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Our trainers

Nichola Hall

Nichola Hall has recently returned from South America after eight years of work, travel and study.

She completed a Diploma in Circus Arts and Dance in Argentina and is a qualified yoga teacher, musician and photographer.

Nichola has taught and performed circus, aerial and yoga in Canada, Argentina and Nicaragua, and has developed a fusion of the various disciplines of dance, hola hoop, acrobatics and aerial. She continues to develop her own movement language and unique teaching style that is focused on connecting and experimenting more profoundly with the relationship between body, movement and element.

Nichola has worked with all ages from little kids to adults and has taught circus to various socio economic communities and within not for profit collectives. She has even worked on a project bringing together sailing and aerial dance. She teaches circus and aerial for young people and adults.

Flynn Patrao

Flynn Patrao has a passion for movement and educating others. He teaches students new and creative ways to use their bodies and to safely push the limits of their own experience.

He has been practising Parkour and Freerunning since 2008 and has been involved in the Australian Parkour movement since its beginnings. He has been teaching Parkour since 2012 and with Cameron established the Parkour program at Castlemaine Circus in 2016, which has since tripled in size. They have trained up three Parkour teachers and created a whole Parkour levels system for students.

Flynn is a senior coach at Jets Gymnastics in Bendigo teaching children of all ages and running the school’s gymnastics program. He works for Xteme inc and leads Parkour demonstrations and workshops at schools, festivals and community events in Central Victoria. He is wonderful at teaching all ages and abilities.

Mandy Field

Mandy is a producer, director and multi platform artist. After completing a Graduate Diploma in Performance Making in 2005, Mandy has focused on creating cross-platform outcomes, and producing events and initiatives that reflect local identity and place. She draws on a synthesis of physical theatre, visual theatre and interactive video to create live arts experiences for audiences.

Mandy has trained extensively in Butoh and Dance Theatre with Kazuo, Yoshito Ohno and Min Tanaka in Japan; in Physical Theatre and Circus with the Angry Mime, Spaghetti Circus, Theatre of the Ordinary, Brin Prichard and Simon Adams; and Visual Theatre with Sue Giles and Philipe Genty.

Mandy worked for 3 years as Program Manager with Polyglot Theatre (2007-2010), where she managed lengthy creative developments, festivals tours and seasons at the Melbourne International Arts Festival and Singapore Arts Festival. She has directed and produced large scale outcomes for many festivals including The Village, The Woodford Folk Festival, The Friendship Djerrip Festival and the Castlemaine State Festival. She has worked as artistic director, creative producer, tour manager, event manager, and currently works for CoHealth Arts Generator in FCAC.

Mandy is a co-founder of Castlemaine Circus and established the preschooler circus program.

Cameron MacLeman

Cameron understands the importance of good role modelling and aims to be the role model he would have wanted when he was training at the YMCA.

Cameron has been practising Parkour and Freerunning since 2008 and has been involved in the Australian Parkour movement since its beginnings. He has been teaching Parkour since 2012 and with Flynn established the Parkour program at Castlemaine Circus in 2016, which has since tripled in size. They have trained up three Parkour teachers and created a whole Parkour levels system for students.

Cameron has studied Outdoor Education and is currently a beginner coach at Jets Gymnastics in Bendigo teaching children of all ages. He works for Xteme inc and leads Parkour demonstrations and workshops at schools, festivals and community events in Central Victoria. Cameron is a very approachable and engaging instructor.

Erika Hannson

Erika Hansson grew up in the north of Sweden and first ran away with the circus at age 16 joining the circus high school in a town called Gävle. She studied there for 3 years and loved practising circus and teaching on the side.

Erika studied at AFUK – Academy of Untamed Creativity for two years then completed her Bachelor of Circus Arts at AMOC – Academy of Modern Circus with her first discipline in hand to hand and her second in aerial net and hula hoop in 2018.

Erika then travelled to Australia and has been here ever since working as an aerial arborist, circus and aerial trainer and acrobatic performer. She regularly creates and delivers circus workshops for children and adults across Victoria.

Erika has an infectiously positive attitude, a high energy and a passionate approach to every task she undertakes.

