Alex Allan is an aerialist, dancer and theatre practitioner. His initial training was in physical theatre at Charles Sturt University, Australia, 2006-08. He then completed the Professional Aerial Program at the San Francisco Circus Center 2009-11, where he specialised in Aerial Rope. His fascination with physical anatomy and psychology of the body led him to further train as a Structural Integration practitioner at the SOMA Institute outside of Seattle, Washington His educational background in theatre, circus & body work has been influential in his development as a teacher and performer. He strives to challenge the conventions of aerial acrobatics by blending the boundaries of Circus, Dance and Theatre. His practice exists at the intersection of acrobatics, anatomy, storytelling and soul. Alex has toured the world offering workshops and teacher trainings in Aerial Rope. He has worked collaboratively with companies such as Panama Pictures, Zaccho Dance Theatre, Teatro Zin Zanni and Acrobatic Conundrum. He is currently based in Bristol, UK.
Rain Anya: With over 25 years of experience onstage in theatre, dance, music, and circus, Rain’s life’s work is in the integration of circus arts with other performance and movement disciplines. Rain’s aerial career began with the political circus company Wise Fool New Mexico in 2003. Out of inspired collaborations there, the seeds for the Paper Doll Militia were sown. Rain has been creating and touring original productions with the company since 2006, in the US and the UK. Rain is also a passionate aerial arts instructor and (usually) travels around the world teaching PDM specialty workshops, teacher trainings, and aerial retreats (Greece & Mexico). Now that travel is suspended indefinitely, Rain is teaching online with Paper Doll Militia’s Remote Teacher Training Program from her LA home studio. Rain also works as a trainer and consultant for theatre and film, notable clients include top Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif for her role in Dhoom 3 and sports legend Serena Williams.
Jenn Bruyer: Dabbling in all sorts of dance since the age of 5 including: ballet, latin, pole, western, hiphop and contemporary, Jenn found her true passion and has been immersed in aerial dance since 2008. She is driven by her focus on fabric (silks), sling (hammock) and her first love: dance trapeze. She also enjoys exploring cord lisse, cloud swing, lyra, net, rope & harness and anything else someone puts in front of her. She has coached, choreographed and performed around the world including over 30 US states, China, Italy, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. As an Aerial Coach, she seeks to provide the highest quality progressive instruction to aerialists of all abilities from novice to professional performer. Her mission as a human is to cultivate a warm, non-judgmental learning environment that fosters community, to build physical and emotional strength within the individuals who participate in this environment and methodically construct a vehicle by which to create art. Learn More
Dr. Jen Crane is known for her innovative approach to injury prevention and performance optimization in circus arts. As a dual credentialed physiotherapist and athletic trainer, she’s spent her career working with athletes and artists of all levels – from recreational acrobats, to Cirque de Soleil artists and Olympic gymnasts. Jen loves leveraging her knowledge on the human body to exceed her client’s circus goals — from contortion head-sits to dynamic aerial work; Jen specializes in troubleshooting barriers to goals that you’d never find in textbooks. In addition to her physio work, Jen is currently training and performing in Montreal with a focus on dance trapeze, aerial straps and hand-balancing.
A lifelong climber, Terry Crane surrendered to restless urges that led him to walk away with the circus at the tender age of twenty. Now a veteran acrobatic performer, he has climbed ropes hung from the truss arches of big tops across the globe and the lofty grids of countless proscenium theaters, as well as the shoulders of many a fellow saltimbanque. He is the director of Acrobatic Conundrum, a contemporary circus company based in Seattle since 2012. Terry delights in sharing his love of aerial technique, circus creation, and collaboration via workshops and performances. He is an alumnus of the National Circus School of Montreal, Oberlin College, and a dozen circus companies. As a director, Terry is on a relentless quest to tell true fictions, contradict human isolation, and portray paradox. Learn More
A native New Yorker, Nina Gershonowitz discovered her love for circus and theater at an early age. She had the privilege of acting with the Pied Piper Children’s Theater in northern Manhattan, and attending Circus Smirkus Camp in rural Vermont for many years. Nina abandoned her plans for Law School after graduating from Cornell University. Instead, she completed the Professional Training Program at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA), where she specialized in Aerial Rope. Nina has since performed with Hijinx Music Festival, New York Fashion Week, ABCirque, and Cirque Us. In addition to performing, Nina coaches circus arts across the country. If she’s not performing or teaching, you can probably find her behind the computer doing “circus consulting” (business development) for various circus schools, companies, and artists. www.ninagershy.com
Janelle (Dinosaurs) Peters is a professional contortionist and aerialist based in Denver, Colorado. Janelle coaches her aerial and flexibility students with a style informed by her background in dance and education theory. She empowers her students to identify and pursue their own goals, while emphasizing the importance of safety and technique. Described as humorous, encouraging, exploratory, and warm, Janelle creates a personal connection with students that persists outside of the classroom. Janelle is also a Licensed Social Worker and therapist, who appears as @cirque_psych on instagram, where she provides psychoeducational materials directed at exploring and understanding our beautiful, complex, circus minds.
