Veronica Blair (Showcase only) is a professional aerialist with 20 years of performing and teaching experience. She is currently Aerial Director for UniverSoul Circus and Celebrity Cruises. Starting at the age of 14 with MakeACircus in San Francisco, Veronica then went on to train Chinese Acrobatics under Master Lu Yi with the San Francisco Youth Circus Troupe. Her aerial debut was at the age of 17 and shortly after, Veronica was selected to join UniverSoul Circus. There she remained as the show’s resident aerialist for 5 years. Veronica has since performed in an array productions around the globe such as AntiGravity, Universal Studios Japan and AFRIKA! AFRIKA! In Belgium. She was the lead aerialist in KAMAU’s BooDha music video for Warner Bros. Music and her contemporary aerial work has been featured in the San Francisco Aerial Arts Festival as well as the Seoul Street Arts Festival in Seoul, South Korea.
Megan Cattau met her first love, the dance trapeze, training under Susan Murphy, who remains a deep inspiration. Since then, she has performed, choreographed, directed, and taught extensively in the US and abroad, working principally under the project Flight Collaborative. Her performance and teaching homes have included Canopy Studio in Athens, GA (where she was the business manager and then assistant director); Circus Warehouse in NYC; and Frequent Flyers in Boulder, CO. She also founded the aerial dance program at Durham School for Ballet and the Performing Arts in Durham, NC, and has performed as a core member of Constellation Moving Company. She is currently based in Boise, ID and is an apprentice with NYC butoh company RenGyoSoh. Megan is also a disturbance ecologist, working in Indonesia as well as the Western U.S., and her mind is always on the trees.
Terry Crane has been practicing, performing, and living circus for two decades. He holds degrees from Oberlin College and the National Circus School of Montreal. He performs in the big top, on the stage, and in the street. He has performed in dozens of countries and for numerous companies including Teatro Zinzanni, the UMO ensemble, Flynn Creek Circus, Circus Flora, and Circus Monti. His work is influenced by his roots in contact improvisation, capoeira, dance, personal clown and wild nature. As a mentor, Terry delights in sharing his love of vertical rope technique, circus creation, and collaboration. He performs on vertical rope, Cyr wheel, slack rope, and trapeze.
Gena DuBose is a movement artist, aerial hoop coach and the founder of SOAR Aerial Dance.
Aerial arts, specifically Lyra, has been her passion since 2009. Though Gena was never a trained dancer, she has a natural athleticism that she uses to bring her own style of movement and grace to her artistry. She has spent over 10+ years navigating her path of creativity with a focus on physical awareness, movement capabilities, and how they pertain to the human body. Through trainings in STOTT Pilates, Power yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and personal training, she began to apply everything she had learned to her aerial practice, gaining certifications in each one along the way.
Her work with SOAR focuses on collaborating with professional, and local artists to bridge the gap between recreational and traditional aerial arts. She teaches students how to thrive using creativity and technique, also helping other instructors expand on their own abilities through teacher trainings and mentorships.
She specializes in helping artists find their own authentic movement with the aerial hoop. She is the creator of the Aerial Instructor Enhancement Program, a 6-week online course for instructors to learn how to enhance their teaching using creativity and technique.
When she isn’t coaching, creating, or staring blissfully at her aerial hoop, you can find her trying to corral her busy kiddo.
Cosmo Dudley, a native of Denver, Colorado, has been an acrobat since 2008. He has spent that time learning and teaching: circus acrobatics including tumbling, martial arts tricking, hand-balancing, aerial straps, Chinese pole, parkour, and trampoline/ trampwall. Cosmo has trained extensively across the United States, Canada, China, and Europe learning from many great circus and movement instructors.
Danielle Hendricks spent her childhood climbing fences, trees, balance beams and rooftops in Fresno, California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Kinesiology and Dance from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she graduated in 1999. Danielle is a nationally certified Pilates Instructor and has been teaching Pilates for over two decades, mostly at Cara Reeser’s “Pilates Aligned” studio in Denver. She encountered Frequent Flyers in 1997, began Low Flying trapeze classes with Nancy Smith in 1998, performed in her first FF show in 2000, and officially joined the company a couple years later. Danielle trained in the art of bungee dance with the “the grandmother of aerial dance/motivity,” Terry Sendgraff, and taught bungee dance almost every year at the Aerial Dance Festival from 2005-2019. In 2020, she moved back to the central valley of California, where she now practices and teaches aerial skills in the country among chickens, owls, and almond groves. Most days, you can find her in her suburban Clovis home teaching Pilates from what should be the dining room to students over zoom. When not teaching, she helps her partner raise his teenagers/tweenagers, hits up the local climbing gym, and tries to enjoy the outdoors and fair weather of California in as many ways as possible. Every other month or so, she returns to Colorado for a week to teach her Pilates clients in person, hang at Frequent Flyers, and visit as many friends as possible.
Shannon McKenna was never a dancer, never a gymnast, but one hell of a tree climber.
She earned her B.F.A. from NYU with a concentration in physical theater and decided the summer after college, without much idea of what it meant, to become a circus artist. She packed up her life in a suitcase and traveled the globe in search of the best coaches to teach her and put her work on any stage she could.
