Caroline Calouche

ChoreoLab, Finding Fluidity of Movement on the Ground; Performer Roundtable; Bungee Dance; Contemporary Dance Rep

Caroline Calouche has taught contemporary dance, Pilates, Gyrokinesis and ballet at UNC Charlotte, Winthrop University, The Belmont School of Ballet, Gaston Dance Theatre and The School of North Carolina Dance Theatre. Her dance and fitness teaching background has allowed her to become a sought after aerial dance instructor. Not only has Caroline developed a safe method and syllabus of teaching Aerial Silk, Sling, Trapeze, Lyra, Corde Lisse and Spanish Web, she is able to teach students how to incorporate floor work with their apparatus to seamlessly move from the ground up and back again. With her strong anatomy and physiology background, Caroline focuses on proper alignment in the air and on the ground to prevent injury and promote efficient movement. Caroline’s aerial and dance training is diverse. In the air, she has worked with Juliana Hane, Nicole Merman, Elsie and Serenity Smith, Christine van Loo, Caroline Wright, Jamie Hodgson, Tanya Burka, Cheetah Platt, Kevin O’Connor, Allie Cooper, Nancy Smith and Susan Murphy. While on the ground, Caroline’s influential teachers range from Leah Cox (Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company), Elizabeth Corbett (Forsythe Composition), Libby Farr (Ballet), Andrew Harwood (Contact Improvisation), Fernando Bujones (Ballet), Elizabeth Gillaspy (Ballet), Susan Douglas Roberts (Contemporary), Brenda Daniels (Modern Dance) to name a few on an endless list of amazing teachers!


Tricia Camacho

Costuming: Coming Up with the Design; Costuming: How to Sew Stretch Material

Tricia Camacho, Costume Designer, is the owner and head draper for The Patterned Seamstress, a costume build shop. Previously located in Las Vegas, Nevada, she now services clients from Nevada/California and the East Coast out of North Carolina. Tricia has built her business over the last six years with fifteen years professional wardrobe and costume experience. She spent eleven years in Las Vegas working on large productions such as “Jersey Boys”, “The Lion King” and “LeReve”. Proceeding Las Vegas, she spent two years on the national tour of “The Full Monty”. She specializes in pattern making and difficult builds for acrobatic performers. Some of her clients include “Blue Man Group”, Spiegelworld, Wynn Las Vegas, and Cirque du Soleil. She holds herself to a very high standard in all that she does, which has helped build her reputation and continued success in the entertainment business.

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Melissa Coffey

Performer Development; Get a (Knee) Grip!

Melissa Coffey has spent her life creating and learning techniques to create and communicate. She knew drawing and sewing before she started school, and her first job as a teen was as a strolling violinist. After college she became an apparel, costume, and lingerie designer. During this career, Melissa let her original love of stage and music carry her into performance art, dance, then she ultimately found aerial dance. She now finds herself performing on stages, in theaters, galleries, events, in film, and nightclubs much like the performers she costumes. As a performer, Melissa’s skills range from Silks, Trapeze, Lyra, Rope, Invented apparatus, and partnering on all, to fire eating, fire dance, fire whips, Bullwhips, stilts, rollerskating, fan/ prop dancing, burlesque, drag, and partner dancing. She enjoys the spotlight and a breathless audience that she is eager to connect with while she digs deep into her own stories, lived experiences, and tells them with authentic movement. As a performer, Melissa’s skills range from Silks, Trapeze, Lyra, Rope, Invented apparatus, and partnering on all, to fire eating, fire dance, fire whips, Bullwhips, stilts, rollerskating, fan/ prop dancing, burlesque, drag, and partner dancing. She enjoys the spotlight and a breathless audience that she is eager to connect with while she digs deep into her own stories, lived experiences, and tells them with authentic movement.

