At Circus Sanctuary we encourage you to play like a child, train like an athlete, and perform like an artist. We offer personalized instruction by knowledgeable instructors in a safe, supportive environment. Every body and every skill level are welcome. Let us be your sanctuary.
Kelsey Erickson is the founder of Circus Sanctuary. Our opening date roughly marks 10 years of training in the circus arts. Kelsey Erickson loves to learn, teach, and perform. She has performed for thousands and has over 14 years of teaching experience. In 2008 she discovered circus and fell down the rabbit hole. Kelsey completed her professional training program at NECCA and went on to become a Core Coach teaching a wide variety of classes and workshops. She has completed teacher trainings in Yoga, Aerial Fabric, Lyra, Sling,Trapeze, Unata Aerial Yoga, and AcroYoga Montreal.
Personal Mission Statement: To invest in each and every student. To teach a variety of circus skills to all ages, abilities, needs, aspirations and body types, in a way that is safe, scientifically sound, and technically proficient. To offer a process oriented approach that encourages self love, awareness, personal responsibility, and joy.
Mika Deslongchamps Massey hails from Tucson, AZ. where she has spent the past eleven years actively engaged in the local and national performing arts community. She has taught at various institutions ranging from recreational to professional and acted both as faculty member and guest instructor. Her choreography is in demand throughout the nation. She has worked rigorously to bridge the gap between styles of dance, to develop movement curriculum that enhances and trains the technical and artistic performer, and to continuously bring dance into other communities. Professionally she has danced for and directed a professional non profit, choreographed for theater companies and opera companies, and participated in the re development of performing arts organizations. Ms. Massey has been training in circus arts, specifically that of aerial silks, for the past 4 years under the tutelage of Kelsey Erickson. Together they developed the innovational Circus for Dancers program, uniting their two specialties into an integrated program that cross trains dancers and circus artists. Ms. Massey is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is also currently pursuing her MFA in Choreography through Jacksonville University. Ms. Massey is very happy to be a part of Circus Sanctuary and looks forward to the wonderful impact it will have on the local community.
Frances Willimann holds a BA in Dance from Wisconsin's Beloit College (2015). During her time there she chose to focus on coursework in dance kinesiology, choreography, and various modern techniques. She teacher-assisted Dance Kinesiology during her last semester. She choreographed at least one piece for performance every year of her undergraduate career, and her experimental senior solo project eris rising was selected for performance in the department-wide annual dance concert (Spring 2015). She has set choreography on both non-dancers and experienced dancers alike. She also holds a BA in Psychology and completed multiple research projects on the therapeutic applications of movement in mental health treatment. After spending a year in Aurora, Illinois working as a Pilates apprentice, Frances chose to return home to Tucson to attend the Cortiva Institute of Massage and begin her bodywork career. She works as a licensed massage therapist and is currently enrolled in the Fletcher Pilates instructor training program at Body Works Pilates.
In 2016, Frances began privately training groundwork skills with Kelsey Erickson in order to increase her versatility as a dancer and choreographer. After the opening of Circus Sanctuary, she has expanded her circus practice into the air and is in constant awe of the transformational benefits aerial work has for both mind and body. She is elated to be joining the Circus Sanctuary team and performing in Cadence with Silk Web Circus.
Personal Mission Statement: I want to help both novice and high-level movement artists connect to their bodies fully and primally. I see myself as a facilitator, and I want to encourage movers to find nuanced connections within themselves. I believe in building a strong, balanced musculoskeletal system, observing the body non-judgmentally, and creating correct technique through somatic methodology. I believe that everyone has something to offer.
Brittany Aragon has been teaching pole-fitness for two years and has trained in all areas of pole arts for over seven. She incorporates her knowledge of aerial arts and gymnastics and mixes it with the grace and flow of classic pole dancing. She embraces the fun-loving trick and performance side that is experienced in learning pole-fitness.
Personal Mission Statement: To educate, train, and encourage people to explore their own individual pole style and discover the Goddess/God within! For me, seeing progress and accomplishing a move that you never believed was possible is one of the greatest achievements. I truly believe there is something that each person is gifted at in pole arts, which is what makes it addicting. Regardless of a person’s gender, age, or starting point, there is always room for improvement while increasing strength and flexibility in practicing pole-fitness.
Stephanie Santoro started her circus journey in 2007 when she saw someone performing aerials in a nightclub for the first time and realized that there was more to circus than just the big top. Through a friend-of-a-friend, she got hooked up with the folks at the New England Center for Circus arts and her feet haven’t touched the ground since. She started with static trapeze, then silks/sling, aerial spansets (loopy straps), and had her first paying gig on lyra in 2011. She also loves wirewalking. She was one of the co-founders of SHOW circus studio in Easthampton, MA, and last year she played the lead character in SPLAT Circus’ show “Lost if Found.” Before circus, she played with and followed around punk rock bands. It’s not a phase- she still follows around punk rock bands (and will defend them to the death!) and had her own radio show on WVEW in Brattleboro, VT. She is a firm believer that the circus is for EVERY body, every person- regardless of shape, size, or abilities. She believes that everyone has something worthwhile and entertaining to share and hopes to bring that out in her students. She is new to Tucson and while she is a New Englander through and through, she is very excited to have a winter without snow and ice for the first time in 37 years.
3113 E. Columbia St.
Tucson, AZ 85714
3113 E. Columbia St.
Tucson, AZ 85714