Her performance work has spanned from traditional shows in large arenas to intimate contemporary pieces in small black box theaters. She performs as a solo artist, a part of artistic duos, and ensembles. Career highlights being a magician’s assistant in Portugal, a post-food poisoning silks act in the German show WET, and hanging underneath a motorcycle on a tight wire with the Flying Espanas.
As a coach, Shannon is known for making aerial technique approachable and fun, and she is driven by the belief that artists at any stage in their aerial journey have a valuable creative capacity to share. She is widely sought after to teach workshops all over the world.
In 2018, Shannon launched The Artist Athlete Podcast which contains interviews with professionals in the circus industry. It is available on Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and iTunes. She currently lives in Montreal with her cats Puppy and Hervé.
Valerie Morris has been a dancer since 1980 and became an aerial dancer in 1996 with Frequent Flyers. She is currently the Covid Coordinator and interim Operations Manager for Frequent Flyers, in addition to teaching, choreographing and performing. She has had the pleasure of performing with Movement Laboratories, Lancaster Ballet, Boston Ballet, CU Dance Department, Boulder Ballet, Frequent Flyers Productions, Wellington Circus Trust (faculty and board member, NZ), AeroTerra (director, NZ), and Empress Stiltdance (NZ). She happily returned to Frequent Flyers after a four-year hiatus in New Zealand. Her secret life as a scientist keeps her busy during the day, using stable isotopes to unlock the secrets of global climate change.
Nancy Smith originally wanted to be an astronaut or a racecar driver and instead became the founder and artistic director of Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance 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 34 years aerial teaching experience. She has created more than 105 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 (Human Kinetics, 1988).
Ileigh Reynolds helps circus artists become confident entrepreneurs! After 25+ years of performing and 15 years of running an event entertainment company, she and her wife created Circus Boss to empower the next generation of circus innovators. They specialize in helping circus artists, companies and studio owners with their finances, marketing, sales and event entertainment production. She began performing professionally in the 90’s, and has had a career as eclectic as her personality! From modern dance, physical theater and circus, to performing arts venues, cruise ships and the events industry, she’s choreographed and performed throughout the US, South America, and the Caribbean. In 2006 she launched Animate Objects and self-produced physical theater / dance / circus shows, ran Miami’s only aerial studio at the time, and even produced an aerial festival in Miami. Years into the journey she moved the company to Seattle and exclusively designed and produced award winning entertainment for the events industry for clients like Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Expedia and other high-profile clients. She holds a BFA in Dance from New World School of the Arts, and found her love for sharing business and marketing strategies with circus artists when she taught professional development classes in SANCA’s Professional Preparatory Program.
Sofia Rodriguez has been expressing herself through movement since she was five years old, beginning with the study of Ballet and Jazz in her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. She moved to Austin, Texas at the age of 10, and her involvement in dance was replaced by other responsibilities. It was not until she was working as a 4th-grade teacher that she turned back to dance as a pastime. That is when she discovered aerials and contortion. After several years of practicing, she decided to leave teaching and become a professional performer. She has been teaching aerial for the past 5 years to various skill levels and ages while training for performances. She has appeared in many competitions and shows, including the Aire Festival in Mexico, a rendition of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and numerous private events. Currently, she teaches at Gravity and teaches / performs at Frequent Flyers.
Anastasia Timina first discovered aerial in 2011 as a physical outlet, but quickly fell in love with its creative possibilities. She committed to circus as a career in 2013 and has since performed in shows and taught in studios across the country. She is now the Education Coordinator, Pro-Track Coach, Professional Performance Company Member, and Multi-Apparatus Instructor for Frequent Flyers. Anastasia’s movement style is dark and dramatic, a mixture of slow hypnotic movement and fast dynamic sequences. Her emphasis is on fascinating shapes and clean lines all while upholding the illusion of defying gravity. She approaches teaching skills through the incremental progressions of a martial artist, informed by kinesthetics and anatomy. Anastasia enjoys, teaches, and performs all forms of aerial, but specializes in rope. She completed the Aerial Teacher Training Program in January of 2016 and since has been working as a coach to help others discover their potential to fly.
Yuki Tsuji has operated her own Thai massage business in Boulder, Colorado for the last 13 years. She also regularly teaches online yoga and movement classes. Previously, she trained in partner acrobatics for over a decade and taught acrobatics, handstand and AcroYoga for many years. Prior to moving to Colorado, she was a skydiving and bodyflight coach and instructor in Florida. She finds joy in teaching and coaching people to learn and incorporate in their lives and activities new physical movements and skills, and guiding people towards their physical freedom and healing through Thai massage.
Susan Voyticky (Showcase only), a native Brooklynite, traveled far and wide to study at both Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris and The Circus Space in London. She has worked for the past two decades for a variety of wide companies; including performing with Keith Hennessy’s Circo Zero and the New Pickle Circus in San Francisco, touring the U.S. with the Universoul Circus, a year in Japan at Universal Studios and the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and Circus Abyssinia in New York. Hoping to take her artistic endeavors to the next level, Susan founded Loki Circus Theater with Michelle Arvin to create innovative movement theater productions using a mixture of circus, physical
theater and dance.