Show Love Success! Thanks to You, We Are...


Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to every one of you who gave to SHOW LOVE!

Together, over this campaign, we raised just over $17,400 for Circus Center's coming season of free, low-cost, and pay-what-you-can community shows. That's $2,400 over our original goal - thank you!

Your contributions have made several important things possible already:

  • We're hiring a Technical Director, an important step in our commitment to bring you professional-quality shows and performing experiences (by the way, we're accepting applications now - full job posting here).
  • We are also hiring a lighting designer, stage manager, and costume designer for the SF Youth Circus Show (interested? See the job postings here).
  • We built at ½ inch scale working model of the Theater, an essential tool for designing shows.
  • Soon we'll be putting out a call for directors for September's Adult Recreational Student Show in the Theater.
And this is just the beginning!

Your support reminds us how special, strong, and generous the Circus Center community is. Thank you so much for partnering with us to bring the joy of circus arts to our community, and give a spotlight to the next generation of circus artists.

Besides donating, there's another incredibly important way you can support Circus Center's community shows: come see them! Here's what's coming up:

  • Mar 23-25 & Mar 30-Apr 1: Clown Conservatory's show, The Supers
  • Apr 29-30, May 5-9 & May 12-13: The San Francisco Youth Circus' Show
  • May 20: Flying Trapeze & Adult Rec Student Spring Showcase
  • September (dates TBD): Fall Adult Rec Student Show
So subscribe to the Circus Center newsletter and watch the blog for news throughout the year about our upcoming shows, and how your gift to SHOW LOVE is making a difference.

Thank you - we can't wait to see you at the shows!

Onwards and upwards,


Barry Kendall
Executive Director, and

The Board of Directors, Steve, Sara M, Jennings, Xiaohong, Elena, Felicity, Texas, Katie, Tracey, Sarah B, Phoenix, Fernando, Sarah H, the Student Services Team, and all the staff and students of Circus Center

P.S. It's never too late to help bring free/low-cost/PWYC circus in your community - any donation throughout the year helps Circus Center share the magic of circus arts with you! You can support the circus arts at any time by giving here:

Thoughts from Steve on Ringling Closure

From the Desk of Creative Director Steve Smith

As the news of the demise of the Big Apple Circus was finally finding a place of uncomfortable compromise in my psyche, came the thunderbolt announcement that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus would also more.

To some, these are just sad but true realities at the level of difficult business decisions - hard to make but necessary. To others, just another news story of yet another shop that has to shutter its doors. But for some of us, this is news that shakes the very foundation of our souls. This hits at the level of who we are, what we do and why we’re here. This is devastating.

For me, these were more than just places of employment. These were the incubators of my dreams;
These were the classrooms for my creative spirit;
These were the playgrounds for my imagination;
These were the places that gave me purpose. They gave my life purpose.

For 45 of my 65 years on the planet, this is what has forged my love & passion for performance art with all the different parts and pieces of who I am - This is what has

And so...where to from here? How do I make sense of it all? How do I unbreak my heart?

    I.    Get.    Up.

I feel the full force of my loss. I wail and howl and weep with grief. I fall to my knees asking why & how and cursing the cruel, heartless fickleness of fate...but, I.   Get.   Up.

I honor my teachers and my colleagues and my friends and my family by not giving in to despair. I salute all those who came before me by not giving up. I reach down into the depths of my shattered soul to find the strength to give this life my absolute best.

And I am painfully aware that this will take more than strength...this will require courage. There is a terrific quote from Mary Anne Radmacher that says:

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.”

And so, I must get up; I must try...again and again and again. It will most certainly not be easy...but it will be worth it. Because the alternative is not acceptable.

The circus ring is a circle...a symbol of unity. It is continuous - it has no beginning, it has no end. A great and glorious part of circus history has come to an end, but the circus, as an art form, didn’t die today. It is evolving. It is up to us to pick up the dimmed & tattered torch that has traveled across time and through the ages; to dust it off; to reignite the fire of wonder and awe and to fan that spark into an unquenchable flame that is the future of the circus. To do anything less is simply unthinkable.

And so, get up.

Onward,...ever onward!

~ steve ~

What's New Around the Gym: January 2017

New Instructor: Kiebpoli Calnek!

Kiebpoli Calnek | Faculty | Circus Center | San Francisco

Circus Center is proud to welcome Kiebpoli (pronounced KAY-po-lee) Calnek to the Aerial Faculty! Kiebpoli comes to us from New York City, where she has been a fixture in the circus training and performing scene for many years. She is no stranger to the Bay Area, however, as she has flown in to perform with Topsy Turvy for the last few years.

Kiebpoli is an aerialist, actor, educator, and producer of compelling, politically awakening performance events through her company Black*Acrobat. Read more about her impressive background here. As a teacher, she prides herself on utilizing constructive feedback, motivation, and patience while focusing on technique, form, and dramatic flourishes.

In the winter session, Kiebpoli is teaching Aerial Conditioning Level 1, Intro to Mixed Aerials Level 1, and Tissu 1. Her classes are already drawing strong interest, so we encourage you to check her out!

New Classes

We also have several new classes for you to explore:
  • Bending Backwards with Jim Donak:This class is aimed at developing back bending skills for acrobatic and aerial applications. It is intended to augment the current programs by offering a class that works specifically on the dynamic application of back bending skills for inversions, limbers, walkovers, tumbling, partner acrobatics and the like. This class will include various learning methods with regard to increasing strength and stability, and range of motion throughout the “backend.”
  • Intro to Mixed Aerials: Level 1 with Miriam Telles
  • The return of Flying 2 on Thursday nights at 6:30p
  • The ever-popular Jeremy Sheets is now teaching a section of Rope 1 and two sections of Rope 2
  • The Contortion program under Catie Brier continues to grow with the addition of a new level, Advanced Stretching
  • The return of Xiaohong's Wednesday daytime Acro 1 class, 12:30-2p
  • And more – check out our Schedule page for full info

New Open Gym Offerings and PRICE!

Circus Center is pleased to announce some changes that will help you progress faster toward your training goals. We have modified the pricing of Supervised Open Gym time to make it more affordable, and we have added Supervised Acro Open Gym to our schedule. For $12.50, you can attend a two-hour open gym time to work on your strength, conditioning, flexibility and the disciplines of your choice:
  • Acro Open Gym: Saturdays 10am-12pm under the supervision of Aidan Sigman
  • Aerial Open Gym: Sundays 3-5pm, under the supervision of Heidi Button
Open Gym is a chance for you to take advantage of Circus Center space and equipment, and the rigging knowledge and safety supervision of our team. This is perfect for students not quite ready to pursue Individual User approval but is also an opportunity for Individual Users to work on other disciplines/apparatus that they might not have approval to train on alone.