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Carlos Alexis Cruz

Aerial Straps, 2 and 3 Highs

Carlos Alexis Cruz holds an MFA in Physical Theatre (2007) from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre where he studied a range of movement techniques including Commedia dell’Arte, Laban, Lecoq-based theatre dynamics, Alexander Technique, as well as an extensive voice training in the Linklater voice method.  As part of his thesis project, Cruz went on to train Circus Arts and Chinese Acrobatics under the tutelage of Master Coach Lu Yi at the San Francisco Circus Center. He specialized in the disciplines of Aerial Straps (Sangles Aériennes) and Acrobatic Rope(Corde Lise), and developed his thesis on the study of the convergence between Circus and Theatre.

In the professional realm, he was a fulltime company member of the Do Jump! Dance Theatre, and Imago Theatre, touring nationally and internationally, and was awarded a Princess Grace Acting Fellowship prize in 2011 for his unique physical acting work with the Miracle Theatre Group, the premiere Latino Theatre Company in the Pacific Northwest.  Cruz is the 2014 Arts and Science Council McColl Award winner with which he developed a community powered contemporary circus company/show, the Nouveau Sud project, from and about the city of Charlotte and the evolving concept of what is often referred to as the New South. The Nouveau Sud project had its debut production in April 2016, and it has been an ongoing initiative, with shows in 2017 and 2018.


Alicia Dawn

Good Morning Shoulders!; Cracking the Rib Cage, How to Market Yourself as an Artist; Deep Stretch; Contortion; Good Morning Hamstrings!; Lyra Musings

Alicia is a professional aerialist and contemporary circus performer based out of Nashville, TN.  Growing up with an avid love of books, Alicia later found that the performing art of contemporary circus empowered her with a physical language that brought the intangible aspects of her creative stories to life.  Her passion and talent earned her a spot in the New England Center for Circus Arts professional program.  Since graduation, she has performed with Girls On Trapeze, Cirque Motion, Live Dancing Girls, Top Hat Sideshow, and more.  Her stage presence -- and unique ability to emotionally connect with her audience -- makes her diverse body of work singularly captivating.  Alicia has always sought to empower others with the same physicality that brings her such joy; her enthusiasm is evident in her teaching style, as she encourages students to listen to their bodies and find their own creative voice, to explore the wonder of the amazing machinations of their own body's limitless possibilities.  Taking that one step further, she is currently using her professional experience to raise awareness of social issues via Chimerical Circus.  This social circus endeavours to diversify the perspectives represented in the performance world, and to use the stage as a platform for enacting meaningful change.

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Kaila Dockal

Contemporary Hip-Hop

Kaila Dockal is a recent graduate from Winthrop University with her B.A. in Dance with a Concentration in K-12 Teacher Certification. Kaila has been dancing for the past 19 years studying the styles of ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, modern and lyrical. She has also been teaching dance for the past 7 years, teaching ballet, tap, jazz and hip-hop at Fascinating Rhythm Studio in York, SC. During her college career she was given many great opportunities to further develop her dance education, such as dancing under Maria Caruso and representing Winthrop University’s Dance Department with her choreography at the 2016 American College Dance Association’s Southeastern conference. Kaila became interested in aerial arts while participating in the summer intensive program taught by Caroline Calouche. Kaila now has the pleasure of beginning her professional dance and aerial career with Caroline Calouche and Co. and is excited for what is to come.


Alissa Getz-Waller

Gyrokinesis; Ballet: Finding Your Lines

Alissa Getz Waller received her early dance training from world-renowned Cecchetti master teacher, Rose Marie Floyd in Royal Oak, MI. As a young classical dancer, she received several scholarships and awards and was chosen out of a nation-wide search to model for the 1990 Dance Magazine poster ‘Arabesques and Attitudes’. Known as a dancer with strong technique, clean line, and a good eye for detail - Alissa naturally gravitated to teaching dance as a means of supplementing her training and studies. Besides her Cecchetti roots, Alissa furthered her training with the Cleveland Ballet, the Atlanta Ballet, the New School of the Arts in Amsterdam, Cecchetti Summer School in England and the Joffrey Ballet School. In 1997, she received her BFA in Dance/Ballet Performance while on scholarship at the University of Arizona. Alissa has performed with the Detroit Contemporary Civic Ballet, Chicago Ballet, and Elements Contemporary Ballet. As a ballet teacher, Alissa is a Fellow Member of the Cecchetti Council of America and currently serves on the Southeast board of the CCA. In 2015, Alissa passed her Advanced Professional Teachers exam in the Cecchetti Method with honors. She is also an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Program from Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Alissa is currently on faculty at the Charlotte Ballet Academy.