Cosmo Dudley, a native of Denver, Colorado, has been an acrobat since 2008. He has spent that time teaching and exploring: circus acrobatics including tumbling, martial arts tricking, handbalancing, aerial straps, Chinese pole, parkour, and trampoline/trampwall. Cosmo has trained extensively across Canada, China, and Europe learning from many great circus and movement instructors.
Aaron Koz is an online (and previously traveling) aerial and circus coach. Author of the e-manuals; All Apparatus C-Shaping, The Aerial Spinning Reference Guide, and C-Shaping At Home, his work with live and online students (and e-manuals) is guided by his background in neuroscience, strength training, and teaching for over 10 years. Moving from Washington, D.C. to NYC, he started at Circus Warehouse’s intensive program, and since has studied under elite coaches in SF, Montreal, and Mexico. He draws from his background in neuroscience to augment his work as a coach and personal trainer and collaborates heavily with physical therapists to help augment and structure his teaching offerings. He has performed and taught internationally in places like Ireland (Irish Aerial Dance Festival), Australia, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. Aaron worked as Physical Therapy Technician for ACRO Physical Therapy with Angie Prescott, DPT, CSCS (consultant for The Aerial Spinning Reference Guide), and teaches workshops, retreats, and teaching residencies.
When Marco Motta was a little boy growing up in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, he lived a happy life, which he attributes to the efforts of his mother. Although he describes the area he grew up in as dangerous and violent, he was surrounded by dancing, art, and African rhythms. This instilled a lifelong love of art in him and perhaps sustained him when he hit puberty and things changed. That’s when he became aware of the problems of poverty and racism rampant in the marginalized populations surrounding him, and lost several friends to the violence. He found breakdancing and that was his solace and main form of artistic expression which eventually led him to other forms of dance and ultimately to circus, which Motta considers the perfect palette for his message about the need for social change. Marco has gone on to win third prize (firco festival) 2019, CircusTalk Critic’s Choice (firco festival) 2019, and was a finalist and special prize of the jury 38e Festival Mondial Du Cirque de Demain 2017. -Bio written by Kim Campbell of Circus Talk
T Lawrence-Simon has been studying and performing aerials since 2007, and has been teaching movement in many forms since 2002. During college, he started learning aerials at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, where he eventually started assistant teaching. Meanwhile, T was spending every summer working at Circus Smirkus in Vermont. Focusing on the aerial hoop, T attended the New England Center for Circus Arts in their Professional Training Program from 2010-2012. While at NECCA, T was hired to lead their aerial hoop program, curating the hoop curriculum into carefully thought out levels and sequences. Since then, he has been an advanced coach at Versatile Arts and SANCA in Seattle, and currently is the Senior Coach at ESH Circus Arts in Somerville, MA. T has toured the world with his workshops and classes, bringing his depth of knowledge, precision technique, and absolute safety to all the students and teachers he’s mentored. Learn More
Nancy Smith originally wanted to be an astronaut or a racecar driver and instead became the founder and artistic director of Frequent Flyers® Productions since its inception in 1988 and the Aerial Dance Festival since 1999. She teaches Aerial Release Technique (A.R.T.) around the US with over 30 years aerial teaching experience. She has created over 100 original works / evening-length choreography. Her work with Frequent Flyers has been seen in Boston, California, Louisiana, Virginia, Montreal, the Bahamas, Washington, D.C. and throughout Colorado. Nancy has received numerous awards including “Living Legend of Dance in Colorado,” “Women Who Light the Community”, “Cutting Edge” Award, the “Pacesetters Award” for Arts and Entertainment, a Neodata Endowment Fellowship in Dance, and the “Arts Innovation Award.” She also is an instructor at Univ. of Colorado’s Dance Dept. spreading the joy of Aerial Dance. Along with co-author, Jayne Bernasconi, she wrote the first book on the history / theory of Aerial Dance.
