AYCO News Blog

The AYCO News Blog includes items selected by the website editor, partner members, and sponsor members believed to be of interest to the AYCO community. If you have a news item that you would like to see included, please send details to newsletter@americanyouthcircus.org.
  • 20 Jan 2012 11:48 AM | Deleted user
    We are sad to announce the passing on January 20th of Peggy Ford, former AYCO Board member and friend to many in the youth circus network.  Peggy died peacefully among friends and family following a long illness.  She will be greatly missed.  Please post personal messages and recollections about Peggy on our tribute board.  We will pass these on to her family and close friends.
  • 10 Jan 2012 6:11 PM | Anonymous

    Main topics include teaching tumbling/partner acrobatics, adaptive programming, and creating a culture of safety, but we need programming in other areas too. The conference will be in SANCA, Seattle August 31-Sept 3. Fill out the application here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6FYL7BW

  • 22 Dec 2011 2:37 PM | Anonymous

    The grant-writing process is in motion for an upcoming study on the effects of circus arts on youth development. To strengthen the case for support, we are seeking “pilot data” from the AYCO community that will help convince the grant reviewers that youth circus is worth studying:

    report cards, school attendance records, evaluations, papers, or other findings that indicate positive outcomes in the children and youth you serve.

    Quantitative information would be most helpful, although compelling qualitative work can also be sent.

    (We are applying to do a longitudinal study conducted by Jackie Davis, EdM,
    supervised by Dr. Adele Diamond of the University of British Columbia that would begin in 2013 – IF we can get funding.)

    Send to Jackie at jad310@mail.harvard.edu with “Pilot Data” in the subject line.
    Deadline: January 20, 2012

  • 21 Dec 2011 12:48 PM | Amy Cohen (Administrator)

    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. 

    Adaptive programming

    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 zoe@americanyouthcircus.org for more details.

  • 12 Dec 2011 10:33 AM | Amy Cohen (Administrator)

    From September 17-19, 2010, the biennial educator’s conference of the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) convened at the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Under the facilitation of Jackie Davis, a two-part meeting was held in which twenty-five youth circus program directors, teachers, and practitioners identified, discussed, drafted, and subsequently recommended eight core competencies to the AYCO board of directors.  

    View the core competencies on the resource section of the AYCO website here!

  • 15 Nov 2011 3:01 PM | Amy Cohen (Administrator)

    A selection of pictures from the 2011 AYCO festival taken by professional photographer Deborah Grosmark are now available online.   The photos can be viewed and electronically downloaded by visiting the AYCO Festival 2011 Flicker account page here- the festival album is found on the right hand side of the welcome page.  You may download these photos for use on websites, etc but please credit Deborah each time you use them. 

    We encourage you to view the whole selection (Deborah took over 1000 photos) on Deborah's website folio.deborahgrosmark.com/ayco. You may order prints directly through her site at an additional cost.  Use password ayco to access the site, and then ayco2011 to access each individual album.  Please note passwords are case sensitive.

  • 26 Sep 2011 8:43 AM | Deleted user
    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 2012.  This will be a "don't miss" opportunity for anyone involved in teaching circus arts. Program details will be available in the new year.
  • 02 Sep 2011 11:45 AM | Deleted user
    The first AYCO New York regional festival is now open for registration.  Space are limited to 100 for this fabulous opportunity to connect with some of New York's best circus teachers and other youth with a passion for circus.  Click here to register.
  • 31 Aug 2011 10:51 AM | Deleted user
    Following the 2011 festival, an article about youth circus appeared in this Brain Development and Learning blog.
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