School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts Programs
“No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you will always find your place here.”
– Naomi, Every Body’s Circus Student
SANCA offers year-round circus arts classes and summer camps. We provide youth with a safe, social, constructive environment for unique physical arts education. Many of the youth who need SANCA the most cannot afford to pay.
- Our Youth Scholarship Program provides support to any youth who needs financial aid.
- No student is denied enrollment due to lack of funds.
- Twenty percent of SANCA’s enrollment receives tuition assistance.
- Since 2004 1,095 students have received tuition assistance totaling $374,369!
SANCA’s Every Body's Circus Program
provides a place for everyone to experience fun physical exercise. We work with youth with special needs ranging from ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder to Autism and physical disabilities. Circus arts enable learning across a diverse range of abilities; provide opportunities for students to challenge themselves, to develop their own skills at their own rate, and to strive for personal success while learning to cooperate with others in group and partner activities.
Circus arts promote a fit and healthy lifestyle, help build self-confidence, and foster positive social relationships through cooperation and trust. Our Circus Outreach Program
for schools and community organizations:
- Empowers Youth!
- Reaches low-income, at-risk, and underserved populations.
- Is offered on a sliding-scale/pro bono basis.
- Served 1,000 youth in 2012.
Students and teachers report:
- Increased confidence, health, and physical ability.
- Improved academics and interpersonal relationships.
“With regard to one student, SANCA has literally changed his life. Ian’s newfound confidence and health are one result of his circus successes.”
—Miriam Reed, First Place School Teacher
SANCA’s Youth Performance Program
provides youth from ages 5 to 18 with a progressive track to develop skills based on traditional and modern circus arts. Participants receive training in performance, movement, and character, and perform at major events in Seattle, including the Moisture Festival and Seattle Center’s Winterfest.
“The Youth Company has given me the confidence and the support that made me who I am today. Youth Company has touched my life and I, in turn, hope that through performance I can touch the lives of others around me.”
—Anna. See Anna’s short video documentary
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
SANCA enjoys a high level of community support, and is recognized nationally as a model of circus arts education and instructor training. SANCA is a member of the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO). In 2012 SANCA hosted the most successful AYCO Educator's Conference to date, offering over double the number of workshops with more than 100 people from across the country and the world attending.
SANCA will also host the AYCO Youth Festival in August 2013. This festival will bring over 300 youth and educators from circus programs around the nation to Seattle for five days to participate in workshops, perform in showcases, and meet and socialize with other circus youth, educators, and enthusiasts. This festival will be an economic boom opportunity for Georgetown and the surrounding community and service industries, including hotels and restaurants.
In 2011 we had a significant dip (91 students, 11%) in our enrollment and we did not meet our budget goals. With increased strategic marketing and changes to our classes, we have completely rebounded from this dip and have seen our highest enrollments to date during our last two sessions. In the fall of 2012 our regular session enrollment was 814, and our winter 2013 session has grown to 841—an increase of 137 students since the fall of 2011. We are beginning to rebuild our operating reserve fund. We are also formalizing our Circus Outreach Program to continue to meet the needs of the community in a more responsible way. We continue to develop new partnerships with public and private schools.
Our successful growth comes with challenges. We continue to seek out qualified teachers as demand for our classes grows. Part of the difficulty in attracting qualified teachers is the ability to pay them a livable wage. Paying our current and incoming staff appropriate compensation with benefits including health insurance is an increasingly difficult challenge for us in the current economy.
Our current facility is more than 20,000 sq. ft., yet we are already running out of space for our classes, and have nearly reached our limit in our ability to offer rental space to other community organizations. At the same time, our occupancy expenses continue to increase. Our Board is studying the possibility of entering into a capital campaign to provide SANCA with its own home in the future.