Growing up in Sarasota Florida Ash's love for circus began at an early age and evolved into a reality when she moved to San Luis Obispo, California in 2007. It started with circles, specifically hoops. First a big hula-hoop, then several little hoops, then aerial hoop, LED hoop, fire hoop, all the hoops! It was her love for performing with her hoops that either convinced or tricked her (depending on how you look at it) into quit her job and pursue her passion for circus arts full time. After that door was opened, Ash was able to follow her heart to her her one true love: contortion. Ash began training at Circus Center through Catie Brier's Contortion Intensive. It only took 2 summers for her to threw caution to the wind and officially to move to San Francisco. As part of the Circus Center community you can find her teaching contortion and flexibility, and working as the party and event coordinator. When not training contortion, hooping, or dancing you can find Ash, well... actually let's be honest, she's still probably somewhere dancing. Either dancing at a music festival, dancing on stage, or dancing at home with her doggy.
Michelle Cooper is a California native and has lived in San Francisco for over ten years. She loves stretching and shortly after beginning classes here at Circus Center, she was accepted into the Contortion program and began teaching the beginner and intermediate level flexibility classes. As an instructor, she tailors her teaching style to the needs of the students and believes that anyone can become more flexible using safe and dynamic techniques She focuses on proper alignment, paired with isometric stretching techniques and assisted stretches to quickly improve flexibility.
Michelle is a lover of animals and the environment! Outside of Circus Center, she can be found volunteering for multiple animal rescue nonprofits in the Bay Area.
Veronica is a professional circus performer with over 15 years of performing and teaching experience. She is currently Head of Soft Aerial Apparatus at Circus Center in San Francisco, as well as Head Coach of the San Francisco Youth Circus. With an emphasis on foundational excellence, Veronica helps students develop proficiency and confidence that allows students to develop their own unique aerial style.
An aerialist of elegance and true excellence, Veronica Blair has studied with some of the most celebrated and prominent artists in her field, including trapeze great LaNorma Fox, Ringling Bros. first African-American Aerialist Pa-Mela Hernandez, and the renowned “God Father of the Tissu” Gérard Fasoli of Centre national des arts du cirque / Cnac.
Veronica started her acrobatic career at the age of 14 with Make*A*Circus, a community based circus. In addition she trained Chinese Acrobatics under Master Lu Yi with the San Francisco Youth Circus. Her first professional performance was at the age of 17, making her one of the youngest professional African-American trapeze artists in the U.S. Shortly after, Veronica was personally selected by Cedric Walker, the founder of the Universoul Circus, as a single trapeze artist. Under Mr. Walker’s supervision, Veronica rapidly developed as an aerialist, and was the show's resident aerialist for 5+ years.
Veronica has since performed with several other renowned groups and productions around the globe such as AntiGravity, Universal Studios Japan and Warner Bros. Music. She has been a part of Germany’s most successful circus show, “AFRIKA! AFRIKA!” Veronica also was the lead aerialist in KAMAU’s “BooDha” music video with over 100k views.
Learn essential stretches to help improve flexibility as well as gain an understanding of the basics of stretching. This class is best for students who are just beginning to stretch and would like to acquire a strong foundation to build on.