Alternating Guest Creators
Alain was born in Quebec, Canada and is a regular drop in guest master teacher at Le Studio. As a stage artist, he joined Le Cirque du Soleil in 1986 and totaled some 2000 live performances with the troupe. He has been part of the acrobatic movement research team that has helped le Cirque du Soleil achieve the style of performance that they present today. His most famous creative work has been seen in the equestrian show Cavalia, where he combines his staging and choreographic art with horses, on the biggest touring production in the world. Alain Gauthier’s innovative talent and solid experience, both onstage and behind the scenes, has also taken a turn towards visual art design. His knowledge of movement and beauty on stage can be experienced in his fractal animated imaging, better described as light choreography. The immersive nature of his visuals were used in the transformative theatrical production 'Initiation.'
Among his well known creative achievements are The Millennium Dome show (London 2000, Peter Gabriel), Zulu time (Robert Lepage), Zumanity (Cirque du Soleil), Crescend’o (Cirque d’Hiver, Paris), La Damnation de Faust by Robert Lepage (Matsumoto, Japan, Paris Opera, Metropolitan Opera, NY, Grand Theatre de Quebec 2013), Ice from Russia (Las Vegas), The 2008 US Olympic Gymnastics Superstars tour, NBC’s top of the hour reality show ‘Celebrity Circus’., Aerial concepts for The Black Eyed Peas 2009 tour, 'ERA' and ’Kaleido’ in Shanghai China as well as Mark Fisher’s ‘Voyage de la Vie’ in Singapore, ‘Odysseo’ (Cavalia 2), Hongcun Aju for Mirage Ent. in China, Illusions at the Joyland theatre in Wuxi, China; a 3D multimedia dance extravaganza and more recently 'Cavalia' at the 2014 Qasr Al Hosn festival in Abu Dhabi.
He has worked with Le PeTiT CiRqUe® as an advisor and mentor.
Debra Lynne Brown
Since its inception, she has been the principal resident choreographer for CIRQUE DU SOLEIL for 32 years. Emmy award winner for her choreography on the 74thAnnual Emmy Awards, winner of the Bob Fosse Innovative Choreography Award for her ongoing work/creations with Cirque Du Soleil, winner of the prestigious Golden Clown Award at the World Circus Festival in Monte Carlo for her work in QUIDAM. She has choreographed:AEROSMITH’s JADED music video and their performances at the American Music Awards, MADONNA’s “Drowned” tour (she was nominated for an Emmy for) , CELINE DION, feature films CATWOMAN (Halle Berry), VAN HELSING (Hugh Jackman), JOURNEY OF MAN (CIRQUE DU SOLEIL) and choreographed SHAKIRA and WYCLEF in their performance of the global smash hit “Hips Don’t Lie” at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Gues Choreographer/trainer: A team
An acclaimed actress, producer, aerialist, choreographer and musician. As aerial choreographer, Dreya conceived Pink’s celebrated 2014 and 2010 Grammy performances, including Glitter in the Air, deemed “transcendent” by Oprah Winfrey. Choreographic credits include Michael Jackson, Cher, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, and all four of Pink's tours. Dreya starred as the Genie in Caesar’s Palazzo in Amsterdam. Writing credits include Raven's Touch, Club Seduce and Gangsters Of Love. Dreya recently starred in the documentary Driven, P90X3, P90X X-Box workouts and choreographed Pink's new Cover Girl commercials. She produced, wrote and stars in the new feature film Raven's Touch as well as A Marine Story and The Gymnast, honored with 48 international festival awards including seven ‘best actress’ wins. An acclaimed actress, producer, aerialist, choreographer and musician. As aerial choreographer, Dreya conceived Pink’s celebrated 2014 and 2010 Grammy performances, including Glitter in the Air, deemed “transcendent” by Oprah Winfrey. Choreographic credits include Michael Jackson, Cher, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, and all four of Pink's tours. Dreya starred as the Genie in Caesar’s Palazzo in Amsterdam. Writing credits include Raven's Touch, Club Seduce and Gangsters Of Love. Dreya recently starred in the documentary Driven, P90X3, P90X X-Box workouts and choreographed Pink's new Cover Girl commercials. She produced, wrote and stars in the new feature film Raven's Touch as well as A Marine Story and The Gymnast, honored with 48 international festival awards including seven ‘best actress’ wins.
