Staff List

(Showing 26 - 50 of 92)

Fernando Gambaroni


Moved to New York from Buenos Aires in 2001. Performed in Off-Broadway plays such as: Mac Wellman's 'Cellophane,' Len Jenkin's 'Like I Say,' and A.R. Gurney's 'Mrs. Farnsworth.' Was a founding member of The Hive, an Off-Broadway theater company that produced successful runs of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'The Imaginary Invalid.'


Fernando was also a teacher at HB Studio, an acting school founded by Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen. It was there that he developed the course 'English for Actors', which he taught for ten years.


His solo show 'just don't touch me, amigo' premiered at The NY Fringe Festival in 2009 and was restaged seven times after that: four times in New York, once in Buenos Aires, and twice in Mexico City (in 2016 and 2017).


His work as a graphic designer started in 2007 and continues until today. He is back in San Francisco and working at Circus Center after living for three years in Mexico City and Buenos Aires.

Jade Ford

Born 19 Jan, 1947. Yes, I am incredibly old. Started juggling in the middle 1970's. I learned from a pamphlet and didn't know any other jugglers for several years. Then I discovered other jugglers. Better than that, I discovered new juggling tricks, props other than balls, and different juggling forms. I have attended many juggling conventions, IJA conventions and local conventions such as Lodi, when there was a Lodi juggling convention. I took up club swinging which I learned from convention workshops but mostly I taught myself from the book 'Club Swinging.' I moved to New Zealand in 1984. While there I was a professional juggler and street performer from about 1991 - 1996. During that time I appeared on New Zealand national television. I was in commercials and appeared on N.Z. 'Sale of the Century.' I also taught juggling professionally. I continued to work on club swinging and took up ball spinning. I returned to the U.S. in 1996 and began my association with the Circus Center. I ran Sunday night juggling from about 2000 until about 2012. I am known in the juggling community as a club swinger though my juggling and ball spinning are not bad. I have appeared a few times in the International Jugglers Assoc magazine 'Jugglers World' as a performer and presenting a couple of tricks.

Oscar Velarde
Oscar Velarde was born and raised in Los Angeles. Growing up he trained in various styles of martial arts such as Karate-do and Brazilian Jiujitsu. He was introduced to the circus arts through his family who own El Gran Circo de Mexico, where Oscar performed as a stunt clown. In his first year on tour, he was introduced to Diabolo and began to teach himself for years until he was able to compile enough tricks to become a feature act.
Oscar teaches Circus Skills Jam with Sabrina Wenske, an award-winning San Francisco-based theatre actor and deviser, primarily in clown.
Felicity Hesed

Felicity Hesed is a Performer, Director, and Teacher. After receiving her BA in Theater from Kalamazoo College, she moved to Chicago to pursue Acting. While in Chicago, she discovered Circus and started training. Felicity began to combine Theater and Circus to create unique clown acts as well as full-length circus/theater shows including The Tempest: A Magical Circus. Felicity also worked as a full-time Theater teacher at middle-school Frances Xavier Warde and received her MA in Teaching from DePaul University. In 2007, Felicity moved to San Francisco to attend the Clown Conservatory at Circus Center. In addition, Felicity continued her Aerial training with Helene Turcotte and Elena Panova. Felicity's local performance credits include: Clown Cabaret, The Pickle Family Circus, Cabaret Lunatique with Teatro ZinZanni, Circus Adventure with Bay Area Children's Theater, and Cabaret Metamorphosis at the Circus Center. Felicity has also directed a number of local circus and theater shows including: Emil of Lonneberga and Lyle the Crocodile with Bay Area Children's Theater, numerous Clown Cabarets, and The Monkey King: A Circus Adventure, Swing into Spring, and Acrobat Sublime at Circus Center. Felicity is also the Mother of two sweet and wild little boys.

Caroline Wright

Caroline Wright took to the air before she could walk on the ground, climbing curtains, furniture and anything else she could crawl to.She spent her early teens performing with Flying Gravity Circus, a touring youth troupe dedicated to helping communities start their own circus programs.

A graduate of the Professional Track Program at New England Center for Circus Arts, she coached there for many years. Her teaching experience also includes SHOW Circus Studio, Circus Smirkus Camp and AYCO. She continued her training at the San Francisco Circus Center and L'ecole Leotard in Montreal, CA.

