Princess PirateEmmy Moon

Professional & TOO Company Artistic Director & Coach/Aerial Coach

Emmy graduated from Collin College with her Associate of Arts Degree in Dance and then went on to complete her Bachelors in Dance from the University of Texas in Austin. Emmy was introduced to aerial dance at UT when she was selected to perform in an installation piece with rope and harnesses and quickly after, started silk training at Blue Lapis Light in Austin, TX.  Immediately after college, Emmy was invited to dance with Aerial Dance Chicago where she was a core company dancer. She continued her training in Los Angeles  in order to train and work closely with Aerial Experience Productions(AEP) and Arise Aerial Dance. Emmy has performed for the Toshiba International Conference, Midnight Circus, Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Hewlett Packard, “Imagine Christmas” Touring Show, “Stories from the Shack” Touring Show, Lockport Exchange Circus, as a featured aerialist in an international LG Washing Machine commercial and at the Irish Aerial Dance Festival.  She has also received her training at Aloft Circus Arts, the Aerial Dance Festival in Ireland and Boulder and with Tara Ogren on the Cloud Swing. Emmy was a silks judge for the first ever Miss Texas Polestar Aerial Arts Competition in Dallas Texas in October of 2012. Emmy’s choreography has been shown around the United States in Austin, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta and Denver for numerous events. Her choreography was selected for the Gala show at the American College Dance Festival in 2006. In 2011, Emmy, featuring Iluminar Aerial, was selectively invited to be a part of the Alumni Dance Fusion Show in Plano Texas, highlighting former students that have broken ground in the professional dance world.

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Travis Moon

Professional & TOO Company Coach/Aerial Coach

Growing up, Travis  participated in numerous competitive sports and martial arts training. In high school, he joined the JROTC, Junior Reserve Officer Training Course, which provided him an education in discipline, respect and leadership techniques.  JROTC propelled his interest in learning other military techniques like rock climbing, rappelling and knot tying. He discovered aerial arts as the perfect way to pursue all of his hobbies and ambitions.

Travis started his aerial training under the direction of Emmy Moon and together they created Iluminar Aerial. Travis has continued his training with Blue Lapis Light, Wise Fool, the Aerial Dance Festival in Ireland and Boulder, and rope with Daniel Sullivan, Josh Rigo, Lisa Natoli, Rachel Strickland and Shayna Swanson. He has had the privilege to teach and perform at many different events around the United States and in Ireland.

He has had the privilege to perform at many different events around the world including the Dance Fusion show at Collin College, Lockport Exchange Circus in New York, and at the Irish Aerial Dance Festival.

Ashley Smith

Aerial Coach/Duo Trapeze Specialist

Ashley Smith graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with her Bachelors of Arts Degree in dance. Throughout her career, she had the opportunity to train in many dance forms among them ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, salsa, African, to finally aerial dance.  Ashley fell in love with aerial dance when she was selected to perform in an aerial piece at the University choreographed by Nancy Smith. Later on she was invited by Smith to perform with her professional company, Frequent Flyers, in their spring show Cirque du Minuit. Ashley went on to receive formal training through Frequent Flyers by completing their Professional Aerial Dance Training Track. Later, alongside four other colleagues, she founded Rabble Dance Collective, an aerial dance troupe focused on combining physical theater, aerial dance, and circus arts.

With a passion for aerial dance and being a bit of an “adrenaline junky”,  Ashley finds joy in being able to perform in many settings; from black box theater, to guerilla rigging off of cliffs, bridges, trees, etc. She has performed locally in Boulder with her aerial company Rabble Dance Collective, and with Lemon Sponge Cake Ballet, Moth Poetic Circus, Devotchka, Frequent Flyers, and internationally at the International Dance Festival in Italy. Ashley is excited to continue performing and teaching with Iluminar Aerial to bring the joy of aerial dance to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Daniel Nolasco

Aerial Coach/Duo Trapeze Specialist

Daniel Nolasco is from El Paso, TX but considers himself a Coloradoan for having lived there for most of his life. Always passionate about the arts and ways of expression, he has trained in a variety of art forms. He came to the world of circus through Frequent Flyers Productions Inc. in Boulder, CO where he trained and performed with them for 3 years. The exhilarating combination of dance, theater, physicality, and music has made circus his addiction. He has completed his 2nd year of training in the New England Center for Circus Arts Professional Program focusing on Static/Dance Trapeze, and Sling in Brattleboro, VT. He is currently starting his first season with Iluminar Aerial, with whom he dreams of performing his work and passion into spectacular productions that can be performed for a variety of audiences.

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Jocelyn Sousa

Aerial Fitness/Acrobatics Coach

Jocelyn grew up in Florida and started competitive cheerleading at the age of seven. Eager to learn new things, Jocelyn joined her high school dance team and discovered she loved the art of dance. She was then recruited for Top Gun’s competitive dance program and that year they took first place at the NDA National Championship in Dallas, Texas. Jocelyn then moved on to cheer in college for Florida State University. After she graduated college, she moved to Colorado to pursue her dream of starting her own business, Kidz in Locomotion. Jocelyn will be starting her 2nd season with Iluminar Aerial as an Intern and continues to pursue her dream of becoming a professional aerial dance performer. 


Cecilia Potter

Dance Coach

Cecilia Potter is from Massachusetts, where her interests in theatre and dance first developed. Cecilia graduated Cum Laude from Elon University with a BA in Theatre Studies and a dance minor. Cecilia completed one year in the MFA Dance program at the University of Oregon. In grad school, she researched dance fusion—particularly between contemporary dance, hip hop, and traditional Philippine dance. In addition to performing in several faculty and student works, Cecilia performed at the American College Dance Festival (ACDF) Regionals in Missoula, MT and the ACDF Nationals in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center. Currently, Cecilia dances with contemporary company BRIAH Danse. She teaches dance in the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley School Districts with Kidz in Locomotion and is a fitness instructor at The Dailey Method.