Guest Coach: Clown and Physical Comedy
As an expert in physical acting, having given more than 10,000 performances around the world, in shows like Cirque du Soleil, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Second City, Zehner has an incredible ability to take performances to the next level by finding the truth in every moment and expressing reaction through physicality. He’s fluent in the universal language of silence.Because of his extensive background in various theatre roles, such as a performer in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a Command Performer for New York’s then-Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, an artist in residency for the City of Las Vegas; a writer for Circus-Circus Hotel & Casino’s Circus Fantasy; and a creator and director for shows like Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza and Cirque Berzerk: Beneath,respectively, Zehner’s diversified perspective on live performance is unrivaled.
Ginger Ana Griep-Ruiz
Ginger is an American-born, Canadian-raised, second generation Circus artist who has performed in a variety of disciplines in circuses and theatrical productions around the world. For the past 14 years, Ginger has performed her renowned solo Tissu act in multiple Cirque du Soleil productions including La Nouba, Solstrom, Delirium, Zed, One Night for One Drop, and currently Mystere in Las Vegas. She continues to push the boundaries of creative innovation off the stage as an artistic designer, coach and choreographer. Ginger has worked as an Artist Coach and assisted with aerial choreography on La Nouba, at CDS International Headquarters in Montreal, ZED, One Night for One Drop, Zarkana and Mystere, plus working closely with her many private clients. She was the 2012 recipient of Cirque du Soleil’s Innovation Bursary and is recognized as not only an elite performing artist but also as a creative thinker and a generally fun person.
From Great Britain Sports Acrobatics team ranking #1 in the world.
Cirque Du Soleil: KURIOS; 2015: Aerial Straps Act; USA Tour
Cirque Du Soleil Special Events; Opening Ceremony Pan America Games; Duo Aerial Straps; Toronto 2015
Cirque Du Soleil: KOOZA; 2008 – 2013 USA, Canada, Japan and Europe tours. Charivari and Teeterboard Artist and Acrobat.
Strength and Conditioning Artist Coach: Kooza; Cirque du Soleil
During my 16 years as a high level gymnast, I was the kid that couldn't get enough at the gym. Not the common little boy, I begged my Mom to get Gi-Jo’s to reply tumbling sequences. This is how I thought myself the full twist layout. After my gymnastic career, I searched ways to push further my limits. My sister showed me a circus DVD that awakened the dream. Since then, I understood that beyond movement, the human body can also express emotions, tell a story. I love performing and I constantly look for unique ways to do it. But, in my early 30’s, I was attacked by chicken pox. It may sound crazy but I almost died from it. The pimples were all over my body and inside my lungs. It was a real fight to come back from it and that engaged a creative process to a new «me». I now want to tell the world that no matter what happens, you can always come
back and start over in your own unique way. As an acrobatic artist, I am the creator of new innovative circus acts. Since then, I’ve been performing for Cirque du Soleil, Circus Roncalli,TV shows such as Le plus grand cabaret du monde, Special Events worldwide, etc...and I’m the winner of US Aerial
innovative & unique apparatus 2016. Life is about pushing yourself to the limit, and then going a little bit further..
Duo Rose Trapeeze
The passionate, romantic trapeze performance of Duo Rose combines
unique dynamic elements with aerial contortion. The seamless flow of highly
technical skills and intense passion creates a fluid aerial ballet that never fails
to elicit a powerful emotional response. A complex routine of balance,
strength, discipline and grace, they bring a particular elegance to their
presentation of the human body in all its beauty and in all that it can do.
Samuel and Sylvia have worked together for seven years to combine
their backgrounds in aerial arts, gymnastics, and contortion to create this
dynamic aerial adagio act. As true artisans they have designed and fabricated
their own costumes and trapeze bars as well as developed their act
independently without primary instruction from a circus school or dedicated
trainer. Their act has successfully toured internationally in some of the top
circuses and variety houses in Europe and the US.
