2022 San Francisco Aerial Arts Festival Featured Artists
Veronica Blair
[The RAINBOW is Enuf]
Aerialist / Acrobatics
Veronica began her acrobatic career at the age of 14. 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. She has studied with some of the most celebrated coaches, including the renowned Gérard Fasoli of Centre National des Arts du Cirque (CNAC).

Veronica has performed with several renowned groups and productions around the globe such as UniverSoul Circus (USA), “AFRIKA! AFRIKA!” (Germany) Universal Studios Japan (Osaka, Japan), and Warner Bros. Music. She was also a featured aerialist in the Seoul Street Arts Festival in Seoul, Korea, the San Francisco Aerial Arts Festival and KAMAU’s “Boodha” music video with over 100,000 views on YouTube.

Veronica is engaged in activities outside of teaching and performance. In 2010, Veronica began the Uncle Junior Project. A project that documents African-American circus performers from slavery to present today. In 2013 she staged a three month exhibition on Blacks in the American Circus, which earned her an invitation to present her work at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. In 2018 she led a panel discussion on Women in Circus at the San Francisco International Arts Festival.
Susan Voyticky
[The RAINBOW is Enuf]
Cyr Wheel / Aerialist / Manipulation
Susan Voyticky, a native Brooklynite, traveled far and wide to study at both Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris and The Circus Space in London. She has worked for the past two decades for a variety of wide companies; including performing with Keith Hennessy’s Circo Zero and the New Pickle Circus in San Francisco, touring the U.S. with the Universoul Circus, a year in Japan at Universal Studios and the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and Circus Abyssinia in New York. For the past decade Susan could also be found at the Circus Warehouse in NYC inspiring and training the next generation of circus artists. Hoping to take her artistic endeavors to the next level, Susan founded Loki Circus Theater with Michelle Arvin to create innovative movement theater productions using a mixture of circus, physical theater and dance. Through Loki, Susan has created work for SummerStage(2014), Circus Warehouse(2015) and the Rubin Museum(2018).
Summer Lacy
[The RAINBOW is Enuf]
Aerialist / Dancer / Acrobatics
Summer's journey to the stage began with a childhood love of gymnastics, and a discovery of aerial arts and dance in college. Within a few short years she went from passionate novice to a highly sought after performer and instructor. In 2012 she dazzled millions of television viewers when she reached the top 100 on “America’s Got Talent.” Host Howie Mandel described her act as "both dangerous and very original."

With specialties including Aerial Chains, Aerial Hoop, Silks and Dance Trapeze, Summer has been seen in flight at The Economist Magazine's World in 2013 Gala, the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards and appeared in the off-Broadway show "La Soiree". In 2018 she was a featured performer in the Circus Abyssinia show "Ethiopian Dreams" during their residency at the New Victory Theater. She is a member of the Dzul Dance Company, Constellation Moving Company, Loki Circus Theater, and is one-third of "La Cage Trio", a one-of-a-kind aerial cage troupe.

Summer embodies each performance with an expression of joyful intensity, seeking to inspire her audience to re-imagine what they think is possible, and embrace her mission to, “stand up, stand out and create something beautiful.” In addition to performing, Summer is a resident instructor at Circus Warehouse and Body & Pole in NYC, where she works alongside the industry’s best, teaching aerial dance to future circus stars!
Copper Santiago
[The RAINBOW is Enuf]
Manipulation / Aerialist / Acrobat
Copper Santiago is a multidisciplinary artist and circus performer currently based in Cincinnati Ohio. Born and raised in New York City, Copper grew up training flying trapeze and has traveled extensively to study circus, notably at the New England Center for Circus arts and the Circadium School of Contemporary Circus. Currently enrolled at Goddard college pursuing a BFA in socially engaged art, Copper has performed at juggling festivals overseas and circus shows nationally. Her favorite food is arugula.
Darielle Williams
[The RAINBOW is Enuf]
Aerialist / Dancer / Stilts
Darielle’s passion for movement germinated when she was a little girl in Trinidad and Tobago where she was born and raised. She danced with Guggenheim recipient Brazz Dance Theater, Binti Ensemble, AfroConTempo Dance Company and Animate Objects Physical Theater. The latter company introduced her to circus arts and there she got her start learning aerial, fire dancing and stilt walking, later discovering pole dancing and making the transition to full time instructing and performing aerial and pole.

