Meet Our Class A-Staff
Niko Douwes, Coach
Niko is a very experienced acrobatic instructor from The Netherlands. Well versed in the circus arts, he has spent the last 20 years training in traditional Dutch acrobatics. He is an organizer of the Dutch Juggling Convention and the Dutch Acro Convention. Additionally, Niko has helped assemble many acrobatic events throughout India, Thailand, Spain and Australia. Niko specializes in partner acrobalance and juggling. With more than 12 years experience instructing students from across the globe, Niko has built quite a reputation as a great teacher of technique and harbinger of joy. Niko’s passion for acrobatics is contagious and he truly loves spreading the knowledge and harmony of his practice to all willing and capable pupils. Studying with Niko will both boost your skill level and lighten your day! For an example of some of his handy work, and to see a few of the things we will be working on, click here for a training with Niko montage video.
Cassie Drew, Tumbling Coach
Cassie’s biggest joy in life is being upside down and pushing the limits of gravity. Originally from North Carolina, she became a gymnast at an early age and competed all the way through college. Shortly after graduating, she moved to Colorado and started graduate school to become a teacher. During that time, she found aerial acrobatics and joined a small local circus troupe where she learned about partner acrobatics, juggling, clowning and more! She began producing her own shows and immersed herself in performance art and building her skill level. While she has played with many different forms of circus arts, her true passion is partner acrobatics, and she has been pursuing that avenue since 2007. She performs and teaches in Colorado, with her circus troupe Fractal Tribe. With 14 years of professional tumbling experience, Cassie will offer her skills as a gymnastics coach and seasoned acrobat.
Ellio Blox, Coach
Ellio Blox has nourished a lifelong fascination for peering over edges and discovering footholds in the unlikeliest of places. A full time world-traveling teacher with his company Blox Acrobatics, he offers quality instruction on a deep bag of tricks. Blox is a head coach of Pitch Catch Circus School of Acrobatics in Asheville, NC, is a member of the Partner Acrobatics teaching team on intensives and teacher trainings, and has performed partner acrobatics across North America and the Caribbean with his performing arts and production company, Acrodisiac. Rooted in many years of pedagogic study, acrobatics training under world-class teachers since 2010, and a commitment to health and happiness, Blox is a powerful resource for acrobatic advancement and personal growth.
Christine Moonbeam, Icarian Coach
Christine Moonbeam, Lead Teacher/ Facilitator at LIFT School of Acrobatics and RYT 200 with a Bachelors Degree in Dance, grew up studying dance and tumbling in rural Iowa where her love of movement and the arts were fostered. She spent most of her youth studying dance and acrobatics. She started working with Zip Zap Circus, a program that empowers youth to dare to dream by bringing the magic of circus arts to children in inner city schools. Christine was first introduced to partner acrobatics while working with Zip Zap and it was here that her passion for Acro started to take flight! Her years of training have given her a well developed eye that she offers to her students with skillful feedback that leads to student success. She believes that more students build their foundations, the easier it is to achieve success as your skill level rises. Christine believes partner acrobatics is a powerful tool for self discovery and empowerment through creative play, dedicated training and healthy partnership.
Aaron Lind, Icarian Coach
Aaron Lind is a renowned teacher of partner acrobatics and an advocate for empowerment through partnership! He has been fascinated by movement-based practices since childhood, which led to thousands of hours of playful exploration. Aaron has explored and trained handstand, gymnastic movement, yoga, and partner acrobatics for many years. He is also a musician, holding an MFA in Jazz Studies and a burlesque artist trained in the New Orleans tradition. He brings a creative flair to his offerings and invites students to cultivate performance as a natural extension of skill-based practice.
Ryan Hamity, Coach
Ryan found his love for partner acrobatics in 2009, following his career as an elite level cyclist. He spent the following years refining, teaching, and performing his talent of balancing others on his hands and feet. He became a certified Acro Yoga teacher in 2012 and has a strong belief that foundation and technique can allow any individual to excel to a high level acrobat. He performs with the circus troupe, Fractal Tribe and brings a strong focus on presentation into what he teaches. He is excited to bring his knowledge of partner acrobatics, handstands, fitness, conditioning, and performance to the Pitch Catch program.
After nearly a decade of travel across Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa, Apryl decided it was time to settle down. So she did what any wanderlust, acrophile would do- she ran away to join the circus… naturally. Apryl began building her home within the big-top in 2012. A year later she graduated from Circomedia: Centre for Contemporary Circus in Bristol, UK where she specialized in acrobalance and physical theatre. Upon completion, Apryl began touring as a professional burlesque artist and acrobat. She is a resident performer for ~Gypsy Disco~ in their traveling cabaret. Additionally, Apryl teaches acro-yoga workshops with emphasis on physical exploration through play and she is a registered yoga alliance instructor.
Ilana has been teaching and performing circus for seven years. She began her training with Wise Fool New Mexico a social justice circus and puppetry organization in Santa Fe. Two years ago, Ilana quit everything else in her life to pursue circus as her full-time occupation (read obsession). She attended the one-year course at Circomedia School of Circus and Physical Theatre in Bristol England, but ran away from circus school to perform with a traditional family circus traveling around southeast England. She subsequently resumed her studies of aerial skills, acrobalance, tumbling and hand-balancing in England and in France. Upon returning to New Mexico Ilana has resumed teaching and performing with Wise Fool.