Surrey teens can learn circus skills during free sessions that return to Surrey Arts Centre in January.
The Envision Financial-sponsored Cirque Surrey classes are held on Tuesday evenings from Jan. 15 to March 12, in the studio theatre at Bear Creek Park.
Eight sessions are planned, with space for 32 budding circus performers aged 12 to 19.
“We’ve got some people who’ve been in the program for three years,” instructor Mike Battie says in a Cirque Surrey promo video on Surrey Civic Theatres’ Youtube channel.
“The skills have just gone through the roof,” Battie adds.
Circus instruction focuses on juggling, stilt-walking, diabolo, devil sticks, plate spinning and more.
“We have unicycles. C’mon man,” says a class participant in the Cirque Surrey video.
All experience levels are welcome, performance opportunities available.
Battie learned to juggle while in college, and he later took those skills to stages at Expo 86 in Vancouver.
“Right place, right time,” he said in 2017. “I learned a lot of different (circus) skills, and I came to Vancouver with a thought of becoming an actor. People knew what I could do, and juggling became my job for a while because after Expo, everyone wanted to have a juggling act.
“That was the advent of street entertainment, locally, right there,” he added. “I was still inexperienced but I got a lot of jobs for a guy who had my experience.”
At Surrey Arts Centre, the 90-minute sessions run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays at the arts centre, 13750 88th Ave.
To register, use code 4635860 online at surrey.ca/register, or call 604-501-5100.