Specializing in Static Trapeze, Hoop and Tissu, Caroline performed with many different companies across the country and internationally, including The Big Aerial Show, Aerial Experience, AcroArts and Nimble Arts.

Caroline's passion for movement lead her to become a Certified Hanna Somatic Educator. In both her private practice and as a circus instructor, she uses her knowledge of the neuromuscular system to help others embody themselves more fully and achieve what they are capable of.

Dwoira Scheffer
Dwoira Galilea, a New York City native, trained in rhythmic gymnastics from age 9 through 13. She graduated from the Performing Arts High School of NYC (LaGuardia) as a theatre major, and took courses at NYU Tisch's Experimental Theatre Wing, as well as flying and static trapeze, tissu, and contortion lessons on the side. She spent 9 months in Brattleboro, Vermont at the New England Center for Circus Arts, and moved to San Francisco to continue pursuing her training.

At Circus Center she trained in tissu, hoop and static trapeze and spent 3 months in Elena Panova's Professional Aerial Program. She also trained in contortion with Mongolia's Golden Girl Serchmaa Byambaa and 3-time Guinness World Record Holder Leslie Tipton. For the past 6 years she has toured with several shows, including traditional circuses in Canada and Japan, as well as several US tours and Bay Area performances.
Robin Berry

Robin began her circus life in 1997 when she performed a double trapeze act for the first time with fellow Circus Center faculty member Jennings McCown. As a competitive athlete she appreciated the strength training benefits of aerial arts and began incorporating them into her training regimen. From 1998 to 2009, she carried a set of silks with her around the globe as she competed in two World Championships for long distance triathlon, seven Ironman Triathlons and four Boston Marathons. She trained with Anti-Gravity, Trapeze School of New York, fellow performers at Walt Disney World, former members of Cirque du Soleil and at the New England Center for Circus Arts. Believing that athletes are artists whose medium is the human body, she founded Artisan Athletics, a coaching and performance company with over a dozen partner locations on the East and West coasts. She continues to perform for special events and theatrical productions in the Bay Area.

Ross Travis

Ross Travis is a professional Actor/Creator, Bouffon, Clown and Circus Performer. A proud company member with Circus Bella, San Francisco’s premiere one ring circus, Ross specializes in Chinese pole, an apparatus he studied for five years with Master Teacher Lu Yi at the San Francisco Circus Center. In 2014 Ross performed his Chinese pole act with Sweet Can Circus in their sold out holiday show Mittens and Mistletoe. In October and November of 2013 Ross had a six-week contract to perform aerial pole and acrobatics in Craniatrium with Firefly Theatre and Circus, an ensemble-based circus and theatre company based in Edmonton, Canada. He rejoined Firefly for two weeks in March of 2015 to take part in a developmental workshop for their next show premiering in 2016. Ross has done coporate events with Velocity Circus and Le Cirque Boheme. Ross has a performance company called Antic in a Drain which just finished its first international tour of The Greatest Monkey Show On Earth; a primate circus extravaganza with a twist. The show received four stars from Global News at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival and the inaugural Artistic Risk Award at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Ross is a graduate of the Professional Training Program at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, as well as the Professional Acrobatic Program at the San Francisco Circus Center. He teaches Chinese pole, Handstands and Acrobatics at the San Francisco Circus Center

Deanna Audrey Hammond

Deanna Audrey Hammond originally taught stilting and stilt-creature
choreography to fellow performers and community volunteers as the
stilt troupe director for the All Souls Procession in Tucson, AZ. In
her capacity as a primary troupe member of Flam Chen pyrotechnic
theater company, she taught aerial Tissu (Silks) classes as a founding
instructor at the Tucson School of Circus and Performing Arts (TSCPA).
She taught all-level aerial silks classes at The Schoolhouse in San
Francisco as part of her artist residency there in 2011. She was a
regular instructor of beginner, intermediate and advanced aerial Tissu
classes at Aspen Aerials in downtown San Francisco for 9 months. She
also has experience teaching the art of poi (fire spinning) to
individuals and small groups for special projects. She has been
teaching adult level 1 and 2 aerial Tissu classes as a substitute
teacher at Circus Center since spring 2015, and has been teaching
regular level 1 and 2 Tissu classes and private lessons there for the
entirety of the summer session 2015. She has also been the full-time
lead aerial instructor of Circus Center's summer camp for the summer
of 2015. In this role, Deanna has also had the opportunity to assist
instructing children ages 7-14 in basic trapeze, tightwire, rolling
globe, rolla bola, stilting, poi, plate spinning, unicycle, and other
beginner-level circus arts. Deanna has been teaching all-level adult
Aerial Silks classes regularly out of Sunset Youth Services' (SYS)
youth center since 2011, where she continues to offer classes.

