March 2022 News



ACE membership keeps you connected, engaged, and in the know! 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!

🇺🇦 Support For Ukraine  #WeCircusBetterTogether

The largest collaboration of Circus in history of every genre has come forward to support the Ukrainian Circus Community with jobs, costumes, training spaces, transport, visas, a home, logistics and more! Long live the circus and peace for Ukraine! Looking for ways to get involved, donate and show support? Check out these opportunities:

  • Help Ukraine’s displaced children of the arts by donating to Gofundme (organized by Jasmine Straga)
  • Ukrainian artists who need work and have left the border, use this following form.
  • Ukrainian Circus Artists trying to get out of Ukraine fill out this following form.

  • Circuses & Circus Artists, Directors, Producers, Agents, etc,. that would like to offer a job or home to a Ukrainian artist, please fill out this form.

  • Are you a Circus School wanting to offer your training space to Ukrainian artists? Please fill out this form.

  • Performing Arts schools who would like to support dancers, singers and producers students in these fields in their school, please fill out this form


  • Make Art not War Silent auction for Ukraine 🇺🇦

    Items include: Aerial Classes, Acro Classes, Pole Classes, private lessons, Linocutting Workshop and more! All money raised will go to Zhenya Doves targeted help for Ukraine fundraiser. Zhenya will transfer the money directly into her friends Ukrainian accounts – they have the best knowledge of the current needs in their communities and can direct it accordingly. It will be used to buy food, baby and hygiene products, medicine, transport for people to evacuate and have the supplies delivered.

  • Catie Brier’s Contortion Strong programs are 20% off when purchasing directly from the “HELP UKRAINE FUNDRAISER” link here.⁣ 100% OF ALL SALES from that link will be donated evenly between Razom Emergency Response and World Central Kitchen.⁣ AND she and her husband are going to MATCH the sales and personally donate to these charities as well (up to €500).⁣
  • Want to help Ukrainians on a more personal level, here are two ways to help (ideas are taken from @quentin.quarantino as shared by @catie.brier.contortion):⁣

    🇺🇦 Book an Airbnb in Ukraine, and message the host letting them know you won’t be staying but are wishing them well and hoping they’re safe!⁣

    🇺🇦 Buy DIGITAL goods from Ukrainian artists on Etsy.⁣

    If you do one of these options, just make sure that it’s an individual who owns the property/is selling goods, rather than a big corporation. That way you ensure the money goes straight to someone in need!⁣

Know of another opportunity to support Ukraine? Hit ‘Reply’ and share it with us!


👥 Let’s Get Social!

Are you following us on social media? 👀 If not, hit that follow button so we can connect! We want to see more of you in our feed so we can send you social love and share your highlights, training gains, shows and more. You can follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, where we like to keep you up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of circus, with our organization and members. Plus we like to share circus inspo, helpful resources and more. What are you waiting for? Click and connect!

Be sure to tag us using #AmericanCircusEducators and use our new hashtags: #WeCircusBetterTogether and #TheFutureIsCircus (You can follow these hashtags too!)


📅 EdCon 2022: Save the date!!

Mark your calendars, EdCon 2022 is on the way! We are planning for EdCon 2022 to be LIVE and in person at  Sky Candy in Austin, TX October 7-9th 2022!


We anticipate that travel and gathering will feel comfortable and safe by that time, and of course we will have specific COVID policies in place. There will be an online component for those that can’t attend, but we are so very excited to foster an event with physical workshops and face-to-face connections after such a long hiatus! More details to come!


📸 ACE Photo Contest – Coming Soon!

Did you know that each month we have an #AYCOPhotoContest and select a youth winner to be the face of our newsletter and receive some circus love and sweet circus swag? Well, we thought it was important to also recognize the amazing educators out there that help circus students achieve their goals – YES YOU!


How To Enter: We want to see you in action! Show us how you coach. Just capture a shot of you teaching, spotting and engaging your student(s), then post it and tag us using #ACEPhotoContest
Each month we’ll select a winner to be featured in our newsletter and on our social media. Oh, and did we mention we’ll be hooking you up with some sweet swag? 


🗣️ ACE Discussion Series 2022

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 made available to registrants after the session. Check out the upcoming events below!

