National Youth Circus Day: SPIRIT OF CIRCUS AWARD

The SPIRIT OF CIRCUS awards acknowledge a young person (under 26) who embodies the values, vitality and passion of the circus arts!

We congratulate:

NYCD Headshot template - Lolly Jar Circus

Lolly Jar Circus  

Charlie is 16 and has been attending Lolly Jar Circus since it began
exactly 2 years ago.  Charlie has excellent acrobatic technique, with
a strong core, beautifully pointed toes and great height.  He can spin
6 hula hoops around his waist and is also good at flower sticks.  He
has a brilliant smile and stage presence.  He starred in 3 public
performances with LJC and in a recent joint performance with Cirkidz
to mark the opening of Flinders House for young people with Autism.
LJC values Charlie so highly as a circus performer and leader that it
employed him as a trainer earlier this year.  Charlie has Down

Congratulations local award winners:


Angus Johnson started with Aerialize as an 8yr old and is still with us as a vital, respected and inspirational member of our youth circus team. After senior school years at the Frutties, Angus returned to Aerialize and became the most generous instructor, giving so much knowledge and insight to those he taught, both young and old. Angus has a way of inspiring our youth circus members and gives SO much of himself to run extra rehearsals, training sessions or just help them master something that means a lot to them. Angus LOVES a good calculated risk, loves putting his own style into something new and then loves even more to share his findings with others and help them find their own flavour. Angus has spent many years contributing to Catapult,National Youth Circus Days,Youth Performance Troupe Shows/Events, being part of training programs and leading creative development days for young people.

National Institute of Circus Arts

CC has come to NICA from a youth circus upbringing at Warehouse Circus in Canberra. Cc is a respectful, committed and a very hard working 1st year student who is making speedy progress in her circus  training. She is exploring dynamic release moves on the dance trapeze and fine tuning the balance for her head trapeze routine. Cc proactive in creating and performing new work for fringe festivals and was recently involved in the Mullumbimby Circus Festival. NICA looks forward to tracking Cc development throughout the 3 year degree program and into the future.


NYCD Headshot template - Slipstream CircusCLAIRE BINDOFF
Slipstream Circus

Claire started circus training at Slipstream at the age of seven. Nine years later, she has worked her way up to being a committed member of the advanced performance troupe, and recently has become a fully qualified circus trainer. In addition to her paid duties, Claire volunteers 8 hours every week to help out with classes at Slipstream. She also maintains her own training schedule and takes every opportunity to perform, whether it is roving hula-hoops, stilt-walking, or flying above the audience on her Tissu.


NYCD Headshot template - Circus Joseph AshtonDANTE PHYLLIS ASHTON
Circus Joseph Ashton

Dante performs a solo trapeze act, and has done so for the past 10 years; rides Traveller the beautiful Percheron in the show;
is one of the members of The Flying Ashton’s (Flying Trapeze); has her own performing dog act, trained by her; these pooches, a Husky, a Portugese Water dog, and a Terrier bitsa, are all personal pets belonging to various members of the circus and live in their owners’ caravans in the lap of luxury; she is a fine Tumbler, appearing in the fast-track charivari; and she is also a clown and plays saxophone very nicely. To top it all off, she is the Top Mounter on her Uncle Joseph’s (Joseph Aston) shoulders (2 high) on The Wheel of Death.

Circus Stars 

Jaron is an exemplary student who embodies the passion and energy of youth circus .He is a dedicated student who is constantly practicing at home, determined to master his skills.  He has recently become a leader and mentor to our younger Circus Stars, helping them to relax into the class when they are a new student and offering support and encouragement when they struggle with new skills.  Jaron has even started a Youtube Channel for Circus Stars to share his passion of circus with the world. Jaron bounces into class each week full of enthusiasm and joy. We are immensely proud of his journey at Circus Stars so far and believe he will be a future leader in the Circus community one day.

NYCD Headshot template - Circus OZKATE DAVIES 
Circus Oz

Circus Oz would like to acknowledge Kate for her hard work, passion and dedication, and believes she embodies the true spirit of Circus! Kate began her Circus training seven years ago at Westside Circus. In her own words, “The first years focused on building trust and I learnt that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. In 2013 I started attending classes at Circus Oz. Here I found a passion for the aerial apparatus and began training several times a week. I am currently focusing on developing my skills on aerial silks, flying trapeze and juggling as well as the basics of tumbling, adagio and other circus disciplines. The more Circus I do, the more passionate I feel about it. I think circus is a great outlet to explore new abilities, make new friends, keep fit and of course have fun. I hope that everyone can have the opportunity to experience the wonders of Circus”.

Circus Arts

Kyaisha started training with Circus Arts Byron Bay in 2006 at the age of 8.  After years of dedication Kyaisha is now proficient in single and double trapeze, cloud, spinning web, lyra, silks, hula hoops, acrobatics, trampolining, swinging trapeze and flying trapeze where she regularly trains and performs alongside her mum.  Kyaisha worked her way up through Performance Troupe, graduating with the lead role in the school’s major work and is now a Circus Arts coach and Ensemble member, recently moving into paid professional work. Kyaisha is a perfect example of the training and performance pathways that Circus Arts Byron Bay has developed for their students and we feel she embodies a dedication to the artform that is inspirational to her peers and colleagues.  We admire her ever increasing skill level and performance style and look forward to watching her become a valued member of the wider circus community.

