Circus Folk Unite!

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Circus Folk Unite!

Established in 2005
Meeting Information
Place: South Lounge (Upper RCC)
Time: Fridays 6-10pm (open playtime), Tuesdays 7-9pm (flow jam)
Contact Information
Signer Information
Signer 1: Abbi Wilson
Signer 2: Tim Shay
Signer 3: Elizabeth Levick
Advisor Information
Advisor name: Chris Kitzmiller
Signer Resources
Group Account Number: 742
Submit a Funding Request
Funding Request Decisions
Student Group Signer Manual

Circus Folk Unite! is a collective of jugglers, acrobats, unicyclers, poi-spinners, staff-twirlers, stiltwalkers, fire spinners, clowns, musicians and admirers of the circus arts who come together to practice, share skills and learn from each other. Our goal is to spread the love of circus, not only by uniting current practitioners but also by bringing them together with new people to learn.

In that light, prior experience is not required - or even expected! - of those who come out to play. We put a premium on fun above all else, and silliness is often the business of the day.

Keep up with the latest news and exciting events! Sign up for our mailing list. Add our Facebook Group. Join our TWO facebook groups and post your favorite circus vids & pics, talk about show & act ideas.

Student group 1Student group 2



Circus Folk Unite! was founded in the autumn of 2005 by student Tara Jacob. They have since put on six full length shows, four short productions, done miscellaneous ambient roustabouting at various on- and off-campus events, and produced one summer cross country tour. Our goal is to take over the world with the happiness and joy that is the circus arts - for social change. (Our old website and archives can still be found at

Pictures & Posters

See photos of the awesome acrobatics we've done throughout the years!

See photos from our super fun [playtimes!]!

Check out links below for photos of our performances!

An old poster.CFU recruit F09.jpgA group photo of old.Criss Cross Circus.jpgBurlesque 2014.jpg


Feature Shows

Bouleversement - February 2006, Red Barn

Quintessence - May 2006, Library Lawn

Circus of Horrors - October 2006 (Hampshire Halloween), Library Lawn

Panoply - April 2007, SAGA & Northampton Center for the Arts

Zoomorphia - April 2008, EDH Small Studio

Shivaree - April 2010, Greenwich Tree

Sunstorm - April 2011, Recital Hall

Halloween Show - October 2011, Pavilion between Dakin and Merrill Living Rooms

Monster Circus - October 2012, (Hampshire Halloween) Pavilion between the Dakin and Merrill Living Rooms

Burlesque Circus - October 2013, (Hampshire Halloween) Pavilion between the Dakin and Merrill Living Rooms


Happy Pill Circus III - October 2007, Pearl St. Nightclub, Northampton (performed acts with The Primate Fiasco)

Hampshire Halloween Fire Show - October 2007, Library Lawn

The Experiment - November 2007, 3-person minishow

Hampshire Halloween - October 2008, with The Primate Fiasco and Ukulele Loki

Fall 2012- Parade with Primate Fiasco


  • CFU! is a circus collective for Hampshire students, and is open to 5-college students. Hampshire alumni and 5-college alumni may visit CFU! playtimes and practices, and can make cameo appearances in CFU! shows, with the consent of current CFU! signers. However, the focus of the collective is still on current students. At this time, CFU! is not open to community members (members of the wider community).
  • CFU! is meant as a safe space. This means that everyone should be able to participate at their own level of comfort. Remember to check in with other members when playing or practicing, especially when doing acrobatics and other contact disciplines. "Can I touch your butt?" is a catch-all request covering most body contact, but make sure to voice when certain positions make you feel uncomfortable, or if you'd like your partner(s) to avoid certain areas (i.e. armpits). In general, CFU! members are requested to avoid making comments about each other's bodies, positive or negative, or comparing people. This helps everyone to avoid feeling self-conscious, and allows us to evaluate skills and give advice based on individual progress.
  • Be safe. Many circus disciplines involve some level of risk, but that level is significantly reduced when all participants are aware of safety procedures and exercise caution and awareness. Make sure that your working area is clear and big enough not to interfere with other activities going on. Make sure that everyone involved has a good understanding of what is trying to be achieved. Get advice from others before getting started, and don't hesitate to ask for help. For skills like tumbling and fire spinning, make sure that you've checked in with someone who knows the safety procedures. If you're not entirely comfortable trying something new, then wait. (Note: The call "down!" in acrobalance means that everyone should disengage quickly (but with control) from the position.) Also: circus supports safe sex.
  • Signers are responsible for the business that keeps CFU! running: requesting funding, booking practice and performance spaces, keeping a list of members, updating the website, message board, and mailing list, etc. However, as CFU! is a collective, every member of CFU! is encouraged to participate fully, voice opinions, and present ideas. Please contact a signer if you have any suggestions! *Every participant in a CFU! playtime meeting or event must sign our waiver.


