Video by Kelly Marsh of Times Herald-Record recordonline.com
At Hudson Valley Circus Arts, we believe that fitness training has the potential to be a healthy source of joy and connection for all people.
We offer a community-oriented, playful, safe environment for physical learning and training for children, teens, adults and families. We’re dedicated to helping you tune and tone your body, unleashing its innate capacity for expressive movement. We believe that circus is for everyone.
We believe that circus is for everyone.
We serve circus-curious beginners, as well as dedicated athletes ready to reach the fullest potential of their physical power, stable mobility and coordination.
Learn more about our teachers:
Alisha Mai McNamara
Alisha Mai McNamara, founder of HVCA, has been blessed to train with some incredible coaches and teachers since she began aerials in 2009, including Caroline Wright, Adam Woolley & Michelle Arvin for Aerial Fabric, Maia Ramnath and Lisa Natoli for Aerial Rope, Susan Voyticky & Cody Schreger for Lyra (hoop trapeze), and countless wonderful teachers for hand balancing and flexibility. While she loves to perform, her passion has always been teaching and coaching, particularly helping students achieve what just months prior seemed impossible to them. Her background as a RYT (registered yoga teacher through Frog Lotus Yoga), and her 6 years of experience teaching all styles of yoga from very athletic to gentle, have helped her break down circus into digestible lessons for students of all fitness levels. Mai also enjoys spinning fire poi, harvesting wild food, and offering nature immersion experiences as programs director of Wild Earth.
Lana Heintjes, E-RYT 200, grew up in Brooklyn, NY, where she discovered yoga and is current residing in New Paltz, NY where she trained in aerial arts, yoga and AcroYoga. Since beginning her yoga and acrobatic career she noticed herself becoming more limber, her muscles growing stronger, and her body feeling generally great! As a certified Power Vinyasa Yoga teacher from Yoga To The People and an Aerial Silks and Lyra instructor trained through HVCA, she has been spreading this feeling of strength and well-being to hundreds of people each year since 2009. Lana is also a certified Level 2 AcroYoga® Instructor, as well as a certified Thai Yoga bodywork practicioner. Follow Lana on Instagram & Twitter @acrolana or check out her website.
Melanie holds a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training certification from Vitality Yoga with Maggie Heinzel-Neel, and has trained in aerial arts with Hudson Valley Circus Arts with Lana and Mai since 2012. She enjoys guiding people to develop their movement and mind-body connection.
What initially drew me to pole was not pole fitness itself, but the seedy establishments in which pole dancing existed. These women danced suggestively, ‘inappropriately’ even, yet their skills weren’t without merit; they spent their nights fighting gravity in stilettos, and coming out as graceful victors.
At that time, pole fitness was virtually non-existent, and I was intrigued by the idea that these techniques were passed from dancer-to-dancer purely through practice and imitation. So I did what anyone would do: I bought a pole and youtubed everything related to ‘exotic’ or ‘pole’ dancing. That was a little 5 years ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I am Xpert certified to teach pole fitness, and have been teaching pole for 3 years.
Everyone wants to feel sexy and fit, and pole helps us achieve those goals. It’s not only physically demanding to move in a seemingly-effortless, sensual manner, but also mentally rewarding to finally get that trick… and then smooth out the kinks to make it graceful.
I don’t want to *feel* like I’m working out, I want to get lost in the moment. The fitness aspect is simply a bonus. If it was all about muscles and tricks, we’d take up gymnastics.
I’m ecstatic to share my passion, and to push my students to flourish as both athletes AND temptresses.
Check out her pole classes at Hudson Valley Pole Arts
Brianna Clements AKA Miss 360
A self-taught hula-hoop performer, Miss 360 has developed Hoop dance and fitness classes that focus on self-expression, skill building, and fitness. Miss 360 works with all ages and skill levels.
Interested in private lessons or hosting a class at your gym or school?
Jazmine is dedicated to the healing nature of creative movement, both on the floor and in the air. She has over 13 years of contemporary dance training with Lena Logan, and in an attempt to create more freedom of expression, she picked up aerials arts in 2015 with a playful attitude and a quirky flare. Since then she’s trained in aerial fabric and hoop at HVCA with Mai and Lana, and in NYC with Diane Tomassi. She has performed at several private events and parties, however, more than performing, Jazmine loves teaching movement arts to everyone from 2-65 years. She is trained in embodiment techniques and also facilitates workshops in the NYC and Hudson Valley area. For her, aerial arts are an extension of her healing practice and a revitalization of childlike wonder.
Nicki is an aerialist, actor, creator and co-founding artistic director of Only Child Aerial Theatre. In addition to performing as an aerialist in projects throughout NYC, notable credits include aerial choreographer for in Ripe Time’s “The World is Round” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and Only Child Aerial Theatre’s “ASYLUM” (co-author, director and performer) at NYU’s Skirball Center for Performing Arts. Nicki has been as resident artist with the Santa Barbara Floor to Air Festival, The Contemporary Circus Arts Festival of Toronto, Toronto Circus Sessions at the Harbourfront Centre, the New Victory LabWorks Program (NYC) and Frantic Assembly’s Advanced Training Programme/Performance (London). Nicki recently completed a creative residency in Sweden at Cirkus Cirkör, where she also shadowed their director Olle Strandberg on the premiere of his new show “Under.” www.nickimiller.com