Clinical neuropsychologist by day, and aerial instructor by night (and also day….and weekends….), Anne Miller feels extremely grateful to spend her time doing things that she loves. A classically trained dancer, with a minor in dance from the University of Kentucky, Anne has taught and performed primarily modern and ballet, and has spent the majority of her life (aside from a hiatus to earn her PhD and have 2 children) in the studio.
Her aerial instruction is informed by this training, with a strong focus on technique and transition. She has been teaching various aerial arts and conditioning classes since 2013. She has a versatile performance and training history with several apparatuses, including trapeze, aerial hoop, and silks, but her primary loves are aerial sling and tippy lyra.
Additionally, Anne has professional training with Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Kestenberg Movement Analysis, as well as many other techniques that inform her professional life, which she brings into the classroom.
In addition to her love of teaching, she also loves learning, and continues to seek out world class instructors to guide her practice and hone her skills and knowledge. She has completed aerial teacher trainings in Aerial Fabric and Trapeze through NECCA, and in Lyra through Born to Fly. She is a Teacher Training Mentor for Born to Fly’s Aerial Teaching Certificate Program. In her free time she continues to dance and choreograph with regionally based modern dance companies.
Having dabbled in dance, gymnastics, and springboard diving, but never really finding her “thing”, Kara immediately knew she had found it when she discovered aerials; her first class had her hooked, and she has not looked back since.
In addition to her intensive teacher training here at Suspend, both with current faculty members, and with visiting aerialists, Kara has expanded her training through travel in order to receive further knowledge in aerial rigging, as well as additional aerial teacher training through the Nimble Arts program. She also participated in CADE (Carolina Aerial Dance Exchange), which afforded her the opportunity to work with, and to learn from, highly skilled and respected aerialists from all over the country. She looks forward to continuing her education and broadening her experience, and is so grateful to be able to share what she loves with others through teaching.
Bethan Kannapell spent her early years in Louisville climbing trees, fences, walls, and people as well as curling up into tiny spaces such as suitcases, dryers, cupboards, and crates. Now as an adult, she still climbs the aforementioned, but she also climbs fabric and chains and crams herself into tiny boxes on stage.
She graduated from the Professional Performance Training Program at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) where she trained for two years with world-famous coaches, focusing on aerial chains and partner acrobatics. She joined the faculty at NECCA for a year to coach aerials, hand balancing, dance, and partner acrobatics before returning to Louisville in 2017. She has performed with numerous companies across the eastern United States including Nimble Arts, the Cincinnati Circus Company, Asheville Vaudeville, and the Va Va Vixens.
When she isn’t circusing, she enjoys math, logic puzzles, and contra dancing.
Courtney Markham is a Louisville native. As a young girl, she had always loved dance, and took ballet classes throughout her youth.
She graduated from U of L in 2011, and began her circus journey in 2013. While training, Courtney found particular affinities for Lyra, Spanish Web, Aerial Silks and partner work.
In fall of 2015 she joined Suspend Performing Arts, and began teaching at Suspend. Courtney hopes to become more highly trained at partner work, and become a better performer and teacher through cross training.
Courtney hails from Reno, NV, making a permanent home in Louisville after thirty-something moves spanning from Hawai’i to Maryland. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Eastern Kentucky University. After promising her mother when she was five that she was going to run away and join the circus (mom offered to help pack a bag, even!), she finally found her circus family in January of 2014, and has been practicing with Suspend since the studio’s opening in June of 2015.
She’s also a licensed acupuncturist and owns a small practice, Healthy Point Acupuncture, with a focus on pain relief and stress reduction through the use of acupuncture, cupping, reflexology, and other techniques. She graduated from the American Institute of Alternative Medicine in Columbus, Ohio with a professional Master’s level diploma in acupuncture, and is board certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She’s also a member of the Kentucky State Acupuncture Association and the American Society of Acupuncturists, and volunteers through the Louisville Acupuncture Project to provide free community-style acupuncture to veterans and first responders at Highlands Community Ministries.
Rikki was the owner of Defiance Studios, Lexington’s first alternative fitness studio, where she taught pole fitness, aerial arts, and more until moving to Louisville in spring of 2016. From a young age she was always climbing on and hanging from anything she could but never truly pursued dance or athletics.
Rikki became interested in pole over a decade ago. She spent 2 years teaching herself everything she could but got bored after a while since there were no resources for continued education. In 2011 that obsession was sparked again when Rikki found a pole class to attend. She started teaching that summer and began cross-training in aerial arts and other forms of alternative dance fitness in early 2012. She has trained with many championship winning pole stars and has trained multiple award winning pole and lyra performers.