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Juli Bierwirth

Handbalancing, L Basing; Hand 2 Hand; Foot to Hand, Standing Acrobatics

Juli is a partner acrobatics, hand balancing, and pole instructor based in Athens, Georgia. In her teaching she breaks down complex movements into their logical physical principles and thus specializes in training professionals in the circus and acrobatics world, particularly for hand balancing and conditioning. She has eight years of professional performing experience and enjoys working with her acrobatic partner Jessica to create and teaching unique combinations of movements.

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Julianna Hane

Refining Inversions Through Pilates; Ground to Air Transitions: Dance Trapeze and Hoop;

Laban Theory: Expanding Your "Effort Life"; L.A. Jazz Dance

A native of South Carolina, Julianna Hane holds an MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah where she completed a thesis on the process of creating aerial dance. She has previously taught at Winthrop University, Columbia College, The University of Utah, and the College of Charleston. As a Certified Laban Movement Analyst, her research involves using Laban theory as an inroad to expression in aerial dance choreography and performance. Julianna is a graduate of the Professional Training Program at New England Center of Circus Arts (NECCA). In 2008 she founded Revolve Aerial Dance as a studio and performing company, and her recent performance credits include Flight Collaborative in Boulder, CO the Atlanta Aerial Arts Festival. Having taught in both North and South Carolina public schools, Julianna became a certified K-12 dance educator in South Carolina where she developed a dance curriculum for middle school students. She enjoys introducing dance to children who might not otherwise have access to dance training. Julianna is a member of the American Circus Educators Safety Committee and Director of Training at Born to Fly Teacher Trainings and Support. She is involved with the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), as well as the Dance Science and Somatic Educators group. As a Pilates instructor (graduate of The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), she enjoys teaching movement to all ages and abilities. Julianna is the author of the Aerial Teacher’s Handbook; and co-author of several aerial dance manuals as well as The Aerial Teacher’s Creative Handbook. Julianna teaches modern, jazz, and aerial dance techniques; improvisation; careers in dance; music for dance; dance conditioning; and supervises dance education interns in the Department of Theatre and Dance.


Byron McDaniel

Kinky Boots: Sexy Heels

Byron McDaniel is originally from Columbia South Carolina where he began training in classical ballet at the age of five. He later was accepted into the Governor’s School of the Arts in Greenville South Carolina under full scholarship. Since then Byron has traveled around the world as a professional dancer and aerialist for Celebrity Cruise lines. Byron Is now in school full time for physical therapy and is very excited to be teaching at CC&DC!

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Constance Echo Palmer

Funky Fabric Flow; Full Swing Momentum - Rope; Rope Things: Choreo on Rope;

Bendy Corde: Splits and Backbends on Rope

Constance is a dancer and aerialist that specializes in vertical apparatus; fabric, corde lisse (rope), and double/multi corde. She is versed in partnering on bars (trapeze and lyra) as well as vertical apparatus. Constance is just coming off a tour with a traditional tent show, performing her acts up to 30 times per week. Her passion for performing is matched only by her passion for teaching. Constance was the director of The Space: A Movement Arts Studio in Atlanta, GA, USA from 2014-2018. She continues to teach at The Space, as well as across the US and abroad when she is not on stage. Constance is dedicated to growing community for aerial students and teachers locally as well as globally. She founded and organizes the Atlanta Aerial Arts Festival and started the group Aerial Instructors and Studio Owners on facebook. This year Constance is excited to join the Born to Fly network as a teacher trainer, mentor, collaborator, and marketing specialist. Constance is also a contributor to The Aerial Rope Manual Vol. 2 authored by Rebekah Leach. She completed Paper Doll Militia’s Level 1 Fabric and Trapeze as well as Level 2 Fabric courses and Alex Allan’s Dynamic. Teacher Training for rope and fabric under the Born to Fly network.

