Seattle Trapeze and Circus Arts Classes for Kids

Discover the magic and mystery of circus arts for the young (and young at heart)
classes in seattle for kids seattle magazine
The girl on the flying trapeze: SANCA’s Junior Flyers

They’ve always wanted to join the circus and now even the teeniest of tots can clown around at The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by Jo Montgomery and Charles “Chuck” Johnson for children of all ages. From “Baby & Me” all the way to the Professional Preparatory Program, SANCA’s year-round classes are taught with skill progression in mind, while camps expose kids to a variety of activities—acrobatics, trampoline, wire walking and more. Weeklong summer camps run through late August for ages 6–17 ($250–$450, plus $40 registration).

Step into ZinZanni Institute for the Circus Arts’ 100-year-old Belgian spiegeltent, or “mirror tent,” and you feel magic in the air. “We tell a story,” says Markus Kunz, executive director of Queen Anne’s fabled Teatro ZinZanni, where ZICA was originally created. ZICA’s Camp ZinZanni offers weeklong camps ($350) through late August for kids ages 5–17 focusing on everything from aerial arts and clowning to juggling and more. “We’re putting technical skills in a theatrical context,” Kunz explains, and all students do a performance at the conclusion of each session. Camps sell out, so early registration is recommended.

Nothing says circus quite like the flying trapeze, and now kids have a chance to fly with the pros. Emerald City Trapeze Arts, run by husband-and-wife team Gary and Kari Kirkland, features a full-size flying trapeze rig that operates year-round in SoDo. Kids-only flying trapeze classes are designed for children ages 6–12 ($33 per hour, plus $26 lifetime membership fee) and teach basic skills while staying “fun and light-hearted,” Kari Kirkland says. Kids can keep honing their skills with private lessons or at regular two-hour open classes.