If you’ve been to the circus, it’s hard to not be in awe of the entertainer fearlessly walking the tightrope or the trampolinist who flawlessly soars through the air with somersaults and jumps.
While it may seem like an unreachable pipe dream, the Zip Zap Circus School is turning this around for aspiring circus entertainers.
Founded in 1992, the idea was to create a new, diverse culture that would bring children from different backgrounds together. Through conducting ongoing circus training and performance programmes, the Zip Zap Circus Schools acts as a platform for youngsters to learn and play through their shared love of the performing arts. Furthermore, the school acts as a tool for community upliftment and youth empowerment for underprivileged children.
There is a range of programmes available at the Zip Zap Circus. The beginners class takes place on Saturday mornings between 9 am – 10: 30 am, running from February through to September. There is also an intermediate programme available to children who have been in the beginners programme for at least a year. Finally Simunye (meaning ‘we are one’) is the core of Zip Zap’s programmes, where participants get to partake in the school’s shows. Practices take place during school holidays and every Friday and Saturday afternoon.
While the school mainly operates in the Western Cape, there have also been a handful of tours parading their enthralling performances and providing skills transmission programmes. To date, there have been 27 international tours and innumerable media showcases.
The future of these Zip Zap kids has been considerably bright, with some going on to become international performance artists and others regarded as valued assets to the entertainment and filming industry.