ACE Monthly Newsletter

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This Month’s Organization Update


A New Year often means change. And we’ve had quite a few here at ACE/AYCO HQ. One of those changes is actually a person! 🙃 Meet Ashley! She has stepped up as our new Communications Coordinator, and we are thrilled to have her on our team. Our previous champion of communications, Rainie, has moved on to even better things!

ACE Safety Program

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. Learn more here.

Safety Spotlight

Did you know Elsie Smith is one of the founding members of the Safety Program and an active Safety Program Committee Member?!? She got into circus safety because she felt a commitment to developing safer aerial teachers and to giving people the tools to become more effective members of the circus educator community. Elsie and her twin sister founded Nimble Arts.

Nimble Arts (a recognized member of the Safety Program) offers a variety of creative performance options for outdoor and indoor entertainment – community event, fundraiser, private party, corporate celebration or theater shows. Nimble Arts also shares art through workshops for teachers and practitioners, and builds select equipment. Nimble Arts is hosting our week-long workshop Intro to Teaching Aerials at NECCA in Vermont Feb 19-23 – don’t miss it!!! To find out more, visit

Rigging and Risk Management for Aerial Acrobatics, Circus and Dance: Aerial Rigging Basics Workshop

This two part workshop, taught by Jonathan Deull, is hands-on and will focus on the principles and practices of rigging and risk management for circus, acrobatic, and aerial dance performance. It is suitable for riggers, performers, coaches, studio/facility/theatre managers, and others involved in executing or overseeing aerial performance. Topics range from dynamic loads and forces to inspection and retirement protocols to rigging math and more!

Jonathan Deull is an industry professional with over a decade of experience. He is certified through the Entertainment Technician Certified Program (ETCP), and is an ETCP Recognized Trainer. As a Safety Committee Member for the American Circus Educators Association, he helps lead the effort to develop safety and risk management guidelines and protocols for circus performance training programs and facilities.

To find out more and register, visit

NECCA Presents: The Circus Spectacular

The Circus Spectacular is a dazzling fundraising show 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 Brattleboro, VT on the Latchis Theater stage. An evening of incredible, world class entertainment for the entire family with a live stream option if you prefer to watch from the comfort of your own home.

When: 7:30 pm, Saturday, March 5, 2022 (in person & streamed live) and 1:00 pm, Sunday, March 6, 2022 (in person only)

Where: Online and at The Latchis Theater 50 Main St. Brattleboro, VT 05301

Cost: $15-50 (all sales benefit NECCA’s scholarships and programming)

More Info:

2022 Circus International Film Festival Submissions Now Open!

Submissions to the 2022 Circus International Film Festival are now open!

This year’s categories are:

• Under 18

• Shorts – Under 10 Minutes

• Shorts – Documentary

• Shorts – Non-Documentary

• Full Length


• Regular – Ends Jan 31st

• Late – Ends Feb 20th

Submit films at, and find updates about online screenings, along with Fest sponsorship & volunteer opportunities at and on IG & FB. Juried awards will be announced on World Circus Day, April 16, 2022.

CIFF premiered in 2021, founded and directed by Marisa Diamond (AYCO/ACE Board member), with the support of Festival Assistant Emily Fulton (AYCO HUP Squad member), Festival Communications Director Jonathan Meehan (formerly with Cirque du Soleil), and esteemed international jurors and sponsors.

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:

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

Cirques Experience’s 2022 Wheel Weekend

The 2022 Cirques Experience is hosting the annual March Weekend. Held in the north side of Chicago, Wheel Weekend is a great opportunity to expand circus artists’ skills and knowledge in the world of wheel.

There are several workshops including Cyr wheel, Gym Wheel, Judging, Coaching and More! Whether the focus is performance, competition, physical fitness, or merely FUN, all are welcome! Whether a beginner or a professional this is a great opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills.

When: March 18, 8:00AM – March 20, 5:00PM

Where: 5944 N. Magnolia Ave | Chicago, IL, 60660 | USA

More information can be found below as well as registration for Wheel Weekend.

2022 Social Circus Connection Calls!

New format, same great Social Circus Connection Call.

In 2022, the ACE Social Circus Program is changing the registration structure for our Connection calls; participants will need to register for each individual call. Join us for our next call, Tuesday, February 8th 9am PST / 10am MST / 11am CST / 12pm EST

Calls are *free* to ACE members | $0-10 for non-members

Catch Circus Harmony Alumni Wherever You Are!

