Jacque grew up in Covina, California and is told that the only way she’d watch TV as a child was upside down, balancing on her head. Her observant and slightly disconcerted mother enrolled her in gymnastics, where she competed until a forced retirement at 14 due to back injury. Years later, a raffle prize — one month of unlimited aerial classes — was all it took for Jacque to fall in love with a new form of fitness and artistry. She immediately loved how it pushed her physical limits, gave her a creative outlet, and stretched her both mentally and physically. She began Elevate as a space to share her love of Aerial with the community around her and is so excited by how many students she’s had the pleasure of guiding over the years. Fun Fact: Jacque holds Biology degree and deep love of all the sciences. Part of a Tissue Recovery Surgical Team out of college, she procured cadaveric tissue for donation with the American Red Cross.
Taking great pride in her role as an instructor, Tashee’s greatest joy is found in her students’ successes. Most days in the studio, you’ll find Tashee exploring new movements and pathways specifically tailored to her students and their goals. She is most proud when watching a newfound confidence bloom in students and is known for her vocal celebrations of students in class. Tashee especially loves the combination of physical, analytical, and creative exertion unique to aerial pursuits. With a love of silks, rope and lyra, her drive to discover “magic” transitions keeps her motivated and excited for all things aerial.
Both a dancer and competitive soccer player until the age of 21, Taylor never was the best at sitting still. While pursuing a theatre arts degree from CSULB, she performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was there in a dusty, packed theatre in Scotland, that she first encountered world class contemporary circus companies like 7 Fingers and Circa. She knew immediately that this type of artistic athleticism was the type of work she was meant to do. Since then, performing as both an acrobat and aerialist for the past six years, Taylor’s deepest love will always be aerial. She is constantly in awe of the endless possibilities of movement and expression that aerial provides. Not to mention the ability to fly, even if for just a moment, is pretty cool. Constantly inspired by the world and people around her, Taylor loves the art of collaboration and ensemble building. This crosses over to her classes as she encourages students to embrace and explore their own unique style. Fun Fact: Oreos are her kryptonite.
Dara grew up playing piano and actively avoiding physical activity. She didn’t start to pursue aerial arts, or any fitness for that matter, until the age of 25. If you’ve seen her artful moves on the aerial hoop, you’ll know she’s a perfect example that it’s never too late to begin! Like so many, it was a Groupon that brought Dara to aerial. The classes kicked her butt, but the teachers made it look so beautiful that she was determined to get better. And get better she did! She is most inspired by dance — imagining that the aerial hoop is her dance partner and her goal is always to find new ways to tango. Dara especially loves the strength that is achieved through regular practice and training, especially how aerialists turn feats of strength into seemingly effortless dance and expression. Fun Fact: She loves any veggies, including vegging out on the couch!
Cynthia is our resident acro teacher. You’ll find her leading Saturday morning acro students through extraordinary shapes and flows with her acro partner, Taylor! She jokes that she has no choice but to pursue the arts, Cynthia was born into a family of performers and continues the family legacy performing an an actor, singer, and acrobat in her physical theatre company, Bossy Flyer. Cynthia’s main circus discipline is the steadfast art of basing in partner acrobatic. Although she merely dabbles in the aerial arts, she is no stranger to the freedoms that flight provides. She loves to hone her skills whenever a silk, lyra, or trapeze is nearby! Fun Fact: Cynthia has trained as a classical vocalist since the age of 11.
Rachelle grew up in the OC area before relocating to NYC as an adult. Growing up, she pursued an assortment of extracurriculars ranging from dance to gymnastics and track, but cheerleading was her main passion from age 10 until the end of her high school career. She first discovered the wonderful world of Ariel arts while watching an aerials perform at a restaurant (of all places!) and found it facilitating. Soon after, an Ariel studio in Brooklyn literally swept her off her fee t and she was so happy to find a way to clear her head and tap into her creative spirit. The community fostered by aerial studios and performers all around the world continues to keep her inspired and climbing. She looks forward to a lifetime spent contributing to this warm community– even dreaming of running her own studio in Spain someday! As Rachelle is inspired by travel and the excitement brought by new sights, cultures and people, we think Spain sounds like the perfect choice! Fun Fact: She worked in event production while living in NYC and produced over 4,000 events from dance show cases, product launches, to weddings and more. In short, she has all the event tips and tricks you’ll ever need!
