Congrats to the March #AYCOPhotoContest winner Noelle. She has been a member of a youth circus named Circus Minius for 8 years. She is 15 years old. She is a sophomore in high school. Her other interests are volleyball and student government. This photo was taken at one of our weekly practices. The young man in the photo is Christian Kennedy. He is 18 years old and has been training with our team for 3 years.


📰 AYCO Monthly Newsletter

AYCO Youth Membership costs $35 per year and is for anyone 21 and under and college students who are passionate about circus arts. This is your chance to plug into the national circus community, network and show off  your circus pride.


Membership benefits include:

Surprise swag mailed to your door three times a year
Eligibility to perform in AYCO event showcases
Discounts on events and merchandise
Monthly email AYCOgram newsletter filled with circus opportunities, news, and videos just for you!
Want to join? Grab an adult and click the button below!


👥 Let’s Get Social!

Are you following us on social media? 👀 If not, hit that follow button so we can connect! We want to see more of you in our feed so we can send you social love and share your highlights, training gains, shows and more. You can follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, where we like to keep you up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of circus, with our organization and members. Plus we like to share circus inspo, helpful resources and more. What are you waiting for? Click and connect!

Be sure to tag us using #AmericanYouthCircusOrganization and use our new hashtags: #WeCircusBetterTogether and #TheFutureIsCircus (You can follow these hashtags too!)


📅 EdCon 2022: Save the date!!

Mark your calendars, EdCon 2022 is on the way! We are planning for EdCon 2022 to be LIVE and in person at  Sky Candy in Austin, TX October 7-9th 2022!


We anticipate that travel and gathering will feel comfortable and safe by that time, and of course we will have specific COVID policies in place. There will be an online component for those that can’t attend, but we are so very excited to foster an event with physical workshops and face-to-face connections after such a long hiatus! More details to come!


🗣️  ACE Discussion Series 2022

The American Circus Educators Association is excited to present a bimonthly online discussion series for continuing education and professional development for circus educators. Each session is based on a particular topic and facilitated by a community expert in that topic!

Attendance is FREE to current ACE/AYCO members.
Non-members pay a small sliding-scale fee, $5-20.
Space per session is limited.

Sessions are one hour long, every other month on the second Tuesday, at 12pm Eastern Time/11am Central Time/10am Mountain Time/9am Pacific Time. The sessions are not recorded, in order to create a space where attendees are comfortable participating fully in discussion – though some of the facilitator’s introduction may be recorded and made available to registrants after the session. Check out the upcoming events below!

Tuesday May 10th, 2022: Supporting Students with Anxiety and Panic

This discussion will start with an expanded excerpt from the longer training “Unafraid – Mental Health Tools for Circus Communities”. We will discuss elements of anxiety and panic as adaptive traits, and what happens when they become overwhelming or disordered in circus students. Participants will leave with concrete tools for supporting their students who experience anxiety and panic, as well as tools they can use to soothe and ground themselves as needed.


💸 New Member Discounts

Exciting news! We just added new discounts to your membership perks! Our friends at Mighty Grip, Rubberbandtiz and Circus Doc are hooking you up with savings on their Circus training and learning tools. Not a member yet? Now’s a great time to join!

New Hup Squad Blog Posts

Our HUP Squad has been hard at work this month, and have written four new blog posts with helpful and insightful circus information. Take a read! And be sure to share with a circus friend!  


How to Stay Safe on the Internet – By Jocelyn Bridges

We know that the internet can be very beneficial for many things: publicity, getting discovered, making friends/connecting with people, and widening your knowledge. But, what about the downsides? Here are 3 ways to protect yourself from these unwanted problems. Continue Reading

Who Is Judy Finelli – by Emily Fulton

When you think of Judy Finelli, what comes to mind? I’m guessing your response was either “Hold up; you didn’t tell me this was a test” or “I have no clue, tell me more.” Those are both completely valid responses, and probably how I would have answered that question just six months ago. Continue Reading


How to Practice Aerial at Home Safely – By Annika Egerstedt

During the Covid shutdowns, there has been an influx of home rigs. A home rig seems like a good idea to keep up strength and tricks or even to get some extra practice in between classes. However, if done incorrectly it becomes dangerous real quickly. . .Here are some advice I give to my students when they ask about home rigs. Continue Reading


30 Minutes of Aerial Warm-up and Stretches – Daisy Coleman

Do you ever set up your silks or Lyra or circus apparatus, and then realize you have no idea where to begin? If you’re wondering what are the best and easiest ways to warm up, stretch, and condition safely on the ground, here are some suggestions! Continue Reading