Darielle has performed aerial for Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull for the opening of Premios Juventud 2013; stilts for Don Omar at the Latin Grammy's 2012 as well as Chino Y Nacho at Premios Juventud 2014; and fire on segways for Romeo Santos for Premios Juventud 2012. In 2014, Darielle moved to Las Vegas to perform in the water show Le Rêve - the Dream at the Wynn Hotel where she soloed in aerial chair, aerial hammock and a high diving character named Amazon Gris. From there, Darielle was selected to be the featured aerialist performing aerial cube in Beyonce’s Formation Tour 2016, which toured North America and Europe. Now based in Los Angeles, Darielle has been able to take part in an LA Opera show - Les Pêcheurs de Perles and was featured in Taylor Mac’s "A 24-Decade History of Popular Music" alongside Troupe Vertigo. Darielle has recently performed at the MTV Video Music Awards with 2019 Video Vanguard Award recipient Missy Elliot and The Little Mermaid Live on ABC, which can now be viewed on Disney Plus.
Toni Cannon
[The RAINBOW is Enuf]
Chinese Pole / Porter / Strongman
Is a Black transgender man who specialises in traditional Chinese Acrobatics. Toni is a company member of San Francisciso’s Circus Bella and the Ground-breaking Topsy Turvy Queer Circus.
Shannon Gray
[Sentience]
Dance / Trapeze
Shannon Gray is a dance trapeze artist who brings a unique emotional honesty to all of her work. She performs and teaches internationally and is currently developing The Sentience Project- a body of work exploring injury, healing, and the natural world. She is a youth mentor, surfer, and animal rights advocate.
Pamela Donohoo
Aerialist / Acrobat / Dancer / Choreographer
Pamela Donohoo is Artistic Director of Awaken Circus and Dance Theater and an international performing artist: aerialist, acrobat, dancer, and choreographer. She has worked with performing arts organizations throughout the US and internationally. She has done commercials, award shows, large-scale events and spectacular acrobatic shows.

Pamela received her degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University. She completed field research projects and worked with nonprofit organizations throughout Africa, India, Latin America and the Caribbean. Her research interests include: social justice, peacebuilding, sustainability and the environment, folklore, culture, and history. Pamela specializes in creating socially relevant and globally engaged acrobatic performances. Her vision is to generate art that inspires people to think critically and contribute positively to their world.
Robert Moses
Choreographer
Choreographer, Writer and Composer Robert Moses has created over 100 works of varying styles and genres for his highly praised dance company, and has composed many of the sound and narrative scores for his works since 2008. Moses has choreographed for dance, opera, and theater companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, San Francisco Opera, Olympic Arts Festival, Ailey II, Philadanco, Lorraine Hansberry Theater, Cincinnati Ballet, Eco Arts, Transitions Dance Company of the Laban Center in London, African Cultural Exchange (UK), Bare Bones (UK), Oakland Ballet, New Conservatory Theater, Los Angeles Prime Moves Festival (L.A.C.E.), Moving People Dance, and Robert Henry Johnson Dance Company, among others. He has taught on college campuses throughout the US, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Cal State Long Beach, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Goucher College, University of Texas, Stockton University, University of Nevada, and University of South Florida. Moses’ work explores topics ranging from oral traditions in African American culture, contemporary urban culture, and the complexities of identity, to the simple joys and expressive power of pure movement. Moses has worked collaboratively with numerous artists and organizations, among them are Terence Marling, Latanya d. Tigner, Julia Adam, Margaret Jenkins, Alonzo King, Sara Shelton Mann, Joanna Haigood, Carl Hancock Rux, SoVoSo, Marcus Shelby, Keith Terry, Frank Boehm, Will Power, Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble, Bill Morrison, Ann Galjour, David Worm, Kid Beyond and Youth Speaks.