Jeremy Vik

Jeremy Vik came to Circus Center in 2004 and graduated from the Clown Conservatory (directed by Jeff Raz) in 2005. Realizing that clowning is the hardest thing on Earth, he returned to acting and spent 5 years performing around the Bay in mostly Shakespeare and Musical Theatre. Then in 2010, he returned to Circus Center and completed the Professional Acrobatics Program, specializing in Handstands. Jeremy has performed for the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Shotgun Players, Goldenthread Productions, Marin Shakespeare Company, 42nd St. Moon, Virago Theatre Company, and many more. In addition to acting, Jeremy performs chair balancing and juggling all over the Bay. He has performed with Circus Bella, Sweet Can Productions, the Clown Cabaret, and more. Jeremy has a BFA in Performance from Southern Oregon University and is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.

Ellen Valkevich

Ellen first discovered her love of flying trapeze at the age of 13, but has been training all over the US since 2007- starting with Circus Center, followed by Club Med, TSNY Chicago, and Embrace Adrenaline trapeze club in Minnesota. She started teaching flying trapeze at Circus Center in 2015.

Steve Smith

Smith began as a clown with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and went on to become that circus’s Goodwill Ambassador. He later was Dean of the Ringling Clown College for ten years, and also served as director for the 123rd edition of “The Greatest Show on Earth.” He is a five-time Emmy Award winner for his work in children’s television, and a 1993 inductee into the Clown Hall of Fame. Smith has worked as a director and creative consultant for numerous clients, including Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, McDonald’s, Verizon Wireless, Walt Disney World, Chuck Jones Film Productions, The Reduced Shakespeare Co., Princess Cruise Lines, NBC-TV, CBS-TV, and many Off-Broadway theatre, cabaret, theme park, and film projects.

Sara Moore

Sara Moore brings to the leadership of the Conservatory over three decades of experience as a performer, writer, director, and teacher. Her substantial body of creative work covers the full spectrum of clowning and spans multiple media, including the big top, film, Off-Broadway theaters, casinos, and outdoor venues.

Moore has created, directed, and performed material for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, The Krofft Puppets, Royal Caribbean International, Tropicana Hotels and Resorts, The New Pickle Circus, Six Flags Show Productions, and Merv Griffin’s Resorts Casino and Hotels, among others. She also wrote, directed, and co-produced the independent feature film “Homo Heights” starring Quentin Crisp, which is widely considered a cult classic today. Her recent solo show, Show Ho, has earned critical and popular acclaim through several sold-out runs.



Amy Olson

Amy Olson is a performance artist, circus arts instructor and licensed massage therapist based in San Fransisco, CA. Amy strives to make a connection to her audience through her love of movement and artistic expression. She is a graduate of New England Center for Circus Art's professional performance program with a major in Tissu and minor in Single Point Trapeze. She has performed and taught Circus Arts since 2010 to adults and children. Amy's explorations in performance and healing arts provide her with a deeply felt sense that assists her students to unlock physical abilities that are wanting to be expressed. It is a continuing mission for Amy to create a legacy of excellence and inspiration through her craft.

Lindsay Tyson

Lindsay has been climbing things since childhood, and was a competitive gymnast and springboard diver for many years before falling in love with flying trapeze. She has been training at Circus Center since 2013 and remains both an active student and instructor.

Eli Finlay

Eli spends most of his time moving, talking, or making. When not at Circus Center he moonlights as a neo-burlesque seven foot cabaret artist. Eli hails from a drizzly island off the coast of Washington State, much of his adult life has been spent adventuring his way throughout Central America and Europe. He developed an early love for juggling and flexibility and has continued to pursue that love for uncommon movement into a professional setting. Eli is a fitness and yoga instructor, spreading his love of mental and physical connection through mindfulness in the bay area.

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