Guest Coaches

1929135_547816823583_242_nTara Ogren

Flying Cloud Swing & Trapeze

Tara was born and raised in Boulder, CO and began gymnastics at the age of five and competed until she was 18 years old. She then traveled to Tallahassee, Florida to attend Florida State University where she joined the Flying High Circus. While a part of the Flying High Circus, she performed cloudswing, flying trapeze, hanging perch, balancing, and sky pole. After graduating with a degree in Studio Art- Graphic Design, she really ran away to join the circus! Tara was hired to perform flying trapeze with the Flying Caceres who were touring with Ringling Bros. and Barnuum & Bailey Circus. While touring with Ringling for 5 years, she also performed lyra and motorcycle high wire and was the aerial captain in charge of training and maintaining the aerial production numbers. Being in the circus is a dream come true for her! Tara loves the combination of artistry, magic, and technical skills each performance brings and also sharing her love for circus with others.


Daniel Sullivan

Lyra, Silks & Hula Hooping

Daniel, with a personality just as memorable as his red hair, has been traditionally trained in Irish Step Dancing since the age of four. It wasn’t until ten where Daniel would branch out, extend those arms, and soar into the world of circus. At thirteen, he joined Circus Smirkus, the only international youth circus in North America. It was his five consecutive years touring with Circus Smirkus where he developed his passion for aerial hoop, the circus ring, and essentially everything circular.      

     After graduating with honors from his high school, he simultaneously attended the San Francisco Circus Center, to enhance his craft, and studied dance at the University of San Francisco. Daniel was soon accepted into Montreal’s prestigious L’École nationale de cirque de Montréal (National Circus School of Montréal) where he majored in aerial hoop, training under the fabulous Nathalie Hebért. As an artist, Daniel hopes to embody power, rhythm, joy and bring a smile to your face. 

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Teo Spencer

Silks, Straps & Performance

Teo, a Vermont native, studied at the University of San Martin in Argentina, where he specialized in aerial fabric. After completing his studies, Teo performed with Fuerza Bruta and Prix Dami. His credits include a performance for the president of Argentina and the award of Best Overall Performance at the Denver Aerial Arts Festival. Teo returned to North America with a passion for combining circus and dance and is currently the male apprentice for Pilobolus. Pilobolus, based in Connecticut and New York, is an internationally acclaimed arts organization renowned for its unique, diverse collaborations that break the barriers between creative disciplines. 

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Itzel Viruega

Duo, Silks, Trapeze, Straps, Flex
Itzel has practiced gymnastics for 8 years and worked as a circus artist for 5 years. In 2009, she moved to Montreal to study to become a circus teacher. Right after she finished her studies, the “National Circus School” offered me a job. During her 6 years as a teacher, she has had students like Sarah & Guilhem (gold medal of Cirque de Demain Festival, 2013), Duo XY (bronze medal of Cirque de Demain Festival, 2013), Evelyne Shannon (Golden star of the Young-Stage Festival, 2014), and Duo Elle et 
Lui (Golden star of Young-Stage Festival, 2016). Last year, Itzel was hired for “Cirque du Soleil” to collaborate in the creation of one of the circus acts for the show “Paramour.”

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Josh Rigo

Corde Lisse

Josh Rigo has had a love for the arts his whole life. He began studying circus arts when his high school took on the musical ‘Barnum’ his sophomore year. He continued his training once the musical ended, specializing in dance trapeze and aerial fabric. His love of being in the air then took him to Brattleboro, Vermont, where he completed the Professional Training Program at the New England Center for Circus Arts. He then studied at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a theatre minor. Josh is currently an elementary school teacher in Denver Public Schools, aerial dance teacher at Frequent Flyers Productions, and you can often find him performing in theatre productions across the Denver metro area.

Bekah Hammond

Circus Arts Coach (Juggling, Unicycle, Diabolo, Stilt Walking, Comedy Acts)

Bekah got her start with circus arts in college.  Studying took it’s toll on her, so she taught herself to juggle three balls to cool off at the end of the day.  The thrill of the challenge drove her to learn more, and soon three balls became four, four became five, and so on.  She was instantly hooked on learning more and showing off her newly acquired skills.

Ten years later, she is still adding new tricks and showing off all across America.  Bekah’s passion has led her to explore new skills, such as unicycle, fire performing  and lasso tricks.  Bekah shares her love of juggling through performance and through classes and workshops for all ages!

Warren Hammond

Circus Arts Coach (Juggling, Rola Bola, Comedy Acts)

Warren Hammond discovered juggling when he was 13 years old in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia. Since then he has gotten a degree in Biology, been to graduate school, worked as a genetic engineer and given it all up to pursue his passion for juggling, performing and teaching. He has been trained by such legends in the field as Evgeni Biljauer, Peter Davison and Michael Menes as well as studied Improvisational Theater and toured with the Off-Broadway show, Lazer Vaudeville and the award-winning comedy juggling duo, Smirk!

Warren is deeply committed to the juggling and circus community, and is frequently requested to teach workshops across the United States and has served as the Director of the World Juggling Championships.  He has taken his passion for juggling to numerous circus camps, teaches private lessons and helped choreograph acts for many professional jugglers.  He is excited about this new opportunity to build the juggling and circus community in Colorado through Iluminar!


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