You know them as Coach Nick and Coach Wendy, two friendly faces around SANCA that will help you enroll in the right class or learn how to stay upright on your unicycle. Wendy and Nick are also A Unicycle Built For Two, the duo circus act that blends the unicycle, acrobatics, and light-hearted romance, and last fall they were absent from the SANCA gym while they were on a national tour with Cirque Mechanics Pedal Punk.
Nick Harden started training in the circus arts at the Illinois State University Gamma Phi Circus under the direction and coaching of Al and Lin-Veronica Light. He has performed in a variety of acts including partner and group acrobatics, German wheel, juggling, Russian bar, teeterboard, tightwire, and unicycle. Nick finished college in 2008 with a degree in physical education. However, he had been bitten hard by the circus bug, and knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his days in the circus. He came to Seattle in 2009 to work at SANCA as the Assistant Program Director, a perfect marriage of his college degree and love of circus. While Nick was not focused on performance it wasn’t long before he found himself back onstage on the unicycle in SANCA’s Annual Spring Showcase.
Wendy Allen grew up flipping and twisting at a gymnastics center in Northern California. After getting a BA in Film and Digital Media from UCSC, Wendy was invited back to Northern California to teach tumbling with an after-school circus program. She loved it, and quickly decided she wanted more circus. In 2010 Wendy moved to Seattle and fully immersed herself in the circus world. SANCA quickly realized that Wendy needed to be more than a student and hired her to work in the office; it wasn’t long until she was asked to coach as well.
Though a concussion had Wendy temporarily forgetful of the fact that she and Nick had just started dating, since 2010 they have been together, both as a couple and on the unicycle. Nick began training Russian Bar with Coaches Erica and Marta and in the summer of 2012 performed in Circus Bella on their California tour. Nick was in the Russian bar trio and with Wendy as a unicycling duo. The four of them had a fabulous time and, though they came back to work at SANCA again, performing had taken hold of their hearts.
Nick and Wendy continued to work on their duo act, performing locally in Moisture Festival and in SANCA shows, before leaving once more, in 2013, to tour the nation, this time with the Zoppe Family Circus. This was their first time being a part of a tent circus tour- living out of an RV, building and dissembling the circus as they moved from town to town. They loved it.
As Seattle had become their home and SANCA held dear in their hearts, they returned once more to live, teach and train in the Emerald City. They joined the IMPulse Circus Collective, adding teeter board and banquine to their skills and creating and touring a new show, Figments. In 2014 Nick and Wendy got married and bought a house.
The adventures just kept coming their way! During the summer of 2015 they toured California with the Flynn Creek Circus, and though they had planned to return to coaching that fall, they were offered a chance to tour the nation with Cirque Mechanics Pedal Punk.