ACRODISIAC

Isn’t it interesting how two people meet? Acrodisiac is comprised of Warren and Lindsay, two people from different backgrounds and different parts of the country, who randomly met at an acroyoga class.

Warren is originally from Houston, Texas and graduated from Missouri S&T with an engineering degree. He decided to try an acroyoga class at the suggestion of a friend. Lindsay grew up in Kansas City and graduated from Rockhurst University with a biology and clinical laboratory science degree. She started taking acroyoga classes after she saw a couple practicing at a local park. After a few classes they started working together and it became clear they enjoyed lifting each other up.

The two formed a strong relationship that would lead to their first performance together. In June 2019 the duo modeled and debuted a show stopping performance for Dr. Sketchy’s. This lit the fire and desire in their hearts for future performances.

When not performing or in the studio practicing, you can find them traveling around the country, taking photos or working out. Performing is not simply something they do for themselves, they also want the audience to be a part of their story. “There are chance meetings with strangers that interest us from the first moment, before a word is spoken” (Fyodor Dostovesky). They hope you will be one of those chance meetings.

LACEY ELLINGTON

While playing music in a joint performance with Voler, Lacey realized that aerial arts would be her next adventure. Since 2010 she has been a dedicated practitioner and performer of single and duo lyra, mini lyra, silks, and partner acroyoga.

As a Kansas City-area native, Lacey grew up enjoying gymnastics, piano performance, rock ’n’ roll, and yoga. She graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri where she studied biology and music. She finds aerial arts and research science both satisfying outlets for experimentation, exploration, and creative thinking. 

Lacey enjoys facing the mental and physical challenges that practice and performance bring. She allows each to guide her along the path of self-discovery

MICHAEL FERRIS

Throughout life Michael has enjoyed a myriad of physical and artistic expression. As a child he began skateboarding and studying Chinese Kung Fu. Later, he discovered an activity that is worlds apart from his previous endeavors — the practice of hand balancing. No other practice in his experience required the vast amounts of time, dedication and consistency, all needed to understand how to simply stand on two hands, and eventually on one hand. Over the years, hand balancing encouraged his discovery and growing interest in the circus, and he now enjoys sharing his art with audiences and students. Michael absolutely loves encouraging others to explore their potential.

Michael holds a BFA in both Illustration and Printmaking. He perceives these activities as ways to explore what the physical and mental body in this life have to offer. When Michael isn’t practicing handstands, he can be found working as a professional framer for a local arts gallery, hiking through the prairie with his wife, playing video games, or taking handstand photos on the beach or in the desert.

CAROLYN "SPARROW" FISHER

Considering her fear of heights and the spotlight, aerial performance might seem like an unlikely fit for Sparrow, but after her very first aerial silks class she fell in love and knew it was time to face her fears and she see how high she could fly. Fast forward 10 years and Sparrow has taken her longstanding love for fitness and artistic expression and applied them to the circus arts. Silks is her apparatus of choice, but Sparrow also enjoys working with her partner, Wren, to choreograph and perform Lyra duets.

Sparrow works in marketing as a designer and content creator and in her spare time can be found in the aerial studio, gym, or hanging out with her friends. She and her boyfriend enjoy all things outdoors, restoring their 110 year old home and taking care of their four rescue cats.

Sparrow is a part time silks instructor at Voler. Remembering the excitement she felt after her first class, she loves sharing that with others and welcomes every opportunity she has to make aerial acrobatics available to everyone.

RACHEL MCMEACHIN

In a life governed by laws and bound by gravity Rachel chooses to steal away a little piece of flight. Within the performance troupe Voler – Thieves of Flight, she has found a means to create a human performance celebrating strength, fragility and the splendor of playful expression. A simple swatch of silk hanging aloft becomes the perfect juxtaposition to express fluid transformation. Adding music, the clear melodies and distinctive rhythms accentuate each movement into a gesture like ripples on water.

Like Peter Pan, “Play as you go!” is the mantra that motivates her, exploring aerial silks as both a practice and a meditation.

ANN SHAUGHNESSY

Ann began her aerial training in 2017 and enjoys performing on both silks and lyra. She is a professional dancer and instructor with a BFA in Dance Performance from UMKC. She has been involved in the Kansas City dance community for over 20 years as a performer, teacher and choreographer. She danced with City in Motion Dance Theater for eight years, and KC Contemporary Dance for two. Previously she performed with Aha! Dance Theater, Reach…a Movement Collective, Gurukul Dance Company, The Swingsters, and Dramatic Truth Ballet Theater. Ann currently teaches dance at Miss Maria’s in Olathe, works as an independent personal care assistant, and is a licensed physical therapist assistant.

KAREN "WREN" SNYDER

Wrens are known to pick up and leave whenever they feel the need. Much like her namesake, after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from KCAI, she followed her heart to Buenos Aires where she studied and performed Argentine Tango.

After several years of calling South America home, she decided to start a family and moved back to Kansas City. Wren left the performing arts and pursued a career as a Spanish speaking medical interpreter which eventually led her to a position in clinical research. Eventually she found herself needing a creative outlet. She started with aerial silks in 2011 and later fell in love with lyra and trapeze. With a background teaching Pilates and Barre, Wren loves the fusion of fitness and art that aerial performance requires. She loves to escape the normal and push herself to climb higher, drop farther and spin faster.

When not practicing and performing with Voler Thieves of Flight, Wren can be found supporting her children in their desire for performing arts, riding motorcycles and camping with her husband, or in the KU Clinical Research Lab. She hopes you enjoy watching her take flight in an upcoming performance. 

MYSTREE

MysTree is a talented expressive artist and healer. To Tree, inspired movement is the way to happiness, empowerment, and self-realization. She is a yoga and circus therapist and feels these two endeavors balance each other out because play is the best medicine.

Tree is a teacher, a teacher of teachers, a high flying pro acrobat with Voler Thieves of Flight, and a producer of inspirational events with Midwest Aerialists, her production company. Tree teaches aerial classes at Voler Aerial Academy and Upside Bungee. She also offers virtual yoga and circus therapy/instruction via Soma Tree Cirque Yoga. Tree says, “practice anything, this is the key to transformation.” 

DAGNEY VELAZQUEZ

Dagney Velazquez stumbled into the circus world almost by accident in 2012, but discovered there a home away from home. She experiences profound joy flying through the air on aerial silks and lifting up others in daring acrobatics. 

Before joining the circus, Dagney studied chemical engineering at University of Tulsa, then went on to Emporia State University for her MS in mathematics. She combined her loves of circus and math in her Master’s Thesis: “Unraveling the Intrinsic Code of Aerial Silks.” You can see her perform daily as a math professor at Kansas City Kansas Community College.