In August 2010 they made history becoming the the first American
circus artists to perform in Havana, Cuba since 1959. Officially sanctioned by
the United States Government to travel to Cuba, they competed in the 9th
International Circus Festival, CIRCUBA in Havana, where they earned the
The Master Gauchos, Hilario Cabral and Hayley Kent, are internationally acclaimed Argentine gaucho dancers who have performed their act all over the globe in world famous venues. Hilario Master Gaucho is famous for his Gaucho act that headlined in Las Vegas for 20 years at Bally's Jubilee. He is internationally recognized for his contribution to Argentinian culture as he continues to represent Argentinian Gaucho dance at the highest level, touring the world performing his act and reaching the highest honor of performing for the Queen of England in "The Royal Performance Command."
Hilario is a sixth degree Master of Taekwondo, hence his title “Master Gaucho.” His lifetime of achievement in sport and on the stage has earned him many titles such as Olympic Taekwondo World Champion, Former Vice President of Nevada Taekwondo Union, Best Act of Las Vegas, and having the longest running contract as a specialty act in the Las Vegas production of Bally’s "Jubilee." Together, Hilario and Hayley have created a unique performance combining their many talents, specifically in their original show “Rhythm of Argentina” which has toured the world on prestigious cruise ships including Oceania, Princess, Regent, Silver Sea, Norwegian, Holland America and Celebrity Cruises. Hayley was the first female Gaucho EVER to perform on the stage of Jubilee in its 35 years on the Las Vegas Strip! Hayley's breakthrough success as a female gaucho in the male dominated act has inspired the Master Gauchos to create "Girl Power Gauchos" the WORLD'S FIRST all girls gaucho act for kids!
DORIANA SANCHEZ is an Emmy and two-time American Choreography Award nominated choreographer and director, who has created extraordinary images and movement for stage, screen and installations worldwide. Ryan Seacrest on E News! Has called her “The Dancing Queen,” and Tu Ciudad Magazine named her one of the 25 “Hip Hot Now” Hispanics in arts and entertainment.
Doriana’s television credits include the Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, Divas Live, Euro VMAs, Blockbuster Awards, Be Good Johnny Weir, 11 seasons as Resident Choreographer on Fox’s hit show So You Think You Can Dance , Disney Channels, Best Friends Whenever and Dream School USA for the Sundance Channel. Recent creations include a TV pilot for Lifetime Television, and a new show coming out of Cuba.
As a long time collaborator with Cher, Doriana has created, directed and choreographed the superstars extravaganza performances including; Dancing with The Stars, The Voice, Good Morning America, The Late Show with David Letterman and the associated “Dressed To Kill” Tour” which, has met with rave reviews. According to Billboard Magazine the DTK tour was on track to become one of the most successful tours of 2014/2015, having grossed 55 Million through the end of its first leg. Doriana has also Conceived, Directed and Choreographed Cher at the Colosseum during its three year, 200-plus sold out performances atCaesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Her work can also be seen in the Love Hurts, Believe and Living Prooftour, which was honored with four Emmy Awards including Outstanding Musical Variety Special. Over three million people saw the show during its 325 performances. It ranks as one of the most successful tours for a female artist, grossing over 200 million dollars. Doriana was also nominated for an Emmy for Best Choreography for the show’s HBO special.
Doriana’s Stage, Circus and Touring credits include, choreographing the world premiere of Frank Loesser’s musical Senor Discretion Himself, at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. for which she received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Choreography, Barry Manilow’s Copcabana, at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London, which she was nominated for an Olivier Award and Best new Musical, The Night is a Child, at Pasadena Playhouse and Blade To The Heat at the Mark Taper Forum.
Her great love of circus arts led Doriana to China where she created TheGalaxy Stars Circus featuring over 150 international performers. Other circus credits include Circo Fantastico, the all-Latin circus that Doriana wrote, directed and choreographed, as well as Odyssey, the first circus ever presented on a cruise ship, for Princess Cruises. Recently, she has been creating movement for Le PeTiT CiRqUe®, an elite world-class circus company comprised of children.