Bek Connors

Bek Connors spent her youth at the Westside Circus learning the art of circus. She went on to study a Certificate 4 in Circus Arts at NICA and worked as a circus trainer at the Women’s Circus, The Circus Spot and Carnival Fitness. Her passion for social circus saw her volunteering on an exchange program with Circus Kathmandu in Nepal and Australia. Bek has also studied Nutritional Medicine and as been a curator for art projects.

Bek brings her compassion, friendliness and conscientious leadership to our circus.

Caz Walsh

Caz Walsh has a Bachelor in Circus Arts at the National Institute of Circus Arts specialising in Double Swinging Trapeze and Rolla Bolla and Diplomas in Community Theatre and Film and TV studying directing, acting, etc. She also competed in gymnastics for 8 years and spring-board diving for 3 years!

Caz has performed at most fringe festivals and circus festivals across the country and has been performing since 2006. She has toured with Circus Oz, Dislocate, Circus Quirkus, Pants Down Circus Rock around regional Victoria, Australia and overseas.

Some of her physical skills include:  Double Swinging and Static Trapeze,  Rolla Bolla (Balancing on-top of Metal Cylinders), Toss the Girl, Acrobatics, Tissu, Hoop Diving, Teeterboard and Group Bike. Caz teaches Aerial and Circus with us.

Adam Davis

Adam Davis has joined our team fresh from teaching at NICA, The National Institute of Circus Arts where he taught circus foundations, pole, adagio, tumbling, aerials, juggling and wall trampoline to name a few. He previously coached at Circa in Queensland, High Flying Circus Arts, Gravity Circus Centre in London, Circus House in Manchester and Vulcana Womens Circus.

Over the past 15 years Adam has had a stellar career performing throughout the world with Cirque du Soliel, The Great Moscow Circus, Circa, P&O Cruises, King Kong, Ben 10, Kage Physical Theatre and many more. He is also a stunt man and a rigger. Adam and his wife Jessica run their own circus performance company Adica Arts and are based in Daylesford with their 6 year old son.

Adam teaches our circus program and has established the circus warriors classes for preschoolers. He is also our in house rigger.

Chevy Barnes Librio

Chevy started doing parkour and free running when he was 13 years old and started gymnastics when he was 14. He is currently still training in all of these practices.

He started teaching gymnastics in 2016 and he is a qualified Australian beginner coach and teaching gymnastics at Jets Gymnastics in Bendigo. In 2018 in began teaching parkour at Castlemaine Circus. He is a committed and inspiring teacher.

Armstrong Scherlies

Armstrong is a parent to 5 kids under 9. By day he home schools kids (though rarely from home), and in his Armstrong time he’s involved in the male Rites of Passage, the non violent communication community and can often be spotted outside in his garden delighting in seedlings. He is playful and spontaneous by nature, a big kid at heart, and has been known to juggle oranges while shopping. In 2016-17, he enrolled in the 12+ yr Circus Class as the only adult amongst a room full of teenage boys. He learnt hand stands from Ivo and juggling from Eric and performed in the Castlemaine Circus Show 2017.

His first career path had him professionally trained as a masseuse, which has granted him an overly specific vocabulary of the human muscular skeletal system. Just point to your leg and ask him. Armstrong assists in our Preschooler circus classes and is a member of our board.

Junior trainers

Milou Albrecht

Milou has spent many years training in gymnastics, dance and hip hop. She has been studying Aerial at Castlemaine Circus since 2017. Milou has performed in our Castlemaine Circus End of Year Shows creating and performing Aerial solo and duo pieces and as part of the Castlemaine Circus Aerial Troupe. Milou also volunteers much of her time as a climate justice activist.

Milou is an enthusiastic and warm teacher for our primary age circus students and our younger aerial students.

Rita Fortune

Rita has spent many years training in Parkour and Aerial at Castlemaine Circus. She has performed in the Castlemaine Circus End of Year Shows 2017-19 as an Aerial Performer. Rita is also a musician and is in the New Orleans Band as a trombone player and volunteers her time with Freeza, the local council run youth committee organising music events in Castlemaine and surrounds.

Rita is a calm, conscientious and trusting trainer to our Parkour students.