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Circus & Dance
Summer Creation Lab

Circus & Dance Creation Lab

July 17 - August 4
(3 weeks)

Performance: August 4 @ 7pm

Ages 8+

Audition Required


3-week program (no option for 1 or 2 weeks)


Session Schedule:

Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm

Tuition Fee: $1,200

Deposit: $600 deposit due at registration

Full tuition due 1 month prior to first day of class

2023 Schedule

Week 1: Partner Acrobatics with Juli Bierwirth and Breakdancing with Elijah Motley

Week 2: Contemporary Dance with Morgan Hawkins and Neela Vadivel, Ballet with Pauline Biahun and Aerial Dance with Caroline Calouche

Week 3: Contemporary Dance with Neela Vadivel and Aerial Dance with Caroline Calouche

Circus & Dance Creation Lab Summer Intensive is a three-week program that culminates in a performance.  Students will take technique classes in dance and circus arts such as contemporary dance, jazz, hip-hop, aerial silks, trapeze, lyra, juggling, and acrobatics. 

Sample Daily Schedule

9am - 10am: Warm-up

10am - 1pm: Classes  

1pm - 2pm: Lunch (bring your lunch or can purchase from the cafe next door)

2pm - 5pm: Classes


Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center is looking for team-focused, emerging artists who are a minimum age of 8 and rising to Grade Level 3.  This training and performance opportunity is open to adults.  We are looking for students who want to improve their technique and dance and circus arts as well as collaborate on the creation of a show. 

Video Auditions:

Open until all spaces are filled.

Video Submission Checklist
Please m
ake sure the link works and it is not password protected.  We recommend YouTube or Vimeo.

____ Introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you: 1 minute max

____ Circus Solo: 1 minute

____ Dance Solo: 1 minute

____ Other Skills: 1 minute

Audition tips
Keep your hair out of your face.
Wear form fitting clothing for safety.
Show skills that you have performed already.
Come prepared. 
Perform everything!

Accommodation Options for Out-of-Town Students

Estimated Weekly Airbnb: $400 - $600*
*Shared with other students.
We can connect you with other students and families for housing.

Estimated Hotel Daily: $75 - $125

Out-of-Town Student Housing Information Coming Soon

Refund/Cancellation Policy

2 Weeks Notice: Full Refund of Tuition

Less than 2 Weeks Notice: 25% Refund of Tuition

During Program: No refund.

2023 Circus & Dance Creation Lab Faculty


Caroline Calouche

Trapeze | School Director

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!

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Neelanthi Vadivel

Contemporary Dance and Artistic Director of the Creation Lab Showcase

Trained in Canada as a classical and contemporary dancer, Neelanthi performed internationally for over a decade with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (1995-1998) and Les Ballets jazz de Montreal (1998-2006), most notably featured in the works of choreographers Crystal Pite, Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Rodrigo Pederneiras, Twyla Tharpe, David Parsons and Aszure Barton.


After a 3-year period as lead dancer for the Cirque du Soleil production, Dralion (2006-2009), she turned to artistic direction and led 3 world-renowned Cirque productions as Artistic Director, to over 40 countries (Saltimbanco 2009-2012, Michael Jackson Immortal 2013 and Totem 20014-2017). During this period, Neelanthi discovered the complexities involved in this particular artistic field. From the perspective of a lifelong dancer, her intuition and training both challenged and enriched her work with the circus. Through perseverance, mentors and a willingness to learn, the lessons have been profound.


Currently, Neelanthi works at the Still & Moving Center, a center for Mindful Movement in Honolulu, Hawaii. As the Operations Manager, and Artistic Director of its sister division, Hoa Hele retreats, she leverages her extensive experience to develop mind-body programs and events to foster personal growth and cultural enlightenment.