Tuesday May 10th, 2022: Supporting Students with Anxiety and Panic

This discussion will start with an expanded excerpt from the longer training “Unafraid – Mental Health Tools for Circus Communities”. We will discuss elements of anxiety and panic as adaptive traits, and what happens when they become overwhelming or disordered in circus students. Participants will leave with concrete tools for supporting their students who experience anxiety and panic, as well as tools they can use to soothe and ground themselves as needed.


💸 New Member Discounts

Exciting news! We just added new discounts to your membership perks! Our friends at Mighty Grip, Rubberbandtiz and Circus Doc are hooking you up with savings on their Circus training and learning tools. Not a member yet? Now’s a great time to join!

Calling All Health and Wellness Experts!

The Health and Wellness Committee is looking for experienced volunteers to join their task forces. Joining a task force is a wonderful way for community members to get involved in creating safer and more welcoming environments in circus. Community members with expertise in health and wellness topics are encouraged to apply.


Led by a committee member or co-chair, each task force focuses on a variety of specialized health and wellness topics in the circus community. Topics range from sexual violence prevention/response and disordered eating, to concussion prevention/response and suicide prevention. Please note that time commitments for each task force may vary.


If you are interested in joining a Health and Wellness task force, please fill out the application here.


Wellness Resources

The AYCO/ACE Health and Wellness Committee recognizes that substance use in our community can be harmful and challenging. As educators, we can create a non-judgmental and safer environment by modeling and helping to create & implement organizational cultures, policies, and responses to support healthy behaviors. We can also learn signs of unhealthy substance use, and practice effective approaches:

• Addiction and substance abuse can happen with both illicit and legal substances like alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana, and medications like opiates and steroids.
• Substance Abuse is a chronic brain disease. Excessive and chronic use cause physical and chemical changes in the brain.
• Signs of drug abuse include: rapid mood changes, having too much or too little energy, eating too much or too little, talking fast or nonsense.

We have compiled educational and crisis resources. You can find a complete list of resources on the ACE website.

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: Paper Doll Militia 

Paper Doll Militia is a recognized member of the Safety Program specializing in aerial education and theatrical productions. Their pieces seamlessly weave together dynamic physicality, aerial arts, and visual theatre. They emphasize a mixture of modern and vintage mediums as well as invented aerial apparatus to create their signature aesthetic; dreamy, whimsical, and dark.
Paper Doll Militia’s teacher training and certification program is available worldwide through their remote format and they have two scholarship programs to help address inequity within the industry. Paper Doll Militia also offers retreats in beautiful locations around the world. The next retreat will be in Panama, Oct 2022, and will feature aerial classes on sailboats! Stay up to date with all their current offerings by signing up to their Mailing list. The next opportunity to join a remote teacher training is in June of 2022. Details on the website:

“Paper Doll Militia’s Teacher Training Program has been recognized through ACE for almost 3 years. We have loved being a part of this amazing community. Every year, we look forward to the ACE and AYCO conferences as a place to reignite our passion and connect with other teaching professionals. The amazing detail of the Safety Program has helped us to continue to update our programming and continually improve upon our offerings to the community.”

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:


2022 Circus International Film Festival Tickets On Sale Now!

Tickets are on sale now for the 2022 Circus International Film Festival, which runs online from Pie Day (March 13) to World Circus Day (April 16), at

Please contact for sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, and follow @circusinternationalfilmfestival on FB and IG, or visit for more information.


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.


Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center: Summer Circus & Dance Creation Lab Auditions

The Summer Circus & Dance Creation Lab is a two-week program that culminates in a performance.  Students will have the opportunity to take technique classes in dance and circus such as contemporary dance, jazz, hip-hop, aerial silks, trapeze, lyra, juggling, and acrobatics. Students will have the opportunity to choose their technique classes for the two weeks.  Pending on the goals of the students (see Audition Form), we have the capacity to include faculty in other disciplines such as African Dance, Latin Dance, Cyr Wheel, and Aerial Straps.

