ACE News December 2022


In this Issue of ACE News:

Click to go directly to section news!


Want to stay connected, engaged, and in the know in the circus world? Become an ACE member today!  ACE memberships are available for circus educators and organizations. Our most popular member benefits include content management system discounts for organizations, insurance connections, eligibility to attend national events, and discounts on regional events. Click the button below for more information and to join!

👋🏾 Farewell 2022!

Thanks for reading the last ACE newsletter of 2022. It’s been an amazing year and we are thankful that you were a part of it. The ACE family wishes you a safe and happy holiday and Happy New Year! 


👥 Let’s Connect on the Socials!

Did you know you can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Be sure to tag us using #AmericanCircusEducators and use our new hashtags: #WeCircusBetterTogether and #TheFutureIsCircus (You can follow these hashtags too!)


Save the Date: AYCOFest 2023

We are so excited for our first in-person national youth circus festival since before the pandemic, Hosted by SANCA (School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts). It’s four days packed with circus workshops, activities, and community showcases, bringing together youth from all over the country. Space will be limited, so add it to your calendar and make your plans to register now! More details coming soon!

When: Thursday August 24 – Sunday Aug 27th
Where: Seattle, WA


Frustrated About Insurance? Join our next insurance committee meeting for ACE

Are you frustrated about your insurance situation for your circus organizations? You’re not alone!
Interested in helping create affordable and comprehensive insurance for the circus education industry in the US?  The Insurance Committee for American Circus Educators is working to address challenges for studios, schools and teachers to find proper coverage to make it possible for our industry to grow. 
If you’re interested in helping with this initiative, contact the committee at The committee meets monthly on Zoom.  New membership will begin in January 2023.  We appreciate your help in making insurance available for our industry. 


2023 ACE Discussions At A Glance

January 10th: Craig Quat – Accessible Juggling For Everyone
This session includes a presentation by functional juggling developer, Craig Quat, and is meant as an introduction to the basic elements and intentions of how and why juggling can be made more accessible for everyone. Additional information about community developments and cultural growth of inclusive practice from different parts of the world will also be shared and a portion of the meeting will include interactive sample lesson plan materials.  
March 14th: Ashley Robinson – Training everyBODY
everyBODY is is dedicated to educating and training both instructors and studios on body inclusive teaching and effective coaching of diverse body types. While the focus is on Plus Size Aerialists, this training can also be applied to bodies that are: masters (40+), youth, disabled and injured/recovering from injury. This discussion will cover what people get wrong about training different body types and share what really matters, look at creative teaching and spotting methods that keep students and instructors safe, and provide actionable steps for real training success and regular deposits to that trick bank.
May 9th: BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest (BCAM) – Race in Circus

The BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest (BCAM) will be facilitating a discussion on racial equity in circus education on May 9th 2023 as part of ACE’s bi-monthly discussion series. For the past two years, BCAM has been facilitating working sessions with circus organizations around the nation on the topic of creating supportive, inclusive environments for BIPOC participation in Circus. During this discussion, BCAM will be sharing some key learnings from these working sessions and creating small discussion groups to apply and extend these learnings for participants.


July – TBA


September 12th Ellen Waylonis – Consent in a Circus Education Context

Details coming soon!


November –  Carrie Heller – Mental Health in Youth Circus Programs

Details coming soon!


Need Stocking Stuffers?!? Grab the ACE Games Book!

The ACE Games book is jam packed with games! New games! Old games!! So many games!!! With over 100 games for use in cooperative movement based settings, this is a must have for every circus school, teaching artist, and arts education program! Each game includes age, number of participants, and a number of tags including ice breaker, non-contact, and include special notes for working with a variety of populations that may require adaptation or modifications to each game.
You can purchase directly from the AYCO/ACE store, on Amazon (print and eBook available), or as an eBook from a variety of vendors! Don’t miss your chance to have this great teaching tool! 


ACE Fashion


Love circus fashion? Grab some ACE gear for yourself  from our online store. PS they also make great holiday gifts for your favorite circus instructor or student! 


2022 Social Circus Connection Calls!

Mark your calendars for the 2023 Social Circus Connection Calls! 

  • February 14th
  • April 11th
  • June 13th
  • August 8th
  • October 10th
  • December 12th 

Keep your eyes peeled – registration information will be coming out in January! 


