Aerial arts are a way to spice up your workout and Toledo’s Bird’s Eye View Circus at the Collingwood Art Center, can help you take to the air. Devoted to circus arts and founded in 2012, the studio is now operated by longtime troupe members and offers classes in aerial arts, including silks, hoops and other trapeze techniques, along with juggling, stilt walking and much more.
Bird’s Eye View Circus was founded by Erin Pierson in 2012 when current owners Renee Granados, Matthew James Miller, Morgan Sopko, and Chloe Whiting-Stevenson were among her first students. Ten years later in 2022, the group purchased the business from Pierson.
“Erin was our teacher and mentor in circus arts,” Granados said. “Something that is important to us is the culture. Inclusivity and positivity are things Pierson instilled, and we continue to strive for today.”
Classes offer “something for everyone”
Classes are offered every day of the week.
“We have a mix of things,” Granados explains, adding, “in aerial arts we have the silks, the trapeze, the lyra and the swing. We offer those classes at various levels, from beginner to more advanced.”
Bird’s Eye also has sampler classes, to allow an introduction to aerial, juggling and hoop dancing. Flow Arts class offers a taste of different disciplines such as hula hoops, poi (weighted objects that are spun) and dragon staff (a long stick, used as a baton with “dragon” referring to a flaming baton, for the more advanced student).
Youth classes start as young as seven, and Granados points out that they have adults taking classes into their 50s.
“There is a good diversity of age,” Granados said. “We have a grandmother who teaches a class, and her granddaughter takes classes. It’s an exciting thing to see because one thing we like to say in the circus is that age and body type don’t matter; we’re all capable of surprising ourselves. In class we are all there to learn and everybody is where they are — that’s why the positivity aspect is an important pillar for how we run our business. We are always trying to make the classes as accessible to as many people as possible.”
Circus Training Camp and Performances
Birds Eye View Circus offers an annual camp for youth and teens in half day sessions where students learn circus skills at different levels. In July they offered a circus performance camp that focuses exclusively on how to be a performer and concludes with a performance for friends and family.
Granados says circus arts have the ability to “turn your mood around.”
The Birds Eye View troupe performs at events, with show-stopping aerial performances as well as “roaming” entertainment, interacting with crowds on the ground with juggling, hoops and poi.
Showcasing Students Work
Students perform in showcases a few times a year with an upcoming performance at Toledo Pride on Aug. 19 in downtown Toledo. Showcase performances can include storytelling based using a whole cast plus props to tell stories.
“Helping students find that magic and creativity is why I fell in love with circus arts,” Granados says.
Bird’s Eye View Circus, 2413 Collingwood Blvd. (567) 694-6628. birdseyeviewcircus.com