Safety Spotlight

Paper Doll Militia is a recognized member of the Safety Program specializing in aerial education and theatrical productions. Their pieces seamlessly weave together dynamic physicality, aerial arts, and visual theatre. They emphasize a mixture of modern and vintage mediums as well as invented aerial apparatus to create their signature aesthetic; dreamy, whimsical, and dark.
Paper Doll Militia’s teacher training and certification program is available worldwide through their remote format and they have two scholarship programs to help address inequity within the industry. Paper Doll Militia also offers retreats in beautiful locations around the world. The next retreat will be in Panama, Oct 2022, and will feature aerial classes on sailboats! Stay up to date with all their current offerings by signing up to their Mailing list. The next opportunity to join a remote teacher training is in June of 2022. Details on the website:

“Paper Doll Militia’s Teacher Training Program has been recognized through ACE for almost 3 years. We have loved being a part of this amazing community. Every year, we look forward to the ACE and AYCO conferences as a place to reignite our passion and connect with other teaching professionals. The amazing detail of the Safety Program has helped us to continue to update our programming and continually improve upon our offerings to the community.”

CSAW Circus School Application Deadline Mastersheet

Are You, Your Students or Your Kiddos Getting Ready to Audition for Circus Schools This Year? CSAW is Here to Help!
CSAW – Connecting Circus Students Around the World has released their 2022 Circus School Application Deadline Mastersheet! Click here:
This spreadsheet includes: 
• Circus schools
• Links to applications
• Application deadlines
• Audition dates
• The CSAW Ambassador for the school 
• How to contact that ambassador! 
• What is a CSAW Ambassador? 
A CSAW Ambassador is a current student of their international circus school. They are here to support you through applying, auditioning and attending circus school. If you have a question about a school just send the Ambassador an email or a DM and get an honest answer from a student of that school asap!
There are currently 16 CSAW Ambassadors to help future circus generations. You can find all of the current CSAW Ambassadors by clicking here:


2022 Circus International Film Festival Tickets On Sale Now!

Tickets are on sale now for the 2022 Circus International Film Festival, which runs online from Pie Day (March 13) to World Circus Day (April 16), at

Please contact for sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, and follow @circusinternationalfilmfestival on FB and IG, or visit for more information.


Cirques Experience’s 2022 Wheel Weekend

The 2022 Cirques Experience is hosting the annual March Weekend. Held in the north side of Chicago, Wheel Weekend is a great opportunity to expand circus artists’ skills and knowledge in the world of wheel.

There are several workshops including Cyr wheel, Gym Wheel, Judging, Coaching and More! Whether the focus is performance, competition, physical fitness, or merely FUN, all are welcome! Whether a beginner or a professional this is a great opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills.

When: March 18, 8:00AM – March 20, 5:00PM

Where: 5944 N. Magnolia Ave | Chicago, IL, 60660 | USA

More information can be found below as well as registration for Wheel Weekend.


Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center: Summer Circus & Dance Creation Lab Auditions

The Summer Circus & Dance Creation Lab is a two-week program that culminates in a performance.  Students will have the opportunity to take technique classes in dance and circus such as contemporary dance, jazz, hip-hop, aerial silks, trapeze, lyra, juggling, and acrobatics. Students will have the opportunity to choose their technique classes for the two weeks.  Pending on the goals of the students (see Audition Form), we have the capacity to include faculty in other disciplines such as African Dance, Latin Dance, Cyr Wheel, and Aerial Straps.

When: July 18 – 29 (2 weeks) | Performance July 30
For Ages 8+
*Virtual Audition Required
Deadline: April 22 or when all spaces are full ​
Get more details at:


Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance presents the 24th International Aerial Dance Festival

Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance presents the 24th international Aerial Dance Festival 2022: July 31-August 12. Boulder, CO.
3-Hour Immersions, 90-Minute Classes, Workshops, Panels, Performances, and more in person in Boulder, CO! Learn more about the festival and this year’s incredible Faculty Artists Here.
ADF 2022 Early Bird Discount Package Registration OPEN NOW through March 28. First come – first served. This is your opportunity to get your spot in classes first! Register Here.


Nimble Arts Workshops are back!

June 20 – 24: Nimble Arts Introduction to Teaching Aerials hosted by NECCA in Brattleboro, VT for anyone embarking on or expanding your teaching practice.  Learn the foundations including spotting, skill progressions, classroom management, posture analysis, injury prevention etc.

July 2-7: Tree Dancing Workshop in collaboration with certified arborist, in Weare, NH. Learn the ropes of how to ascend into trees and dance with them in this outdoor combination of aerials, harness dancing and creativity.  Great for beginners and experienced movers alike this workshop is excellent for generating environmentally focused creative material within the natural landscape.