Calls are held at 9am PST / 10am MST / 11am CST / 12pm EST. Just a reminder, each individual will need to register. Calls are *free* to ACE members | $0-10 for non-members

Aerial Dance Marin is Hiring

Aerial Dance Marin is looking for a fun, energetic aerial teacher to join our team! We are a small aerial program located in Marin County teaching silks, sling, static trapeze and lyra. We are looking for a teacher who likes teaching both youth, ages 8 and above, and adults, from beginners to intermediate students. Lots of opportunity for a motivated person to grow the program. Compensation DOE. Send resume to


NECCA’s graduates on the world stage – you could be next! Apply now to join the longest running professional circus training program in the US! This full time, three year professional circus program is designed to create professional circus performers ready for a career in circus arts. 
ProTrack consists of a full time schedule of classes including a major and minor discipline, dance, theater, tumbling, hand balancing, juggling, flexibility, partner acrobatics, conditioning, creation, injury prevention and rehabilitation work, and academic classes to learn the business of being a performing artist. 
Our coaches are masters in the field, working with students of every level—challenging them creatively, artistically, and athletically to bring out their best and guide them each step of the way. 
For video application guidelines, click here: 


Applications Due: Jan. 6, 2023
Live Auditions @NECCA: March 22 & 23, 2023


Janelle Peters, aka Cirque Psych is now booking virtual and in-person workshops and teaching residencies for 2023!

Circus Schools, Studios, and Companies can choose from BOTH the Cirque Psych – Mental Health, Wellbeing, and Systemic Change in Circus Workshop menu AND the Circus Skills Workshop menu to curate a customized experience for staff, students, and/or performers. In-person Teaching Residencies also include availability for private flex, contortion, act development, and aerial lessons. 
Contact Janelle via email: or visit, or @cirque_psych on IG for more information. 


Bungee Fit Teacher Training

Share one of the most fun low impact, high intensity, bounciest workouts with your students!

Sky Candy’s three-day Bungee Fit Teacher Training will give you the skills and knowledge to develop your own bungee classes at your dance, fitness, or aerial studio!

Come prepared to sweat, have fun, and learn new skills to grow your business! Once you’ve completed this program, you will have the knowledge and tools you need to start your own basic Bungee Fit classes and to develop other Bungee programs that work for your studio’s needs.

Learn more at

Got questions? Reach out at Follow us on Instagram @skycandyaustin.


Circus Stars Method Professional Development Series

Register for Circus Stars Method Professional Development Series. Dr. Kristy Seymour runs a series of professional development workshops to teach practitioners working with children with autism how to apply the successful and effective Circus Stars method to achieve results. This series is open to circus trainers, social workers, occupational therapists, physios, speech therapists and practitioners of all kinds working with the autism community. It provides both theoretical and practical knowledge in best practice for using circus training techniques to achieve successful outcomes in the physical, social and emotional development of kids with autism.

Dates: Monday Feb 13, 2023 and Wednesday Feb 15, 2023
Delivered via ZOOM
Time: 9AM – 11AM  QLD time Australia (6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific)

Cost: $350 AUD per person. Register online at:


Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance Professional Training Program

Apply NOW for our August 2023 – May 2024 program! Jumpstart your aerial career with 9 months of professional training in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. 
Early Decision Application Deadline: February 1, 2023. Learn More & Apply Here  Learn More & Apply Here


Paper Doll Militia Upcoming Remote Teacher Trainings

This 50 hour Remote Teacher Training Course is a comprehensive and fully interactive training that you can do in your local studio or on your approved home rigging. It includes independent study, group instruction & personalized feedback as well as lifetime access to over 200 recorded reference videos and other course materials. There are 3 weekly zoom classes delivered in multiple time zones over the 4 week program.
Upcoming Trainings: 

Level 1 Silks, Rope, Trapeze or Lyra

  • Dates: February 18th – March 18th, 2023

Visit the WEBSITE for more information.


Email Paper Doll Militia at with any questions


Leveling up Aerial Teacher Symposium (LATS)

Leveling up Aerial Teacher Symposium (LATS). February 17 – 29, 2023. Brattleboro, VT.  NECCA is offering a jam-packed aerial educators confab hosted by Nimble Arts’ & NECCA Founders Elsie Smith & Serenity Smith Forchion. Register today, space is limited.


Circus Arts Institute Trainings

Circus Arts Institute has opened registration for our 2023 training programs online!  Please visit our website to learn more about Circus Arts Institute’s online training program and our current course offerings.

