|Gary Kirkland, “Jefe” — Owner
Gary, a Seattle native, was introduced to flying trapeze while on vacation five years ago. He founded Emerald City Trapeze over two years ago with the support and assistance of many people, above and beyond the call of sanity. Like Blanche Dubois, he has always depended upon the kindness of strangers.
He is left handed and prone to being forgetful.
|Katie Wood, “Boss” — Managing Director – Instructor: Aerial Conditioning
email@example.com A Seattle native, Boss first came to ECTA to fly in 2011 and never left. When she’s not at her desk, flying through the air, or spinning on a hoop, she’s usually found near water, sun, snow, delicious food, or art supplies. She loves being a part of the incredibly talented and creative team at Emerald City and is happy to answer all of your questions!
|Paul Schimmel, “The Flying Dutchman” — Chief Instructor: Flying Trapeze
Joining us from Amsterdam, Paul first encountered the circus world when he left Holland at the age of 18 and found his way to Camp Chipinaw in New York. There he as put to work in the circus program but spent most of his time staring in awe at the magnificent flying trapeze.
Paul was later invited to perform with a traveling circus, perfecting his juggling and Diablo acts. Eventually, he made his way to Seattle and was invited to help open the brand new circus school, Emerald City Trapeze Arts. There he learned how to gracefully teach, catch and fly through the air with the greatest disease with the legendary Brian Flint and Dave Cavaletto. After escaping for a brief stint traveling around the US to Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Club Med Turks and Caicos, Paul eventually found his way back to his circus family in Seattle, and has been flying high in the Emerald City ever since.
|Chelsea Whalen — Office Manager – Instructor: Flying Trapeze
Chelsea (Orca) grew up running through the woods of the Olympic Peninsula thinking she would always be content climbing trees, digging in the dirt, hanging upside-down, doing handstands, and playing with puppies. However, when Chelsea wandered into Emerald City she found a world she had always wanted to be a part of – The Circus. She spent months flying as much as possible with the amazing instruction, inspiration, and love of the Emerald City family. With a short vacation to Michigan, she returned to her Seattle Circus family to fly, style, and smile as much as possible.
|Nat Street — Instructor: Flying Trapeze
Born in Australia, raised in New Zealand and traveling ever since, Nat has been studying the circus arts, teaching and performing across Asia for the past 5 years. Her passion is the Flying Trapeze, although she also enjoys and performs on Rope, Straps, Silks, Lyra and Static Trapeze.
|Adrienne Jack-Sands — Director: Aerial Arts
Adrienne Jack-Sands, a Seattle native, recently reunited with the Emerald City after relocating to Basque Country in 2010. She has been working with The Aerialistas since 2008 and also performs internationally as a solo artist, specializing in her unique version of aerial straps. Prior to embarking upon her career in circus, Adrienne studied classical ballet as well as contemporary and jazz dance at the American Ballet Theatre school in New York City. She has played the violin since age six and is always ready to explore other instruments such as the ukulele and musical saw. Adrienne is delighted to be back in Seattle and on the team at ECTA!
|Neal Everett — Director: Shows – Instructor: Flying Trapeze
Neal Everett, of Los Angeles, CA, is the Captain of your cheerleading squad, he is on your television, he is the strawberry in your neopolitan, he is in your broadway baby, he is in your heart, he is on your mind, he is the sound that never ends that dies at night to live again, he is ‘merica. You no longer have to ask ‘where have all the cowboys gone?’.
Neal has worked with the Eye of Newt Circus, Anti-Gravity, Gateway Playhouse, Circus Vargas, Bella Circo, & Cirque du Soleil. He’s worked on the sets and stage productions of your favorite musicals – including, but not limited to, Spiderman the Musical. He is also one of the creators and performers of Cirque Berzerk where he serves as casting director, circus coordinator, and oversees costuming.
And now, he is your best friend.
|Rachel Strickland, “Madame Rex” — Aerial Instructor
Classically trained in ballet since the age of three, Rachel is a ballerina turned aerialist, showgirl, and variety performer. Modern, belly dance, and lyrical jazz make up some of her versatile background, as well as two years of aerial acrobatic training at the Circus Center of San Francisco. Rachel’s cross training gives her the ability to deliver a wide range of movements from lithe and ethereal to earthy and visceral. After moving to California to train in circus arts, Rachel found a home in the Nekyia, an elegant belly-dance fusion troupe, and the illustrious dark circus phenomenon, the Vau de Vire Society. She has performed across the United States as a corps dancer, soloist, and pole acrobat. Rich, extravagant movements and strong, multifaceted technique are her trademarks. Captivating audiences with an eloquent musculature and a capacity to deliver roles from comedy to mystery.
See more about Rachel’s performance art at her web site: madamerex.com
|Tanya Brno, “Miss Tanya Styles” — Instructor: Intermediate Silk, Advanced Silk
Tanya Brno, a local and international circus artist has been a staple at the most prestigious events over the last seven years within the Seattle aerial scene, and is a member of Seattle’s fiercest all-girl aerial gang, The Aerialistas. She recently returned from Ireland where she was performing in castles, art festivals, and flying 100’ off the ground suspended from a crane. She graces the stage at events such as The Moisture Festival, the Rat City Rollergirls halftime show, Queensryche Cabaret and the Triple Door among other venues. She also works frequently with Club Med resorts as a Circus Program Advisor and Guest Performer, where she has made appearances in locales such as Turks/Caicos islands and Ixtapa, Mexico. Successful in auditions for both Cirque du Soleil and Dragone Productions, she is on her way to joining the ranks of the elite.
