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CLIMBING STAFF

Kialey has been hanging on ropes since she could walk. Growing up with a love for the outdoors has led her to a passion for climbing and she strives to share this enthusiasm and love for the outdoors with others through her work in outdoor education. Kialey is returning to work with Gravity Camp for her second year after spending time at college in Colorado. Kialey is looking forward to playing games, climbing, and having fun with the kiddos this summer and is super excited to see you at Gravity Camp!

Kieran has loved climbing things since he was young, but he didn't realize it could be a super fun sport and outdoor adventure with your friends until he was a teenager. He has spent time climbing all over the Southwest and even some time in other countries. He is very excited to play games with all kids and teens at Gravity Camp. Maybe acting like monkeys or spiders or spider monkeys!

Shona grew up in Nevada City, CA and is the manager for Gold Crush Climbing Gym. Her love for adventure and the outdoors grew out of a childhood spent roaming the foothills and mountains of Northern California. Shona has works as a climbing and backpacking instructor, whitewater rafting guide, dance and yoga teacher, and environmental educator throughout the Southwest, California and Patagonia. Shona’s intention with her work is to support others in cultivating a mindful approach to engagement with the natural world and to promote curiosity and learning that is rooted in love and appreciation for the planet and our communities. Shona loves the natural world and happily fills her free time working in the garden, climbing, swimming in the Yuba River and exploring new places near and far.

Desmond is a co-owner of Gold Crush Climbing Gym.  Having discovered climbing while attending UC Santa Barbara in 2007, climbing inevitably phased in an out of his life as he explored education and small-business pursuits. From Ojai Valley School summer camps to substitute teaching kindergarten through highschool, Desmond is comfortable engaging with kids of all ages and backgrounds.

Now as a dad of two, he finds himself happily engaged in forest exploration, mud puddles, and bugs. 

AERIAL AND CIRCUS STAFF

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Alina has been practicing Aerial and Circus arts since 2009. She has performed and taught countless times all over the state of California. Alina is fascinated by the different styles of learning that she encounters while teaching and enjoys discovering how to find success with each individual student.

Leisha Knight has spent most of her life upside down or in the air! She began her career early in life as a gymnast, placing 7th overall at NCAA Nationals. Leisha spent time performing Acrobatic Dance with her sisters winning many National Dance Competitions across the US. She had the honor of working with Cirque du Soleil as an Acrobat and Aerialist. She toured France as an Aerial Straps and Silks artist for Cirque Borsberg, a traditional circus. Leisha held the position of Artistic Director and Lead trainer for Circus Kathmandu in Nepal. She also created performance troupes in Birmingham, Alabama and Vail, Colorado that are still active today. Leisha has taught and judged at Aerial Conferences and Festivals including ACE/AYCO conference, West Coast Aerial Arts Festival, Atlanta Aerial Arts Festival, Aerialympics, and Aerial Arts Association. She returned to Las Vegas in 2019 where she currently coaches at Trapeze Las Vegas. You can still find her onstage from time to time but she spends the majority of her days sharing her knowledge, enthusiasm, and expertise with the next generation of performers! Leisha is excited to be joining the team at the Aerial Lab this summer!

Cassie has been studying aerial arts since 2011. She enjoys mixing her extensive dance background with aerial to combine a vertical aesthetic with her horizontal dance on the ground. In 2013 Cassie began performing in aerial showcases, continuing to build a repertoire over the years. Her performance training includes over 30 years of dance (ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and hip hop). At the age of 5 through her college years, Cassie also studied musical theatre and performed in dozens of musicals. Professionally, Cassie has performed as a member of The Donlavy Dance Company, various private groups, and has received training from the American Ballet Theatre. She also has 10 years of experience directing children’s musicals and 8 years of directing a dance company for Twin Cities Church. Cassie started learning aerial silks in search of a new way to build strength. Eventually, she was hooked and hasn’t looked back. Aerial arts have definitely changed her life, expanding her horizons (or shall we say verticals), challenging her limitations, and inspiring her spirit.

Lucy is a co-owner of The Aerial Lab, and has been working in the summer camp industry since 2004, mostly at Camp Augusta in Nevada City. With 10 years of aerial dance and circus experience, she teaches classes to adults and children in aerial fabric, trapeze, sling and rope. Originally from England, Lucy has traveled and lived in a handful of countries, including Wales, Italy, New Zealand, and now the US. She loves the freedom, strength, flexibility and creativity that comes from working in the circus industry, and believes that both children and adults have more fun taking care of their body and their minds by staying active in such a playful and adaptable way. Away from the studio, Lucy trains in agility with her Border Collie, Oso, bakes sourdough bread, and LOVES to read just about anything.

Kris brings 20 years of experience in acrobatic performance, character performance and head coaching with Cirque Du Soleil’s Saltimbanco, Quidam, The Beatles LOVE, Viaggio, Sonor, Amaluna and OVO.  Kris also worked in Cirque Du Soleil’s R&D department and created acrobatic material used in several Cirque Du Soleil shows.  Some highlights of his performance career include creating a solo aerial Russian Swing 40 feet above the ground with no net or safety line, for The Beatles, LOVE, where he performed his act for 10 years straight.  He also performed his aerial swing act in World’s Away, a 3D movie directed by James Cameron.  Prior to LOVE, he performed Russian Swing, Chinese Poles and Aerial Bungees in Saltimbanco, and performed a solo German Wheel act and the character ‘Boum Boum’ in Quidam.  He has logged 5,000+ shows with Cirque from 2000 to 2016.  Kris went to Stanford where he studied English Lit, competed in gymnastics and frequently stole away to snowboard. 

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