AYCO is your #1 resource for youth circus resources and community!

AYCO values community and creates connections among circus youth, educators, supporters, and parents of all ages and skill levels. Check this page for updates on how you can be connected to a wide array of circus resources.

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Check out our member organizations! Find circus opportunities around the USA! Use our directory to find a circus program, educator, college club, or organization near you. You can search by name, location, organization, or specialization.


The Circus Is My Life blog is filled with exclusive interviews, reviews of circus shows, circus history, and more – all authored by the Hup Squad.

The Hup Squad

The Hup Squad is a group of circus obsessed teens from around the USA. They are instigators of circus in our local communities and national youth circus ambassadors. The Hup Squad represents AYCO youth to the wider circus community and the American public.

Each calendar year there is a new group of Hup Squad members. The application to join the Hup Squad is open near the end of the year. Applications for the 2018 Hup Squad are currently closed. Applicants are required to be 13-18 years old and a current American Youth Circus Organization member.

Youth Advisory Committee 

The AYCO Youth Advisory Committee is a small committee of current and engaged AYCO youth members which provides feedback to the AYCO Board of Directors from the youth perspective. The YAC provides suggestions, opinions, and input on the efficacy and impact of AYCO structure, programs, events, and initiatives. The Youth Advisory Committee is the representative voice of circus youth in the governance of the American Youth Circus Organization. 

Current YAC members: Natasha Shatzkin, Ruth Schultz, Ignatius Porter, and Babette Cromartie.

YAC nominations are rolling (always open). A YAC nominee must be a current AYCO member, and must be nominated by another current AYCO or ACE member (youth or adult). Once nominated, the nominee will be asked to submit a personal statement and then must be approved by the current YAC. The YAC is committed to expanding diversity in all forms of representation – racially, culturally, socioeconomically, geographically, and in gender identity. Nominate someone for the YAC HERE!

Circus for College Students

Are you looking for a college with a circus program, support connecting with other like-minded college circus artists, or professional opportunities? Here’s what we have to offer:

  • Circus on Campus Facebook group helps you connect with college students who are involved with circus at colleges and universities around the USA.
  • Our Map shows the location of all of the active college circus and juggling clubs we have on record.
  • Internships are available on a rolling basis and may be done for college credit under certain circumstances. Contact us for more information.
  • NECCA’s January Training Program: a new January Training Program ideal for college students or anyone looking for some winter circus training. In their Generalist program, running Jan 3 – 12, students will train in group fitness classes and experience two skills area per day, including aerials, acrobatics/trampoline, partner acrobatics, balancing, juggling/manipulation & wheel arts. For students with more experience in circus arts, they’ll accelerate your training to meet your needs. Their Specialist program runs Jan 14 – 20 and includes focused training in a selected skill area, plus general skill training and group fitness training, and access to open training hours. Want to do it all? Sign up for both for 10% off the second program!  NOTE: they do have an indoor flying trapeze and can include that in the Specialist program. For information about group rates or any other questions please email Elsie Smith at

Circus Parents

Circus youth thrive thanks to the many supportive adults who are stakeholders in their lives. Join our Circus Parents Facebook group to connect with other parents and guardians who support circus youth. Safety is always the top priority in circus. We have developed safety guidelines for circus spaces and educators and we invite you to explore them. Learn all about our Circus Arts Safety Program.

Circus Educators


The American Circus Educators Association was formed in 2014 as a branch of the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) and is dedicated to supporting circus educators and circus education organizations. ACE is the trusted authority when it comes to all things circus education and is the primary source for professional development, networking, and information about circus education for anyone identifying as a circus parent, teacher, educator, coach, program director, or administrator.

Safety Guidelines

The Circus Arts Safety Program was developed by our American Circus Educators branch in order to provide guidelines for safety in circus education.  The mission of the program is:

To establish specific guidelines that will help promote, encourage and foster better safety and risk management practices as related to circus arts by creating a system that recognizes circus spaces that demonstrate a continued commitment to better safety practices as based on ACE’s guidelines.”

All of our guidelines are available to the public. Check out the guidelines.