Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of song, dance, and ritualized fighting that is centered on a physical game called jogo de capoeira. Like Spock and Kirk forced to fight by a threatening tribunal of bearded men, two players dance around each other in the center of a circle, exchanging movements of attack and defense in a constant, heart-pumping flow. Both players attempt to control the space by confusing their opponent, although no intentional contact is made or harm done—unlike sticks and stones with hurtful words carved into them. The observers in the circle play a variety of traditional Brazilian instruments and sing, setting the pace and beat of the dance-fight. Explore the schedule to find times during the week that work for you; additional classes are held at 7 a.m. by appointment only. Each session will immerse you in the flips, feints, kicks, and songs of capoeira.
Born in Melbourne in 1978, Circus Oz is an animal-free circus troupe that performs all the death-defying stunts and astounding feats of Cirque de Soleil while undercutting its spectacle with a refreshing dose of irreverent Australian humor. The motley band of tumblers, tightrope-walkers, foot-jugglers, magicians, and acrobats favor leather pants, Viking helmets, and wild facial hair over spangly Lycra unitards—giving the circus a wondrously raw feel, like a steampunk Victorian circus comprised of Mad Max extras. Over the course of two hours, voluptuous ringleader Sarah Ward will unfold a cheeky phantasmagoria of star-crossed trapeze artists, roller discos, bicycles overflowing with 11 riders, two men balanced atop the shoulders of a single woman, and a mysterious event known only as “the senior citizens’ hour of power.” An off-kilter brass band (complete with a tiny tricycle organ) replaces the typical cirque’s New Age mood music with joyous rock and roll.
The Shawl-Anderson Dance Center offers a slew of adult classes each week in a non-competitive environment that welcomes dancers of all skill levels. Instructors have years of performing, choreographing, and teaching experience to bestow high-caliber training upon their eager pupils. Tutued beginners tulle up for ballet or prepare for overdressed conditioning during Pilates. The Horton Modern Technique focuses on flexibility and strength, lengthening spines and hamstrings like ropes of sentient saltwater taffy. Unleash inner b-boys and girls through a series of intricate pops and locks during a 75-minute hip-hop class (clean sneakers required). More experienced toe tappers can try to grab hold of contemporary jazz after firmly grasping modern, jazz, or ballet. Founded by Frank Shawl and Victor Anderson in 1958, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center’s classes were first taught above a liquor and tobacco store on College Avenue and have since been moved to a beautiful Craftsman across the street, which houses four sunny studios for twirling, jumping, and gooey spinal articulation. Use today’s deal to shower new dance moves on unsuspecting party guests and supermarket checkout lines.
Studio 12 flys is an aerial dance program specializing in low flying trapeze, sling, and rope and harness work. We have 6 teaching aerialists committed to the merging of dance and aerial arts and offering a rare blend of creativity, aerial technique, improvisation, time and space to motivate the artist within you.
Trapeze School New York’s expansion west meant Angelenos no longer had to cross the country to join the circus. At their outdoor studio on the Santa Monica Pier, highly trained instructors teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced maneuvers during classes on the flying trapeze, aerial silks, lyra, trampoline, and Spanish web. All of Trapeze School New York’s countrywide facilities in New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, and LA hold themselves to high safety standards that account for everything from equipment to instructors and safety belts. In an effort to bring their flying-trapeze instruction to surrounding communities regardless of funding, the school also gives lessons through their nonprofit branch of operations.
Kinetic Arts Center's skilled instructors mix thrilling circus techniques with muscle-building fitness programs in a lengthy roster of classes for all ages, available seven days a week. In beginners' acrobatics classes, budding three-ring stars flip, cartwheel, and somersault on a 2,600-square-foot circus-training floor, and in the hand-balance course, Cirque du Soleil performers teach participants how to perform a proper handstand without having to bribe gravity to cooperate. Students in the Circus Condition & Fitness class can tone muscles while climbing lofty aerial apparatuses and other circus gear, or remain on solid ground to singe calories on traditional fitness equipment. Many adults’ and kids' classes take place at the same time, allowing parents to bolster flexibility in Pilates, tai chi, and yoga classes as children simultaneously discover how to ride a wild circus clown.