Hey! We are the American Youth Circus Organization’s Hup Squad – a group of circus obsessed teens from around the USA. We are instigators of circus in our local communities and national youth circus ambassadors. Our blog is filled with exclusive interviews, reviews of circus shows, circus history, and more – all authored by us.
In circus, ‘Hup!’ is the word we use to indicate that we are ready, that it’s time to go, to do the trick. It’s a mode of communication and a piece of culture that is present all over the world in circus. With this blog we aspire to connect and activate our youth community!
Interested in joining us? We are open for applications at the beginning of each calendar year. Applicants are required to be 13-18 years old and a current American Youth Circus Organization member! Sign up here for the AYCOgram, our monthly circus newsletter for youth, so you’ll know when this year’s exact application dates are announced. And you can become a member of the American Youth Circus Organization here!
And with that … Hup!
-The AYCO Hup Squad
Jordan is 16 years old and lives in Seattle, Washington. Jordan was introduced to circus in kindergarten by her P.E. teacher. She dove in and has never looked back. Around the same time, her mom took a job stage managing a circus cabaret. The show happens within inches of you; sometimes the performers even do handstands on your table. So Jordan spent a lot of time backstage watching the circus come to life. “Those first few steps were like magic. Like stepping into a fairy tale under a curtain of stars.” (Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus). Jordan focuses on aerials (especially straps), tumbling, and unicycling. She takes circus classes at SANCA Seattle, and once she wears her parents down, she hopes to truly run away to join the circus.
Hannah Jane is 16 years old and a member of The Great YMCA Youth Circus. She has been participating in circus for one, going on two years now, and she loves it! She focuses in aerial, hand balancing, and acro. She has many years of performance experience from my childhood of theater and she never gets stage fright. She also loves to run, do yoga, paint, and draw and she loves being out in the sunny Southern California weather!
Zoe is 15 years old and lives in Portland, Oregon. She loves circus because it makes her feel confident. Training and performing helps her feel in control of her mind and body, and like she can achieve anything she sets her mind to. She sees circus as a creative outlet that brings wonder to others and can make her feel like she’s magical. She spends most of her time in the fall training with a group called the Zig Zags at Echo Theater Company, and her summers creating with The Circus Project. She feels most at home while spinning blindingly fast on a trapeze.
Chelsea is 13 years old and lives in Fort Thomas, Kentucky with her family. She goes to school with one of her best circus friends. She has been doing circus with My Nose Turns Red for two years, but she have fallen in love with it. Her favorite circus activities are unicycle and aerial silks.
Julaine is 13 years old. She has been doing circus for 11 years and she loves it! Her favorite discipline is Chinese Pole but she also does lots more, including juggling, tumbling, straps, rope, and acro. She’s also performed in many different venues, including professionally at Teatro ZinnZanni Seattle.
Annika is 15 years old and from Maine. She saw her first circus when she was about five, and she still remembers the feeling of wanting to be in the air, doing what the performers were doing. Now she has been training circus for about four or five years. Her favorite disciplines are fabric and juggling, but she loves learning a whole variety of skills. Outside of circus, she enjoys reading, calligraphy, and hanging out with her chinchilla.
Eva Lou is a 7th grader from Melrose, MA. She toured in the 2016 & 2017 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour and plans to audition for the 2018 tour in January. Circus Smirkus is a non-profit traveling youth circus that tours all over New England for 70 shows over the summer and raises money for other non-profit companies. In the circus, Eva performs clowning, hand-balancing, contortion and hula hoops. She takes lessons at various circus schools including the Sellam Circus School, Aircraft Aerial Arts and Esh Circus Arts. Having started at just under 3 years old, Eva also takes dance classes in ballet and pointe. She has also performed in the Melrose Youth Ballet production of “The Nutcracker” each year since 2011. Nominated “Youth Hooper of the Year” by Hooping.org in 2016 and 2017,Eva inspires young audiences whenever she hoops. She is also the current world record holder for longest time hooping on her nose. Currently Eva is learning Rhythmic Gymnastics which combines her love of dance and hooping with gymnastics and other props. When she’s not hooping, you’ll most likely find her playing with her pug or solving math problems.
Lyra basing her sister on trapeze
Lyra is 13 years old and from Lambertville, New Jersey. She has been doing circus for three years. She loves doing aerials and balance and really enjoys performing.