Jackie DavisJackie Davis - Co-Director

Jackie holds a master’s degree in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she coined the term developmental circus arts (DCA) to identify programs in which circus skills and performance serve the physical, socioemotional, and cognitive development of young people.  Beginning in September 2012, Jackie will pursue a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with Adele Diamond at the University of British Columbia with plans to conduct a longitudinal study on the impact of circus arts on youth development.

Jackie’s exploration of developmental circus arts began in 1995 at the Pine Hill Waldorf School in Wilton, NH, where she founded the annual curricular Hilltop Circus in collaboration with the seventh and eighth grade students. In 1999, she co-founded a high school touring company, the Flying Gravity Circus which, through performances and community workshops, helped schools in the United States and Canada launch their own developmental circus arts programs.  In the summers, Jackie runs the Silver Lining Circus Camp with her husband, Rick Davis, and the Silver Lining Youth Circus touring company with her colleagues Jen Agans and Jon Roitman. 

Jackie is a founding member of the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) which advocates the participation of youth in circus arts through biennial national festivals and educator conferences.  Jackie represented AYCO at the First International Congress of Children and Youth Circus Organizations in Berlin, Germany, and she was the keynote speaker at the First Annual New England Regional Youth Circus Instructor’s Round Table.  The focus of Jackie’s advocacy work with AYCO has been to draft and operationalize a set of core competencies for youth circus practitioners to inform best practices and program evaluation. See more

Jackie has presented circus workshops as a member of the Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) as well as its New Hampshire chapter (NHAHPERD) which, in 2007, named her the Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year.  Jackie also teaches circus arts to adult students and teachers at the Spacial Dynamics Institute in Saratoga County, NY.

Jackie received her B.A. from the University of New Hampshire, and prior to her academic career she trained as a classical mime with Marcel Marceau and performed for several years at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center.