Photo by ?

Photo by ?

Jen Wheeler

Owner/Instructor/Performer

Jen came to training aerials in 2009 with a background in classical ballet. She began training with Heather Booth, the founder of Miraas. Since then she has trained with Jerome Schwab, Lisa Natoli, Daniel Sullivan, Julio Batista de Souza, Rachel Walker, and Tanya Burka. Jen performs as often as possible, and has taken her skills as an aerialist and instructor to Thailand to teach in a Social Circus program.

In May 2014, Jen officially took over Miraas, after it's founder, Heather, moved to Honolulu, HI.  In January 2017 Jen reopened Miraas as Gravity Aerial Arts with co-owner Megan McMaster.  As the owner, Jen has continued to deliver and foster a superb environment to train and learn aerials in Denver by brining together incredible aerial talent from around Denver and North America to teach classes and extensive workshops. Jen has a deep sense of community and it is apparent at Gravity Aerial Arts.

 

Photo by Michael McMaster

Photo by Michael McMaster

Megan McMaster

Owner/Instructor/Performer

Megan McMaster AKA “Aerial Meg”- is a Denver native and a lifelong dancer.  She was given an opportunity to perform on the Spanish web in a school production of Barnum in 1998.  Megan felt immediately drawn to aerial arts and so she sought out and was graced with many more opportunities to learn and perform more.  She has trained in Boulder, Denver, Los Angeles, with many incredible aerial artists from all over the world.  Some of her many amazing instructors have included Fred Deb, Julio Batista, Lisa Natoli, Daniel Sullivan and Aloysia Gavre.  She started teaching and performing professionally in 2008. Some of her favorite performances have been with Devotchka as one of the Slavic Sisters, Decadence NYE, and Tour de Fat.

 Megan completed the Rocky Mountain Micro Finance Institute’s Business Launch Boot Camp course in 2015 where she developed her business plan to open an aerial dance studio.  Jen and Megan joined forces in the fall of 2016 when they began planning the reopening of Miraas Circus Arts as Gravity Aerial Arts. They opened the doors to the studio on January 9, 2017. Megan loves getting to see so many talented & smiling faces everyday at Gravity!

Photo by Michael McMaster

Photo by Michael McMaster

Robyn Julian

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Robyn began training aerial with Heather Booth in 2010, and has been training and performing with Miraas ever since. She performs on fabric, rope, lyra, and trapeze, trying to rotate to keep her skills fresh on each! Robyn has attended classes, workshops, and lessons in many locales, from Santa Cruz to Sarasota, to Melbourne, Australia. She has been fortunate to have been able to learn from such artists as Daniel Sullivan, Tanya Burka, La Norma Fox, and many others. Robyn is a classical violinist, and finds herself fastidious about having choreography match the music!

She underwent teacher training with Heather before she left for Hawaii, and has since supplemented this with teacher training workshops with Tanya Burka.

 

 

 
Photo by Nina Reed

Photo by Nina Reed

Drew Butler

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Drew started moving creatively in high school, when he learned how to tap dance so he could be in the school musical. Rehearsing after school, he found a passion for dance and movement expression that led him ultimately to aerial. He studied dance and English literature in college, and spent a season dancing professionally with Evolving Doors Dance. But it was through AcroYoga that he found the circus arts (and the family of weirdos who practice them).

He started his AcroYoga training in 2011 under Raj Seymour and Yuki Tsuji. Instantly hooked on the intimate connections and playfulness, he pursued more high level acrobatic training, studying under Matt Fields-Johnson and Elizabeth Overton, Niko Douwes, and Pascal Weis, among others. He makes his acrobatic home at Flight Club, in Denver.

Drew started doing aerial in February 2015, focusing mainly on fabric and trapeze, and recently completed his aerial teacher training through Miraas. He delights in finding unique transitions and dynamic moves. 

 

 
Photo by January Dudack

Photo by January Dudack

Ashley Turner

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Ashley Turner began training in Denver at Miraas Circus Arts in 2013, where she started on the Aerial Silks. She continued her Aerial Arts training in Utah, where she discovered her love for the Aerial Hoop/Lyra. She spent the following two years focusing on the Lyra, while cross training on the Aerial Silks, Pole, and Trapeze, as well as other unique aerial apparatuses at various studios across the Unites States. Ashley is excited to introduce students to the basics, conditioning, strengthening, and exploring the beautiful world of the Lyra.

