With Cirque du Soleil in town this month, you might be wondering, “How in the hell do they do that?” Well, you can find out at local studio Charm City Movement Arts (CCMA), which offers circus classes, for both big-top wannabes and those looking for a unique workout. CCMA director Erica Saben had a background in modern dance and was performing ballet in Philadelphia when a juggling group discovered her in 2006. For the next few years, the Give & Take Little Circus took Saben under its wing and taught her the ins and outs of circus performance. Last fall, she relocated to Baltimore and opened CCMA, which offers classes in acrobatics, unicycling, tightwire, and juggling. “I realize not everyone will go on to be a professional, but we teach it as a performance art,” Saben says. “If nothing else, it’s a fun way to stay fit for people bored with their routine.” She says that, particularly, the tightwire class is a hardcore workout without feeling like one. Saben continues to perform herself at places like the Summer Solstice Festival. “The three-ring circus is now a relic,” she says. “It’s evolved more into an art form.”
A new Highlandtown studio teaches circus performance.
Issue date: August, 2012