Additional Directing and choreography credits include, Video Games Live, Jane’s Addiction’s Jubilee Tour, Perry Farrell’s Porno for Pyros Tour, Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Tour, Dirty Dancing Concert Tour (2 weeks Sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall. Her productions have been seen in nearly every large-scale arena in the US and abroad. She has worked with musical legends such as Latin superstar Shakira, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, Frankie Valli, and David Foster musical prodigies,Jackie Evancho and Charice, as well as comedy superstar Ellen DeGeneres.
Olga specializes in handbalancing and contortion. She started in rhythmic gymnastics at the age of five. When she was eleven, she started performing with her father, Sasha Pikhienko, at the Nikulin Circus based in Moscow, and they won a gold medal in 1992 at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris.
Pikhienko started working with Cirque du Soleil in 1994. She toured with Cirque du Soleil's Quidam, and, for more than five years, performed her hand balancing and contortion with canes act throughout Europe and North America. In 2001, she worked on the creation of Varekai, while being filmed for the Bravo network's documentary series Cirque du Soleil: Fire Within, which won an Emmy Award in 2003.
After touring with Varekai for three years, Pikhienko decided to branch out artistically, developing new acts for special events, commercials, print and video. Currently Pikhienko does private events and resides in Las Vegas, though she comes to Le PeTiT CiRqUe every month for to coach the kids!
Sam has been a private instructor for fitness models, cheerleaders and gymnasts for the past 26 years. He is a professional member of USA gymnastics, is safety certified and participates in the professional development program of USA gymnastics. He is the President of Giants Gymnastics inc. and currently trains men and women for Jr. Olympic gymnastics competition.
Formerly a collegiate gymnast, he is a five time National competitor and has been inducted into Sacramento’s Hall of fame for outstanding athletes, including MVP and All American honors. Sam now enjoys taking his talents to Venice and Santa Monica (old muscle beach), where he practices his skills in hand balancing, flying trapeze, and the extraordinary traveling rings. You may also find him in his favorite Corona del Mar location above China Cove soaking up the sunshine and teaching someone the love and benefits of Cyr Wheel.
Christine Van Loo
Christine Van Loo is a Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, Athlete of the Decade, and the only 7-time consecutive National Champion in acro-gymnastics.
Now, as one of the most sought after aerialists in the world, she performs regularly before more than 250,000 people a year, traveling to over 40 countries, performing everywhere from the Sydney Opera House to Madison Square Garden to the Kennedy Center.
She was a trainer and performer on NBC’s Celebrity Circus. She opened for Paul McCartney before 100,000 people at a time, performed at the 2002 Olympics, the Miss Universe pageant, at the AMAs and the Grammy’s and now exhibits worldwide in Cirque de la Symphony.
As a trainer, she choreographed the aerials for Britney Spears’ World Tour and the Stars on Ice US tour.
She co-owns with her husband, Jonathon Conant, Airborne Arts, an aerial retreat center with a flying trapeze in Costa Rica overlooking a 1200 foot waterfall. She has been working with Nathalie Yves Gaulthier for over 15 years.
