Nate and Angie Lackey


We are so happy to have you at our studio. We enjoy making a space that is warm and welcoming to all levels of students. We welcome all members of the community. You will not be judged on your race, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or anything else. Diversity is what makes our studio so amazing!

We became involved in circus arts when our youngest daughter started doing aerial. We quickly fell in love with the aerial community and knew it would be part of our family for the rest of our lives. In addition to owning Santa Cruz Circus Arts, Nate is a firefighter for Branciforte Fire and Angie has her own bookkeeping business. We have 4 children whom you will see in the studio from time to time. We strive to make the studio a home for all of our students and staff where everyone is accepted and wanted. We value kindness, honesty, and respect. Thanks for joining our family!

Caitlin Lackey


Caitlin started her circus journey in Santa Cruz in 2013. Since then, she has been lucky enough to perform and compete both internationally and locally; some examples including Santa Cruz’s 150th Birthday Celebration, Verve’s ten year anniversary, the Boardwalk, and Cathedral of Faith. She produced the show Marionettes with Sarah Lovell, from which their innovative rope duet medaled at Aerial Arts America in 2017. Her award winning Muscle Man act is a crowd favorite.  Caitlin enjoys sharing her love of aerial with her students and emphasizes safety, proper technique, body alignment and fun in her classes. She is a firm believer that aerial is for everyone and has experience working with students of all levels, skills, abilities, and backgrounds! When she is not in the air, Caitlin spends her time studying Kinesiology and Sports Medicine, coaching high school cheer and spending time with her crazy circus family!

Olivia Lackey


Olivia started aerial six years ago and immediately fell in love. She quit her competitive soccer career to focus full time on the sport. Since then, Olivia has performed internationally and locally. She has spent the last five summers at Circus MECCA’s Advanced Youth Circus Camp and has attended the prestigious Ecole National de Cirque in Montreal. Olivia has performed in countless productions including  at the Cathedral of Faith, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and in the Flynn Creek Circus tent. She has won countless awards for her Silks, Trapeze and Lyra acts at Aerial Arts America including winning third overall with her act Broken Bones and placing second in Semi-Pro. Olivia is also a competitive acrobatic gymnast. Olivia wants to share her knowledge and passion with others in the circus community. 

Sydney Pelz


Sydney has been doing aerial for over 10 years. Sydney started aerial at a summer camp at a young age and has loved it ever since.  She has experience performing internationally and locally; including performances at Cathedral of Faith, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Roaring Camp, and off of the Soquel Bridge for the Santa Cruz Ebb and Flow Festival (2017). Sydney has always loved teaching all ages and levels. She has experience on many apparatuses, including silks, rope, lyra, hammock, trapeze, and aerial bungee. Sydney loves to share her enthusiasm for circus arts with students!

Lisa Christensen


When Lisa's not working as a physical therapist, she loves to fill her time with her husband, Steve, her dogs, OKBoss and Radar, chasing after her 95 year old mother, and being upside down, doing aerial dance of one form or another. Her first aerial training started with Spanish Web training at Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus in 1973 and has continued until today. In 2010, she co-founded Santa Cruz Aerial Playground, the first predecessor of SCCA. Recently, she has a blast teaching bungee dance.

Ruby Straehley


Hello, I am Ruby.  I started aerial at age 48.  I am a physical therapist and love showing people the strength and the joy that comes from working with aerial apparatuses.  The most common thing people will say is that they are not strong enough to do it.  You get strong by doing it, but my wish is to modify movements for people so that anyone can do it.  Yes, any age, any weight, anybody. I just saw a report about a woman who started trapeze at 78, and a documentary about a dancer who was amazing and is a quadruple amputee.  Life is too short to say you are not strong enough!  If you want it, I want to help you do it. 

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