Congrats to the April #AYCOPhotoContest winner Abigail! This stunning photo of her was captured in the original production, Belissima. In addition to aerial arts, Abby studies dance, musical theater and stilt walking. She is one of three coaches for the NCC Youth performing troupe, and the main coach for stilts classes.

From the Original Production of Bellisma Fata, written by Allison Barbari
Expression City Arts and Fitness
Nashville Circus Center


  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!

⚖️ We Got Values, Yes We Do!

In the spring of 2021, the AYCO/ACE Board of Directors embarked on the task of creating a set of values that would align with the mission of the organization, and continue to support and guide the work for the future. Over the course of the last year, the AYCO/ACE  advisory committees were invited to participate by contributing their ideas and perspective on what core values the organization has embodied in the past and should continue to reach for in the future. Along with suggestions from Board members, all input was evaluated and common themes and threads were identified. Finally, the Governance Committee of the Board crafted the statement. The culmination of this process is the Values Statement which the Board has officially adopted. Community feedback is welcomed, as we see this as a living process. (Please email with any input.)

We are delighted to share with our community our newly established Values Statement! The AYCO/ACE community holds these values in making circus education a space where all are welcome and safe:
SAFETY: We affirm that physical, socio-emotional, and psychological safety are rights of everyone in our community.
INCLUSION – We pledge to amplify and cultivate diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and identities in pursuit of equity.
COLLABORATION – We foster cooperation through clear communication, and collective action, to strengthen our interconnected community.
FUN – We delight in the joy of play, and in the creation of open minds, expressive bodies, and vibrant souls through circus arts.


💸 #TheFutureIsCircus Fundraiser

Over this past weekend, we celebrated World Circus Day by hosting our #TheFutureIsCircus Fundraiser! Together with your help, we were able to raise $1,315 to put torward the future of circus!


We are thankful to everyone that donated and shared this event. We could not have done this without YOU! Still want to donate? You can donate anytime here:


🤑 New Member Discounts

Exciting news! We just added another new discount to your membership perks! Our friends at Hoopologie are hooking you up with savings on hoop goodies! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this email or check the Member Deals and Discount Center for details!


👥 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! Registration opens May 1st!


🗣️ 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 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!  


Just Get Creative: An Interview of the Professional Juggler Jay Gilligan

Jay Gilligan is a professional juggler who just wrapped the New York City World Premiere of his show REFLEX: Unraveling 4,000 Years of Juggling. A juggler for 35 years, his show demonstrates how juggling can be more than just throwing and catching objects. His unique juggling style is incredibly impressive and quite beautiful. Continue Reading

10 Aerialists I Think You Should Follow:

Instagram is a great place to get inspiration for tricks you want to learn with your aerial coach, performance style ideas, and places you might want to train when you have the opportunity. I want to share some of my favorite aerial Instagram accounts. Continue Reading


WorkingThrough Obstacles with Circus:

Hi, my name is Marah. I’m a 14 year old acrobat from New York and I am legally blind. When I was 3 years old, my parents realized that I could read things up close but not far away. After taking me to a doctor they learned that my vision was severely impaired and that I would need to wear very thick glasses to see. . . For a while I thought that my vision would interfere with my ability to enjoy participating in physical activities. Since becoming an acrobat, I’ve realized that that doesn’t have to be the case. Continue Reading

Safety Spotlight

Aerial Physique focuses on offering online courses, in-person classes, teacher training programs, and valuable resources for aerialists around the world. Visit to check out their incredible programs
“The ACE Safety Network has helped our program thrive. The invaluable resources that are provided and the high standards held that help keeps our students and staff are well worth it. When it comes to safety it’s vital to be proactive versus reactive. ACE has been excellent at helping us stay on top of our game to provide a teacher training course that is both informative and thorough on the topics of safety, risk assessment and class etiquette.” Jill Franklin (founder)

Philadelphia Regional AYCO Festival

The Philadelphia Regional AYCO Festival hosted by Philadelphia School of Circus Arts is coming your way April 23, 2022!! It’s one day jam packed with circus learning, training and connection! Tap the link in our bio and get in on all of this fun and gains 👇🏾
This year’s festival includes:
🤹🏽 5 training workshops
🍽 Group Dinner
🤸🏽‍♀️ Festival showcase
🎪 Cirque Us Show
Yep, we’re doing all the things! Regional Festivals are hosted by our member organizations and are a great way to learn from different coaches, perform for your peers, and meet circus youth from your region!


NECCA Circus Spectacular On Demand

Starring guest artists from circuses around the world, this is a unique opportunity to see some of today’s most renowned high flying aerialists, acrobats, and jugglers in an event that raises funds for programming and outreach at the New England Center for Circus Arts.
This evening of incredible, world-class entertainment for the entire family features Ringmaster Troy Wunderle leading a cast that includes Mandy Hackman (aerial sling), Ripley Burns (antipodism), Elsa Hall (straps), Morgan Oldham (chair balancing), Alexis Hedrick (cyr wheel), Rachel Rees (rope), Liam Gundlach (diabolos), Ariana Ferber-Carter (contortion), and Caroline Wright and Rachel Barringer (duo lyra).
Circus Spectacular 2022 was recorded live on March 6, 2022 and now you can enjoy the show on demand from the comfort of your own home.
When: April 16 – April 30, 2022 | Where: Online – streaming on demand
Cost:  $15-50 | Purchase Your Ticket at:
Get a sneak peek at:
For More Info Visit:


Circus Smirkus 2022 Big Top Tour!

