The diameter of a circus ring is 42' because it creates the perfect centrifugal force needed for equestrian trick riders."Circademics" combines the words "circus" and "academics" and refers to scholars with an interest in pursuing academic research as related to circus and youth development and, in this case, the documentation resulting from their research. The Circademics movement is growing internationally.

The articles and essays on this page elaborate on the practice of DCA, and illustrate the benefits of circus arts learning and play for all ages and levels of development.

Sources include, but are not exclusive to:
Developmental circus arts (DCA) is a term coined by Jackie Davis, EdM, "to describe the philosophy and practice of using circus-making as a vehicle for physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development in young people". Source

Developmental Benefits Overview:
  • Physical - Body/spatial awareness, circulation, strength, tone, range of motion, flexibility, balance
  • Cognitive - Gross/fine motor control, bi-manual coordination, visual tracking, problem solving, focus, concentration, sequencing, coordination, inhibition, multi-tasking, mental flexibility, sequencing, creativity, rhythm/timing
  • Emotional - Self-confidence, self-efficacy, positive risk-taking, trust, empathy, individuality
  • Social - Cooperation/teamwork, role acquisition, respect, giving and receiving support, communication, leadership

Circus Moves believes that the DCA principles apply not only to youth, but to all people. Excercising balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, brain elasticity, creativity, imagination, positive social interaction, self-esteem, and PLAY are critical to health and wellness at any age!

Learn more about the Benefits of Playing Circus:

"Play is spontaneous and open-ended...basically play is doing, rather than watching. It involves the senses — hearing, feeling, seeing. Play at its best offers choices, possibilities, different ways to explore a problem. Children can make things happen while playing that can't happen in the real world. This can be a source of power for them, a way to feel bigger or more competent even when they are overwhelmed by the grown-up world."

Excerpt from The Successful Child by William Sears, Martha Sears, & Elizabeth Pantley

Circus As Adaptation Sarah Arrigo (2014). From

Recommended core competencies for youth circus practitioners. (PDF) American Youth Circus Organization. (2011). From

The Key to Happiness: A Taboo for Adults? "Adults are oblivious to what they knew as kids - that play is where you live....It turns out, though, that there are few things more important to your happiness than frequent doses of play." Joe Robinson (2011)

Circus skills- An alternative to team sports and conventional physical education for reluctant exercisers Michelle Carr (Word Document)

Toward best practices in youth worker training for developmental circus arts programs (PDF) - Jacqueline Davis (2009) From

Juggling Increases Brain Power "Complex tasks such as juggling produce significant changes to the structure of the brain, according to scientists at Oxford University." (2009)

Occupational therapy and circus: Potential partners in enhancing the health and well-being of today's youth (PDF) by Jill Maglio and Carol McKinstry
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (2008) 55, 287-290

Negotiating Identity Through Risk: A Community Circus Model for Evoking Change and Empowering Youth (PDF) Sharon McCutcheon (2003)

Study Reveals Laughter Really IS the Best Medicine (2011)

For more information and to connect with other Circademics visit the Circademics page on Facebook