Here’s what our Alumni are up to:

• Claire Wallenda is walking wire with the Flying Wallendas

• Keaton Hentoff-Killian is with Circa Contemporary Circus in Australia

• Terrance Robinson will be opening with Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia at the Royal Albert Hall in London

• Melvin Diggs is part of 7 Fingers new hit show, Dear San Francisco, in the city of the same name

• Kellin Quinn and Elliana Grace can be seen in the Circus Harmony ring at City Museum in St. Louis

• Sidney ‘Iking’ Bateman is flipping in a square ring under the name of ‘Reggie’ on WWE’s Monday NIght Raw.

Also!! Circus Harmony is currently seeking a Chinese pole and hoop diving teacher.

For more information and to contact them, go to

Game of the Month: Unicorn Race

This 5 minute game is a great way to have fun and encourage focus!

Materials Needed: One peacock feather for each participant.

How to play: Have participants line up on one side of an empty space. Indicate where the start and end lines are. Pass out feathers reminding participants to take care of the materials, themselves and each other. Have participants place the feathers on their foreheads. Countdown “3, 2, 1… Go!”

Variations: Rhinoceros race (off nose) and flamingo race (on flat palm), add obstacles like a wedge mat, rola bola, or a specific travel pattern. Can also be done individually while others in the group watch and cheer!

Tip: Practice feather balancing first on different body parts.

Circus Up Community Troupe


This month, the Circus Up community troupe, KIRKOS will be sporting around their new sweatshirts (and logos) designed by Haus of Jules Design .  It is cold here in Boston, and there are no shows due to this damn pandemic, but we are determined to celebrate and play how we can!

Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance 2022-2023 Professional Training Program

Early Bird Application Deadline: January 21, 2022. Apply Here.

Program dates: August 22, 2022 – May 26, 2023.

Frequent Flyers® Professional Training Program is a transformative 9 month journey for aerial dancers aspiring to a professional career in this unique and creative field. They provide the well-rounded training and skills students need to not only pursue a variety of career paths, but also to be highly marketable in this ever growing and competitive arena. Frequent Flyers® is the FIRST aerial dance school approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Private Occupational School Board. Learn More.

Aircat Aerial Arts Teacher Training – Foundations Course

February 11-13, & 25-27, 2022 in Boulder CO (10am – 5pm each day)

Visit HERE for full details.

Cathy Gauch, director of Aircat Aerial Arts, has been teaching a Nationally Recognized Aerial Teacher Training course for 8 years. This program upholds industry safety standards, providing new instructors with the tools needed to coach with confidence, emphasizing student safety & success. It is designed to equip coaches with a framework with which to teach in addition to providing resources & guidance for continual professional development.

Focus will be on the bigger picture of how to teach versus teaching a specific curriculum. Building from individuals’ libraries of known skills, this program will encourage students to apply critical thought to the teaching process and provide a strong foundation for coaching recreational aerial arts.

Circus Arts Institute Trainings

Registration is NOW OPEN for Circus Arts Institutes’ Aerial Teacher Trainings and Circus Arts Therapy® Trainings. Please visit their website to learn more about Circus Arts Institute’s online training program and current course offerings.

Level 1 Circus Arts Therapy® Trainings ONLINE: February 16-22, 2022

Includes 25 hours Circus Arts Therapy® Level 1 Training + 20 hours Adaptive Aerial Teacher Training

Level 2 Circus Arts Therapy®: February 25-27, 2022

Includes 20-hours Circus Arts Therapy® Level 2 Training

Social Work CEUs are available for BOTH Level 1 and Level 2. Get Pricing information here.

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

Virtual Info Session for Aloft’s Full Time Professional Training Program

Join Aloft to learn all about their newly restructured Full Time Professional Training Program! They will give you an overview of their structure, goals and expectations, then will take all your questions. The meeting ends with optional breakout rooms where you can meet coaches and past students. Register here and login info will be emailed to you. The meeting will be recorded in case you can’t make it.


This revamped program is developed to deliver the same excellent artistic and technical training that Aloft is known for in a more accessible and efficient package. The updated program lowers the cost of training, the revised schedule provides more options for students to work and make a living outside of the program, and expedites the process of skill acquisition in the first year and facilitates performance opportunities in the second year.