Her professional dance training in classical ballet can be seen in her aesthetic for classical lines and solid technique; when blended with a formidable strength to flexibility ratio and explosive onstage drama she is a force to be reckoned with. She is excited to bring her experience to her teaching where she hopes to instill a passion and playfulness into her students while helping them expand their practice.
|Jenny Penny — Instructor: Acrobalance, Beginner Aerial, Date Night
Jenny Penny is a jack of all trades; Aerialist, Acrobalancer, Fire performer, Circus entertainer, Burlesque dancer and Sideshow artist. Starting with ballet at age 3, trying many different schools of dance, she eventually fell in love with the circus. She has been performing in Seattle, across the US, and around the globe since 2004. She was a founding member, lead performer, and mama of Seattle’s own dark circus, Pure Cirkus. Over the past few years she’s been teaching acrobalancing, aerial, and fire arts. She now teaches out of Emerald City Trapeze, offering public and private lessons. Her talents have been featured at venues such as Neumo’s, the Triple Door and El Gaucho. She strives for circus beauty, but is a carnie at heart.
|Bridget Gunning — Instructor: Beginner Silk, Aerial Conditioning, Beginner Hammock
Bridget Gunning is an aerialist, dancer and showgirl bringing over 10 years of professional experience to Emerald City Trapeze Arts. She works with with The Aerialistas, Seattle’s all girl aerial gang. She is a founding member of ticktock, Seattle’s only post modern aerial dance company. She can also be seen dangling above dining spectators at The Pink Door. As a Registered Yoga Teacher and Fitness Trainer Bridget is known for her upbeat energy and thorough, anatomically sound teaching style.
|Kerri Gertsman — Instructor: Beginner Aerial, Beginner Silk, Intermediate Silk, Beginner Hoop
Born and bred in Montana, Kerri traveled west to Southern Oregon to complete a B.S. in Environmental Studies. During and after her school years, her thrill-seeking spirit has ranged from whitewater raft guiding to ski instructing and now to aerial acrobatic performing and teaching. The aerial arts have been the perfect mix of physical strength, flexibility, and creativity. Teaching this art is especially rewarding for Kerri—watching her students learn new skills and feel empowered through the process is awesome. Emerald City Trapeze has been the perfect place to cultivate the teacher in her as well as the performer. Kerri regularly participates in ECTA shows and you may spot her dangling from the ceiling at many other Northwest venues as well.
|Quynbi Ada — Instructor: Beginner Silk, Intermediate Silk
Originally from Los Angeles, Quynbi is a Seattle-based aerialist, dancer, model, multimedia visual artist and licensed skydiver. She has performed her sensuous aerial silks acts at notable venues such as Teatro ZinZanni’s Mezzo Lunatico, the Moisture Festival, the Moore Theater Centennial, the Seattle Art Museum Opening with UMO Ensemble, the Seattle Opera House, Circus of Dreams, the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival, and the Global Party with Emerald City Trapeze. Her distinctive aesthetic sense merges grace, beauty and strength with technical precision and a dark edge.
Quynbi began dancing at age three, and has studied ballet, modern, contact improvisation and gymnastics. She discovered the exciting world of aerial dance while living in New York in 2001, where she studied low-flying trapeze with Julie Ludwick of Fly-By-Night Dance Theater. After relocating to Seattle, she continued with Nathan Dryden using Skinner Releasing Technique. She fell in love with her chosen apparatus, aerial silks, after working privately with Esther Edleman of UMO Ensemble. She also studied intensively under Kari Podgorski of Circus Contraption and the Aerialistas at SANCA’s Professional Aerial Training Program.
Quynbi hopes to inspire the same passion and dedication to her aerial students as her teachers did for her.
|Bruce Magnotti & Simonne Garrigues — Instructors: Performance Aerial Arts, Aerial Playground
“We focus on the grace and style of the aerial arts and teach basic fundamentals as well as prepare you to perform if that is your goal. Our aerial classes consist of working with the various forms of aerial apparatus focusing on technique, graceful flowing transitions as well as core conditioning and strength training using the aerial equipment. Whether your goals are to perform, build strength, or just to have fun, our classes and variety of programs are right for you.
We work with Static Trapeze, Rope/Corde Lisse, Tissu/Silks, and Hoop/Lyra.
Aerial Arts fundamentals, often called aerials, aerial acrobatics, and circus arts are perhaps the best way to build core strength and offers the client an interesting and enjoyable activity as an alternative to traditional gym training. We call this exercise “aerial arts training” and offer it to select clients in the Seattle area. Our classes are ongoing, all level, and you can join at anytime. They are taught by two instructors and we pay great attention to detail and your progress.”
More about Bruce and Simonne: Seattle Aerial Arts