Anne Ryan moved to Ann Arbor as a child and though she has traveled far from it, she's never wanted to leave. This is entirely due to the talented, artistic, and enthusiastic people she’s had the pleasure of collaborating with over the years. She’s been involved with many creative endeavors, but her heart will always belong to the stage. She was mistress of ceremonies and a founding cast member of The Tickled Fancy Burlesque Collective and enjoys to hosting performances of all types at The Aviary.
Her aerial training in 2009 at The Detroit Flyhouse and it is no exaggeration to say that it changed her life. Aerial arts taught her a new respect for her body’s abilities and a completely different understanding of her own boundaries. Now she wants to share her enthusiasm for the discipline by providing a safe space for others to learn, practice, and grow.
Erin Garber-Pearson (Fortuna)
Erin Garber-Pearson is a visual artist and circus performer from Tucson, AZ. She currently performs under the name “Fortuna,” and is one half of the acrobatic storytelling project, “Violet and Fortuna.” Her work incorporates solo and duo aerial fabric, aerial loops, rope, partner acrobatics, fire performing, stilt dancing and a number of sideshow acts with large sculptural props and video to create contemporary circus performance and installations.
Erin received her Masters in Sculpture and Multimedia from the University of Arizona in 2011. She has worked with various physical theater groups such as Infiammati Fire Circus (Minneapolis), The Dead Man’s Carnival (Milwaukee), and Flam Chen (Tucson). She currently resides in Toledo, OH with her partner, performer Erik Bang!!! where she is owner of Bird's Eye View Circus.
Violet Defiant (Katie Livingston)
Trained as a high-level gymnast in childhood, and a competitive diver in college, Violet claims to be more comfortable on hands than feet. As an aerial and ground skills instructor, she believes in play, in practice, and in technique. Her classes on handstands and flexibility offer courage, support, and strategies for your practice.
Violet practices yoga in Lansing and travels to train circus arts in Chicago, NYC, and Austin, TX. She is available for workshops, classes, and private instruction in Michigan and elsewhere.
Violet performs as an aerialist, acrobat, and contortionist as part of the contemporary circus duo Violet & Fortuna. She has performed across the US and Canada at events for the Toledo Arts Commission, Oddfellow's Odditorium at the World Skim Boarding Championships, and the Ontario Summer Games.
You can read her writing on contemporary circus arts at violetandfortuna.com
Lis Chere Thomas
Lis is a Detroit-based performance artist with a creative interpretation of the laws of physics and an above-average appreciation of physical pain. Trained in ballet and modern dance, Lis began her aerial studies in in Brooklyn, NY and continued in Vancouver, BC before moving to Michigan in 2013. Lis performs on aerial fabric, dance trapeze, and lyra and has had the pleasure of coaching at the Aviary, Birds Eye View Circus (Toledo), Agora Arts (Ferndale), and Equilibrium Circus (Colorado). She dabbles in straps. Her approach to aerial training is comprised of equal parts technique/conditioning and creative exploration/discovery. She loves momentum, multimedia collaborations, and unusual aerial apparatuses.
Lis also enjoys growing food, building stuff, and redefining accepted notions of ‘fun.’ She has a few academic degrees in disciplines unrelated to circus. When she is not at the Aviary, you can find her in her studio at 333 Midland or neck-deep in home improvement projects.
Lis has also worked with: the Madagascar Institute, League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, Great Northern Way Aerial Society, Firebelly, and Neil E. Dee’s Danger Thrill Show, among others.
Anny fell in love with movement at a young age tap dancing, and cartwheeling her way through childhood, and performing in theatre throughout high school and college. She discovered aerial and circus arts in her early 20s, and it was love at first fly. Anny began her teaching career at the Detroit Academy of Kinesthetic Arts, and later founded her own company, PT Arts Academy. Anny enjoys sharing skills and learning new ways of teaching everything from the ground to the air.
Luna Legare (Rachel Peshick)
Luna Legare is the boss lady of Guilty Pleasures Burlesque, a bimonthly show in Ypsilanti featuring burlesque, drag, and comedy performers. She has been teaching at the Aviary since 2013, providing group classes in burlesque as well as private instruction. This "Kitten from the Mitten" utilizes her background in ballet, jazz, and musical theatre to serve up performances full of femme sassiness.
Anna McGarry received early dance training in Traverse City, MI at Meg Nutting's Studio, Dance Arts Academy and Ballet Etc prior to attending UM. While in the BFA program, she trained with Peter Sparling, Jessica Fogel, Gay Delanghe, and Bill DeYoung, as well as studying with the Kyrgyz National Ballet and teaching ballet at the Ak-Jol Children's Shelter in Kyrgyzstan.
Mrs. McGarry has performed with Company Dance Traverse, Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre, and the University Dance Company at UM, as well as in site specific works by Jessica Fogel at the Ann Arbor Arboretum and the Mathias Botanical Gardens. More recently, Anna has performed with Movement Artists' Guild, and she has explored aerial arts and fusions between aerial and other dance forms, performing in the aerial Butoh choreography of Clinton Zimmerman.
Anna has been teaching dance for over fifteen years including modern, ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, and creative movement. Anna has also trained in aerial arts including static trapeze, lyra, and hammock. She lives in Clinton, Michigan with her husband and two sons.
Mallory was a competitive gymnast, then a gymnastics coach, and finally started her journey from yoga student to yoga teacher in January 2012 through the Ann Arbor Yoga Room’s Yoga Immersion Program. Mallory has taught classes in Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga at The Yoga Room from 2012 to 2014. In April 2013, she began training in aerial silks at the Ann Arbor Aviary, fell in love, and in February 2014, she began apprenticing with Erin Garber-Pearson & Lis Thomas as an aerial teacher. With this background, Mallory encourages students to challenge themselves and face their fears on the comfort and safety of their yoga mats and on their aerial apparatus of choice.
Mallory is a librarian by training, and when she’s not doing some form of yoga on the ground or in the air, she is a content analyst in Ann Arbor.