[Not necessarily accurate. Check with a signer about what toys are available]

Circus Toys:

  • The Hampster Ball (enormous plastic sphere)
  • 1 pair of streamer poi
  • 4 pairs of Sock poi
  • 6 green & yellow folding panel mats
  • 1 slackline
  • 1 unicycle
  • 12 juggling clubs
  • 1 small green contact juggling ball
  • 1 metallic contact juggling ball
  • juggling beanbags
  • 9 hula hoops
  • 12 juggling rings
  • 5 staves
  • 1 diablo
  • facepaints: 6-color rainbow pallete, 6-color secondary pallete, white greasepaint
  • 1 top hat
  • 1 bowler hat
  • 1 parachute
  • battery-powered amplifier/speakers
  • powerizers (bouncy stilts)
  • 3 pairs of wooden stilts
  • assorted costumes
  • balloons (for balloon tricks & balloon animals)
  • stenciling paints
  • the Circus Arch


  • Cirque Du Soleil Anniversary 12-DVD Collection:
  1. La Magie Continue (1986)
  2. Cirque Reinvente (1989)
  3. Nouvelle Experience (1991)
  4. Saltimbanco (1994)
  5. A Baroque Odyssey (1994)
  6. Quidam (1999)
  7. Allegria (1999)
  8. Dralion (2000)
  9. Journey of Man (2002)
  10. Varekai (2002
  11. La Nouba (2003)
  12. Midnight Sun (2004)


  • Water for Elephants
  • Circus At The Edge of The Earth: The Great Wallendas
  • Poi for Beginners

Other Projects

Relay For Life

Since the spring of 2006, Circus Folk Unite! has helped raise awareness and funds for cancer research, education, and services by participating in the Five College's Relay For Life. Relay For Life is an event that benefits the American Cancer Society, and Circus Folk Unite! have contributed by performing at the event as well as taking donations at their performances for the cause. We've banded together as an aptly named participating team, Circus Folk Unite Against Cancer! Join our team and join us in the fight!

The Criss Cross Circus Tour

In Summer 2008, 11 members of Circus Folk Unite! did a cross-country post-apocalyptic themed circus tour in a bus that ran on used vegetable oil. Calling themselves 'The Criss Cross Circus', the troupe set forth shortly after Commencement and performed at venues and on streets across the country, leaving smiles and grease stains in their wake.

The Downside-Up Circus

In August 2009, three Division III students (Tara Jacob, Molly McLeod, and Victoria Quine) launched their own circus company, the Downside-Up Circus. Using skills they've learned with Circus Folk Unite!, they'll be performing throughout the year, culminating in a post-graduation circus bicycle tour in the Pacific Northwest. The tour, titled INTERROBANG, will feature the three founders of Downside-Up, as well as Hampshire students Lindsay Barbieri & Kristian Brevik and a famed fire performer friend from Washington, Corvus Woolf.

The Student Circus Resurgence Conference

On the weekend of March 29th and 30th of 2008, Circus Folk Unite! hosted the first ever Student Circus Resurgence Conference. We hosted students from many different colleges including: our own Circus Folk Unite!, 5 College students, members of Bard College’s Surrealistic Training Circus, Oberlin College’s OCircus!, Wellesley College’s GLOW, and the College of Saint Rose.

The conference consisted of a series of presentations and discussions ranging from “Social Circus” to “Show Creation” formed the core of the conference, along with screenings of circus movies and a night of performances by the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and Paradizo Dance (both founded by Hampshire alumni!). Presenters included Steven Santos from Simply Circus, David Hunt from the American Youth Circus Organization, and Stephanie Monseu and Keith Nelson from the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.

To see more on what we did, go here!

The American Collegiate Circus Wiki Site

Launched by Div III Tara Jacob in December of 2009, this 'cirki' is a meeting place for circus-minded college students. Students in many American institutions of higher education are learning and performing circus skills - sometimes as the focus of their academics, and sometimes as a tangential pursuit. Some have previous circus experience with youth circus organisations, others come to the circus arts for the first time upon attending their college or university. This Wiki is a depository of information about and for these groups.

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