Registration is NOW OPEN for Circus Arts Institutes’ Upcoming Circus Arts Therapy® Trainings this Winter all ONLINE! With Carrie Heller, MSW, LCSW, RPT

Level 1: March 13-19, 2023  
Includes 25 hours Circus Arts Therapy® Level 1 Training (Ground and Lecture) + 20 hours Adaptive Aerial Teacher Training 

Level 2: March 24-26, 2023
Includes 20-hours Circus Arts Therapy® Level 2 Training (Ground and Lecture)
For BOTH Level 1 and Level 2  
   –  Pricing information
   –  Social Work CEUs are available 

For details and to register, click here.
Questions? Email

Registration is NOW OPEN for Circus Arts Institutes’ Upcoming Aerial Teacher Trainings
Beginner: March 3-6, 2023 (Silks, Hammock or Trapeze)*
* This will be live/in-person in Atlanta, GA.  Beginner Certification from Circus Arts Institute is a pre-requisite for this training.

For details and to register, click here. Questions? Email

The mission of the ACE Safety 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.


The ACE Safety Program is a low cost consultation process with an industry expert to help your program or school better manage the inherent risks associated with circus arts.

December Safety Spotlight: Wise Fool NM

Wise Fool offers a number of fun kids classes and Camps. Through our Afterschool, Camps and Circus Comes to School programs, we share the magical power of social circus with Northern New Mexico. We are committed to offering equitable access, and our “no one turned away” policy guides us to keep our programs affordable by offering discounts and full scholarships. This year we have already offered $7,000 in scholarships across all our youth programs. And our free programs at multiple schools, the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, and public events throughout the city will, in 2022, exceed our expectations. (estimated now at $50,000)
“I grew up in Santa Fe and I remember people telling me when I was in High School that I would like Wise Fool! I sure wish I had listened to them because I often think about how much my life would have been changed for the better if I had the circus arts and community at a young age. These days, I meet many other adults that have memories of doing circus at Wise Fool growing up. I also meet young people who seem somewhat unimpressed by stilt-walking because they did it in school and seem to think that circus is something that is a part of every young person’s life. I love that Wise Fool has made Santa Fe a place where circus is a part of daily life; that’s not something most towns offer! I love working at Wise Fool and making a difference in the place I grew up in through the art form I love. I feel that I am truly addressing issues of poverty, needs in the education system and lack of arts programming with the magic of circus.”
– Kristen Woods


Follow Wise Fool NM: @wisefoolnewmexico


Welcome New Safety Network Member: High Expectations

High Expectations Aerial Arts provides aerial arts, flexibility, partner acro, and hula hooping classes to kids and adults in the Memphis, TN area. Originally founded in 2014 by Danielle Bayliss, High Expectations is now owned by Sarah Bolton and based in the Broad Avenue Arts District. In addition to providing classes, private lessons, and workshops, the studio also presents two student showcases each year, runs a youth aerial program, and provides professional entertainment for local events and clients. Follow them at: @highexpectationsaerialarts

Safety and Function in Circus Costumes

Chenoa is a coach, performer, and all around circus enthusiast currently pursuing her MFA in Costume Design from UMass Amherst. As part of her masters thesis, which is focused on safety and function in circus costuming, she has put together a short survey to gather information on costuming for various circus disciplines. The survey is open to anyone, with the hopes of gathering a wide range of perspectives across many different circus disciplines. The survey focuses on functional differences in costumes between various disciplines, with particular focus on challenges and issues of safety. 

Chenoa has been involved with circus arts since she was 8 years old. She currently teaches at SHOW Circus Studio in Western Massachusetts and was the wardrobe supervisor for Circus Smirkus on their 2022 summer tour. In addition to loving circus and costumes, she has several pet rats and enjoys playing video games.
Link to the survey:


The Power of Us Workforce Survey

The Power of Us Workforce Survey is the first, most comprehensive survey of the professionals and volunteers who work with youth in all settings outside the classroom. The survey is open through December 31st, and you are encouraged to participate!
The Power of Us Workforce Survey is administered by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally. This project was commissioned and funded by The Wallace Foundation as part of its mission to support and share effective ideas and practices. Through the Power of Us Workforce Survey, youth-serving professionals and volunteers can contribute to a national effort to explore, define, and elevate their work with youth. The data from the survey can help to inform policy, practice, and further research to better support the workforce.


