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


Meet the 2020 Hup Squad
Rachel Ostrow

Rachel (diving) and other YC member Lucy

Rachel is 16 years old and trains at San Francisco Circus Center in the SF Youth Circus Performance Troupe. She trains many different apparatuses, some of which are Hoop Diving, Teeterboard, Hoop, and Chinese acrobatics (as well as many more). She is super excited to be able to get to know other circus artists around the country, and put her opinions out there for others to read!

Mira Gurock


Mira is 15 years old and currently trains at Commonwealth Circus Center in Jamaica Plain, MA. She has been training circus since she was 8 years old.

Calista Faragalli


Calista, age 13, is from Poulsbo, WA (a ferry and car ride across the water from Seattle). She is exploring how to combine her love of dance and tumbling in the form of circus arts. Her training in dance at Northwest School of Dance in Bremerton, WA includes Acrobatic Arts, ballet and technique among other dance styles. She competes with the Clarke Dance Group, with a specialty focus in acro dance. This background has allowed her to learn beginning circus moves with ease as her instructors often use ballet terms during their teaching. The closest circus training facility is across the water in Seattle, where she takes classes at Emerald City Trapeze. She takes classes in silks, lyra, and handstands but has recently also fell in love with flying on the trapeze! She is able to take more classes during school breaks and wants to try all of the classes before deciding if she wants to focus on just one. When she isn’t training or at school, she is likely playing with her white boxer Pixie, strumming on the guitar, or unofficially training by walking on her hands wherever and whenever she can!

Magnificent Farrell


Magnificent (Mags), is 15 years old and does circus work with Wise Fool in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They’ve been doing circus since 2016 and this summer will mark their 4 year point at the circus! They’re an intermediate to advanced Unicyclist and Juggler. They also took up trapeze 2 years ago and haven’t stopped doing it ever since!

Julaine Hall

Ron Flag

Julaine is 15 years old (she will be 16 this spring) and lives in Washington State. She is looking forward to writing for Hup Squad again this year. She has been doing circus for 13 and ½ years! She doesn’t ever remember a time not doing circus. Her favorite apparatus is Chinese Pole, but she also loves to train rope, handstands, straps, tumbling, juggling, and many other disciplines. When she’s not training circus you could catch her playing, writing, and listening to music, cooking, conditioning, studying fire science, French, or writing! Strength is her biggest asset in circus and her life. She’s all about doing tough things now to be tough later! She has had the opportunity to perform at Teatro ZinZanni in their fall family show (2016), perform at and the Bi-Annual AYCO festival (2017 and 2019), as well as travel with Circus Smirkus and perform in 68 shows (2018), and train and perform at the SDCC Master Youth Intensive and SDCC Festival (2019). She is excited to see where else circus takes her! Fun Fact: she has been homeschooled her whole life and she is starting college this spring!

Tess Wallington


Born and raised in Las Vegas — the Entertainment Capital of the World — Tessa Wallington, 15, has been doing circus since 2015. She is a proud member of the Trapeze Las Vegas Aerial Angels, as well as a member of Le PeTiT CiRqUe, a Los Angeles-based performance troupe. Tessa is an all-around artist who loves trying new things but specializes as a base in both duo and group acrobatics, trapeze, specialty aerial, and other apparatuses. She is also experienced in acting, clowning, juggling and globe walking. When not doing circus, Tessa is cheering on her hometown team the UNLV Rebels, and working on improving her video production skills at Coronado High School. Tessa loves her circus sisters and performs often with her flyer, Charlene, her younger sister, Tally, and her friend Joelle. Tessa is able to excel at circus due to the help from her amazing coaches and mentors both in Las Vegas and Southern California. She cannot wait to see where circus career takes her next.

Maia Castro-Santos


Maia is 17 years old, and she lives in western Massachusetts. She has trained at the New England Center for Circus Arts for the past seven years and she is very excited to be returning to the Hup Squad this year. Maia will be touring with the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour this summer for her second year. Her main circus disciplines are lyra, hula hoops, and aerial fabric. She also dances and choreographs at Northfield Mount Hermon school. Outside of dance and circus, Maia loves playing the piano, drawing/painting, drinking tea, and going to concerts.


Carleigh Saberton

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Carleigh is 16 years old and goes to Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. She has been doing circus with My Nose Turns Red Youth Circus for about 5 years and has so much fun learning awesome skills while becoming great friends with other students and coaches. Her favorite circus activities are German wheel, and lyra but she also enjoys all of the other skills she is learning such as acrobatics, aerial silks and hammock, juggling, unicycling, wire-walking and hooping. Outside of circus, you will find her volunteering at the Cincinnati Zoo, playing cello in her high school orchestra, competing on her school’s archery team, or taking pictures with her friends!

Emily Fulton


Emily is a thirteen year old circus enthusiast from Weare, New Hampshire.  Her happy place is at the Flying Gravity Circus (FGC) in Wilton, NH. When Emily was ten, she fell in love with circus arts at the Silver Lining Circus Camp, and has been bending and soaring ever since.  She is specifically drawn to lyra, chinese pole, and contortion, but she also enjoys hand balancing and especially inventing new aerial tricks. At FGC she helps coach classes and trains intensively with Jon Roitman, Jackie Davis, and lots of other AWESOME coaches!!  When not flying through the air, Emily loves to hangout with her animals, sing, play guitar, and get some more air time (you can ALWAYS use some more air time:) by flying real, live planes.


Lacy Gragg


Lacy is 16 and has been in circus for since she was 4 years old. Lacy started doing circus at My Nose Turns Red Youth Circus in Ohio. Two years ago she moved to St. Louis Missouri and is now part of Circus Harmony. Her favorite things to perform are unicycle and partner acro. When she isn’t practicing or performing she loves reading and spending time with friends.


  1. Tres cool, you guys. One thing occurred to me looking over this blog is, how might someone become a Hup Squad member? What are the criteria and what’s the process? Just thinking of the circus youth out there that you are undoubtedly inspiring who might want to join the ranks at some point. Making this piece transparent would help, I’d think. My 2 cents!

    Thanks again and thanks for blogging. Great to hear your voices, boo yeah.

    ~ Jackie

  2. Dear hup squad.

    I think it would be amazing if two of you visited the camp frenchwoods circus. This summer
    The main number is 845-887-5600 leave a message for mike and browyn. Baker
    You should call them and request to be able to visit and see the show on the first or second visitors day. The couple who run the circus is mike and browyn. Baker. This is a large camp 500 campers ! But. The hup squad. Should check it out. The campers are 7to. 17. And they have spin fire. Juggling. Magic. And trapeze plus silk. Lyra. Etc….
    Also check out Camp keystone. It Was probably. The first camp to have a kid circus. The owners went to FSU. And were in flying high circus… This is a small camp north of Tampa Florida Burt Reynolds was an instructor there…

    Might make an interesting blog

    I wish this. Was around when I was in a kid circus. The flying pirates. From Tampa fl

    Thanks. Donna. Scrabbleladyz@yahoo.com

  3. We are super proud of our Aerial Angel Tessa Wallington for making the Hup Squad. Hopefully she is the first of many. Trapeze Las Vegas looks forward to hearing from all the members in the future!

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