Best Circus Experiences Near Or Around Tampa Bay

May 12, 2013 2:00 PM

Clowns gather during the 16th Latin American Clown Convention in Mexico City, on October 19, 2011. (Photo credit: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

Anyone who dreams of learning to be a circus performer can find a school or a performer willing to teach them to be a clown, aerialist or juggler. Both adults and children can take part in the fun of learning the basics of being a circus performer. Whether learning in a school environment or at a party, dreams of running away to the circus can be, at least partially, achieved. With no more than an 1.5-hour drive, your kids will explode with circus fun.

Dance Circus Arts of Tampa Bay
Circus Arts Facility
1490 N. Belcher Road, Suite I and J
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 222-8537

Date: Varies by the classes taken

Beth Brier’s Circus Arts Facility offers classes in aerial training like trapeze, sling and Spanish web, as well as classes in acrobatics and tumbling. The acrobatics classes concentrate on flexibility and strength. The acrobatic and contortion techniques are based on Mongolian and Chinese teachings. Trapeze and aerial training concentrates on conditioning and strengthening the upper body and the abdominals. Circus classes are taught from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. during the summer months. Prices for the classes vary depending on the length of the class.

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Circus Summer Camp
Sailor Circus Arena
2075 Bahia Vista St.
Sarasota, FL 34239
(941) 355-9335

Dates: June and July

Circus Summer Camp is a program designed for children where they can experience swinging on a trapeze, performing with silks, hula hoops, walking a wire and more. Children will also learn to juggle, learn balancing acts and more. Additionally, children learn what it is like to be a performer, explore their creative side, improve their dexterity and improve their social skills. Campers who attend the summer program leave with greater self-confidence and a better self-image. The cost of the camp varies between $180 and $575 per week. All classes are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Flying Trapeze Academy & Flying Fantasy Circus
1401 S. Ringling Drive
Venice, FL 34285
(941) 504-1552

Date: Year round, weather-dependent

Instructor Tito Gaona is a fifth-generation trapeze and circus performer. He brings his expertise to his academy to impart the wonders of the circus to new generations. Classes are available for both adults and children. However, children under five years old are not permitted, due to safety concerns. Older adults are also welcome and accommodations will be made for physical limitations. The program offers instruction in swinging, catching and returning on the trapeze. Trampoline activities, like somersaults, twists and body positioning, are also offered. Classes are $80 per person with a minimum of four people and a maximum of seven people per class.

Hands-On Circus
Orlando, FL
(888) 795-2351

Hands-On Circus gives you and your guests the opportunity to experience for yourself the circus skills you have seen and loved. The circus instructors will come to your event and show you and your guests how to juggle, spin a plate and manipulate objects. Both children and adults will have a great time that they will relive in their memories for years to come. Hands-On Circus performs indoors or outdoors. Although the main office is in Orlando, Hands-On Circus instructors will gladly travel 100 miles from Orlando to ensure a memorable event for your guests.

Juggles The Clown
North Port, FL
(941) 426-4018

Jeff Lovett, aka Juggles the Clown, has been juggling since he was six years old. He created his alter ego, Juggles, when he was 16. Jeff will perform anywhere, at any time, and even has special LED juggling props for performances after dark. Interactive activities include learning to spin plates and hula hoops, balancing feathers and twisting balloons. Participants are even invited to take part in some of Juggles’ tricks. There is also a rabbit trick that is sure to thrill everyone.

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Katherine Bostick is a freelance writer covering all things Tampa Bay. Her work can be found on