Mam Smith is an actress, stuntwoman, aerialist, choreographer and dancer. In preparation for her professional career she studied classical dance and competed as an elite gymnast. Mam attended New York University's Tish School of the Arts for dance and Theater. Upon graduation from NYU, Mam performed at Lincoln Center and Radio City Music Hall with AntiGravity and toured throughout the United States as a featured dancer with the Doug Elkins Dance Co. Mam has appeared in numerous print and Television advertisements. She is a Founding Company Member, Principal Performer and Associate Choreographer for AntiGravity. As such, her work with the Broadway Musical "Nine" garnished the show two Tony awards and a broadcast mention. As an Associate Choreographer, Mam also designed Mariah Carey's aerials for the 2003 Charmbracelet world tour. Ms. Smith received a Masters degree in communications from Emerson College in Boston. A renowned stuntwoman, Ms. Smith has Worked on over 70 different Television and Film productions. Performed over 1000 action sequences. The majority of this work is performed under extreme condition: She has appeared in: The Blacklist, The Mysteries of Laura ( as Debra messing’s double) , The Affair, Jessica Jones, Person of Interest, The Americans, Gotham, Mission Control, Time after time, The Girl on the train, Law and order, Blue Bloods, Under the dome, The FOLLOWING, Gossip Girl, Rescue Me, Ellen, Body of Proof, Transformers to name a few and is the beautiful flying angel in Angels in America. She has been an ARTISTIC COORDINATOR- CHOREOGRAPHER and has created and performed in over 1500 live performances around the world and on Broadway, with such companies as Cirque Du Soliel, Antigravity, American Repertory Theater, 2008 Tour of Gymnastic Super Stars.
She has been Coaching children and adults in aerial circus arts, the sport of gymnastics, and as a fitness professional since 1975.
Cirque du Soleil's Cloudswing act trailblazer Petra Sprecher was born and raised in Switzerland. She speaks Swiss-German, German, French, English and Italian. Petra started her Circus formation at six years old, when she joined the Swiss Youth Circus and trained, performed and toured with the troupe for the next ten years. During that time span, she was part of several traditional duo, trio & group ground- and Aerial Circus acts such as Trapeze, Spanish Web, Unicycle, Acrobatic Bicycle, Acrobatics & Pyramids, Slack Wire, Tightrope Walking and Baton Twirling. At age 18, Petra attended the professional two-year program of Com-Art, a private theatre school in Zürich, which is based on the technique of Jacques Lecoq, Europe’s best-loved and most influential theatre teacher. At present, Petra is an accomplished stuntwoman crashing through ceilings, falling through quicksand or flying through dark alleys on Hollywood film sets. She has worked on features such as Minority Report with Tom Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbeans with Johnny Depp, Aeon Flux with Charlize Theron and Flight with Denzel Washington.
Aaron has been a professional stilt-walking acrobat since 2003 and a costumer since 1997. His love for performing has placed him upon stages all across the United States, China, Germany, France, Canada and the Netherlands. More recently, Aaron’s journey has led him to Los Angeles where he gigs with several of the city’s prominent cirque companies. He also tours regularly with Portland Oregon based MarchFourth Marching Band as Cirque Team Captain, Acrobat, Dancer, and Principle Stilt-walker.
Zoe Sabattie has grown up in the circus and traveled the world as a performer. She started in the circus when she was just 10 years old and by the age of 15 she attended the National Circus School of Chatellerault in France where she specialized in swinging silks. After school she moved to Canada for 3 years to participate in a professional program at Quebec Circus School where she graduated in 2011 in hoop, duo trapeze and silks.
In 2012, she took her backpack and coaching experience and went to Nepal to teach at the Katmandu Circus School, joining their social program and helping them to create shows. She has gone on to perform in various shows around the world including Cirque Imaginaire in Spain as Storm, the main character; Winter Circus in Finland; Cirque du Soleil’s Les Chemins Invisibles in Quebec and many others.
She is currently performing in TORUK as the lead female in the Avatar inspired show from CIRQUE du SOLEIL.
She loves performing as well as sharing her knowledge, experience, and values as an artist. In her teachings she mixes different methods and shares a few important steps:
* A good warm up with stabilization and building up the strength with the apparatus
* Working on new movements, getting more techniques
* Doing research and working on artistic development
* A good cool down with flexibility.
Bob Yerkes has performed in stunts for over 50 years, he has doubled for stars such as Paul Newman, Robert Duval, and Arnold Schwarzenegger just to name a few. He began a life of acrobatics in the circus at the age of 15. For ten years he taught a number of celebrities circus acts for the “Circus of the Stars” television specials in the 1980’s. He has received the World Acrobatics Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award – Gallery of Acrobatic Legends. We'd like to give Bob a special thanks for being a mentor and supporter throughout the years, your donations are very much appreciated!