Jennings McCown

Jennings was introduced to circus while attending Illinois State University, which had a small campus circus troupe. He caught the “circus bug” and, upon graduation, spent the next three years traveling and performing with various small circuses throughout the US. He had a two-year career at Club Med, teaching circus skills and flying trapeze. Jennings joined the staff of Circus Center in 1999. He teaches flying trapeze and trampoline, serves as the company's master rigger, and performs with Xiao Hong Weng a spectacular hand-to-hand balancing act that has won over audiences throughout the Bay Area.

Jennings McCown instructs the following:
  • Flying Trapeze 2
  • In this class the emphasis is on developing the skills needed for flying trapeze performance. Students concentrate on advanced tricks, act development, and flying without safety lines. This class is an accelerated course for motivated students who are physically prepared for rigorous
    training. The smaller class size allows for more focused coaching and time on the apparatus.

    Prerequisite: Able to leave the board unassisted 


  • Straps Conditioning
  • Straps Conditioning class is designed to develop strength and power utilizing fundamental positions and movements of aerial straps technique. All aerial and acrobatic students can benefit from the unique upper body conditioning techniques practiced in this class. Students also learn basic straps technique while getting an excellent full-body workout.
    Prerequisite: Instructor Approval. Approval can take several days and can be obtained 3 different ways, instructions can be found here:


  • All Levels Flying Trapeze
  • In this class, students of all levels work at their own pace to develop the skills and vocabulary required for flying trapeze.

    Beginners become familiar with the rig, the terminology of the trapeze, and the performance of basic swings and tricks such as the knee-hang. Students have the opportunity to attempt a catch- when an instructor on another trapeze catches the swinging student in mid-air.

    More advanced flyers use their swings to master higher-level tricks and work on returns
    and catches. Students wear safety belts that are attached to safety lines controlled closely by our highly-trained instructors.

    Additional Information:
    Minimum age for flying trapeze is 7, For safety reasons, children with small waists and/or
    hands may not be able to participate regardless of age.
    Maximum weight: Our instructors, who vary in size, can safely belay up to 250lbs.
    Maximum waist: Our safety belts are designed to accommodate waists up to size 38.
    Punctuality strongly encouraged. “Ground school” happens at the beginning of class and is
    the opportunity to be introduced to the basics of flying trapeze.
    Loose or street attire including jeans discouraged; close-fitting athletic wear that covers the
    backs of the knees suggested.
    Glasses discouraged, but if worn, must be break-resistant and secured with elastic straps