ACE News January 2023


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!

👥 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

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 15th: Circus in Physical Education –  research, implementations, barriers and discussion

Are you interested in seeing more circus in school PE? In this discussion Adam Woolley will do a brief overview of current research, present a framework for thinking about circus pedagogy and content, and then facilitate a discussion on barriers to circus in school in the USA and how those barriers might be addressed. Especially relevant for science nerds, folks interested in school outreach or after school programming, or anyone interested in how the circus arts might find a home in public/private education.


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

Strong consent culture allows students to feel in control of their bodies and to feel safe in their training spaces. This workshop is aimed at teachers of both adult and youth circus students who wish to foster strong consent culture in their classes and studios. Through a combination of lecture and discussion, we’ll come to a more full understanding of what consent looks like in an educational setting, and explore techniques for: discussing the concept of consent with your students; incorporating consent check-ins into your coaching; and incorporating consent check-ins into student interactions like spotting and partner work – all without making it awkward!


November 14th – Mental Health in Youth Circus Programs

Carrie Heller, MSW, LCSW, RPT, will present a framework for Mental Health in Youth Circus
Programs. This presentation will include defining triggers; Trauma-Informed Core Principles,
including the factors that contribute to building resiliency; identifying and addressing symptoms
of concerns with youth followed by examples of great things to say when youth share hard
things with you. We will explore tips and tools to promote Youth Mental Health including de-
escalation tips, suggestions for coalescing a group into a team like community agreements, as
well as general psychological first aid for youth programming. The presentation is followed by opportunities for attendees to interact.


2023 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 soon! You can find more information at

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


 New Member Discounts

Exciting news! We just added a new discount to your membership perks! Our friends at Modern Vaudeville Press are delighted to offer 15% off AYCO/ACE members’ total order on books, swag, and more! Yes, circus books for circus people! (Printify products excluded.) Not an ACE member yet? Now’s a great time to join!

Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center is hiring!

We are looking for a School Experience Manager, Marketing Assistant and Camp Coaches
Learn More:


Circus Juventas is currently seeking a High-Level Aerial Circus Coach

Job Title: Aerial Circus Coach

Status: Full time/Hourly

Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Job Summary: Coach a variety of Circus Acts to students, using a safe and progressive coaching
methodology. Primarily coaching Aerial acts within our Professional Program and advanced youth
program. Ensure a fun, inclusive, and safe class environment for all students of varying skill levels.


Essential Duties:

  • Coach Aerial Circus arts in a clear and progressive style, to all students enrolled in each class
  • Ensure the safety and management of risks associated with learning circus arts, for each
    individual student (e.g. acrobatic content, use of equipment, use of safety lines and spotting…)
  • Create a fun and inclusive learning environment for all students under your supervision.
  • Coach in an engaging, dynamic and creative way. To inspire our students to be their best.
  • Under the direction of the Artistic Director, create and train circus acts for performances
    throughout the calendar year.
  • Assist in all aspects of creating content for annual shows and performances.
  • Collaborate with other coaches of various disciplines, to create acrobatic content for circus acts.
  • Adhere to rules and guidelines, set forth in the Circus Juventas Coaching Handbook.
  • Evaluating of student’s acrobatic level for advancement through the Circus Juventas program levels.
  • Report any safety or rigging concerns to Arena and/or Executive Director.


  • Three or more years Coaching Aerial Circus Arts in a professional or youth setting.
  • Ability to coach Aerial Hoop/Lyra, Spanish Web, Aerial Silks, Aerial Straps and other aerial
  • Collaborative team player, with a positive attitude.
  • Act creation and choreography experience.
  • Love of the Performing Arts and love of working with youth.
  • Past professional Circus and performing experience a plus.


  • Competitive salary, health benefits, 401K Plan, vacation time.
  • Please submit letter of intent and resume to:

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. ACE members get a special discounted rate of $320 AUD, just use code ACE23! 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. 
We provide the well-rounded training and skills students need to pursue a variety of career paths and to be highly marketable in this ever growing and competitive arena. Our graduates are able to perform on a myriad of aerial apparatus, choreograph compelling work, and contribute to the next generation of aerial dance innovation!
Early Decision Application Deadline: February 1, 2023
Final Application Deadline: May 1, 2023
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)*
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.

January Safety Spotlight: Risk Management Resources

What is risk management? How do you assess risk and make a plan? Raise your risk management awareness with these two resources from Safety Network Committee Member Jonathan Deull and Safety Network Member Circus Arts Institute . Gain the knowledge of risk assessment tools and see them implemented in Circus Arts Institute’s policy. Find inspiration to nerd out on safety and create a policy this year for your situation!

A Very Basic Introduction to Risk Assessment/Risk Reduction
A Tool for Safety in Circus, Aerial Arts, and Life


Circus Arts Institute Remote Training Risk Management Plan

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.


Trenton Circus Squad is Seeking Performers

Trenton Circus Squad is seeking performers ages 18-26 for their 2023 Big Top Jersey Tour. This is an amazing opportunity to perform in a big top tent and work with youth from across the country! The tour will bring circus shows and workshops across New Jersey from June 26-July 30, 2023. Performers will be paid, and housing and food will be provided. Preference will be given to applicants with social circus backgrounds. Applications are open through February 1, 2023 – click here for full details and to apply! Please contact with any questions.


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.


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


Entrapment To Entertainment

A Celebration of Black people in the American Circus

San Francisco, CA – The Uncle Junior Project is proud to present its Entrapment to Entertainment exhibition, on display for the first time in a decade at the African American Art and Culture Complex from February 10 to June 30.

