Zip Zap USA

Our Mission:

Circus Magic

inspiring young people. making the impossible possible. transforming lives. 


Our Story

Zip Zap USA was born out of a very special circus that began in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1992. At that time, South Africa’s first democratic elections were still several years away and the country was in turmoil, but international circus performer Brent van Rensburg felt called to return to his homeland. At the very moment when many people were leaving, Brent and his wife Laurence (who was also his trapeze partner!) moved to Cape Town. They were determined to help make Nelson Mandela’s dream of a rainbow nation into a reality. Together, they launched a project that would help create a global movement: circus for social transformation.

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Our Impact

Since 1992, Zip Zap social circus schools around the world have changed the lives of young people, regardless of their ability to pay.

A career in the circus is not the goal of social circus programs (although many Zip Zap kids have gone on to perform as professionals around the world!). Rather, the objective of social circus is to increase self-awareness, individuality, collective unity, and self-discipline in order to transform the vision and capabilities of at-risk youth.

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Get Involved

Be part of our circus magic! Here are three important ways you can help bring more circus magic to more children in the United States!


collaborate with us

Join our esteemed list of partners, including Cirque Du Soleil, SOS Children’s Villages, and many churches and governmental organizations around the world. Let’s create circus magic together!

Attend a performance

We are in the process of planning our 2020 performance schedule throughout the U.S. Get on the list to be notified about events and performances coming to a location near you!

Make a Donation

Children never pay to participate in our programs! Your donation, small or large, will make a real difference to a child!  Help us make circus magic happen for more children!


what they say

Daniel Lamarre President, Cirque du Soleil

“In 2011, along with 30 Saltimbanco artists and employees, I had the privelege of visiting Zip Zap. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to experience firsthand the contagious joy, enthusiasm and hope shared by all those who come in contact with Zip Zap programs.

We at Cirque du Soleil salute Zip Zap’s remarkable social involvement and commitment to its community. Zip Zap is the living proof that actions speak louder than words and that the sky is the limit when we all come together! May your activities continue to inspire!”

Zip Zap Kids

“Zip Zap helped me a lot with not being afraid. It has given me a dream to live for, a purpose for the future.”

“Zip Zap taught me circus skills, but also self-respect and how to respect other people.”

“Zip Zap has made a change in me. Through Zip Zap, I believe I can also make a change to the next generation.”