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Frequently Asked Questions

That waiver form looks scary. Is this safe?

In October 2011, The Journal of American Youth Circus reported the results of a study done on youth circus centers around the nation showing that the risk of our training is at the level of basketball. We are well below martial arts, competitive gymnastics, and even horseback riding. Rest assured that you and your children are in well-trained and experienced hands. Please peruse the biographies of each of our coaches and feel free to ask any questions you like of any of us. Our classes are structured with the knowledge that we will have students of differing abilities in every class, so everyone is taught at their individual skill levels with safety as the highest priority. Various options for different tricks are offered to help new students develop the strength, flexibility, and endurance they need before moving on to more advanced endeavors.

As with any new exercise program, you should discuss your body's needs and limitations with your physician, and on your first day of class, make your coach aware of any physical issues you may have.

What is your cancellation policy?

Classes cancelled by the student within 24 hours’ notice or no-shows without documented illness, accident, or injury cannot be rescheduled. For 8 class packs, your 8 classes must be used within 12 weeks of the day of purchase. After 12 weeks, unused classes will expire and cannot be refunded without documented illness, accident or injury, or unless the student has moved greater than 50 miles from the CRCS. Thank you for your understanding.

CRCS reserves the right to cancel classes due to snow, coach illness or accident, equipment or facility problems, safety concerns, or low enrollment. In such cases, students may makeup that class in any available class slot. If students are unable to makeup classes cancelled by the CRCS within 12 weeks of purchase, the CRCS will issue them a gift certificate for those classes to be scheduled at the student’s convenience.

How do I cancel a class?

You may cancel your class online with at least 24 hours’ notice by logging into your account, accessing your “My Info” and “My Schedule” tabs, and clicking “Cancel” for that particular class day and time slot. The credit you used for that class will remain in your account, and you may then use it to schedule yourself into any other available class. You may also cancel by calling 443-996-8197, by emailing the school through the contact buttons on the website, or by emailing CRCS through this link.

Please remember that classes cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice (72 hours for specifically noted specialty workshops and courses) and no-shows are labelled as “Late Cancels” on the website and cannot be rescheduled without documented illness, accident, or injury.

How long are the classes?

Most of our classes are 1 hour. Please check the individual class listings for details.

How early should I arrive?

Please arrive about ten minutes prior to your class to sign in and begin stretching. There are coat hooks and cubbies in the lobby area, but we suggest carrying valuable items into the gym area with you. There are two individual restrooms available for changing if needed.

What should I wear?

For most circus skills training, simple gym work-out clothes do well. You'll want to wear something in which you are comfortable rolling and stretching. If you will be working bar trapeze and fabric, you'll want snugger clothing that still allows you to move easily. Tight-fitting under garments are best as well. Remember, you will frequently be upside down, and you don't want to have to let go to fix your clothes. For beginners, well-fitting sweat pants (not too baggy) or shorts with tucked in T-shirts are fine as long as your armpits are covered. (Nothing sleeveless.) For intermediate to advanced aerialists, we suggest wearing something tighter that covers your arms past the elbows (long sleeve T-shirts, Under-Armour, leotards) as well as something tighter that covers the backs of your knees (tights, leggings, Under Armour pants.)

Rings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and earrings that dangle may catch on the fabric or cause extra pain on the trapeze bar. So it’s best to leave them at home rather than have to take them off here.

Other items that are a good idea include good sneakers/tennis shoes and your own bicycle helmet and wrist guards for unicycling and stilt walking.

How do I get there?

The school is located at 6770 Oak Hall Lane, Suite 105, Columbia, MD 21045 just up the street from the Columbia East Post Office.

From Points South:
Take I-95 North to exit 38B to merge onto 32 westbound toward Columbia. Travel 1.9 miles, then take the exit toward Brokenland Parkway, then turn right onto Brokenland Parkway. Take the 1st right onto Snowden River Parkway. Travel 1.2 miles, then turn Left onto Oakland Mills Road. Take the 2nd right onto Oak Hall Lane. Follow Oak Hall lane past the Columbia Post Office, and it will dead end in our business complex parking lot. We are on the right.

From Points North:
Take I-95 South to exit 41A-41B for MD-175 E/​MD-175 W toward Jessup/​Columbia. Keep right at the fork and merge onto 175 West. Travel 1.3 miles then take the Snowden River Parkway exit. Turn left onto Snowden River Parkway. Travel 1.2 miles, then turn Right onto Oakland Mills Road. Take the 2nd Right onto Oak Hall Lane. Follow Oak Hall lane past the Columbia Post Office, and it will dead end in our business complex parking lot. We are on the right.

From Points West:
Follow 32 Eastbound. Take Exit 14A for Broken Land Parkway N. Merge onto Brokenland Parkway. Travel .4 mile then turn Right onto Snowden River Parkway. Travel 1.2 miles, then turn Left onto Oakland Mills Road. Take the 2nd right onto Oak Hall Lane. Follow Oak Hall lane past the Columbia Post Office, and it will dead end in our business complex parking lot. We are on the right.

From Points East:
Take 100 Westbound to exit 3 for Snowden River Parkway. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Snowden River Parkway. Travel 3.1 miles, then turn right onto Oakland Mills Road. Take the 2nd Right onto Oak Hall Lane. Follow Oak Hall lane past the Columbia Post Office, and it will dead end in our business complex parking lot. We are on the right.

What happens if I purchase an eight class package and miss one class?

If you cancel with at least 24 hours' notice, you may reschedule that class in any other available class slot. Please remember all 8 classes in an 8-pack must be used within 12 weeks of purchase.