Save The Date for BCAM’s Black History Month Show!

The BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest (BCAM) is producing a Black History Month Circus Cabaret in Chicago on February 18, 2023, in partnership with Aloft Circus Arts. BCAM received act submissions from BIPOC performers all over the nation looking to participate in this event!

Interested in supporting BCAM and BIPOC circus artists? BCAM is accepting donations to help fund this show. Donate via PayPal at

About BCAM

BCAM is a collective of circus practitioners and performing artists dedicated to creating more supportive, inclusive, and representative circus communities by:

1) Advocating for equity and inclusion in training, teaching, and performance spaces

2) Partnering with circus organizations to implement policy changes designed to increase BIPOC representation and inclusion within customers/students and staff

3) Celebrating and amplifying BIPOC stories in circus

Follow BCAM on Instagram at @bipoc_circusalliancemidwest 


If you are a Person Of Color and a circus practitioner, you can request to join BCAM’s Facebook group at


Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival

Yes Ma’am Circus is proud to announce the second Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival coming March 9-12, 2023 at the Den Theatre. Applications are now open for shows and acts. Priority is given to Chicago locals, but all are free to apply, and we welcome collaborations. All submissions are due by Dec 31st.


Inclusive Juggling Symposium

A 6 part online networking series, which brings together an international community of social practitioners to discuss, share and connect about inclusive juggling and the overall accessibility of Circus. Presented in collaboration between Odskocznia Studio, Hungarian Juggling Association, Kulturbühne Neustadt e.V., Circo Tascabile, Quat Props Italia and supported by Erasmus+ funding.

All meetings are free to attend and registration can be made by visiting the link below.Registration Form:

Symposiums are held on Wednesdays from 8pm-9:30pm CET with scheduled meeting dates of December 07, 14, 28 / January 01, 11, 18.
These meetings are intended to create a space for different developers to gather and share about their current work with inclusion and project goals. Everyone who attends is also welcome to share updates and breakout rooms will be provided as a way to consolidate conversations of interest.


PLÉ in Paradise Aerial and Acrobatic Retreat

Master Instructors Jim Donak and Kerri Kresinski are teaming up to offer an amazing week of playful and challenging skill-development. The goal of this retreat is to have fun and learn to train in safe sustainable ways that maximize results. It is for all who enjoy exploring and expanding their movement potential and understanding of progression creation.

It is open to all skill levels, and both students and instructors are encouraged to attend. Instruction will be customized to appropriately match the individual. Attendees will have their choice of aerial and/or ground focused skill development. You will grow beyond your physical limitations through fun, creative challenges that safely nurture mindful integration of strength, flexibility, and stability 
When: April 23-30 2023. Early bird rates and discounts available, please inquire.

Where: Sweet Retreats, Puerto Escondido Mexico
Visit website for more information. Email: with any questions.


Vertical Dance Workshop

Vertical Dance Workshop.  January 27-29, 2023.  Brattleboro, VT. Nimble Arts is offering a unique workshop where we dance on the walls and change the rules of gravity!  Hosted by NECCA.


Holiday Circus Show: On Demand

The New England Center for Circus Arts presents the “Flying Coconut” streaming on demand Dec. 24 – Jan. 1! Inspired by “The Nutcracker,” our show veers off course when the opening party is crashed by pirates and an unforgettable evening of high-flying feats, acrobatics, and circus mayhem ensues! Enjoy our circus spin on a classic holiday show that’s fun for the whole family.
When: Dec. 24 – Jan. 1
Where: Online, streaming on demand
Cost: $15-50
Buy Tickets:

More info:


Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance Professional Training Program

Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance Professional Training Program is now accepting applications for our August 2023 – May 2024 program! Jumpstart your aerial career with 9 months of professional training in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. 
Early Decision Application Deadline: February 1, 2023. Learn More & Apply Here.


2023 Chicago March Wheel Weekend

Wheel Weekend, March 17-19 in Chicago, IL, is a retreat experience featuring fun activities and clinics for everyone and anyone who wants to improve their wheel skills. This is a unique opportunity for every CYR or gym wheel participant interested in training with the best coaches in the world. Whether your focus is performance, competition, physical fitness or simply fun, this workshop is for you! Participants of all levels are welcome and we hope to see you there! 







