New England Center for Circus Arts Profile

By Amy Brady

As a kid (or even an adult) did you ever dream about running away to join the circus? Didn’t we all. Of course, if you really wanted to run away to join a circus you’d better do some work on developing your performance skills. As luck would have it you can do that right here in Brattleboro, Vermont at the New England Center for Circus Arts.

This school was established in 2003 by identical twins Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion. Elsie and Serenity are world renowned circus performers. They spent four years with Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco and performed with Ringling Bros., Barnum and Baily’s Circus and well as many other top circus companies. As performers they present a duo trapeze and duo fabric act, as well as various solos on aerial apparatus. Serenity also performs a partner hand balancing act with her husband, Bill Forchion. Elsie and Serenity have spent many years teaching and choreographing throughout the world.

At Forty Putney Road Bed and Breakfast we have had the honor of meeting some of their students from all across America. Some of our guests attending the school have specialized in contortion and trapeze. However, the classes at the New England Center for Circus Arts have a broad range of offerings and appeal. Classes include fixed trapeze, aerial fabric, flying trapeze, acrobatics, dance, Pilates, yoga, clowning, stilting, and juggling. So if you are into building strength & flexibility, poise, self-confidence and creative self expression – well and of course having fun – then perhaps Circus School is for you.

Then again, if you are like me, perhaps you can just appreciate others as they perform (Check out performance dates of their company Nimble Arts). Either way the New England Center for Circus Arts is just one more thing that makes our little town of Brattleboro so unique, vibrant and just a little off center. If you would like more information about the New England Center for Circus Arts check out their website at Of course, if you do decide to try your hand at trapeze or stilting, we hope that you will stay at our lovely Brattleboro Vermont B&B and share your good times with us!