What happens if I purchase an eight class package and miss multiple classes?

If you cancel with at least 24 hours' notice, you may reschedule those classes in any other available class slot. Please remember all 8 classes in an 8-pack must be used within 12 weeks of purchase.

What if it snows?

The Center Ring Circus School follows Howard County School's snow closures. If Howard County Schools are closed, the school will be closed, but if Howard County school's open late, the school will open at its normal time and classes will run as normally scheduled. We will depend on the students to check their local radio, television, or internet resources to learn if there is a snow closure.

What happens if my class is cancelled by the school?

CRCS reserves the right to cancel classes due to snow, coach illness or accident, equipment or facility problems, safety concerns, or low enrollment. In such cases, students may makeup that class in any available class slot. If students are unable to makeup a class or classes cancelled by the CRCS within 12 weeks of the class purchase, the CRCS will issue them a gift certificate good for the missing classes to be used at the student’s future convenience. In the event of a class cancellation for any reason other than snow, the school will make every effort to contact all of the students individually.

Can I just show up to take a class?

You can show up to take a class as a drop-in, but it is recommended to register online ahead of time (even same-day) to make sure there is space in the class. We’d hate for you to arrive to find out the class is full.

May I observe a class?

We welcome everyone to come watch what we do and even recommend it to anyone unsure if this type of training is for them. Parents are welcome to watch their students as well. However, our space is limited, so we request that all observers stay at or near the folding chairs in the front of the school or at the viewing window if the front training area isn't in use. We do ask that you do not enter the aerials area without an invitation by one of the coaches. For safety reasons, we reserve the right to request observers to leave the facility if it is becoming overcrowded.

May I take pictures?

Absolutely, but parents please just take candid, in-the-moment shots. Please don't call out to your children or wave for them to hold any particular position or to do something again. Circus skills are difficult enough without distractions. The last thing you want to see is your child falling off a unicycle because they stopped looking where they were going.

Can I start my eight class package at any time or do I have to wait for the beginning of a session?

All our classes are continuous, so you can begin any time, assuming there are spaces available in the class.

How Do I Register?

You may sign up and pay for classes online, by calling 443-996-8197, or by emailing us through the contact buttons on the website or directly at this link.

Our website allows you to purchase individual class credits or packs of 8 class credits, which you can then use to schedule the classes of your choice. Those credits can then be used to reserve your spot in any available class for which you meet the prerequisite requirements. (See class descriptions for details, but only our specifically labelled advanced classes, performance team, and workshops have prerequisites.)

To sign up and purchase classes online, click on the schedule or classes tab on our website and you will be taken to our registration page where you can log into your account or create a new one. Parents may choose to create an account just for their children or for themselves and their children. From there you will be able to choose the classes you want, verify that there is currently space available by looking at the enrollment numbers listed throughout the timeframe in which you intend to enroll, and purchase them as individual classes or in packs of 8 for each separate student.

You may also contact the CRCS by phone or email, and we will happily take your payments and set up your classes for you.

Do I need a separate online account for my child or children?

Parents can choose to create accounts just for their children or for themselves and their children. You will buy and schedule your children’s classes separately from inside their accounts. If parents create an account of their own, the may request the CRCS staff to link their account to their children’s account, which will allow them to pay for multiple children’s class credits at the same time. Parents will still need to log into their children’s accounts separately to schedule the classes they have purchased.

Are there discounts for multiple students?

If more than one person from a household purchases a pack of 8 classes, the first set is at full price, and subsequent concurrent 8-packs are 10% less. You will see the two options (“8-Class Pack – First 8-Pack For a Household” vs. “8-Class Pack – Additional 8-Pack in Same Household”) as your pricing options under Group Classes.

How much do classes cost?

All of our normal group classes cost $21 for an individual class credit and $136 ($17/class) for packs of 8 class credits. Please see individual class listings for details. Remember, you must purchase the class credits, then schedule the classes where you would like them.

How do I pay?

The CRCS accepts cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

Once you have decided what classes you want on the schedule and verified that there is currently space available by looking at the enrollment numbers listed throughout the timeframe in which you intend to enroll, you may click on “Sign Up Now” or “ONLINE STORE” and you will be taken to the retail screen to purchase individual class credits or packs of 8-class credits. After your purchase, you will then use those credits to register for the classes of your choice.

If you pay for your classes at the school, our staff will place your classes wherever you request them, but you will still be able to log into your account at your convenience to make cancellations, schedule changes, or to check your class credit balances.

I would like to sign up for a Parent and Child course, but I have more than one child that will be attending. How do I register?

We can add your additional child separately. Please call us directly to work out the details.

Can I take a single lesson, or do I have to sign up for the eight class package?

You can take individual classes as often as you like. By registering for an 8-class pack you receive the discounted rate.

Are there prerequisites to attend certain classes?

Yes. A few advanced classes and the performance team require you to have taken other classes, have a certain level of proficiency, or to be attending another course simultaneously. Please check individual class listings for details.

Can I use my eight class package to attend a variety of class types and times?

Yes. After you purchase your 8-Class pack, you will then reserve your slots in the various class types, days, and times of your choice depending on space availability.

Can I get a refund on unused classes?

We offer refunds on unused classes with documentation of an illness or injury that prevents you from further participation. We also offer refunds on unused classes with documentation that you are moving at least 50 miles away from the school. If you have been unable to use the 8 classes in your 8-Pack within the 12 week period because of cancellations made by the CRCS itself (i.e. snow, facility problems, or coach illness) you will be issued a gift certificate for those classes to be used at your convenience.