In two days, we’re premiering a show that is very near and dear to our hearts. Months of planning, alllll of the spreadsheets, and literal blood, sweat, and tears, have gone in to bringing this story to life. And we couldn’t be more excited to debut it this Friday, February 25th, 2022 at The Phoenix Zoo. And of course we have to mention the wonderful members of The Phoenix Zoo Auxiliary, who are responsible for making this opportunity even happen. This show is being presented by them and it’s looking to be an amazing fundraising event for the zoo!
We’ve spent the last few weeks introducing our talented cast members on our Instagram, but if you haven’t been able to follow along with that, we thought you might like to meet them here. So, everyone, meet your Animals.
on silks / duo strap loops
Agus has been doing aerial for the last 8 years, participating in competitions nationwide and in his home country Argentina. He moved to Phoenix in 2020 and has been teaching ever since at Vertical Fix. Recently he celebrated a 1st place win in the All Star Division of Aerialympics competition in Eugene, OR. He will be participating in Viva Fest in Las Vegas.
as the Lost Boy
Brian Foley is the Associate Artistic Director of the World Clown Festival held in China, and has toured with Cirque Voila, Parallel Exit, and MacArthur Award-winning Bond St. Theatre. He appeared in five episodes of Sesame Street’s 40th anniversary season, and has been photographed for international publication with Jon Stewart, Madonna, and Steve Martin. Brian holds his MFA in Performance Directing from ASU, his BFA in Acting and Directing from NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts, and spends his weekdays teaching at several institutions of higher education in the valley, and his weekends being silly at private and corporate events. Learn more at vvphx.com.
on silks and sling
Crissy is an Arizona native and was introduced to aerial arts 5 years ago. A single touch of an aerial apparatus was all it took for her to become completely enamored. Since then, she has taught, performed, and helped organize shows throughout Arizona. Crissy’s background in social work heavily influences her pursuit to create inclusive, accessible, and expressive spaces within the highly-adaptable world of circus.
on lyra and contortion
Dakoa is a former competitive dancer turned aerialist and contortionist specializing in lyra. She’s an Arizona native who’s gone on to work for Creactive by Cirque du Soleil in Punta Cana and Animate Objects Productions in Seattle, WA. Returned back to Arizona last year, she continues to create and explore the arts of circus, mixology, and various other crafts.
on lyra and stilts
Emma is an Arizona native who has been on her aerial journey for 6 years. She specializes in dance trapeze and Lyra. With her dance background Emma loves to perform and get creative.
on rope and duo strap loops
Gustavo has found his home and inspiration for improvement in the competition world. It is there that he finds his focus in fulfilling his goals and continuing his learning. In 2016, he became the Director of Training Shoes, leading and coordinating all the activities related to pole sport, aerial silks and aerial hoop. Today, he feels extremely proud to work along with high quality instructors, great professionals and human beings.
on trapeze and partner acro
Jeni is an aerialist and handbalancer who performs and teaches in Phoenix, Arizona. Jeni has been practicing aerial for 5 years, specializing in contemporary dance trapeze. With a past in figure skating, she has a passion for performing all things graceful yet dynamic. Jeni’s goal is to wow the audiences with the versatility of trapeze. She is also one-half of the duo Team Acro Seal with her fiancé. On her own time, she enjoys being surrounded by her 4 cats training, cooking, and reading.
on cube and pole
Lindsay is celebrating her 20th year as a professional of “swinging on things” in 2022. She’s the owner of Prowess Pole Fitness in Tempe, AZ and also loves to refinish furniture in her spare time.
on cube and sling
Lindsay has been in the performing arts world for 6 years and splits her apparatus time among fabric, rope, and lyra. She has trained in Bali and at NECCA and competed as an aerialist in Vegas. She is also a co-founder of Atelotorque and producing this show!
Martha “Patty” Hernandez
Martha “Patty” Hernandez was born in Mexico and raised in Arizona. She began her dance training at age 15, and received additional training with Ballet Arizona and Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. She has received recognition for her choreography, and has performed for several local dance companies. Martha continues to find ways to combine her love of dance, painting and aerial.
Nick has been performing in the Phoenix metropolitan area for over 10 years. With a background in ballet and modern dance, Nick’s focus is to help realize the vision of talented choreographers, and pursue projects which challenge him.
Artistic Director of NicoleOlson|MovementChaos, has presented work nationally in such venues as the Kennedy Center in DC, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago, and the TBA Festival in Portland, OR. Her choreography has been seen in Phoenix Theatre’s “Evita” and “Once”.
Alternative spaces is her focus; creating for Phoenix Art Museum, SMOCA, galleries throughout Phoenix, and six evening length pieces for internationally-awarded Canal Convergence ’18-’21, presented by Scottsdale Public Art.
She has had the pleasure of teaching children and adults nationally, and is currently the Head of the Performing Arts Department at Metropolitan Arts Institute.
Olson was awarded the Phoenix Mayor’s Arts Award for Dance in 2016, the Arizoni Award in Choreography in 2006, along with Phoenix New Times’ “Best Dancer, 2016” and “Best Collaboration, 2018”. In 2020, Nicole was awarded 1st Runner-Up for Artlink’s Annual Juried Exhibition.
Tawnya fancies herself a lover of logistics and has thus enjoyed a storied career as an event manager. But it’s in the air that she finds her true flow. Tawnya has been training and performing in the aerial world for a decade. She began her journey as a pole artist, before transitioning to lyra and sling in almost any form you can think of. She’s performed for corporate events, creative shows, and talent competitions. She’s the founder/owner of the entertainment company, Elevated Aerials, the founder/owner of the handmade activewear company, Tawny & Bird, and is also one of the producers of Atelotorque.
Ted Jachimowicz, Team AcroSeal
Team AcroSeal was formed by power couple Jeni and Ted after their first trip to Acro Love in San Diego. They saw the seals sunning proudly at La Jolla, and desired that same vibe for themselves, creating the name: Team Acro Seal. Ted and Jeni are a hand-to-hand duo that have been training together almost 4 years; Ted has significantly more experience in acro, starting 6 years ago. Jeni trains aerial as her other main discipline, while Ted trains Olympic weightlifting.
Tricia aka “trishnamurti” began training in dance and gymnastics at the age of five. Her background includes; ballet, tap, jazz, modern, gymnastics, and baton twirling. She later studied taekwondo and tai chi with an emphasis on martial art weapons. She started fire dancing in 2001 and hasn’t looked back since! Tricia has had the privilege of performing with many local dance groups as well as traveling the country with The Extraterrestrial Circus and The Jamila Lotus Dance Carnival. She is the founder of The Circus Farm and has been entertaining and training new fire dancers through the company for many years. Tricia is a choreographer, teacher, dancer, fire performer, stilt walker, belly dancer, LED performer, weapons manipulator, and master of props. She adds a sense of controlled danger and excitement to every show!
Turiya is a professionally trained dancer turned aerialist. In 2018 she earned her BA in Dance and became a 200 hr YT shortly after. While she was in college, Turiya stumbled upon aerial and hasn’t looked back since. She is one of the co-owners and operators of Creators Space, a performance art and event studio in Gilbert, and she actively performs as a dancer and aerialist in the Phoenix area. When she isn’t moving or teaching, she is spending much needed rest time with her fiancé, Matt and dog, Odin.