Reporting Ron Matz
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—You can run away to the circus without quitting your day job thanks to some “big top fun” now underway in Baltimore.
Ron Matz reports it’s all happening in Highlandtown.
Erica Saben is the founder of Charm City Movement Arts, a talented wire walker who started teaching adult circus and dance classes in Baltimore about a year ago.
“I noticed that there’s really no circus school in Baltimore, so we decided it was time to change that. We had our first class in October of 2011,” Saben said.
There’s tumbling and pyramids. You can learn how to juggle too.
“We offer adult classes in circus and adult classes in dance,” she continued. “You can come here and learn to walk the tightrope, learn how to do back flips, learn how to ride a unicycle, learn how to juggle, or if you just don’t think you’re that coordinated you can do some ballet.”
Baltimoreans are finding their circus skills here.
“It’s been great. The community has been so warm and welcoming. We’ve had a lot of great students come in. They’re very enthusiastic and just excited we offer this. This is something people couldn’t do before we came,” Saben said.
Jennifer Stiles is taking Chinese acrobatic classes.
“We do tumbling, jumping through hoops and pyramid building,” said Stiles, of Columbia. “I was a competitive cheerleader in high school. I got married and had kids and a job. I really wanted to do something that was a little bit more active. I actually walked into a coffee shop, and there was the flier on the wall, and I said ‘that is something I’m totally interested in.’”
And doing this takes time and a commitment.
For circus performers like Saben, it’s their life.
“I’ve been doing circus all of my adult life. That’s what I do for a living. I’m a performer. I also teach at the Philadelphia School for Circus Arts,” Saben said.
And every day in the circus business you never know what might happen next.
“When you go to the gym you’re kind of on your own,” Stiles said. “Here it’s a team environment. It’s more fun. It’s always interesting, and the class is always changing.”
Charm City Movement arts classes are held in Highlandtown.