Matt spent his childhood exploring nature in Hesperia, California, and states that his dance abilities were “little to none” during his early years. His interest for aerial sparked when he spontaneously enrolled in an aerial dance course at his Performing Arts High School. It was a new and distinctive skill that differed from his usual daily activities, which consisted of playing board games and boating on Lake Havasu. At first, he was discouraged by the difficulty the course brought him, but now, is so thankful that he persevered through the challenge. 11 years later, and he has traveled across the globe teaching and performing the art that he loves so deeply! He describes aerial as an “incomplete language that is constantly being added to” and when he feels lost translating that language, he turns to his fellow aerial artists for inspiration. In 10 years, he hopes to own his own Aerial Studio, where he can share his passion and techniques to more students! Fun Fact: Matt used to raise and show Llamas and Alpacas in competitions. Feel free to ask him about his accomplishments in both aerial and Llama Shows!
Cathy grew up in Glendale, California where she was usually found playing volleyball or practicing the piano. As her passion for piano continued to grow, she ventured to NYC at a young age to become a classically trained pianist. At around the same time, she was introduced to the aerial arts through a friend and caught on fairly quickly. Volleyball, piano, and silks all at the same time, she truly is a woman of many talents! Although her love for piano subsided a while back, her feelings toward aerial have not changed since that first class. She loves how aerial makes her feel strong, empowered, and completely free every time she climbs a silk! She claims that flying at Elevate is her favorite activity and hopes to soar across our studio for years to come! Fun Fact: When Cathy is searching for motivation and inspiration, she uses the outdoors as her main escape. Now we know where to find her when she isn’t floating in the air at our studio!
Sam has lived all over the country, from the sandy beaches of South Carolina to the humid deserts of Arizona. Although she has adapted well to these differing climates, her heart belongs at the seashore and Huntington Beach was calling her name! As a child, Sam was more than active, spending most of her time playing either soccer, basketball, softball, or cartwheeling from room to room. Her parents finally decided to enroll her into gymnastics when this odd trait blossomed into a habitual activity. The skills she learned from those early gymnastics days inspired her to impulsively buy 5 aerial classes after earning her college degree and she instantly fell in love. After training for six months and finally gaining the strength to flip upside down, she was hooked for life. Although she is now an instructor at Elevate, she still enjoys being a student and learning the endless amount of tricks that aerial has to offer! The confidence and discipline aerial gives Sam continues to inspire her and she loves to share that aspect of the art with her students!
Darcy grew up in Laguna Hills, where she was enrolled in a smorgasbord of activities. Although she had an attachment to each and every one for a different reason, gymnastics stayed closed to her heart. After viewing a video of girls swinging on a Lyra, she knew it was where she belonged. Her parents claim they knew she was born to soar when at the age of 6 she said she wanted to “fly and save people” as a career. At the time, young Darcy’s thought process was probably to be a superhero, but now, she gets to live this dream everyday! She “saves” by guiding her students through difficult routines and “flies” by spinning beautifully on her Lyra! She hopes that in ten years, her aerial arts journey is expanded to places across the globe and her own personal aerial arts show is in the works! She loves teaching others and is motivated by her students, who constantly keep her on her toes. If they happen to mention a trick that she isn’t aware of, it inspires her to learn it by the next week when they return! Fun Fact: Darcy creates a story behind every routine she creates. Ask her about it and she’ll talk your ear off!
Kendra’s passion for aerial continues to inspire everyone that walks in our doors! Her positive attitude and outgoing personality allows for her students to feel motivated and strong every-time they train together. Kendra was introduced to the aerial arts in hopes to gain more upper body strength for an upcoming job opportunity. Not only did it give her the muscles she was looking for, but it blossomed an entire new career path! Her favorite aspect of the art is the creative freedom that comes along with every routine. One basic trick can be explored and developed into a multitude of different poses and she thrives off learning each and every one. She states that learning these techniques is fun and exciting, but also an awesome workout! When she is not practicing her new skills, she loves to travel to new places with her family. If you look at her Instagram, you can see that she loves to do aerial everywhere she can with her kids as her audience! Fun Fact: Kendra loves road trips! She is always down to drive across the country with anyone who is willing.