Entrapment to Entertainment is a powerful exposé and celebration of the history of Black people in the American Circus. The exhibition features original costumes, archival film, powerful still images and contemporary art by acclaimed Bay Area contemporary artists. 
Curated by Uncle Junior Project founder Veronica Blair, this exhibition will profile performers of African descent, including Emanuel “Junior” Ruffin, Bernice Collins, King Charles Unicycle Troupe, Vanessa Thomas-Smith, and Satin, the first Black female aerial act of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The retrospective captures these artists’ essence in four acts: Beginnings, Inspiration, Narrative, and Experience. 

When: Friday, February 10, 2023 – Friday, June 30, 2023
Where: African-American Art and Culture Complex 762 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Admission: Free

Get your tickets at: 
IG: @unclejrproject


2023 Chicago March Wheel Weekend

March 17, 8:00 AM – March 19, 5:00 PM
Chicago, Illinois
USA Wheel Gymnastics
National Trials for Cyr Wheel and Gym Wheel
Wheel weekend is a retreat experience that features fun activities and clinics for everyone who wants to improve their wheel skills. Wheel Weekend is a unique opportunity for every Cyr or Gym Wheel participant interested in training with the best coaches in the world. Whether ones focus is performance, competition, physical fitness, or merely FUN, this workshop is where you can find it! Every Wheel Weekend coach loves the sport and wants to help ignite passion in everyone, so they can achieve new heights while meeting and exceeding their hopes and dreams for Cyr and Gym Wheel. Wheel Weekend’s focus is helping each participant achieve a deeper understanding and knowledge of the wheel, whether a beginner or a professional
Wolfgang Bientzle, Julia Pohling, Cheyenne Reifensteiner, Nadine Muenster, & Paul Perreault
More information can be found at:


Schedule of Events:



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.


Pitch Catch Circus is thrilled to offer its 8th annual Spring Acro Intensive

Pitch Catch Circus is thrilled to offer its 8th annual Spring Acro Intensive in Asheville, NC, taught by internationally renowned partner acro coaches including Niko Douwes, Christine Moonbeam, Blox Acrobatics. We offer 3 concurrent tracks for intermediate, advanced, and pro track students. Students are encouraged to attend the full 5 weeks, but may attend as little as 2 weeks.
The 30-hr per week program focuses on standing acrobatics including hand to hand, group acro, and adagio as well as optional Icarian modules. Partner acrobatics training is rounded out by instruction in tumbling, handstands, flexibility, & pre-hab. Students also receive a minimum of 30 minutes per week in private instruction. Classes run 8am – 3:45pm, Monday – Friday.
To make the program as accessible as possible, we offer sliding scale tuition, fellowships for black, brown, Native and trans students, and work trade options. For more info or to apply


Circus Smirkus Camp Summer Programs

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. 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

NEW! Smirkling Overnight | August 13-14 | 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


NECCA Trainings

Come to NECCA in Brattleboro, VT for a day or stay for a few months! We have programming that fits all of your circus goals. Click the links below to learn more:

Jan. 27-29 | Vertical Dance
Feb. 3-5 | Creative Handbalancing
Feb. 24-26 | Tight Wire
March 17-19 | Low-Flying Trapeze
April 15-16 | Sneaky Pathways on Aerial Fabric
May 27-28 | Contortion
July 8-9 | Lyra Creative Exploration
July 28-30 | Straps
Aug. 12-13 | Lyra

Feb. 17-18, March 24-25, April 28-29, May 26-27 | Flying Trapeze Workshops
Feb. 25-26 | Aerial Rings Workshops
May 6 | Partner Acrobatic Dance Workshops
May 26 | Advancing Your Flexibility
Year Round | Create Your Own Training

Feb. 17-19 | Aerial Teacher Symposium
May 19-21 | Aerial Fabric Continuing Ed
June 20-24 | Intro to Teaching Aerials 
July 10-14 | Lyra Teacher Training

April 20-23 | Bar Apparatus
June 8-11 | Rope
July 21-23 | Fabric Arts

Jan. 25 | Finding and Using Music
Feb. 20 | Demo Reels and Act Videos
March 22 | What’s in your Rigging Bag? 
April 10 | Being Prepared Before You Step Into the Ring

June 10 – July 15 | Summer Intensive A
June 12-16 | Aerial & Circus Skills Retreat A
July 16 – Aug. 20 | Summer Intensive B
July 17 – Aug. 4 | Performance Boot Camp
Aug. 21-25 | Aerial & Circus Skills Retreat B


Join the AYCO/ACE Health & Wellness Committee!

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: Hot Dog Tag!

How to Play: This is a freeze tag game! One player is it and tags other players to freeze them. When players are tagged, they lay down on their back frozen as a hot dog. To unfreeze other players must “bun” the frozen “hot dog” – two unfreezers must enter into a plank position on either side of the hot dog! 


Catch Up with Circus Harmony!

Circus Harmony invites you to check out:

Also, if you are looking for a social circus internship or some personalized pre-professional training, check us out at and if you are near St Louis, register now for Circus Harmony Spring classes at City Museum that start January 30, 2023.


Congratulations to Canopy Studio!

Canopy Studio receives a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This grant will support Canopy’s Outreach Program to continue to reach a wider audience and reflect the diversity of the Athens community-at-large, bringing the opportunity for personal enrichment through aerial arts to everyone regardless of age, ability, or socioeconomic status. In 2022 174 scholarships were awarded totaling more than $35,000 worth of support to our students for classes, private lessons, or 1:1 instruction within group classes.


Circus Up Update

Kirkos has a new page on the Circus Up website where you can find out about upcoming shows and other info! Kirkos is already booked for the Watertown Pride parade. Find out more about it HERE. Also- Circus Up is working closely with the Commonwealth Circus Center and other local circus orgs to provide more scholarships in the Boston area.  Check out our new program HERE.

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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