ACE Discussion Series 2021

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 available to registrants after the session.

Tuesday July 13th 2021 – Discussing Eating Disorders

This discussion will focus on breaking the stigma of disordered eating and how to best support our students. We will discuss body image, nutrition in circus education, resources, and other related topics. 

Facilitator: Annie Rosenberg
Annie Rosenberg is a circus coach, theater director, mental health counselor, and a mom of 3. She has been doing circus aerials since she was 4 years old. 

Future Discussions:

Tuesday September 12th 2021

Topic & Facilitator: To Be Announced

Tuesday November 9th 2021

Topic & Facilitator: To Be Announced

Past Discussions:

Tuesday May 11th 2021 – Discussing Mental Health

This discussion about mental health in circus education is to examine as educators and students how the very pedagogy of circus training itself has led to teaching styles and classroom/studio designs that can cause harm to many people, including those living with mental differences and those who have experienced trauma and oppression. We may address body image, hierarchy, elitism, punitive exercises and class rules, ableist language, etc. among other topics.

Facilitator: Vanessa Furlong
Vanessa Furlong (she/her) is a professional circus and physical theatre artist specializing in acrobatic stilts, trapeze, and clown. She identifies as a Mad artist (of the Mad Pride movement), and is based in Kjipuktuk/Halifax. A graduate of Bishop’s University (Theatre and Music), Vanessa has toured with multiple performance groups nationally and internationally upon graduating and for the past 2 decades. Vanessa co founded the award winning circus duo LEGacy Circus in 2016 alongside professional circus artist Erin Ball. Together they explore new ways to share their passion for representation and access focused performances using Circus Arts as their medium.


Assistant Facilitator: Anne Boock Miller
Anne Boock Miller, Ph.D., is a clinical neuropsychologist and the founder/artistic director of Suspend, a circus arts studio in Louisville, KY. She has particular interests in neurodevelopmentally appropriate and adaptive circus education, and the use of circus and aerial dance as a tool for therapeutic and cultural change. Anne is also an AYCO/ACE Board Member.

Tuesday March 9th 2021 – Discussing Disability

Facilitator: Erin Ball
Erin Ball identifies as a Mad (from the Mad Pride movement) and Disabled white circus artist living on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Ojibwe; Katarokwi, also known as Kingston, Ontario. She runs Kingston Circus Arts and is the co-founder of LEGacy Circus (a performance company co-created with Mad artist, Vanessa Furlong). Erin took a year off in March 2014 due to life changing events that resulted in having both lower legs amputated. She has since returned to her passion of training, coaching and performing with a focus of including as many people in her audiences, as collaborators and performers in shows, as well as students in her classes. She has traveled world-wide to perform and teach. She strives for representation, access and inclusion in the arts.