Rikki has been certified in:
-Pole Dance and Fitness through Discoveries Pole Dance
-Hoop Dance and Fitness through Hoopnotica
-CPR, First Aid, and Sports Injury Prevention through American Red Cross
In addition to sharing her passion with others, she began working as a performing artist in February 2013 under the name Pixie Pistola. She is a member of Vaudeville Louisville, Cy-Fi’s Black Hearts, the Kentucky Burlesque Society, and is the head of aerials and acrobatics for the Vagabond Artists Collective.
Mia is an aerialist who began her training at the tender age of 42. Upon seeing an aerial fabric performer in Vegas after finishing graduate school at WKU, she knew she had found “it”. She had been looking for a way to combine dance with a new medium, and this was it. A creative obsession began. She has trained at Wisefool, Aloft, NECCA, Arizona School of Circus, and in NYC with Harvest Moon. She currently trains on silks, trapeze, aerial hammock, Fly Gym, and lyra.
A dancer since elementary school, she loves the freedom of movement and limitless possibilities an aerial apparatus can provide. She has a special interest in conditioning and stretching. She developed an interest in aerial conditioning after an injury made shoulder surgery necessary. While she could not do aerials for a year to let the injury heal, she found ways to keep the muscles strong and limber. When she was given professional permission to start training on aerials again, she never looked back.
Amberly M. Simpson began her professional dance career with the Purdue Contemporary Dance Company with whom she danced for three years, choreographing for them twice. Several of her works have also appeared in Purdue Dance Department’s student concert, X Works, as well as in the American Dance Festival’s 2013 Student Concert, the American College Dance Association’s 2015 Central Conference Informal Concert, and with Obsessive-Compulsive Dance where she co-directed their summer concert in 2014.
She has also had the honor of performing for TED Talks as a soloist in 2013 as part of the Petronio Bendito Collective, and in 2015 with the cast of Carol Cunningham-Sigman’s “KABOOM!”
In June of 2015, Simpson performed internationally at the Prague Quadrennial with the cast of Joel Ebarb’s “PASSAGES” as part of the Tribes Exhibition.
Additionally, in 2015 she co-founded a pole dance collective, UPROAR: The Pole Collective, to explore the fusion of pole dance technique, traditional dance styles, and modern dance compositional strategies, as well as to develop pole as an artistic medium outside of its competitive form.
Jesse is Head Coach for My Nose Turns Red Youth Circus, and serves as Board President of the American Youth Circus Organization and the American Circus Educators.
He grew up in the Great Y Circus in Redlands, CA, and received a BA in Theatre Arts from Washington State University. He also works as a freelance Lighting Designer, working with companies including Stage One Family Theatre, Theatre 502, and Circus Flora.
Mo’s love for the circus started when he was in the 7th and 8th grade, and involved in the youth circus program Circus of the Kids. It was there he began his silks and teeter board training. At the time he also had a passion for basketball and soccer, which he continued to play throughout his school career, putting his circus aspirations on hold.
After graduating high school he felt something was missing in his life, and began training again at Suspend. Mo’s main aerial love is the trapeze, though he also excels on the ground, performing rola bola and acro balancing.
Mo really enjoys working with kids, because he loves to see the smiles on their faces as they find success doing new and challenging things.
When he is not coaching or taking classes, Mo enjoys going on weekend backpacking trips at Red River Gorge with his brother.
Ashley Wallace is a local actor and teaching artist. She recently received her MFA in Performance from the University of Louisville, where she studied acting and movement. During her time there, she traveled to Arezzo, Italy to study the physical storytelling techniques of Dario Fo at the Accadamia dell’ Arte.
For her graduate thesis, entitled Aerial Arial: A Lesson in Strength and Stamina, she used aerial silks to portray the character of Ariel in a production of The Tempest. She has most recently been seen performing silks as the Dorothy body double in the Elizabethtown PAC production of the Wizard of Oz. She is a professor at Indiana University Southeast.
Jorden has been instructing hoop since 2008. She first found the hoop during the early years of it’s reemergence and has since been passionate about spreading this practice to anyone she can reach. Through the hoop, Jorden has been able to connect her mind and body in a way that she was never taught growing up. She believes it helps reduce her anxiety and stress in her muggle life by practicing a flow state with her hoop. Her instruction goal is to help more adults find their way back to play again.
721 E Washington St, Louisville, KY 40202