Visit to learn even more.

Paper Doll Militia Upcoming Remote Teacher Trainings

Paper Doll Militia’s 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. This course 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 course of the 4 week program. Please visit the WEBSITE for more information about the course and to register!

Upcoming Trainings:

Level 1 Silks, Rope, Trapeze or Lyra | 50 hours / 4 weeks

• Course dates: Feb 12th – March 12th, 2022 (Registration is currently open)

• Course dates: June 4th – July 2nd, 2022 (Registration opens April 4th, 2021)

Level 1 Rope Fast Track | 10 hours / 2 weeks

*This is an add-on module For those who have taken the Full Silks Course

• Course dates: March 24th – April 4th, 2022 (Registration is currently open)

2022 Circus & Allied Arts Collection Fellowship

Illinois State University’s Milner Library is now accepting applications for its 2022 Circus & Allied Arts Collection Fellowship, a $1,500 award for scholars interested in researching any topic that requires onsite use of the Circus & Allied arts Collection housed in Milner Library’s Special Collections. The award can be used to support costs associated with scholars’ proposed research project including, but not limited to, costs of travel, room and board, digital scans, and other expenses related to utilizing the Circus & Allied Arts Collection for research purposes. The deadline to apply for spring or summer fellowship is February 14, 2022. For more information and application materials, visit

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.

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.

SANCA Is Hiring

The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA), located in Seattle, is currently in search of a new Executive Director. They are looking for enthusiastic candidates that have a strong background in nonprofit management, finance and development. For an in-depth description of the position, and requirements please visit this link to the full posting here:

CircEsteem (Chicago) is Hiring

CircEsteem (Chicago) is hiring for multiple positions. Open positions include:

Program Coordinator – should possess the ability to execute applicable programs including program infrastructure; personnel management; program promotion and events, and various administrative tasks as needed. The Program Coordinator is also responsible for establishing and cultivating quality relationships with school administration, teachers, and staff.

Teaching Artists – with the ability to teach Social Circus programming at our Uptown headquarters and offsite throughout Chicago. A variety of opportunities are available based on employee availability from 3-25 hours a week.

For the full job description including salary, benefits, experience needed and application instructions, visit

The Circus Project Is Hiring

Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance, the world’s flagship nonprofit aerial dance organization based in Boulder, Colorado, is currently hiring for the following positions: Operations Manager, Kids Who Fly Outreach Coordinator, and Rigging & Equipment Manager. Visit for more information about joining the Frequent Flyers team!

Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance Is Hiring

The Circus Project (Portland, OR) is seeking an experienced circus artist and educator to manage the Elements Training Company, a 9-month intensive program for adult circus students interested in pursuing a professional path.  This is a part-time position with the option to add additional hours through coaching.  Find all of the information at:

Circus Juventas is Hiring

Circus Juventas is currently seeking a High Level Acrobatic Circus Coach to variety of Circus Acts to students aged 5 to 21, using a safe and progressive coaching methodology. Coach will work with our team to ensure a fun, inclusive, and safe class environment for all students of varying skill levels. This full time/hourly position is located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and features competitive salary, health benefits, 401K Plan, vacation time.

Base Qualifications: Applicants should have three or more years Coaching Circus arts and/or Elite Gymnastics in a professional or youth setting. The ability to coach trampoline, mini trampoline, tumbling, Russian Swing, Teeter Board, and other  acrobatic and aerial disciplines is a plus. Applicant should also be comfortable hand spotting and holding safety lines for various acrobatic disciplines.

For a full description of Job summary and qualifications or to apply, please submit letter of intent and resume to:

Circus Harmony is Hiring

Join us? Circus Harmony is seeking a full time Acrobatic Teaching Artist. Circus Harmony is primarily a social circus that also offers recreational and pre-professional training in St. Louis, Missouri.  We are seeking a reliable and adaptable individual who is highly knowledgeable about acrobatic technique and able to work independently and in a team. Needs to be calm and creative with a good sense of humor. Candidate must be interested in serving as a role model and mentor as well as a technical coach. There are also possible performing opportunities. Need reliable transportation. CoVid vaccination and masking required.

Circus Teaching Internship in exchange for advanced circus training also available.

For more details on both positions visit:

If interested, contact Jessica Hentoff at

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!

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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