Our Mission

Photo by Karel Moonen

Photo by Karel Moonen

The Circus Academy of Tucson's mission is to provide a well-rounded and diverse education in circus and theater arts to youth and adults in the Tucson community. Our goal is to offer circus to ALL in the community who wish to participate regardless of age, body type, socio economic status, race, religion, culture, physical or developmental challenges, gender identity, or any other perceived barrier to participation. If you are interested in circus, let us know! We want to work with you to make circus work for you! We believe that everyone should have the chance to experience the benefits of circus and that everyone can benefit from circus arts.

We strive to offer a well-rounded education that goes beyond circus arts. We want to be part of our student's over all educational life in becoming prepared adults and responsible community members. This includes offering community service opportunities and lessons on setting and completing goals, working as part of a team and exploring the self to develop awareness  and progress as human beings. 

Why Circus?

Circus is empowering!

It gives kids the confidence and the belief that through hard work they can accomplish anything. The circus is magical; performers seem to do the impossible. When a student comes to class, works hard and achieves an “impossible” feat, they realize that through hard work any thing is possible. We empower our students to discover what they want to do, give them the space to learn and try, and watch as they realize the power and ability that they have. This is good not only for achievement in circus, but a lesson that can be applied to all areas of life.


Circus is inclusive!

There is something for everyone in circus, whether you are an acrobat, juggler, stilt walker, clown or combination you will find a place to fit in with your personal set of strengths. Circus has all the benefits of a team sport: team work, supporting each other, but with none of the downfalls of competition. When students put together a show it is all about finding how all of the skills in the room come together to create art, not who is better, each area of study supports the other.

The only thing that matters in circus is hard work. It doesn't matter who comes in with the most innate talent, while talent is nice, any one who works hard will experience success. We foster an open environment that gives anyone who wants it, an opportunity to try and the support to continue until they succeed. At the Circus Academy of Tucson any one is welcome and encouraged to join. Regardless of background, body type or ability level students are welcome to come, find what they love and work towards it. They learn that regardless of what they come in with if they work hard and focus they will find success.

Circus is diverse!

Circus is a diverse activity, some people are drawn to the dynamism of aerial acrobatics, the fine and detail oriented skill of juggling or twirling, the focus of balance, but regardless there is something for everyone in circus. No skill is valued above any other but rather all the skills must work together to create a great show. There is no competition in circus, only collaboration.

Circus is healthy!

It is a really fun way to get weekly exercise. Beyond that we promote healthy eating and living habits and a healthy body image. Circus skills promote agility, hand eye coordination, body awareness, strength and flexibility!

Circus is strong!

Beyond just the physical, circus is a highly focused activity. It is great for the brain. You have to think to do circus. It is great not only for kids that already have awesome focus skills, but for those that struggle in that area. When you are balancing on stilts or a walking globe it makes you stay focused and in your body or you will fall off :) It is a great way to practice and promote focus skills in a fun way, but these skills can be applied to all areas of life and study.  

Why The Circus Academy of Tucson?

We are 100% dedicated to circus education, it is our only mission! Our dedication to safety and top-tier circus education is unmatched in the region. Each of our instructors is carefully selected to provide the best access to circus skills possible. Many of them are graduates of youth circus programs themselves! Annie, Wes, Pierre and Ryan all came from youth circus programs and Forest came from a youth ballet program. We are committed to providing a safe and supportive learning space and to building a strong circus community in our school. We promote collaboration among students, never competition. Our message is one of healthy living, we don't encourage training at any cost, but rather incorporating circus as part of a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle. At the Circus Academy of Tucson we are building more than just skills skills, we are building friendships and the foundations for success and achievement in all areas of life. 

Our curriculum has been carefully developed by the director and instructors over the past ten years and is highly effective in learning circus from step one to advanced training. 

And though our primary goal isn't to create professional circus performers, but well rounded and successful adults, we have many graduates who have gone onto have careers in circus. These include Annie Mielke who now teaches at Blue Lapis Light in Austin, TX, Liz Schmitt who now teaches at Afterglow Aerial Arts in Portland Oregon, Tran Thai who taught in California before returning to us, Erin Garber Pearson who now owns and Operates Bird's Eye View Circus Space. We also have students who are auditioning to circus school and have been accepted to live auditions! Ren Carter Tucker: Aloft, NECCA, Circadium, ENC and the National Circus School in London. Liam Halstead: Circadium, NECCA. Can't wait to see where they go from here. Finally, our students are award winning! Just recently Nola Millet placed 2nd in her highly competitive division at Vivafest circus competition. Ren Carter-Tucker got 3rd and Zarya got 3rd as well!!!

Testimonial: "My 11-year-old daughter has been taking aerial and general circus classes from Katherine for five years and loves it more than anything else she does outside school. Katherine inspires a passion for the circus arts and is devoted to her students. She takes care of their safety, nurtures their confidence and is all-round excellent as a teacher and as a mentor. I highly recommend Circus Academy of Tucson for any young person interested in being active and expressive and for parents interested in offering their children an exciting and formative experience -- circus has been sustaining and invigorating for our whole family." -- Lydia M