Social Circus


Using Performing Arts to Promote Youth Empowerment

Trenton, NJ


The Trenton Circus Squad embodies “Social Circus” as an organization that fosters community development and youth engagement through circus arts. We are witnessing a time when politicians call for “Law and Order” without addressing the root causes of violence in inner-city communities like Trenton that face chronic disinvestment. Working and playing with young teens at the Trenton Circus Squad will allow us to contribute to an organization that provides creative, challenging, and exciting opportunities for inner-city youth to learn, teach, and perform. Our conversations and experiences with the Trenton Circus Squad and other community members who specialize in topics ranging from education to law enforcement will push us to gain new perspectives regarding causes of and possible solutions to gun violence, the effects of growing up in an area with frequent violent crime, and the unexpected benefits of participating in artistic team-building activities that we may have taken for granted as children. We will also form meaningful and lasting personal connections with members of the Squad and the greater Trenton community.



Trip Leader Isla WeberIsla Weber '21

Isla Weber grew up in Indiana amongst a family of artists, musicians, and performers. She has been doing aerials for 8 years and teaching for 3 and is excited to share circus arts and the many benefits it brings with the Princeton community and beyond. In the case that she doesn’t run away with the circus in the next few years, she plans to major in Neuroscience on the Premed track (maybe Cirque Du Soleil is looking for a new onsite doctor?).


Trip Leader Meléa EmunahMeléa Emunah '21

Meléa Emunah started aerial dancing when she was seven and joined a aerial youth company in high school. At Princeton, she was thrilled to discover that Isla Weber also had a background in aerial arts, and helped Isla start the Princeton Aerial Arts Club. When she is not flying, Meléa enjoys falling (on the OA Wall as part of the Climbing Team) and studying CEE.