Want to Join the Circus? Here are 6 Places to Get Started

Trapeze, acrobatics, juggling, aerial silks: these Vancouver workshops will get you ready for the big top.

If you watched The Greatest Showman on Earth and thought, “that doesn’t look so hard,” you might also be the type of person who has at least briefly considered running away to join the circus.Thankfully, you don’t have to run far. There are a host of circus schools offering lessons across the Lower Mainland to get you started. You’ll be leotard-ready in no time. (Photo: West Coast Trapeze.)

West Coast Flying Trapeze, Pitt Meadows

Don’t like heights? This is one way to face your fear.West Coast Flying Trapeze claims to be the only flying trapeze in western Canada, and offers a variety of drop-in classes, workshops, and three-month programs to get you flying. Classes are offered to anyone “aged 6 to 96”, although so far the oldest person to sign up has been 89. Any nonagenarians looking for a new hobby, this is your chance!Beyond flying trapeze, the school also offers classes in other aerial arts, fitness, acrobatics, and choreography. (Photo: Vancouver Circus School.)

Vancouver Circus School, New Westminster and North Vancouver

You can try before you buy at this school, which offers a range of drop-in classes as well as longer sessions in unicycle, juggling, aerial silks, static trapeze, acrobatics, and more.Pre-school and school age classes are available along with classes for teens and adults, if you’re keen to start ‘em young.  And for all the lovers out there, the North Van location offers Date Night at the Circus every Friday at 7pm, where you and your partner can try a taste of many circus activities in 90 minutes. It’s $45 per couple, or $30 if you’re flying solo. (Photo: CircusWest.)

CircusWest, East Vancouver

Best known for their year-round children’s program, CirKids, CircusWest offers classes for beginners and pros of all ages. Programs range from traditional circus arts like acrobatics, juggling and trapeze to more obscure classes on Chinese pole and Roue Cyr (a kind of big, metal wheel that you spin in).All classes are offered as six-week seasonal sessions, so you can build some serious biceps and upper body strength while honing your craft. Expect to see some experts at this school—professional circus artist training is offered several times a week.

The Circus Lab, Langley

A training space, school, and team-building venue all-in-one, The Circus Lab considers itself an “experimental space designed to encourage creativity and forward-thinking in the circus arts.” Programs are available for children, teens, and adults, and you can also book birthday parties, corporate events, and private functions.If you’re just looking for a new workout, the “All Around” class offers a taste of what the circus has to offer in a small fitness class (usually up to eight people).

Ava Fitness, New Westminster and Tantra Fitness, multiple locations

While not, strictly speaking, circus schools, these pole dance studios give you the opportunity to gain some serious circus-like skills while getting a workout.In addition to pole dancing, Ava Fitness also offers classes in aerial silks, floor acrobatics, and even contortion. Similarly, Tantra Fitness also offers aerial fitness classes in silks, hoops, and yoga across its four locations.