Founded in 1929, The Great All-American Youth Circus is the OLDEST community Circus in the world. Over 400 performers take the stage to amaze the community every May.

Co-sponsored by the Redlands YMCA and the Community Circus Arts Corporation, a California non-profit public benefit corporation, the Great Y Circus is funded through performances, fund-raisers, class fees, and YMCA memberships. Unlike other youth activities, Circus is noncompetitive and focuses on individual and group skills presented in an entertaining and artistic theatrical performance, with choreography, lighting, costumes, and music.  The Circus program emphasizes teamwork, dedication, trust, family skill, showmanship, excitement, and fun for both the participant and the observer. Circus teaches young people important values, such as responsibility, commitment, self-confidence, and self-discipline, along with specialized skills.  The Great Y Circus is supported primarily by family, friends, and volunteers, as well as many alumni who have gone on to become professionals, who return to help the next generation learn circus skills.



Young bodies are pushed to their maximum as they master new physical movements that often rival feats performed by professional circus performers. Students work hard in their circus classes at the YMCA throughout the year and follow in the YMCA philosophy of building a strong body, mind, and spirit. Overcoming fear builds self-confidence and self-esteem in beginning and seasoned performers alike.


Training, training, training. It takes dedication and self-discipline for the young circus performers to continue with training throughout the year. Training in many circus classes requires a large time commitment. Intense concentration is also needed to execute precision drills and stunts. Circus focuses on skills rather than thrills. All performers begin as novices and are trained by experienced circus trainers.



Sheer Circus Delight! Sparkling with the freshness of youth, Circus brings your dreams and fantasies alive as young performers burst through their exciting routines. Stretching to the peak of their abilities, our performers never cease to amaze their audiences, leaving them spellbound.  Some favorite Circus acts throughout the years include Unicycle, Aerial Rings, Handbalancing, Pyramid Acro, Spanish Webs, Cradle, Juggling, Teeterboard, Hanging Perch, Single and Multiple Trapeze, Roman Ladders, Pyramid Bicycle, German Gym Wheel, Tight Wire, Clowns, Lyra and Silks (Ribbon).


They joy of performing meets with the enthusiasm of the spectators as the show begins with its colorful costumes and exhilarating music. The adrenaline begins to flow backstage as the moment to display new-found skills finally arrives. Showmanship is a type of performing art all of its own.This artistic form requires poise and smooth graceful moves combined with physical strength. The youth perform at professional levels, both in their presentation style and physical abilities.The audience experiences the beauty of Circus through the eyes and hearts of the performers.



Catch the SPIRIT of CIRCUS in every movement of the youthful performers. Children young and old always enjoy a circus. In the Great Y Circus, children ARE the circus!Circus inspires the highest potential of personal achievement and taps into the vitality, idealism, and spirit of youth. The energy is contagious. There is a magical aura over all the participants, which quickly spreads throughout the audience.


Circus exemplifies all that is good for kids... friendships, sharing, caring, trusting, cooperation. Working together toward a common goal, kids and adults who collaborate to produce Circus share a sense of personal mission and unity. Circus becomes a second family."Circus is the people, the excitement, the thrill, and most of all my friends," according to one young circus performer.



The Great All-American Youth Circus is even endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States, The Animal Protection Institute, Friends of Animals, and Zoo Check Canada as well as other animal rights groups because our circus does not use any animals in performances! (The only "animals" you'll find here are the kids we dress up in costumes to look like them!)