Sailor Circus: Sarasota’s Premier Youth Circus Program


Sailor Circus, located in Sarasota, Florida, stands as one of the most renowned youth circus programs in the United States. Founded in 1949, this unique institution has been captivating audiences and nurturing young talent for decades, blending the artistry of circus performance with the discipline of training and the camaraderie of a close-knit community. Learn more here.


History and Origins:

Sailor Circus owes its origins to the creative vision of circus legend Pedro Reis and the enthusiastic support of local educators and community leaders. Reis, a former circus performer, believed in the transformative power of circus arts to build confidence, discipline, and teamwork among young individuals. This belief led to the establishment of Sailor Circus under the auspices of the Sarasota County School Board. Learn more about The Palms Golf Club at Forest Lakes: A Golfing Haven in Sarasota, FL.


Program Structure:

Sailor Circus offers a comprehensive program that encompasses a wide range of circus disciplines, including aerial arts, acrobatics, juggling, balance, clowning, and more. Participants, who range in age from 8 to 18, are organized into different performance levels, each with its own curriculum tailored to the students’ skills and experience. This tiered approach ensures that students can progress and refine their talents over time.


Training and Education:

Central to Sailor Circus is its commitment to providing professional-level training to its students. The program emphasizes not only the physical skills required for circus performance but also the mental and emotional attributes needed for success in the circus arena and beyond. Participants learn perseverance, adaptability, and the importance of teamwork through rigorous training sessions.


Performances and Impact:

Sailor Circus showcases its students’ achievements through captivating public performances held under its iconic big top tent. These performances not only provide a platform for students to display their acquired skills but also offer a unique form of entertainment for the local community. The sense of accomplishment and personal growth experienced by the young performers leaves a lasting impact on their lives.


Community and Legacy:

Beyond training and performances, Sailor Circus fosters a strong sense of community. Alumni of the program often credit it with providing them not only with circus skills but also with life skills that have guided them in various career paths. This legacy continues as new generations of young performers pass through the program.



Sailor Circus remains a testament to the enduring appeal of circus arts and their power to shape young lives. Its rich history, comprehensive training, and profound impact on individuals and the community make it a cherished institution in Sarasota, Florida, and a beacon of inspiration for aspiring circus artists worldwide.