When: July 18 – 29 (2 weeks) | Performance July 30
For Ages 8+
*Virtual Audition Required
Deadline: April 22 or when all spaces are full ​
Get more details at:


Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance presents the 24th International Aerial Dance Festival 

Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance presents the 24th international Aerial Dance Festival 2022: July 31-August 12. Boulder, CO.
3-Hour Immersions, 90-Minute Classes, Workshops, Panels, Performances, and more in person in Boulder, CO! Learn more about the festival and this year’s incredible Faculty Artists Here.
ADF 2022 Early Bird Discount Package Registration OPEN NOW through March 28. First come – first served. This is your opportunity to get your spot in classes first! Register Here.


Nimble Arts Workshops are back!

June 20 – 24: Nimble Arts Introduction to Teaching Aerials hosted by NECCA in Brattleboro, VT for anyone embarking on or expanding your teaching practice.  Learn the foundations including spotting, skill progressions, classroom management, posture analysis, injury prevention etc.


July 2-7: Tree Dancing Workshop in collaboration with certified arborist, in Weare, NH. Learn the ropes of how to ascend into trees and dance with them in this outdoor combination of aerials, harness dancing and creativity.  Great for beginners and experienced movers alike this workshop is excellent for generating environmentally focused creative material within the natural landscape.


For info & registration visit:


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:
Smirkling Camp | 1 day | June 18 | Ages 5-11
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

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, April 12th 9am PST / 10am MST / 11am CST / 12pm EST.

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


Circus Harmony

The flying children of Circus Harmony are taking off at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport! What more natural place to exhibit Circus Harmony’s fabulous flying children than the airport? Who better to welcome visitors or returning residents than the bounciest ambassadors of this metropolis? The young subjects of these photos are amazing aviators themselves. The photography exhibit Watch Out for Flying Children, will be at the Lambert Gallery on the lower level from March 15- September 15, 2022.  The exhibit is a photographic journey that follows the flying children of Circus Harmony as they defy gravity, soar with confidence and leap over social barriers in St. Louis and beyond! The photos span from 2004 through 2022. You can also follow the flying children via their website,, and social media. You might even see them flipping, flying, and flinging live some days at the airport!


CircEsteem on the Rise!

CircEsteem has expanded quickly in the past couple of years.  CircEsteem now has 7 long-term satellite sites and one main hub site located throughout Chicago offering social circus programming to 425 youth each week!
Five years ago, CircEsteem had one program site.  CircEsteem students continue to grow more committed to the community, many graduating high school and going off to college, but always coming back to support the organization during breaks by teaching their younger peers.  Several of our youth have grown up, gone to college (or not), and now work leading programs for the next generation of CircEsteem kids.  
The organization is working to realize a city-wide model, where neighborhood programs interact with each other intentionally in order to fulfill our mission of uniting youth across all backgrounds and identities, while also working towards our goal of equitable access for youth from around the city.
Our goal is to bring all the different neighborhoods together to take part in our Summer Circus Tour, which performs 15 times in 15 different communities during the summer time!


Game of the Month: Micro Dance!

Materials Needed: Music playing device

How to Play: Play a popular school appropriate song with a strong beat. Demonstrate various dances using different body parts. For example: Nodding your head to the core beat, moving your fingers on a mat as if they were legs, leaning side to side. Ask students to join you in the simplest of movements. If some students choose to sing along, welcome that.
Variations: You can assign students to lead a dance move, popcorn, go around the circle, or drop a name list into the chat (if online). Remember to encourage participants to keep it simple and repeatable. 

Reflections: What was it like to move as a group? How is your focus after moving your body? 
Teacher Notes: Song choice is everything. If students suggest a song, make sure you preview it ahead of time. People get teased a lot for their dance skills. This activity is best with only small movements so there can be a communal experience without any shaming. 

Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance 2022-2023 Professional Training Program

Application Deadline: May 1st. Fully remote application process. Apply Here.
Program dates: August 22, 2022 – May 26, 2023 in beautiful Boulder, CO. 
Our well-rounded curriculum prepares aerial dance artists for a wide variety of aerial career trajectories, expands creative potential, and provides tools to stay healthy and flying. Frequent Flyers is the first aerial dance school approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Private Occupational School Board. Learn More About the Program.


Aerial Pilates Teacher Training with Air Control Pilates®

Aerial Pilates uses the aerial hammock apparatus to guide you through the perfect fusion of aerial arts and the Pilates method. This teacher training is created and taught by an aerialist and Pilates teacher.