A highly sought after master teacher, Moses has taught nationally and internationally, including International Festival of Contemporary Dance "Espuma Cuanatica" (Ensanada, Mexico), International Dance Festival, "Crossing Bodies" (Tijuana, Mexico), OPEN LOOK St. Petersburg International Dance Festival, and Serendipity Arts Festival (Kolkata, India). Moses has been a returning guest artist at the Northwest Dance Project and a mentor with Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME). He conducted movement and performance workshops internationally for artists of African descent with State of Emergency Limited in the United Kingdom.

In 2005, Moses was named Stanford University Choreographer-in-Residence and the Artistic Director of the Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford University. He was Professor of Practice at Santa Clara University from 2018 to 2019 and is currently the Melody and Mark Teppola Presidential Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Dance and Theater Studies at Mills College in Oakland, CA.
Terry Crane
[Acrobatic Conundrum]
Rope
Terry Crane With a background in theater and dance, Terry Crane began his circus journey at the National Circus School of Montreal in 2003. Now a veteran of the big top and the stage, he has performed in countless countries for various companies, including Teatro Zinzanni, Circus Flora, and Circus Monti. Terry shares his love of rope technique, circus creation, and collaboration via workshops across the globe. As a director, Terry aims to portray human virtuosity and vulnerability alongside one another. He is the founder of contemporary circus company Acrobatic Conundrum, which has been creating performances in the Seattle area since 2012. Conundrum’s work has toured widely in the US and internationally.
Cassandra Cornell
[Under Stand]
Aerialist
Cassandra was born into a family of modern dancers three generations running. She performed her first duo act with her dad the age of five. She has traveled the world performing primarily Aerial Straps with companies such as Recirquel in Budapest, Wow of Las Vegas, and Stufish of the UK.
Rachel Karabenick
[Under Stand]
Aerialist
Rachel Karabenick is a professional aerialist with a strong background in modern dance and ballet. She has toured and performed with professional circus companies large and small, i ncluding Absinthe, Circus Flora, Cavalia, Cirque Mechanics, Midnight Circus, and more. Her specialties include Dance Trapeze, Aerial Hoop, Aerial Pole, and Aerial Straps.
Faith Elder
Aerial Dancer
Faith Elder is a Seattle-based dancer specializing in modern and vertical dance. Faith began aerial and vertical dance while attending University of Washington, performing in works by Rachael Lincoln and Roel Seeber. In the future, Faith hopes to create a vertical dance community in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Ciarra D’Onofrio
Aerial Dancer
Ciarra D’Onofrio (they/them) is a dancer, aerialist, and educator with a passion for using dance as a means of storytelling, social analysis, and community building. They have most recently danced with Zaccho Dance Theatre and Helen Wicks Works, and are a recent recipient of a Fact SF Fieldwork award.
Kelsey Keitges
Aerial Dancer
Kelsey Keitges is an aerial hoop artist and coach based in the Bay Area and Central Coast. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Kelsey found circus arts in 2006 after ten years of ballet training. She holds an administrative management role at the San Francisco Circus Center and performs and produces shows locally.
Meche Perez
Aerial Dancer
Meche is a born and raised San Franciscan, singer-songwriter, aerialist, and hoop instructor. She has trained in aerial dance since she was 12 years old with Zaccho Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Joanna Haigood and is an alumna member of the Zaccho Youth Company. She has collaborated with and performed for Flyaway Productions, Youth Circus Center Festival, and BAYCAT. Over the years, Meche has contributed her songwriting, singing, and acting talents to Zaccho performances. She loves making pieces, primarily about social justice issues that she is passionate about.
Meléa Emunah
Aerial Dancer
Meléa Emunah (she/her) grew up in West Marin and began aerial dancing when she was eight. She joined Zaccho Youth Company in high school and had the privilege to perform in the 2016 and 2018 SF Aerial Arts Festival. While in college at Princeton, Meléa co-founded the student-led Princeton Aerial Arts Club.
Nina Sawant
Aerial Dancer
Nina Sawant is a circus artist, choreographer, and costume designer in Oakland, California. She has been inspiring audiences for more than 16 years with her evocative performances and imaginative costumes. Nina is a founding member of The Dahlias, a woman of color led circus ensemble, and performs locally for Vespertine Circus, Sweet Can Productions, Zaccho Dance Theatre, and Misfit Cabaret.
Circus Center
Youth Company
Circus Center's San Francisco Youth Circus (SFYC), is made up of students from all around the Bay Area who are passionate about circus arts. The SFYC is a comprehensive circus training and performance program that nurtures students through their development as circus artists. For students who want it, SFYC is committed to providing them with the tools and training needed to pursue a career in circus. The acts in this festival are from the SFYC show directed by Jeff Raz, Circus at the End of the World.
Circus Mecca
Youth Company
Circus Mecca (Mendocino Center for Circus Arts) is an all-volunteer run 501c3 non-profit founded in 2008 to bring high level aerial circus arts education and performance to Northern California. Our students go on to perform, teach, and win awards nationally and internationally. We are focused on making sure that anyone who is dedicated and passionate about aerial arts has access to affordable, safe, and supportive high-level instruction.
Kinetic Arts Center’s
Circus Spire
Youth Company
Kinetic Arts Center (Oakland, CA) is home to Circus Spire a 20 – 25 person, pre-professional circus youth troupe, ages ~13 – 18yrs, committed to excellence in circus arts training and performance.