Teo Spencer, Originally from Vermont, studied movement and circus arts at the University of San Martin in Argentina. After completing his studies, Teo performed with Fuerza Bruta in Argentina and Pilobolus Dance Theatre in the United States. He currently lives in Montreal Quebec and performs with La Marche Du Crabe of Montreal as well as with Punchdrunk (creators of Sleep No More) in New York.
Joe St. Louis has performed all over the world from Bahamas, Mexico, Japan, and beyond. He placed second at the first Cyrs and Beers Festival, a festival dedicated entirely to Cyr Wheel. Joe was the resident solo Cyr Wheel artist for Sensatia Cabaret at the Faena Theater, and also performed with the likes of Desmond Richardson, and Robert Redford. Joe enjoys performing acts with Quixotic Fusion. His long list of television appearances includes the Hooters’ International Swimsuit Pageant, David Winter’s movie “Dance This Is It”, CSI Miami, and fashion shows. Joe is also a beloved Cyr Wheel, Straps, and conditioning coach at LADD (les ailes du desir). When assisting in building acts and routines for others, be it in the classroom or professional setting, he offers an original outlook that transforms their routine from the ordinary to the unexpected.
Staza Stone does stuff. Swinging stuff, spinny stuff, stilt stuff, sparkle stuff… all the stuffs. She is a multi- faceted performer based out of Denver, CO. She is an aerialist, stilt walker, hula hooper, fire dancer, burlesque artist, and clown. She graduated from Frequent Flyers Productions Professional Aerial Dance Program in 2014 and has been performing professionally ever since. Currently Staza can be found on the stage both nationally and internationally in a variety of circus extravaganzas. Highlights of 2019 including stilt dancing in Japan for EDC Japan and being contracted with Cirque Dreams. She is co-director of Rainbow Militia, a unique circus collective aimed at bringing the community together through artistic collaboration. Staza also teaches locally at several studios. Check out her instagram @glitter_grub to stay up to date on her adventures!
Rachel Strickland is a performing artist and business coach to artists and creative entrepreneurs. Classically trained in ballet since the age of three, she began her study of circus arts in 2007, developing a unique style and innovative approach to aerial hoop. Her work brought her international recognition, and she has coached, performed, and choreographed on four continents. Over the course of this time she recognized a major disconnect in the career projections of working artists; passion and drive were in abundance, but the support in self-development, promotional systems, and sustainable business practices, was lacking. She created The Audacity Project, an 8-week guided process to equip artists and creatives with the tools necessary to be working professionals. Over her 11 year career as a coach, she has guided hundreds of artists through the creative process and into their own entrepreneurial journeys towards creating sustainable, lucrative businesses out of their passions, whether full time or as a side hustle. Given to excess and quixotic tendencies, Rachel specializes in aerial hoop choreography and the practice of telling stories. She lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, Shaun. They have no children so don’t ask, but they would like to meet your dog.
Yuki Tsuji has been a multi-disciplined teacher for the last 15 years in yoga, acrobatics, AcroYoga, Thai massage, skydiving and bodyflight. She is a licensed massage therapist and practices Thai Massage in Boulder when she’s not teaching locally or traveling to teach. Her passion is helping her students to achieve physical and emotional balance and wellness, offering them opportunities to connect with their bodies and others, mindfully and playfully. Her other passion is being in the mountains. She can be often found rock climbing, skiing and trail running. Website: yogayuki.com Facebook: Yuki Tsuji Yogayuki