Circus in Florence-Graham

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Whether competing, hosting, or judging meals on Food Network, chef Aar?n S?nchez is a much loved culinary personality for in part for his enthusiasm, his love of guitars and motorcycles, and of course, his unmatched Latin fusion cuisine. At Crossroads Restaurant at House of Blues, he's designed his signature menu from the ground up, filling it with, in his words, "American classics through my eyes. Reimagined. Reinvented."

Here, the parade of unique eats starts right at the top of the menu with a cornbread appetizer studded with jalapenos and blanketed in maple butter. His citrus-marinated pork chop is rubbed with adobo seasoning and served atop a black-eyed pea and butternut squash picadillo, and shrimp po-boys evoke the Big Easy. Since the dining room is right next to the House of Blues main stage, even concertgoers have enough time to finish up with a bourbon bread pudding or a slice of key lime pie.

8430 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles,
CA
US

Fanny Kerwich, Lone Star Circus?s founder and current creative director, was born with the circus in her blood. An eighth-generation member of a renowned French circus family, she has been performing since age 6, delighting international audiences at Paris?s Lido and Moulin Rouge, Germany?s Circus Roncalli, and San Francisco?s Teatro ZinZanni.

Fanny?s performing experience and artistic vision now guide the nonprofit Lone Star Circus, which is a two-branched operation. Its performance troupe?s grace and athleticism shine during shows. The circus?s school hosts classes for adults and children throughout the week. Beginners? classes cover a variety of circus skills, from trapeze and aerial silk work to acrobatics and lyra, also known as aerial hoop. Learning to lift and hold your own body weight is a good way to get stronger and see muscle definition quickly.

5640 1/2 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles,
CA
US

With a history stretching back more than 40 years, Circus Vargas wows audiences with dazzling acrobatics and rib-tickling clowns under a giant big-top tent. The show eschews animal performers for human-costumed spectacles, showcasing dazzling feats that only a few dexterous humans and short-circuited cyborgs are capable of. The circus's big top, hand-fashioned in Milan from 90,000 square feet of fabric, holds up to 1,500 show-goers in classic, blue-dyed elegance. Early-arriving guests can take part in an interactive preshow, jumping in the ring with ringmaster Jon Weiss as he leads audience members through tutorials that show how to perform stunts such as juggling, feather balancing, and balancing checkbooks with quill pens.

6600 Topanga Canyon Boulevard
Los Angeles,
CA
US

It doesn't take a superhero's physique or a disregard for the laws of gravity to become one of those daring people on the flying trapeze. And you don't have to be French, Canadian, or French-Canadian to perform those eye-popping, jaw-dropping feats seen in Cirque du Soleil. According to Cirque School founder Aloysia Gavre, "anybody with any body" can run away with the circus, and she should know. As a former Cirque du Soleil aerialist, Aloysia's has long been dominated by a passion for the circus arts. Her Cirque School has been teaching the tricks of the trade to new generations of circus performers since 2004, when it started humbly in a small Pilates studio. These small classes quickly blossomed into a full-time community institution as the school expanded into its current 6,000 square foot Hollywood studio. It's here where Gavre and her team of aerialists, contortionists, acrobats, stilt walkers, jugglers, and balance experts turn even the most casual circus fan into a full-blown big-top fanatic. They've even become the go-to for Hollywood productions seeking circus training, including consulting work for network shows and making Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz look like natural-born circus performers in Water for Elephants.

In classes designed for ages 14 and up, Cirque School melds professional circus training with limberness-enhancing Pilates. It tones frames, cultivates flexiblity, and gives helps give future circus strongmen their strength, all while filling students with mental and physical wellness. It's rigorous, but that rigor is always overshadowed by fun, and as sticklers for safety, nobody works without crash pads. Dangling from a 10- to 19-foot open barrel-roof ceiling, students work their cores and upper bodies in the Pilates-infused Aerial Fitness & Conditioning class, a 60-minute workshop on beginner-level trapeze, fabric, and rope tricks such as climbing gracefully or lassoing the instructor. AcroFit & Intro to Handstands participants hold handstands and develop tumbling techniques in a 60-minute cross-training program held in the school’s 6,000 square feet of industrial loft space. Alternatively, students can lengthen their limbs during Flexibility & Stretch, a 90-minute cocktail of circus contortion, dance training, and rubber-band impersonation.

5640 1/2 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles,
CA
US