For info & registration visit:


Circus Smirkus Camp Registration is OPEN!

At Smirkus Camp, kids develop new ways to challenge themselves, learn skills like teamwork and problem solving, get terrific physical conditioning, and enjoy fun summer camp traditions like singalongs, costume themed dinners, kickball, and more!
This summer, Circus Smirkus is offering the following sessions at Smirkus Camp, including placement-based camps that require a video submission, as marked with ★ below:
Smirkling Camp | 1 day | June 18 | Ages 5-11
All Levels Circus Camp | 1 week | June 19-June 24 | Ages 8-16
All Levels Circus Camp | 2 weeks | June 26-July 8 | Ages 8-16
Intermediate Camp | 2 weeks | July 10-22 | Ages 12-18
★ Intermediate Skills Intensive | 3 weeks | July 24-August 12 | Ages 12-18
★ Advanced Ensemble | 3 weeks | July 24-August 12 | Ages 12-18
★ Advanced Individual Acts | 3 weeks | July 24-August 12 | Ages 12-18
Get more information and sign up at

Circus Harmony

The flying children of Circus Harmony are taking off at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport! What more natural place to exhibit Circus Harmony’s fabulous flying children than the airport? Who better to welcome visitors or returning residents than the bounciest ambassadors of this metropolis? The young subjects of these photos are amazing aviators themselves. The photography exhibit Watch Out for Flying Children, will be at the Lambert Gallery on the lower level from March 15- September 15, 2022.  The exhibit is a photographic journey that follows the flying children of Circus Harmony as they defy gravity, soar with confidence and leap over social barriers in St. Louis and beyond! The photos span from 2004 through 2022. You can also follow the flying children via their website,, and social media. You might even see them flipping, flying, and flinging live some days at the airport!


CircEsteem on the Rise!

CircEsteem has expanded quickly in the past couple of years.  CircEsteem now has 7 long-term satellite sites and one main hub site located throughout Chicago offering social circus programming to 425 youth each week!
Five years ago, CircEsteem had one program site.  CircEsteem students continue to grow more committed to the community, many graduating high school and going off to college, but always coming back to support the organization during breaks by teaching their younger peers.  Several of our youth have grown up, gone to college (or not), and now work leading programs for the next generation of CircEsteem kids.  
The organization is working to realize a city-wide model, where neighborhood programs interact with each other intentionally in order to fulfill our mission of uniting youth across all backgrounds and identities, while also working towards our goal of equitable access for youth from around the city.
Our goal is to bring all the different neighborhoods together to take part in our Summer Circus Tour, which performs 15 times in 15 different communities during the summer time!


Game of the Month: Micro Dance!

Materials Needed: Music playing device

How to Play: Play a popular school appropriate song with a strong beat. Demonstrate various dances using different body parts. For example: Nodding your head to the core beat, moving your fingers on a mat as if they were legs, leaning side to side. Ask students to join you in the simplest of movements. If some students choose to sing along, welcome that.

Variations: You can assign students to lead a dance move, popcorn, go around the circle, or drop a name list into the chat (if online). Remember to encourage participants to keep it simple and repeatable. 

Reflections: What was it like to move as a group? How is your focus after moving your body? 
Teacher Notes: Song choice is everything. If students suggest a song, make sure you preview it ahead of time. People get teased a lot for their dance skills. This activity is best with only small movements so there can be a communal experience without any shaming. 

CSAW Microgrants for US Circus Artists of Color

CSAW – Connection Circus Students Around the World met their fundraising goal for the second year in a row and it means that they can provide another year of Microgrants! To be eligible to apply for a CSAW Microgrant for US Circus Artists of Color you must identify as a person of color who is a citizen, resident alien, or permanent resident of the United States looking to further their education in circus and/or fund their circus related projects and needs. All applicants must be 14 years or older to apply for and receive a Microgrant. Applications are open from the 1st-15th of every month. For more information click here.


Discounts for AYCO/ACE Members

Want to get discounts with these awesome Circus vendors? Discounts are just another awesome perk of being an ACE member.  Become a member today!


AYCO News Article Submission

Interested in including your news or events relevant to the national circus community in AYCO/ACE’s newsletters? Send your submissions to by the 2nd Friday of the month to be included in our monthly newsletter. Submissions should be no longer than 150 words, written in the third person, and include appropriate links and contact information if relevant. We cannot include PDFs or images, but we can link to them. Please also indicate if you would like your submission included in the AYCOgram (directed towards youth), ACE News (directed towards organizations and educators), or both.


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