Tag Archives: circus

Meet the new coaches of the Transformational Women’s Circus

As we close in on the new year, our social circus staff have been hard at work creating a new curriculum for the Transformational Women’s Circus! Transformational Women’s Circus (TWC) is an integrative social circus program which incorporates circus arts, drama therapy and therapeutic group process to support the personal growth of students who wish to explore their physical and mental health in a supportive, creative, safe group environment. Students in the TWC program will meet for 21 classes, once a week for three hours over a 24 week period and engage in trauma informed group work and circus arts training, with a creative culminating event at the end of the quarter. TWC is rooted in social circus and focuses on self awareness, self esteem building, creative expression, and exploring personal story.
For TWC 2019, creator and lead facilitator Amber Parker is working with new TWC staff to plan for creative, expressive, and fun new activities for the group, such as mask making, mixed media collage, clowning, and yoga flow. Please meet our TWC staff, all of whom are excited to start making magic in the new year!
Sarah Wells: Stage Manager, Arts Facilitator 

Sarah Wells-Ikeda is a creatrix, community-builder, and connecting force. Her passionate pursuit of life and learning has recently landed her in Seattle after a decade in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was initially introduced to circus and clown during her years with the neo-vaudevillian trickster brigade Fou Fou Ha! Born into the world deeply connected to nature and spirit, Sarah has chased her dreams and passions to create an ever-unfolding life full of meaning and magic. She holds a M.A. from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology focused on women’s connection to spirituality through the body, with a specialization in creative expression.

She is deeply excited to expand her life’s work and service through the social circus coaching role at SANCA, and as the production manager and creative co-facilitator of the Transformational Women’s Circus. She believes in the inherent power of women and girls, connected to source through our bodies, lived experiences and inner wisdom. She looks forward to supporting the TWC through forging meaningful connections, imbuing life with the sacred, facilitating play as spiritual practice, and leading a vast array of creative expression modalities, helping the participants to identify strengths, build community, and thrive.  

Emma Curtiss: Circus Coach, Body Worker 

Emma Curtis discovered Circus in 2009 after seeing a moving performance by two local trapeze artists. Inspired by their emotional performance, she felt compelled to explore the world of circus, despite the fact that she was not a physical person at the time. Over the next few years she discovered pieces of herself that had been hidden for most of her life and through constant physical and emotional challenges, emerged with the renewed purpose that performing and teaching Circus was her true calling. She has performed with various companies and developed her own performance troupe, IMPulse Circus Collective, where she was able to develop shows with like-minded artists who shared her passion for creation. Currently she is a coach at SANCA where she continues to groom new skills and projects for herself as well as her students. Her disciplines include Aerial Silks, Aerial Hoop, Cyr Wheel, Fan Juggling and a general enthusiasm for all things Circus.

Amber Parker: Lead Facilitator, Group Therapist 

Amber Parker is SANCA’s Social Circus Clinical Coordinator and the creator and lead facilitator for the Transformational Women’s Circus Project. Amber is a therapeutic circus coach and circus artist at The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, a Master’s in Couple and Family Therapy Candidate and Master’s in Drama Therapy, and she is currently a clinician with the Child, Youth and Family program at Navos, a community mental health agency based in Southwest King County. Amber specializes in working with women and children in recovery from trauma and is currently adapting social circus as a trauma informed creative arts therapy for adults through the Transformational Women’s Circus Project. Amber has presented her work at the 2016 American Circus Educators Conference, at The Smithsonian’s 2017 Folk Life Festival, and has been published in American Circus Educators Magazine and Seattle Magazine. Amber has over 14 years of experience as a counselor, facilitator, and trauma worker, and she has advanced training and education in Motivational Interviewing, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Child Centered Play Therapy, Drama Therapy, Psychodrama, and Clinical Psychotherapy.

SANCAFEST: Spooky Saturday

Calling all ghost, ghouls and goblins!  The final day of SANCAfest is leading us into Halloween, so

Help show your support by wearing your favorite spooky circus outfit!!

The sixth week of our Fall Session, October 14 – 20, is SANCAFEST – our annual fall fundraiser and in-class demo week for family and friends to come see what our students are doing at SANCA!

SANCAFEST is a celebration of the power of circus, and it’s a great opportunity to set personal circus goals and share your love of circus with others. For the week of October 14 – 20, help us meet our challenges and raise funds that make Circus for All a reality!

Our collective goal this year is to raise at least $30,000 to support youth scholarships and Social Circus programs!

The Challenges

  • The Mount Rainier Climbing Challenge (14,411 feet) – can we climb the height of Mount Rainer? We’ve got 7 days to do it!
  • Go for Distance – the Pacific Crest Trail (2,650 miles) – Most trail hikers take all summer to hike from Mexico to Canada. At SANCA we’re going to do it in a week! Break out your unicycles and German wheels, warm up your ankles and wrists for a lot of tumbling passes, or slip on your tight wire shoes!
  • 2018 Minutes of Circus – How long can you keep circusing? We’ll collectively aim to do 2018 minutes of nonstop circus by holding handstands, juggling nonstop, balancing on rolling globes, and other endurance activities.

Your class will choose a group challenge together for SANCAFEST, but you can set your own personal goal to contribute to the collective total – like making 6 climbs to the top of the rope or silks for the Mount Rainier challenge, 15 tumbling passes for the Pacific Crest Trail challenge, or juggling 3 clubs for 10 minutes in the 2018 Minutes challenge. Invite your friends and family to come watch this exciting demo week and help support SANCA!