Ruccis Circus

LeShea has trained at Ruccis for 8 years in various specialties and everything she tries she tackles head on. She is fearless and determined. She is eager, not only to challenge herself, but to challenge those around her. She excels at working in groups as she is a talented teacher and motivator and delights in the success of others. She is the first to put her hand up to volunteer helping with events, classes, shows and anything else that will help her circus community. I think she embodies the Spirit of Youth Circus as she a willing student, an inspiring teacher and an invaluable community member.


Vulcana Women’s Circus

Lilley joined Vulcana Kids classes as they started two years ago and has been full of vibrant enthusiasm ever since. She was instantly engaged, curious and inspired to discover where circus could take her. She has a kind nature in class and considerately ensures all of the other children are feeling included, supported and happy. She takes to learning new things with excitement, focus and her inspired curiosity only seems to expand. Lilley has started coming prior to class to talk to the trainer so that she can help guide the classes, and has also shown an interest in how the administration works. Lilley is creative, curious and engaging to watch as she explores all of her inner clowns. Vulcana enjoys supporting Lilley to see where circus could take her.

NYCD Headshot template - Warehouse CircusPIRI GOODMAN 
Warehouse Circus

Piri has been a member of Warehouse Circus for over ten years, actively engaged as a participant, performer and trainer. Over this time, Piri has been a shining ambassador for the values of youth circus in Australia. As a participant, Piri is inclusive and kind – eager to learn and experiment creatively and to empower others around him. As a performer, Piri is physically aware, charismatic, professional and humble. Piri’s commitment to life-long learning is enormously beneficial for the students he teaches. His vibrant approach to teaching appeals to all students including young people with disabilities or behavioural difficulties. In 2015, Piri was accepted into the Bachelor of Circus Arts at NICA, where he continues to proudly represent Warehouse Circus through his exemplary conduct, his creative spirit and his unwavering passion for circus arts. Piri will surely be a leader in Youth Circus into the future.

Spaghetti Circus​

At the age of 17, Sharni Graham is already a veteran of Spaghetti Circus with 14 years of training and performing under her belt. Along her journey, from a toddler in the Mini Noodles to a senior member of the Performance Troupe, Sharni has embraced the diversity of experiences offered through our youth circus community. Sharni has mastered a wide range of skills and performed them in group and solo acts from Mullumbimby to Golconda. Sharni’s experience gives her confidence to offer considered and respectful suggestions as part of the performance-making process; she knows a lot and is happy to share that knowledge. Through her coaching practice, Sharni inspires and nurtures the young Spaghetti students in her care.  Sharni has laid the foundation for further professional development by completing a gymnastics coaching accreditation and first aid certificate. Sharni is enthusiastic, committed and generous: all helping to make Spaghetti Circus thrive.

NYCD Headshot template - FlipsideTEISHA HINSCH 
Flipside Circus

Teisha has been a student with Flipside since 2011. She embodies the core values that Flipside Circus aspires to and has demonstrated her commitment to the development of her circus practice. Teisha has shown great skill and dedication as a performer, a trainee teacher and as a creative collaborator.




NYCD Headshot template - CIYATYSON WALLENT 
Corrugated Iron Youth Arts

Tyson has been a student with Corrugated Iron for four years and a tutor for the last two. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious – both as artist and teacher. His work with us extends from in-house workshops to schools and our communities are diverse requiring a flexible, culturally responsive approach to teaching. Tyson excels at this. Dedicated to combining his diabolo skills with character and music, he choreographs his routines with impeccable timing. His performance quality is constantly evolving, with a great eye for experimentation and he inspires his circus peers, students and audiences. Always keen to develop new skills in himself and others, he pursues a broad range of circus arts and complementary artforms. He is a passionate and generous collaborator and has represented Corrugated Iron in intrastate and interstate tours and collaborations with interstate and international circuses.

Circa Zoo

Will Barrakat has been a member of Circa Zoo since 2011. After his babysitter recommended circus as a great fit for ‘that kid throwing all kinds of flips on the tramp in the backyard’ Will has found his home in youth circus. Since joining Circa’s Training Centre at 9yrs of age, Will has grown into a young man with a heart full of humour who continually fills the room with smiles & laughter. “Circus means… Learning cool tricks, meeting crazy new people that share the same passion as me and having an awesome time doing the skills I love with amazing people, some of whom I now call my best friends” – Will Barrakat. Will’s passion towards circus arts is a sight you don’t see in many. His presence lights up the stage and his positive approach to his everyday training is inspiring & encouraging to his fellow classmates.

NYCD Headshot template - Castlemaine CircusZEKE WILLIAMSON
Castlemaine Circus

Zeke embodies the spirit of circus through his enthusiasm and commitment. Zee approaches challenges with positivity and maturity.
Zeke is a creative young man with a hunger to learn and has grown into a confident and capable member of the Castlemaine Circus team.
Zeke came to the project with a desire to perform and has exceeded his own expectations of what he thought was possible. He is a great acrobat and clown with a natural ability to entertain. Zeke has also taken on a mentor role, volunteering his time each week to assist in the younger students classes. Zeke has demonstrated 100% commitment to his own training program, showing determination and dedication to the art form of circus. Zeke has also assisted on many performances this year, and has proved himself to be extremely reliable and motivated beyond his years  all the while maintaining enthusiasm and a strong sense of playfulness.