After a two year hiatus, the Big Top Tour is back on tour this summer! The 2022 Big Top Tour show is called On the Road Again in celebration of taking our nonprofit youth circus back on tour. Tickets go on sale May 1, 2022. Full details at
★ Greensboro, VT:  July 2
★ Essex Junction, VT:  July 6, 7, 8 & 10
★ Hanover, NH: July 13, 14, 16, 17
★ Marshfield, MA: July 20-23
★ Waltham, MA: July 26-August 1
★ Newbury, MA: August 4-5
★ Kennebunkport, ME: August 9-10
★ Greensboro, VT: August 13-14


NECCA Queer Circus Arts Fundraiser

Circus with a twist! Entertainment that bends the rules of gravity and more! Co-presented by Frog Meadow Farm and NECCA.
Join NECCA’s delightfully fun and mischievous fundraising event to bolster the Frog Meadow Queer Circus Arts Scholarship Fund for LGBTQ+ students at the New England Center for Circus Arts. Welcoming and open to LGBTQ+ and allies.
Begin with hors d’oeuvres, libations, special entertainment, a silent auction, and quirky fun followed by a special showing of the Capstone Circus Project from the graduating class of NECCA’s ProTrack – pushing the boundaries of contemporary circus theater – then stay for a Meet & Greet with the Artists following the show!
LGBTQ+ students are faced with discrimination that leads to housing, employment, financial and other disparities. This scholarship helps to close the gap and provide a safe and inclusive environment for queer circus students of all ages and backgrounds across all of our programs.
WHEN: May 6, 2022, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
WHERE: NECCA Trapezium
10 Town Crier Drive
Brattleboro, Vermont 05301
TICKETS: $50-250


NECCA La Prairie Des Talons

La Prairie des Talons is the Capstone Circus Project from the graduating class of NECCA’s ProTrack, pushing the boundaries of contemporary circus theater. Working with internationally renowned director Paúl Gomex, the talented acrobats, aerialists, jugglers and movers poised to burst upon the world stage, reflect on the collective quest of a generation in search of meaning and identity. It is an ode to the impermanence of life, and to this turbulent, COVID-challenged, rapidly changing world.
WHEN & WHERE: April 30, Claremont, NH | Claremont Opera House

May 7 & May 8, Brattleboro, VT | New England Center for Circus Arts

May 10, Derry, NH | Stockbridge Theater
TICKETS: $15-$30
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Paúl Gomex is a Venezuelan-American pluri-disciplinary performer and director. He is the founder of Clowns Without Borders Switzerland and 406Cirque, the Circus School of Bozeman, Montana.


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:


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.
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


Flying Gravity Circus Introduces High School Circus Studies Program

WILTON, NH — Flying Gravity Circus (FGC) is partnering with High Mowing School (HMS) to offer the residential Circus Studies Program (CSP). Aspiring circus artists get:

  • A liberal, arts and sciences high-school education, and
  • Training in physical and artistic circus skills and performance.

“This is the only program like it in the United States — and is a culmination of years of planning and a decade of dreaming,” says Jon Roitman, FGC artistic director and CSP program director. 

The CSP includes:

  • Academic Classes: math, science, English, world language
  • Growing Circus Curriculum: sports psychology, nutrition, anatomy, career management
  • On-Site Circus Training: in our fully equipped studio
  • Performance: in FGC’s advanced troupe 

CSP graduates will have the academic credits required by traditional colleges, plus the skills to apply to a circus college or support a performing arts career.  

Learn more at

Circus Harmony Presents

Circus Harmony coaches present these shows in the City Museum ring: Elliana Grace’s This Is Why. Briland Schack-Farnell’s, Seaside Silliness. Hula hooping heroine, Maya Z’s self-titled show, Laura Lippert, hangs by and hangs things from her hair, and Sensational Sabrina’s Oh the Places I Will Go!


Game of the Month: Everybody’s a Star!

Materials Needed: Long rope – long jump rope or silk/sling/fabric work, too!

How to play: Everyone holds onto a long rope. They can move their hands on the rope, but they cannot change places with one another. The goal is to then form a five-sided star with the rope. They have 10 minutes, and there shouldn’t be any rope leftover at either end.

Variations: Start off easier with a triangle, square, then add the ultimate challenge of a star if students are younger or you are working with a newer group.


Skills: This game works on cooperation and better communication skills.

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!

Like discounts like this? The more our members use them, the more leverage we have as an organization to encourage companies to provide discounts!


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.


Thank you to our Gold Members!


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PO Box 1123, Easthampton, MA 01027

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