Schedule of Events:


Circus Smirkus Camp Registration is OPEN!

Smirkus Campers develop new ways to challenge themselves on the ground and in the air, learn skills like problem-solving, and how to work with others both in and out of the ring. Smirkus Camp is the place to clown around, have the time of your life, and make lasting friendships with campers from all over the US. It is a magical summer of life changing circus adventure. 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. Get more information and sign up at

Smirkling for a Day | June 17 | Ages 5-11 
All Levels Circus Camp | 1 week | June 18-June 23 | Ages 8-16 
All Levels Circus Camp | 2 weeks | June 25-July 7 | Ages 8-16 
Intermediate Camp | 2 weeks | July 9-21 | Ages 12-18
Intermediate Skills Intensive ★ | 2 weeks | July 9-21 | Ages 12-18
Advanced Ensemble ★ | 3 weeks | July 23-August 11 | Ages 12-18 
Advanced Individual Acts ★ | 3 weeks | July 23-August 11 | Ages 12-18 
Road Show ★ | 5 weeks | July 9-August 11 | Ages 12-18 
Fall Family & Friends Weekend | September 1-3 | Ages 5-Adult


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:

AYCO Minor Safety Policies

AYCO/ACE takes the safety of all minors interacting with AYCO/ACE programs and governance very seriously. The following practices have been established to prevent harassment or abuse of minors. In includes policies on:

  • Access to Events
  • Chaperones
  • Reporting policy
  • Communication with Minors
  • Three sets of eyes
  • Media
  • Background checks

Access it here:


AYCO/ACE Health and Wellness Resources

The ACE/AYCO Health & Wellness Committee has created a living document with resources for for health and wellness. It includes: Local Sexual Abuse Prevention & Response Programs,AYCO/ACE Resource Sheet for Circus Education Organizations to Post Publicly, Youth Protection Advocates in Dance, SafeSport Training and more. Access it here


AYCO/ACE Health & Wellness Committee Needs You!

The ACE/AYCO Health & Wellness Committee provides input and shares resources to help our circus community better promote physical, emotional, and mental wellness. Examples (please use & share!) include the AYCO/ACE Health and Wellness Resources List and AYCO/ACE Minor Safety Policy .
Our committee membership especially needs: 
– BlPOC, youth, and diverse gender representation
– Clinical, research and/or public health expertise in infection control/infectious disease
– A volunteer to create (& share on related groups’ pages) occasional AYCO/ACE social media posts, to promote our Health & Wellness Resources

If you have training in or experience working on health and wellness issues, and can volunteer to support AYCO/ACE’s national work, please review the committee description. If you’d like to just try a time-limited volunteer role (for example: social media posts, infectious disease resource consult, document or policy review, compiling survey results), please note on the form. And if you are in school, our we are happy to sign off on service-learning hours, if applicable! You can also send the Committee input and resources to consider anytime via our staff rep, 

Game of the Month: Here to There!

How to Play: The Coach directs students to line up on one side of the playing area and explains the following script: “When I say ‘Where are you?’ you (students) answer ‘HERE!!’ I say ‘Where do you want to be?’ you (students) point across the room/field/auditorium/stage and reply “THERE!” Then I will give a prompt – “From Here to There like a…… ” and use your imagination to cross with the prompt!” Game repeats from one side of the play area to the other. 
This game can use broad or specific prompts – horse, old person, zombie, your favorite pet just died, a person robbing a bank, the richest person alive…. Use your imagination! Have students cross like – the color yellow, a sock that lost its match in the drying machine, half unicorn half Godzilla, a thunderstorm……. Ask the students for input or you can encourage a student to lead the exercise!

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 visit:
Looking to contribute? Please consider supporting CSAW on Patreon:

Donations help: 

  • Provide another year of microgrants to U.S. circus artists of color in need of financial assistance for circus-related expenses 
  • Support U.S. circus artists of color further their education through our tuition grants
    Expand CSAW’s impact on the circus community and create more programs to encourage participation in the circus arts
  • Continue to pay CSAW’s administrative team for the work they do

In Good Wealth: Grants for Black-Owned Businesses

In Good Wealth nonprofit organization invests in Black-owned wellness and movement focused businesses to ignite generational wealth and equity in health. $1,500 grants are awarded on a rolling basis to early stage businesses. Circus is included as a wellness and movement field. To learn more and apply, 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!


ACE 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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