4730 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago
(773) 732-4564, circesteem.org
At the youth non-profit CircEsteem, building a circus is all about building a compassionate and diverse community. Classes span ages 3-18 and teach anything from tumbling to juggling to trapeze work. But what the CircEsteem staff hope to teach more than anything is self-esteem, confidence and mutual respect. Programs offered include weekend classes, summer camps and guaranteed participation in the public annual Spring Circus (April 18-19 and 25-26). Scholarship slots are available for students with financial need.
The Actors Gymnasium
927 Noyes St., Evanston
(847) 328-2795, actorsgymnasium.org
The circus is for the brave at heart and the healthy in spirit, and Actors Gymnasium works to build both of these qualities with its wide array of classes, summer camps and workshops. Classes start at age 2 and focus on the fundamental skills, both physically and personally, needed for circus greatness. Check out their progress at the Spring Youth Circus, May 16-17 and 23-24.
3158 Lakefront Trail, Chicago
(773) 484-8861, chicago.trapezeschool.com
For those with a desire to fly, TSNY is for you. Classes are offered for all ages and revolve around mastering the art of trapeze and acrobatics. Open May through October, classes, as well as the popular Summer Youth Adventure Program, are held at an outdoor venue in Lincoln Park. Parents are welcome to join their kids in classes for some unique parent-child bonding. TSNY assists students in conquering fears, developing team building skills and enjoying a truly unique brand of fun.