Educators Conference 2012
The 2012 AYCO Educators Conference will be hosted by the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts in Seattle, WA from August 31 to September 3. The educators’ conference is a unique, biennial opportunity for adults working in circus education and related fields to gather together and share best practices.
This year, the conference will focus around three topics:
- Teaching tumbling and partner acrobatics
- Adaptive programming
- Creating a culture of safety in youth circus
Teaching tumbling and partner acrobatics.
Taking advantage of our location in one of the country’s main centers for acrobatics training, we will be offering workshops to suit all experience levels:
- Pre-conference intensive in teaching intermediate and advanced acrobatics
- Spotting and skill-progression workshops for a range of levels
- Participative experiences at a range of levels
- Trampoline, tumbling and partner acrobatics
This program is designed and led by Chuck Johnson, SANCA Program Director. SANCA staff, including Nick Harden, Erica Rubenstein. Other experienced coaches from across the country will lead sessions.
In addition to conference programming, SANCA will be offering a 1.5 day course in teaching intermediate and advanced acrobatics on August 30 and 31.
Circus arts education is by its nature adaptive. No one child approaches a trick in exactly the same way, and educators constantly seek the most effective way to help each child. Because of this, circus arts are perfectly positioned to serve youth with very wide ranging needs. Many programs are now serving children with autism, ADD, and other physical and emotional challenges. At this years’ conference, pioneering practitioners such as Jackie Davis of CircusLearning, Carrie Heller of Circus Arts Therapy, Jill Maglio of Holistic Circus Therapy, Jo Montgomery Nurse Practitioner at the Odessa Brown Childrens Clinic and co founder of SANCA, Erin Maile O’Keefe of CircusYoga, Craig Quat of The Circus Place and many others will gather to share their experiences and work together to progress ideas in this rapidly developing field. Expect participative workshops and round table discussions where everyone has a chance to share their experiences.
Creating a culture of safety in youth circus
As circus arts spread among youth in the USA it is the duty of all educators to create and preserve a culture of safety among our programs. For the health of our children, the reputation of our sector and, of course, the cost of insurance, we all need to do our part to maintain safe practices. We’ll address safety basics such as rigging and spotting, look at whole program safety through risk assessment, discuss ways to lower the cost of insurance, and examine how circuses across the US build a culture of safety in their programs. There will be a round table workshop on defining AYCO’s role in preserving safety, at its events and beyond. Speakers include: Chuck Johnson, Chair of AYCO Safety Committee, Jonathan Deull of Zip Zap Circus and Steven Santos of Simply Circus who has recently launched a new insurance option for youth circuses.
In addition to conference programming, SANCA will be offering a 1.5 day course in aerial rigging safety on August 30 and 31 This will be led by Jonathan Duell, Dante Leonardi, John Murphey and others..
Throughout the conference there will be opportunities to experience new equipment and teaching styles from across the country. SANCA’s flying trapeze will be available for lessons, and we’ll offer a range of fun participatory programs for those simply wishing to see what others are up to.
This event is one day longer than our previous Educators’ Conferences, allowing us to examine some topics in more depth, and providing more opportunity for networking and celebrating. There will be organized events each evening, including a chance to see a performance by SANCA staff.
Anyone interested in leading a workshop, on one of our three main topics, or on something else that would interest circus arts educators, should complete our online application by January 31 2012. Visit www.americanyouthcircus.org for details.
Tickets will be on sale early in 2012. A four-day conference pass including meals is priced at $325 before April 1 and $375 afterwards. In lieu of a scholarship program for this event AYCO encourages those on a tight budget to apply for an AYCO internship. Interns receive a free pass and accommodation at the Educators Conference. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.