Has your child dreamed of running away to join the circus? Have you sometimes thought you’d like to send your child to a circus? Or have you exclaimed that your home is like a circus?!
Well, did you know that one of the top places to train for joining the circus happens to be in St. Louis, Missouri? Circus Harmony, the circus school at City Museum has launched careers of a human cannonball, one of the top jugglers in the world, a high wire walker with the Flying Wallendas, a flying trapeze catcher, five Cirque du Soleil performers, a WWE superstar, and a number of other circus performers touring the globe?!
Circus Harmony, St. Louis’ only social circus school offers classes for all ages in an array of circus arts. They also work at a variety of offsite locations teaching the art of life through circus education. In 2018, Circus Harmony was named the recipient of the Missouri Arts Award for Arts Education and in 2020 received the What’s Right with the Region honor from Focus St. Louis!
The flying children and talented teaching artists of Circus Harmony present over 600 shows a year in the third floor circus ring at City Museum, throughout the St. Louis area, and beyond.
So, your child can run away and join this hometown circus school but still be home in time for dinner. Unless they decide they want a professional circus career, in which case, this is the perfect place for them to train for it. They are currently running a Flip Out Try Out where children can audition via video for a free circus class.
April is a busy month for Circus Harmony. On April 1, they are throwing their annual Juggling Ball fundraiser. This exciting evening of dining, dancing, drinking, and daring will take place at CIty Museum. Tickets are $75 and proceeds will support their outreach programs and Flying Children Scholarship Fund. Juggling Ball attendees will also get a preview of their upcoming full- length show, Swashbuckle! Show director, Briland Schack-Farnell says, “It’s an epic adventure of pirates and parrots, magic and mayhem, swords and circus!” It will be presented at Circus Harmony inside of City Museum the last three weekends in April.
Artistic/Executive Director, Jessica Hentoff, shared, “This is our first full length show since the lockdown. It is also a show where our youth circus performers have done a lot of the choreography. It is impressive seeing them flex their physical and creative muscles in this production. Look for the new hand to trapeze act where a flyer is passed back and forth from a base on the ground to an aerial base! This is a new genre in circus arts and the three young women performing it do a beautiful job!”
Circus Harmony is also taking registrations for their unique Circus Performance Summer Camps. In these two week sessions, campers learn circus arts and the second week, they get to perform them. These camps are the beginning of what could be a circus career or could just be a wonderful way to develop life skills that will help young people wherever they go and whatever they do in life.
Tiffany Harris was a circus student of Jessica Hentoff’s in the early nineties who is now a teacher at Amers Visual and Performing Arts Elementary School. She said, “The benefits and life skills I learned being part of a youth circus prepared me for the hard work I experienced that summer. I was both physically and mentally prepared because of the skills of determination and self-preparedness I had learned being a part of Circus Harmony. Those are skills I still use to get me through life’s difficulties today.” A former student of Ms. Harris’, Sabrina Isabella, is part of the hand-to-trap act and Tiffany’s nephew, KJ, is in the show as a comedy acrobat in the show. Yes, Circus Harmony has multiple generations. In fact, the General Manager, Elliana Grace, came up through the school, worked with Ringling Brothers and other circuses and is now back passing on circus education and opportunities to the next generation.
Whether or not you want to send your own child or even take some circus classes yourself, you can support current and future flying children by attending the Circus Harmony Juggling Ball and getting tickets to their Swashbuckle! show. Juggling Ball and Swashbuckle! tickets along with camp registration and Flip Out Try Out information can all be found on their website at www.circusharmony.org. Circus Harmony truly makes every day a circus day and they offer many ways to join them!
Circus Harmony is a non-profit social circus organization that uses circus arts to motivate social change. They are also St. Louis’ only complete circus school and pre-professional circus training program. By inspiring individuals and connecting communities with their circus education and entertainment programs, Circus Harmony has a positive impact on the St. Louis area and beyond.