 
Photo by Brent Andeck

Photo by Brent Andeck

Yuina Satoh

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Yuina discovered and fell in love with the circus arts in San Francisco, CA where she developed her particular fondness for aerial straps. After watching a beautiful duo aerial straps act by Cirque du Soleil, she was determined to become such an aerialist. Utilizing her gymnastics background, she trained intensively for the next four years on aerial straps with Dominik Wyss (the best of the best). Learning to work with the beauty and grace of the aerial straps, she is excited to share her love and knowledge to the aspiring aerial straps artists. She has been training in straps since 2012.

 
Photo by Nina Reed

Photo by Nina Reed

Addie Pitre

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Addie Pitre truly has a love for creative expression in all it's many forms. Other than creating wearable art, one of her ultimate favorites is the ability to translate music into movement utilizing the entire body. She has always loved to dance, but something really opened her heart to a new level when she began learning Aerial Arts several years ago through Aerial Fabric Acrobatics in Denver, CO. Self empowerment, healing, strength, and courage are only a few of the incredible characteristics sharing this art through teaching and performance has granted her. 

She has trained at Aerial Cirque Over Denver and Miraas Circus Arts, learning much from Megan McMaster in recent years. Addie has performed for many events around Denver, Sonic Bloom Music Festival, as well as special events in New Orleans, her hometown. Addie is an ambassador of the heart, encouraging all to believe, live and move from this space. She has a deep love for teaching Aerial Arts and truly lights up with the ability to instill this love in others!

 
Photo by Nina Reed

Photo by Nina Reed

Ananda Voecks

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Ananda started her aerial journey 8 years ago. She spent 5 years learning with Frequent Flyers in Boulder. From there she spent 2 1/2 years at Apex Movement Denver. First co-teaching with Jill Scott and eventually taking over all aerial instruction which included beginning fabric, Aerial 2, and aerial conditioning offerings.  Ananda considers herself a life long learner and loves sharing her passion for movement with others. Ananda has worked with Rain Anya (Paper Doll Militia), Tanya Burka, Shayna Swanson, Lisa Natoli, Alex Allen, Jenny Atomic, and Emiliano Ron, to name a few. She attended the 7thRope Meeting in Barcelona, Spain in 2018 and plans to attend the 8thRope Meeting in August 2019. 

 

 
Photo by Dave Wood

Photo by Dave Wood

Katrina Schwarzenberger

Flexibility & Aerial Instructor/Performer

Katrina began her circus journey 9 years ago. With a background in Tae Kwon Do, she fell in love with aerial dance during her first class. Through training flexibility to improve her aerial skills, she found another joy in contortion. By teaching she has been able to share her passion for aerial the past 7 years and her love of contortion the past 4 years. In addition to teaching, she finds joy and excitement performing her art whether it has been at an outdoor festival or private event. She enjoys helping students of all ages and abilities reach their goals and surpass their own expectations.

 
Photo by Annabelle Denmark

Photo by Annabelle Denmark

Rachel Speights

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Rachel Speights aka Rachel Marie Lamarr is a chemist by day and an aspiring aerial dancer by night.  She fell in love with aerial dance because it is both technical and artistic. She began her aerial journey in 2013 and quickly found her circus home and family at Miraas Circus arts (now Gravity Aerial Arts).

Though her first love was aerial fabric, Rachel has since continued to develop her passion through the study of other apparatuses. She gets excited by the prospect of transitioning knowledge from one apparatus to another and has therefore begun studying unique and invented apparatuses. Rachel is also experienced in partner aerials, having performed in group acts with up to 8 people as well as one-on-one hand to hand performances.

Rachel has been seen performing at Santa Fe Renaissance Festival, Carnivale de Sensuale, among other ambient and choreographed performances. She is thrilled to often be a part of Gravity Aerial Arts showcases and productions.

 
Photo by Nina Reed

Photo by Nina Reed

Leilani Rose

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Leilani has been learning to get untangled (& sometimes fly) on the aerial silks since 2013. She has trained at Kinetic Theory Circus and Aerial Physique in Los Angeles, CA, and completed her Aerial Teacher Training at MOTH Contemporary Circus Center here in Denver, CO. 

As one of the founding members of Rainbow Militia, a Denver-based circus collective, she has performed live with Jonny 5 of the Flobots, Chimney Choir, and was featured in LA-based Molly Moore's music video, “No Stress.” She has also had the opportunity to perform with Atlas Obscura in their immersive event, House of Embers. 

She is very fortunate to have been part of Gravity Aerial Art’s inaugural production of The Little Mermaid, and is incredibly happy to be joining Gravity’s amazing circus family!

