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© 2017 Santa Cruz Circus Arts All Rights Reserved. 

Website by: Sydney Pelz

Meet the Team 

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 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 is a bookkeeper for a benefit insurance broker. We have 4 children who you will see in the studio from time to time. We strive to make the studio a home for all of our students where everyone is accepted and wanted. We value kindness, honesty, and respect. Thanks for joining our family!

Michula "Mikey" Nunez


Michula Nunez aka “Mikey” is a native Californian who grew up doing competitive gymnastics and cross-country running. After teaching elementary science for 6 years, she knew she could make a bigger impact bridging her love for science and education into entrepreneurship - a fitness studio specializing in pole dancing. And in early 2007, Antix Fitness Studio opened.

At the time, pole dancing was very taboo. She wanted people to realize that pole dancing is an art and sport. Her studio specialized in both alternative and traditional fitness classes – from Pilates and Cardio Kickboxing to Exotic Pole and Pole Sport. Michula was soon invited to teach and perform on international stages. Meanwhile, on the homefront, Antix also began producing showcases that benefited local non-profit agencies to help share the pole gospel. Michula also produced and hosted the first nationally-renowned pole dance showcase, ‘Rock the Pole’ with the most amazing aerialists at that time. As a co-founder of East Meets West, she created the first competition that allowed men competitors, as well as the first doubles competition in pole dance history.

After 10 years of serving hundreds of clients at Antix Fitness Studio, her husband was promoted to Battalion Chief, she had to close the studio to move to the beautiful Central Coast of California. She continues to teach workshops across the nation and teaches at another local studios. Mikey is super excited to come and get aerial with the Santa Cruz Circus Arts family!

TT Robson


TT, who began her career in circus in 2003, is a diverse performer and teacher passionate about collaborating with other artists and musicians. She is the 2016 Female Silks U.S. Aerial Champion and the recipient of Best Overall Performance award for the 2015 Aerial Acrobatic Arts Festival. TTperforms and tours with the Vau De Vire Society (San Francisco), Kinetic Arts Productions, Circus Beyond the Ring (Oakland) and as an independent contractor.

She has also worked with The Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, Paperdoll Militia, Earth Circus, Velocity Circus, Cirque Mechanics, TrapezeWorld, Skyana Entertainment, The Gravity Girls, Mir & A Co. and Karl Schafer Dance Ensemble. Her dance and aerial training includes Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York, Circus Center San Francisco, Project Bandaloop, DeLeon Productions, UCSC Dance Department, Boulder Aerial Festival, Motion Pacific Dance Studio and Cabrillo College Dance.

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!

Jody Ryker


Jody has been training in circus arts since 2011. She specializes in pole dance, aerial hoop, and acrobatics. In 2015, Jody founded the performance group Pole Diversity (www.polediversity.com). She has directed and produced three hour long shows in Santa Cruz since then. Pole Diversity's mission is to share pole dance in a circus setting and to dispel common misconceptions about pole dance. Jody performs around California at music festivals, events, burlesque shows and circus shows. She teaches pole dance and aerial hoop at various locations around the bay area, including UC Santa Cruz and SF Pole & Dance. Jody also graduated with a master’s degree in pure mathematics and teaches math at Foothill College. Her mathematical research can be seen here: https://arxiv.org/abs/1411.5341.  

Ashley Keith

Aerial Silks/Hula Hoop/Acrobatics/Rope

Ashley’s passion for circus arts began seven years ago when she fell in love with hula hooping and handstands, which led to her passion for aerial acrobatics. She began intensive training on corde lisse rope and silks in the Bay Area. In 2013 Ashley traveled through Europe attending different circus conventions and performing at festivals. Ashley has performed aerial for weddings, private events, and was the aerialist for the performance group, Jedi Rising. Ashley enjoys sharing her knowledge and skill with kids and adults. Her classes emphasize proper technique, safety, strength building and choreography using mixed apparatuses and floor work.    Fascinated with the human body and the desire to help people through movement and holistic healing, she is also a Yoga Instructor and Massage Therapist for the Village Yoga Studio, Mountain Ease Yoga and Well Within Spa. 

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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