Chelsey Rea • Circus Artist


Circus finds us when we need it most.

Classically trained throughout her youth in gymnastics and ballet, Chelsey was given an opportunity to be trained to perform Hand-to-Hand at the young age of 10.  Walking away from Jr. Olympic competitive gymnastics she continued to pursue other avenues of sport and movement in her teens. Signing her first contract at age 16 for a national high diving show, she eventually found herself coaching and chorographing high school gymnasts at the competitive state level at age 19. Discovering flying trapeze and circus arts in her twenties, she spent the better part of the next 10 years traveling Europe, Canada and the US performing acts on a variety of aerial apparatus and fullfilling her childhood dream of flying trapeze professionally, on tour briefly with the Tuniziani family.  Today, Chelsey brings over 20 years of experience to her students.  Inspiring them to be inquisitive with spatial awareness and supporting them as they unlock personal boundaries, gain strength, and build skills in the air as well as on the ground. Her techniques stem from her main impulse, to have fun. 

Seattle based aerialist, Chelsey Rea, specializes in applying the mechanics of movement to Circus Stuff: Fying Trapeze, Aerial, Acrobatics, Trampoline and Stilt Dancing.

She is the former Aerial Dept. Head for SANCA, School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts. She is currently persuing her Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington - Seattle, WA full time.


Val F. Russell


I have studied with Chelsey for five years now. I am amazed with her talent and willingness to share her art form. I do not say this lightly or to be funny, but she is a BAD ASS. I have studied under many great coaches, few are as prolific and technically precise as Chelsey. 

She has a deep technical understanding of the relationship between artist and apparatus. Let me tell you, she will make you work for it. There will be NO sloppy form under her astute eye.

One of my favorite stories that I pass on to my students is a tale of leg rotation. I spent two hours and good money rotating my leg until my body accepted the mechanics of the move. I was considering that she might be crazy after two hours of working on leg placement. Upon returning home I saw a picture of myself. I was estactic that my lines had improved and that my movements were clean and my lines were taking noticeable shape.

Chelsey is not a tricks teacher. She is a master of mechanical movement that comes from a deep understanding of both the equipment and how our bodies respond to it. From her you'll learn how to dance with your equipment.

I came to aerial later in life. Never did she destroy my hope for finding my place in an aerial world. She instead pushed and encouraged my successes. I live in Memphis, Tennessee where I started an aerial community. Chelsey came here to teach workshops and perform with me. I am so grateful to her for helping me fulfill dreams and expand my career. In addition to my Pilates studio, I am also the happy owner of an aerial gym  and the artistic director of Valeria's Wings bringing physical theatre to my community.

Chelsey is both a coach and a dear friend.
I am so grateful to have her in my life.



Leah Newcomb


I started learning aerial with Chelsey in 2010 at SANCA.  She was patient with my progress, but consistently pushed me to work my very hardest.  When I started training with her privately, my technique and strength began to improve drastically, thanks to her keen attention to detail and commitment to pedagogy.  Because of her, I had a solid foundation in aerial movement when I moved to NYC in 2011.  Having since trained with a number of highly regarded coaches with a wide variety of teaching styles, I have realized that Chelsey is truly a master of aerial technique, with an exceptional methodology of movement. Recently, I had the opportunity to return and train with Chelsey, and found that even after years of working with other coaches, she was quickly able to pinpoint my limitations and break down the areas where my progress had slowed down.  Because of this, I have a renewed focus for my training and a stronger commitment to proper technique moving forward.


 Leah is a bellydancer and cabaret/circus performer based in New York. She has been studying aerial since 2010.  You can learn about her work at



Jenn Johnson

"When I decided that I wanted to learn aerial fabric, I knew the only person who could teach me everything I wanted to know was Chelsey. She has the ability to break down EVERYTHING - from very simple movements to highly complicated sequences - with the same level of precise detail, and quickly identify corrections to make my learning more efficient."

Jenn has been exploring movement through aerial arts performance since 2008 via static trapeze and tiny ring. A long time rock climber, she is the co-owner of Vertical Girl; Vertical Girl exists to enhance the climbing community and support women who aspire to climb.
Learn more at: VerticalGirl and

Vivian Tam


I met Chelsey at a time when I'd been performing and teaching aerial for a couple of years mostly in the Seattle area. My solo work had hit a flat line and I was getting bored. Finding my self Just shy of making something I was really proud of, I wanted to get stronger, be more inventive, and just get to that next level. Chelsey helped me get through that plateau. She gave me a better foundation and direction for my aerial performance. She is a powerful and inspirational artist and mentor.


Vivian is an aerialist based in Seattle, WA. She loves to challenge herself as a versatile performer and draws inspiration from all forms of movement and performance arts. As a teacher, Vivian hopes inspires her students to be confidence, just as her teachers have done for her.



Vivian is an aerial instructor at SANCA and at Knotty Yoga, specializing in aerial fabric and hoop.



Naami Wagner


Fall 2012, I moved from Washington DC to Washington state to pursue my dream of becoming a circus performer. I moved without any prior circus experience, and started out by taking as many adult intro classes at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts as I could handle. After some time, I applied to be a SANCA staff member, and a few months later started training to perform a fabric act for the staff show. The impending doom of a performance, for which I was under qualified, motivated me to seek out some professional help.

Chelsey's reputation as a no-nonsense, form oriented coach preceded her, which is why I sought her out for private lessons. I found her reputation was technically accurate, though it didn't give her enough credit. Chelsey teaches from the ground up, focusing on a cohesive, performance based style of movement. She is an engaged and enthusiastic coach that continues to be a motivating force in my aerial achievements.




Stephan Seo


Stephan is currently attending UCLA Anderson School of Management to obtain his Master of Business Administration and Marketing degree in Los Angeles, California. We all miss him here in Seattle, WA and look forward to his return. 














Jacob Rodvelt-Gamlieli


Jacob is the son of Ilauna Gamlieli and the third generation in a family of great dancers. Jacob began dancing at the age of two taking creative movement and tap with his mother. He later added ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and step to his training through training from many different teachers to diversify his talent. Jacob has many performing acclamations to his name including World Championship awards in tap. As an instructor and choreographer Jacob has coached many groups to High Score Awards and his choreography is featured in the community and local event such as "Vamps and Vixens" and "Le Faux" at Julia's on Broadway in Seattle.

After graduating from high school Jacob taught at several private dance schools and held the position of Dance Program Coordinator for the Lakewood Family YMCA. There he founded the award winning FLY Dance Company. Jacob is now the owner and director of Action Dance Academy, Youth Program Coordinator at LAB5 Fitness and teaching at Cornerstone Studio. Jacob wants nothing more than to inspire and share dance with the eager enthusiastic. As a performer Jacob has been training with Chelsey Rea in aerial silks and looks forward to finding more performance opportunities.