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Megan Payne

Contemporary Dance

Megan Payne ( is a Charlotte based movement maker, instructor, and curator. She holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University in partnership with the American Dance Festival and a BFA in Dance from Ohio University. Payne has also studied with Michael Keegan-Dolan, and at the Forsythe studios with Christopher Roman, Jonathan Burrows, and William Forsythe. Her choreography has been presented at the American College Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, North Carolina Dance Festival, and Detroit Dance City Festival, among other performance and film opportunities. Professionally, Payne travels, teaching and setting work as a freelance artist and is a contributing member of the Goodyear Arts Collective, and has been an artist in residence since it’s inception in 2015. She is also the co-producer of ladyfestCLT, promoting dance and female makers in the southeast region. Payne is currently researching dance film and how her work translates on to screen.

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Jill Scheidt


Jill Scheidt began her aerial career in 2005 performing swinging trapeze, static trapeze, spanish web, and chairs with the Triton Trouper Circus in Chicago, IL. She is a founding member and past President of Dragonfly Aerial Arts Studio in Knoxville, TN, which consists of an education mission and a performance troupe. As part of Dragonfly Jill provided tailored instruction in fabric and trapeze for children, teens and adults to help meet each student’s expression, technique, and fitness goals. She has choreographed and performed trapeze, rope, aerial cube, and multiple apparatus ensemble pieces for civic events, corporate functions, fundraising galas, and Dragonfly’s Annual Circus Extravaganza. Jill continues to refine her performance and teaching skills studying with other aerial artists including Elsie Smith, Rebekah Leach, Molly Graves, Caroline Wright, Rain Anya, and Janie Bernasconi and has earned her Teaching Certification in Fabrics from Nimble Arts. Jill holds degrees from Texas A&M and the University of California, Berkeley plus a culinary degree in pastry arts. She is excited to share her love for aerial arts with her new home town.

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April Skelton

Ropework on Trapeze, Floorials: How Low Can You Go?, Let Go: Drops on Dance Trapeze,

Dancing on the Edge: Skills Using the Edge of the Fabric

April Skelton is an aerialist, educator, and dance trapeze evangelist based in Asheville, NC. Born and raised in the land where Appalachia melts into the Deep South, April has been working in aerial arts since 2005, after beginning her own training at Canopy Studio in Athens, Ga., under the direction of Susan Murphy. Her training and experience as a movement educator includes her background as a physical therapist assistant, working as a longtime instructor at Canopy, a teacher trainer for Born to Fly, and serving as education director at one of the nation’s foremost aerial dance schools, Frequent Flyers, in Boulder, Colo. She has performed and staged work across the country with the international Aerial Dance Festival, for which she is also a recurring faculty artist, for Apogee Aerial Dance Festival in Seattle, and for companies and clients including Flight Collaborative (NYC and Boulder), Aerial Estuary (Charleston, SC), Asheville Aerial Arts, The Georgia Aquarium, Hotel Indigo, and Harrah’s Casino. Among others, she has studied under Aimee Hancock and Elsie Smith of NECCA, Rain Anya of Paper Doll Militia, and her mentor, Susan Murphy. April has choreographed and performed works on aerial silks, bungee harness, invented apparatus, static trapeze, pole, and lyra, but her favorite work is on the dance (aka single-point or low-flying) trapeze. Out of the community of artists at Canopy Studio, April adopted and helped develop the particular dialect of dance trapeze she speaks most fluently: a merging of vertical skills borrowed from aerial fabric and sling with the dynamic precision of static trapeze. She is currently a faculty member at Empyrean Arts in Asheville and travels regionally and nationally to teach and perform.