, to enhance their strength, flexibility and trust in others.

Ratcliffe said the classes helped her students get over their fear of trying something new. “Those who were more reserved definitely felt more confident at the end,” she said.

The teachers break circus stunts down into small pieces so students don’t feel overwhelmed, Johnson said. For example, a forward roll takes six steps.

“That moment they accomplish something, it’s a universal smile,” Johnson said. “It’s a privilege to watch that happen.”

Ingrid Hurlen, office manager at Billings Middle School in Seattle, said the circus training had a positive impact on 20 Billings students who attended the classes.

“It really put them on an even playing ground” and helped them learn how to work together, she said. “I think it brought a lot more focus to their academics as well.”

Juggling is one of few vigorous activities proven to enhance analytical skills, Johnson said. There is a rhythm that builds while juggling, and as students progress in their skills they can play around with it by adding more items to juggle or using different ones.

One student, whom Montgomery described as rather small and shy, came into his own through juggling. She said he gets lost in the activity for hours and has a new confidence from the muscle tone he’s gained.

Building excitement

Obesity rates among children and adults have been on the rise for the past 10 to 15 years, and getting kids excited about being active is essential to reverse the trend, said Dr. Lenna Liu, a circus-school board member and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington.

Without engaging physical activities, she said, children can spend too much time in front of the television and computer.

“When most people think about becoming active, they go straight to running and competitive sports,” Liu said. “What Jo’s vision was, is that a person of any shape or size should go to the school,” and that they don’t need to be physically fit right away.

It’s very important, she said, to get kids excited about being active at a young age because motivation declines as they get older. A survey conducted by the Washington State Department of Health in 2004 shows that as children get older, their amount of physical activity decreases. Over a seven-day period, 5.5 percent of sixth-graders reported having no physical activity, while 19 percent of 12th-graders did. If healthier lifestyle habits are instilled at a young age, there is a good chance children will carry it on with them as they grow up, Liu said.

Combating obesity

The circus school began with an “aha” moment. Montgomery was trying to come up with a way to address the growing problem of childhood obesity she saw at the Odessa Brown clinic. One day, as she was teaching an adult gymnastics class, the idea for a circus-arts school came to her. She wanted a place kids could go to become invigorated about physical activities, and not feel pressured.

She approached Johnson, who has taught gymnastics for 15 years. He’d been noticing a lot of negative coaching in competitive sports and liked Montgomery’s idea. He saw a need for replacing competition with creativity and putting the fun back into being active.

Once the idea for the school was formed, almost everything fell into place. “It almost had a mind of its own,” Johnson said. They didn’t do any advertising, and by the end of the year they had almost 200 students and needed a larger space.

The school is now located on South Orcas Street in Georgetown. From the outside, it looks like a huge storage facility with a loading dock. Inside however, the reds, yellows, blues and greens of the equipment and mats pop out against the bleak walls of the space.

At any given time, there can be a number of activities going on, whether it’s an instructor practicing juggling with bowling pins or a student taking one of the large colorful rolling globes for a ride.

While children were the primary focus when Montgomery and Johnson opened the school, adults are welcome, too.

Liu, who takes some of the adult classes at the circus school, said she’s addicted to them. “It gives a childlike enthusiasm,” she said. “The reason I can’t get enough of it is that I just turned 40, and I haven’t been able to do somersaults since I was 7.”

Nearly all of the classes are divided by age group accommodating anyone 6 and older. Johnson said there are age modifications for every activity. For children younger than 6, the school offers a movement class.

“We give out about as much as we get in,” Johnson said. The school was established as a nonprofit so they could have better access to public schools and offer scholarships to anyone who needs help.

Johnson and Montgomery said they knew going in that their work at the school would be a “salary optional” endeavor. Montgomery still makes a living as a nurse and Johnson said he’s living mostly off the profit from selling his school in Portland.

Circus-school classes are priced according to length, ranging from $70 for eight 45-minute classes to $168 for eight 120-minute classes. The goal is to provide scholarships for at least 30 percent of the students, Montgomery said, because she knows that if you can provide access to physical activities, half the battle against childhood obesity is won.

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company