Kinetic Arts Center’s Circus Spire program includes the highest training level in circus and performance skill development available. Annual performance opportunities include (but are not limited to): multi-week, full-length productions, individual act development, local off-site festivals and events, on-site special events, and showcases/cabarets.

Now in our thirteenth season, many of our students opt to continue their circus education by enrolling in professional circus training programs locally, nationally, and abroad. While we know that not everyone member of Circus Spire aspires to become a circus professional,Circus Spire is a program designed to give each student the skills to try if they choose.
Zaccho Youth Company
Youth Company
Zaccho Youth Company (ZYC) is a youth aerial dance company ages, 7 through 14. Founded by Joanna Haigood in 2002, ZYC has performed throughout the Bay Area and nationally, including Circus for the Arts, The Luggage Store Gallery’s In the Streets Festival, the Black Choreographers Festival, Global Youth Media and Arts Festival, Sky Dancers Festival, ODC Youth Festival, the Discovery Museum, Montalvo Arts Center, D’AIR Aerial Studios in Atlanta, GA, and the Bolinas Community Center. Zaccho Youth Company is part of Zaccho Dance Theatre’s award winning Youth Performing Arts Program, held at the organization’s studio in Bayview Hunters Point, where it has been based for the past 33 years.
Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company and alumni in collaboration with BANDALOOP
Youth Company
Destiny Arts Center is a community that inspires and ignites social change through the arts. Destiny Arts Center has served Oakland and the Bay Area since 1988, bringing over 2,600 youth together each year. We provide a safe and inclusive space for youth to express themselves, build trusting relationships, and work collectively to create a better future by advocating for change. Through dance and martial arts, young people learn to perform and express themselves, overcome challenges, and connect with others. Our youth are empowered and able to achieve their full potential through the act of engaging in artistic and creative practices. At Destiny, we welcome young people into a community built on love, where they engage in creative and self expression, and realize their own potential to create change in the world.

The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company was founded in 1993 to create innovative dance/theater productions, written and conceived by youth in collaboration with professional artists. The Company is a diverse artistic collective of teens who creatively address challenging personal and social issues that impact their lives and their communities. Their productions are a trademark combination of movement styles including hip hop and aerial dance, theater, spoken word, rap and song. The Company performs for over 20,000 audience members each year all over the Bay Area at schools, conferences and other community events, and has been the subject of two feature-length documentary films. The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, our nation's highest honor for creative youth development programs.

BANDALOOP celebrates the human spirit, nature, and communities through dance that uses climbing technology to expand and challenge what is possible. Since 1991, the work has re-imagined dance, activating natural and public spaces to evoke wonder and imagination in audiences and students around the world.

Photo credit: Layeelah Muhammed