Ever wish you could
defy gravity?

 

 

Coaches

Gregory May

Gregory May graduated from the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Clown College in 1990 and then joined the Ringling Brothers Circus itself. He traveled throughout North America for three years before returning home to Maryland. Since leaving the road, he has performed with the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Children's National Medical Center, and his performances as a circus arts entertainer have taken him to over a hundred cities on four continents. He has performed on the Late Show with David Letterman, in national Visa commercials, at the White House with Sherri Lewis and Lamb Chop, and locally at Toby's Dinner Theatre and Round House Theatre. Since 1994, he has coached numerous youth circuses including summer camps (with Howard County Recreation and Parks and the City of Greenbelt) and large productions (with the Berkshire Children’s Circus in Pittsfield, MA; Living Classrooms of Baltimore, MD; and the Greenbelt Youth Circus). He received his aerial performer rigging training through the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and his aerial coaching training in 2011 and 2012 through the New England Center for Circus Arts in Vermont. He has also taught physical comedy, circus skills, and makeup workshops at the Maryland High School Theater Festival, the National High School Theater Festival, Port Discovery in Baltimore, MD, and the Kennedy Center.


Betty May

Betty May is the director of Onstage Productions, formerly located in The Little Theater on the Corner in Ellicott City, MD. She is well-known in Columbia for the many classes she has offered over the years: Swimming, Parent and Child Messin’ Around, Dance and Gym, adult exercise classes, I.C.D.F. (International Celebration of Dance and Fun), Kids Onstage, Teens Onstage, Peanuts Onstage, and The Frustrated Actors’ Association. Her kids’ theatrical troupe toured Maryland schools; her teen troupe toured northeastern states as well as France, England, and Switzerland. Her Parent and Child class served as basis for her book: T.S.K.H. - Tickle, Snug, Kiss, Hug Exercises and Tricks for parent-child fun published by Paulist Press.

From 1993 to 2000 she spent her summers in a Guatemalan squatters’ settlement, directing musical extravaganzas with the talented and beautiful children she found there. The group grew to ninety members and performed throughout Guatemala in schools, churches, synagogues, community centers, mountain villages, the National Palace, and Guatemalan national television.

In 2005, after six years as a high school teacher: Theater, Art History, and Spanish, she expanded her theatrical interests. She trained at the Mooseburger Clown Camp in Minnesota and studied circus arts and circus arts instruction privately with her son, former Ringling Brothers clown Gregory May. In 2007, she began teaching circus arts camps through Howard County Recreation and Parks. Every spring and summer since then, she has co-taught ten sold-out weeks of circus summer camps for the City of Greenbelt. She is also currently the Head Coach for the Greenbelt Youth Circus.

 


Sarah Shellem

Sarah’s path to aerial dance began with yoga. After returning to college at the University of Maryland to change careers, she quickly recognized that she needed a stress relieving activity. That’s when she found yoga, which became an integral part of her life. Through her exploration of yoga, she began to take aerial yoga classes from Jayne Bernasconi. From there, she followed other aerial yoga students to aerial dance classes and fell in love. After a year as an aerial dance student, Sarah realized she wanted to share her love of the aerial arts with others, and would go on to take several aerial teacher trainings at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) in 2014. Shortly after, she began teaching aerial dance at a local dance studio. In the fall of 2015, she began her 200-hour yoga teacher training, reuniting with Jayne Bernasconi. Since then, she has been integrating yoga techniques and concepts in her teaching of aerial dance. She is very excited to begin teaching aerial yoga, which seamlessly blends both of her loves, aerial dance and yoga. Sarah continues to visit NECCA to deepen her understanding of the aerial arts, as well as work with Jayne Bernasconi to furthering her yoga knowledge.

 


Nancy Jeffryes

I am inspired by all of my teachers who open me up and pour their knowledge of yoga into me, into the cracks of my hard shell. They show me that I can live in harmony with myself (and therefore others) and that harmony is not synonymous with pleasure, but with truth. I teach to foster a compassionate and nurturing environment for students to explore their own yoga practice and guide them in their journey. I teach to facilitate increasing body awareness through mindful asana practice.

I have been practicing yoga since 2012, aerials since 2013, and aerial yoga since 2015. I enjoy how aerial yoga brings two of my favorite activities together and believe that an aerial hammock is a wonderful tool to modify and deepen a yoga practice.

Training/Certifications: Charm City Yoga 200 & 300 Hour Teacher Training First Aid/CPR/AED certified