Pauline Biahun

Contemporary Dance

began her dance training in France and attended her professional training in ballet technique in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2002, she received a scholarship from the Foundation of Princess Grace de Monaco. Pauline danced with Le Grand Theatre de Limoges in 2003. Later on, she went to Mexico to perfect her knowledge in contemporary dance at Centro Nacional de Danza Contemporánea and became a ballet teacher at Centro ProArt in Santiago de Queretaro. After being introduced to the Martha Graham Technique in la EscueLa Superior de Danza y Musica de Monterrey in the Summer of 2005, Pauline joined the Martha Graham Center in New York City about a year later under a full scholarship. She performed as a member of Graham II, and received her certificate of recognition as a teacher of the Martha Graham technique. At the Martha Graham Center she taught for the Pre-Teens Program and Young Artist Program, introducing the vocabulary of the technique. She also taught Graham technique classes at The MoveShop and the Talent Unlimited High School in NYC. Pauline participated in the reconstruction of «Panorama» for the Spring/Summer Season 2010 of the Martha Graham Dance Company at the Joyce Theater in NYC, teaching for the Young Artist Program dancers, the Talent Unlimited High School dancers and the All-City dancers. She also taught Ballet at the New York Theatre Ballet and Park East Day school. Pauline was the artistic director of Caliince Dance, a modern dance company founded in the Fall of 2009 in New York City that performed to many places in the USA but also France and Italy. In 2011, At Planet Connections Theater Festivity, she received the award for Outstanding Choreography while working in collaboration with The MoveShop. In 2014, she had the honor to be the artist in residence at Lycée Français New York. Pauline occasionally teaches Graham technique and Ballet at Open Door Studios and at Caroline Calouche and Co. in Charlotte and is delighted to be a member of Movement Migration under the direction of Kim Jones.

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Nicole Muse-Dennis


Nicole is originally from Queens, New York where she began dancing at the age of 3. Nicole has studied tap, jazz, ballet, modern/contemporary, pointe, and African forms of dance. Nicole’s teaching and choreography first began as a teenager where she and two other students were given the opportunity to compose all choreography and all instruction for the dance class at her high school. Nicole continued this into college where she was the principal dancer and choreographer for the Association of Rhythmic Talent on the campus of Winston-Salem State University. Nicole also served as the assistant to the director of The Artistic Studio in Winston-Salem State University. She taught for the Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, NC. Nicole is also the co-founder FLOW liturgical dance ministry. Nicole’s resume is full of guest teaching tenures at studios, schools, churches, and workshops as her company Muse Inspired Arts. Her performance experience includes theatrical dance performances including being cast as Mary in the National Black Repertory Theater’s production of the Black Nativity. Nicole is the mother of two daughters. She is a licensed teacher for the State of North Carolina. Her friends and family describe her as loyal, passionate, and creative. Her passion is in helping dancers reach new heights by actualizing the beauty and power that they have in themselves.

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Juli Bierwirth

Partner Acrobatics | Guest

Juli is a circus instructor and performer based in Chapel Hill specializing in partner acrobatics, hand balancing and pole. She began her circus career at Leap Flying Trapeze School as a catcher where she taught and performed for three years. Shortly thereafter she took a position at Canopy Studio, a circus school in Athens, GA. In her eight year tenure at Canopy, Juli she performed partner acrobatics, hand balancing, pole and flying trapeze throughout the southeast US and in Central America. She has since moved to North Carolina and is currently based at Upside Aerial arts, traveling to work, train and perform with other acrobats. 

Aerial Pole Photo Credit: Aisha Iyengar Courtesy of Canopy Studios

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Morgan Hawkins ('Hawkins')

Contemporary Dance | Guest

Morgan Hawkins (Hawkins) is a choreographer, dance educator, and arts administrator in Atlanta, GA, creating new and innovative ways to express movement through dance. She has performed for regional, national, and international companies such as UniverSoul Circus, Walt Disney and Royal Caribbean cruise lines, T Lang Dance, Moving Our Stories, Armada Dance, Atlanta Lyric Theatre, and Independent Artist Playhouse. Hawkins has choreographed for The National Black Theater Festival, North Carolina Black Rep, Spelman Dance Theater, and The Alliance Theatre, and serves as a judge for the Turn It Up Dance competition. Hawkins is the Program Coordinator for the Department of Dance Performance & Choreography and the Department of Theatre & Performance at Spelman College, where she also serves on the faculty teaching courses in contemporary modern dance, improvisation, and repertory. Hawkins earned an MFA in Dance from Montclair State University where her thesis research focused on preserving the Ring Shout through contemporary dance practice and film.

Eli Motley

Dance | Guest

is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and currently a MFA Degree of Dance and Choreography candidate at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Eli holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Theatre and a Bachelor of Science in Civil/Environmental Engineering from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.


After graduation, Eli relocated to Chicago and danced three seasons as a company member with Chicago Dance Crash, 2017-2020. As a solo artist he choreographed and performed his works in Chicago, Wisconsin, Norfolk, and Texas. In addition to performing, he taught dance in the Chicago Public Schools System, various dance studios, and high school dance festivals. Eli is now an MFA Candidate for Dance and Choreography at The University of North Carolina Greensboro. When not dancing Eli loves to play piano, cheer on the Indianapolis Colts, and watching Parks and Recreation with his wife Christina and cat Levon.

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