 
Photo by Nigel Wang

Photo by Nigel Wang

Danielle Genaoui

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Since she was a young whippersnapper, Danielle Gennaoui loved to direct plays in her parents’ basement, climb every tree in sight, and spin around in circles until she fell over. Fortunately, not much has changed (though the falling over is fewer and further between).

Danielle graduated with honors, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre directing and performance from the Jordan College of Fine Arts at Butler University. She began training in circus arts in 2008 and completed Aloft Loft's Full-Time circus training program in 2014, specializing in Aerial Hoop. In addition to her specialties of aerial arts and partner acrobatics, she has trained extensively in tumbling, clowning, juggling, handbalancing, contact improvisation, and stilt-walking, just to name a few. 

During her 10 wonderful years in Chicago, Danielle coached at the Aloft Loft, MSA Circus Arts, as well as was a lead coach for the CircEsteem Advanced Performance troupe. She has also been especially fortunate to perform and direct with: Aloft Circus Arts, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Actors Gymnasium, Thodos Dance Chicago, CircEsteem, Apple Tree Theatre, The Alexandrinsky Theatre (St. Petersburg, Russia), Dream Theatre Company, and Sussurus Perfromance Group. Danielle was also honored to be chosen as a finalist and perform with the 2015 U.S. Aerial Championships in New York City.

 Danielle is thrilled to be joining the incredible community of artists at Gravity and is looking forward to continue spinning in circles here in Denver! DanielleGennaoui.com

 
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Estee Zakar

Handstands and Acro Balance Instructor/Performer

Estee graduated with a Master's in Social Work but realized that being an acrobat was much more fun! Estee is a professional pole dance champion and has has traveled the world performing, judging and teaching master workshops. She specializes in personal training, pole fitness, hand balance, flexibility and conditioning. Estee is the owner of the Colorado Pole Dance championship and is sponsored by numerous fitness companies. She hopes to teach people how to find their balance and control their bodies in upright and inverted positions.

 
Photo by Nina Reed

Photo by Nina Reed

Erin Hicks

Aerial & Acrobatic Instructor/Performer

Erin has over 10 years of experience training and competing in gymnastics and martial arts. She began her aerial journey at Miraas back in 2016. Since then, she has primarily focused on training silks, which is by far her favorite apparatus because if its versatility and the opportunity for big drops. She looks forward to sharing her love of dynamic moves and big drops with her students. 

 
Photo by Nina Reed

Photo by Nina Reed

Hanan Shorrosh

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Hanan has always loved adventure and especially climbing high in the air. As a baby she tried repeatedly to climb the TV set, to the dismay and horror of her parents. After a childhood and young adulthood filled with climbing trees and roaming around the world, she discovered and fell in love with aerial silks in 2013. Since then, she has trained in several aerial studios and performed in various locations around Denver. She loves the freedom of expression and movement in aerial performance and believes there is nothing else quite like it. She has also discovered a second passion in teaching and sharing her joy in aerial, and she absolutely loves seeing her students reach their aerial goals. Gravity Aerial Arts has become her second home and family in the last few years and she is delighted to be a part of Gravity’s supportive and enthusiastic community!

 
Photo by Ashley Smith

Photo by Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Ashley AKA “Evelyn Violetear” started with a background in hip hop and contemporary dance. She began her aerial training several years ago & quickly became obsessed with aerial dance.  She then started pursuing a career as an aerial performer.  Ashley has performed at various clubs and events in Dallas and Denver and toured with The Shrine Circus in 2016.  Ashley started teaching at Gravity Aerial Arts in 2018.

 
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Lucky Herrera

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Going through life i have always wanted to fit in, i was the misfit in school. Constantly trying to change myself to be what society wanted, even though i never wanted to. When i discovered pole and aerial it was like a breath of fresh air. It showed me that different is good, that we shouldn’t strive to fit a mold. My journey has taken me places i have never imagined. I’ve met people I’ll have friendships with forever. And even though i am so different then who i was i finally found the place where i fit in. My next mission is to push myself even further and compete in bigger competition while also helping others discover their passion for this crazy thing we call the circus!

 
Photo by Michael McMaster

Photo by Michael McMaster

Cassidy Wilson

Aerial Instructor/Performer

Cassidy first learned about aerial arts at Circus Smirkus camp when she was eight years old. She began training aerials in earnest with Megan McMaster in 2011 and has been enthralled since then, training at a variety of studios in the Denver area. Cassidy has performed with the Bella Diva Dance performing company since 2012 at various shows and festivals. Cassidy loves teaching at Gravity and working with all students and seeing them fly.