Who is this course for? Aerial Pilates Teacher Training for Aerialists, Pilates Teachers, and/or enthusiasts! Upon completion you’ll have:
• World class knowledge in Aerial, Pilates and safety in rigging
• Air Control Pilates® Aerial Pilates syllabus videos using the aerial hammock and teaching skills
• 100 + page Online and downloadable Stage 1 Teacher Training Manual including syllabus worksheets
• In-depth guided tuition covering the Pilates fundamentals and principles

Training also Includes BONUS modules:
• Introduction to Anatomy
• Circus History and its intertwining with Pilates
• Safe Practice in Aerial Pilates
• Wings Tool Kit:  Living your true potential
•  6 months Pilates matwork subscription
• Exclusive access to ‘In Her Shadows’ Aerial Theatre show (run time 40 mins)


For more information visit: | or email:


Aircat Aerial Arts Teacher Training – Foundations Course

April 1-3, & 22-24, 2022 in Boulder CO (10am – 5pm each day) (DATE CHANGE FROM FEB 2022) Get full details here.

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

Circus Arts Institute’s next Beginner Aerial Teacher Training is coming up and is online! Please visit our website to learn more about Circus Arts Institute’s online training program and our current course offerings.

* Advanced and Intermediate Aerial Teacher Trainings are in-person in Atlanta, Georgia.
Registration is NOW OPEN for Circus Arts Institutes’ Upcoming Aerial Teacher Trainings

Beginner: April 29-May 2, 2022 (Silks, Hammock, Trapeze*)
This is the last Aerial Teacher Training until November 2022.  Space is filling up fast. REGISTER TODAY!  *Trapeze also includes Saturday evening April 23rd 6:00-8:30pm
For details and to register, click here. Questions? Email


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: 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)


Panama Aerial + Sail Retreat – featuring aerial classes on sailboats!

• Week 1: October 1 – 8, 2022 Sling, Lyra, Acro & Aerial Yoga

• Week 2: October 9 – 16, 2022 Sling, Silks, Acro & Aerial Yoga

Get more details here:


Get NASM Certified with Cirque-It Fitness Academy

For a limited time! Save 10% on top of NASM advertised prices on NASM certification courses through the Cirque-It Fitness Academy!


Save NOW on education that increases your value as a fitness professional. Circus coaches, get your NASM-CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) to further your education. Already have your CPT? Add a CES certification and maximize your per session pricing, or become a Nutrition Coach and increase your revenue stream.


Use code ACE to get your 10% savings on the following courses linked below:

NASM Certified Nutrition Coach

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist


Any other NASM course—contact Cirque-It Fitness!


After your purchase, a member of the Cirque-It Fitness team will contact you to get you set up with your course hosted on the NASM website. This special incentive expires March 18, 2022 or while supplies last. Questions? Call/text Cirque-It Fitness at (833)2-Cirque or email

Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center is Hiring

The Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center seeks an experienced Program Director who will embrace the school’s community mission and vision. This is a Full Time Salary Position.
For more details and to apply, please visit:


Circus Center in SF is Hiring a Director of Training & Education

San Francisco’s Circus Center seeks a full-time salaried Director of Training and Education.
The Director of Training and Education must be a visionary circus artist with a deep, practical knowledge of circus training, a strong professional performing experience, and a passion for circus arts education. Must also possess the ability to teach one or more circus disciplines at the highest level is desirable. The Director of Training and Education may also serve as a master instructor within their speciality.
Most important, however, is the ability to work collaboratively to conceive of an integrated vision for our training programs and lead us toward it. This vision should serve our existing community as well as expand and deepen the training quality to further secure Circus Center as a true hub of circus training on the West Coast.
To learn more and apply, please visit


Circus Smirkus is Hiring!

ADF 2022 Scholarships

You’re invited to apply for the Glenn P. Davis & Terry Sendgraff Scholarships! Two scholarships will be awarded to emerging aerial choreographers covering up to $1,100 in class tuition. Applicants must demonstrate some experience in aerial choreography. Recipients will be selected based on demonstrated interest and ability working with the genre of aerial dance. The Terry Sendgraff Scholarship will be awarded to a BIPOC identifying artist (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color). Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Deadline to apply – March 28. Learn More and Apply 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 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.


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.


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