After 10 years performing with the world’s most famous circus, Kosta Zakharenko and Christine Cadeau chose to leave Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam and pass on their knowledge of circus arts to the Hamilton area. The couple established Zacada Circus School eight years ago and currently has an enrollment of 250 students who travel all the way from Oakville to Fort Erie.
The school specializes in training individuals for a career in the circus. Ten former students of Zacada have been accepted into The National Circus School which is located across the street from Cirque du Soleil headquarters and scouts often visit the school searching for performers to join their extremely skilled and talented team.
Although the competition is steep when getting into Cirque du Soleil, Kosta reminds us that it’s only one of many large circuses in the world, and says, “The Moscow circus has 5000 performers…circus in Europe is a big tradition.” Kosta grew up in the Ukraine and began studying acrobatics at only six years old. He earned two silver medals in the worldwide championship of acrobatic gymnastics before joining Cirque du Soleil. He mentions that circus artists often coach or open their own business following their performance career, and says , “Of course I love coaching, it’s good to see the kids learn.”
The school is a dynamic space which not only allows students to train to be acrobats, aerialists and trapeze artists, but transforms into a theatre that can seat 160 people. Zacada has performances throughout the year which feature 24 professionals that train five to six times a week.
Zacada introduces children and adults to the physical benefits and fun of circus arts. Approximately 40,000 kids have experienced Zacada through school trips, birthday parties and programs. Zacada was voted as “the best birthday party” in Hamilton by Readers Choice. Zacada performers have made appearances at Supecrawl, Dundas Buskerfest, Burlington Children’s Festival, Winona Peach Festival and various corporate events.
Take a look at this performance act from Zacada’s trapeze artists: