Shane started training in acrobatic gymnastics at the tender age of 25. From there he became heavily involved in Gymnastics for All (GFA) as a coach education tutor and went on to become the first National Development Officer with Gymnastics Ireland. He was GFA National Squad Director for two years, choreographing group displays, combining gymnastics, costume, music and lighting. Just last year Shane was an International Evaluator at the FIG World Gym for Life Challenge in South Africa.
Shane moved across into the World of Aerial about five years ago. In 2013/14, he attended the Ecole Nationale de Cirque in Montreal where he took their High Performance Teacher Training Programme, specialising in Hand to Hand, Doubles Trapeze, Russian Bar, Banquine and Aerials. In the past year he started his company, TAKING FLIGHT aerial & acrobatics, specialising in the teaching of aerial and acrobatics in his own studio in Dublin city centre. He also teaches with APPA-NI, Belfast and facilitates workshops nationwide and internationally. In recent years, Shane led a Secondary Schools Aerial Project, bringing schools and aerial artists together. He has been a teacher at the Irish Aerial Dance Festival for the past five years.
Hannah is happiest twirling at warp speed in a hammock, but trains and teaches a range of skills across rope, harness, wall running, counterweight, spiral, as well as dance, flying, and static trapeze. Her background in science means she particularly enjoys breaking down the mechanics of aerial and generally geeking out about physics. She has performed as part of Culture Night, the Create Project, IACC's Creative Intensive, been featured in Totally Dublin magazine, and in 2019 she graduated with Ecole Nationale de Cirque, Montreal, in Circus Instruction. When she isn't spinning, she is an illustrator, and is likely covered in paint at any given time.
Monika is an aerial artist and mentor specialising in fabric and rope, durational performance and choreography. She is influenced by her upbringing in the mountains and forests of Slovakia where she spent countless hours walking, running and climbing, and built her endurance. She attended a four-month long, full-time professional course in London where she trained in aerial rope, fabric, straps and flexibility extensively. She has since trained in Barcelona on multiple occasions in order to extend her knowledge of dynamic skills on aerial rope. She currently resides at Taking Flight where she trains and develops her work. Monika believes aerial arts have a lot to offer to everyone who is interested in movement, regardless of age, ability and level of experience. As a teacher she strives to share her knowledge and experience, create an inclusive and fun atmosphere and help students of all levels reach their aerial goals.
Sean is an aerial artist, focusing on rope and silks, but will dabble in any movement from hand-balancing to flying trapeze, surfing and yoga. She first discovered aerial in 2018 and was so inspired she moved to Barcelona for a year to train in circus full-time. She then returned to Dublin to continue her learnings and develop her own style, and was lucky to have the opportunity to learn how to teach circus in the National Circus School in Montreal. She has been very lucky to learn from incredible mentors all over and enjoys nothing more than breaking down techniques and movements. She has a particular love for dynamic and momentum based movement, and when not in Taking Flight loves to eat cereal, hike and swim.
Susie McDonagh was born and reared in Dublin, although It was during her time in the UK that she was introduced to the circus arts. That was almost 20 years ago. Since then she has honed her circus skills in multi-disciplines through courses, workshops, masterclasses, bootcamps, weekly classes and tutoring. Susie Specialises in aerial rope, although she dabbles in trapeze, straps, fabric, hoop, cocoon, clowning, object manipulation and floor acrobatics. She became a qualified circus arts instructor in 2019 graduating with Ecole Nationale De Cirque, Montreal. This followed on from successfully completing the teacher training program with Serenity Smith Forchion of Nimble Arts. Susie's heart lies within the circus community and especially within Taking Flight. She continues to promote, cultivate, endorse, and practice circus skills with every opportunity.
Claire is an aerial hoop artist and instructor who started her artistic journey back in 2007 in Bull Alley's Theatre Training College. It was there that she found her love of creative exploration and being on stage.
After an extended career break from performing, Claire found herself falling in love with a big metal circle. Bitten by the aerial bug in early 2018, Claire decided to take up space in every aerial studio in the greater Dublin area. You can now find Claire, happily dangling from the ceiling in Taking Flight, thinking of new ways to add to her collection of hoop bruises.
Sasha is a Dublin based performer, who is specialised in Hand Balancing, Aerial Straps & Dance. He is a self-taught artist who lived in London, Glasgow, Marrakesh, Berlin and other places too numerous to mention. He had the honour to perform & collaborate with companies such as German National Theater, 45 Degrees, Tempodrom Berlin, TEDx, Nick Knight, Beats Headphones and many more. In 2019 Sasha premiered his solo show "Public Nightmares to Private Dreams" at the Berlin Pfefferberg Theater. He's been working 10 years actively on stage, including 8 years of teaching Straps, Hand Balancing and workshops on floor movement & physical theatre.
Vincent has been teaching handstand and contemporary dance in Ireland and abroad for the last seven years, with an emphasis on aesthetics, mindfulness and sustainability.
Combining terminology and concepts from the worlds of circus, dance and strength training, his work aims at promoting a framework for self-expression that relies on structured learning and correct biomechanics. He developed a unique methodology designed for adults willing to learn movement skills.
Aimed at both the general public and artists, from the complete beginner to the professional, his teaching invites every student into a journey of movement self-exploration.
Róisín practically grew up in a gymnastics club and has been coaching artistic gymnastics for the past 12 years. She specializes in competitive Mens Artistic alongside recreational gymnastics for everyone from toddlers to retirees. Róisín firmly believes that gymnastics builds a strong foundation transferable to any other sport. She’s passionate about science-backed training, and endeavors to keep her programming up to date with sport-science research.
Lisa began practicing aerial fabric and rope in 2017 and immediately fell in love. Having taught English in the post-primary education sector since 2005, she is very interested in applying her teaching experience and passion for education to circus and aerial dance. She is very curious about movement and how different bodies navigate their strengths and limitations. She received an Athletics Ireland coaching qualification in 2009 and is especially interested in aerial dance and circus as an activity to promote inclusion and fitness for all. Her study of poetry and literature is a source of creative impetus and she enjoys exploring the relationship between these two art forms. Lisa also practices aerial cocoon, hoop, and pole. She began teaching aerial fabric in 2020 and joined the Taking Flight team as a tutor for kids and teen classes in October 2021.
Chloe is an aerial artist who specialises in aerial hoop and dabbles in fabric, straps, rope and vertical dance. She has been training aerial since 2017, has performed nationally at the RDS, Sugar Club, Electric Picnic and many more festivals including internationally with Bliss Circus Goa India. Chloe joined the team of tutors with Taking Flight in November 2021.
Liam started aerial training in 2016, and quickly gravitated to Aerial Straps as his favourite apparatus. One of his focuses is on helping people with different abilities find ways they can safely and comfortably use the apparatus. As someone who has had rheumatoid arthritis for thirty years, he had to find his own way of performing many of the techniques and skills, and ways to train around injuries and physical limitations.He brings this personal experience to helping others overcome what may be perceived as a physical limitation on their aerial skills. Liam began his physical training with Martial Arts when he was 12, and was awarded a black belt when he was 17, he taught Martial Arts and Self Defence for 20 years. Liam started teaching Mixed Aerials as part of the Taking Flight internship programme in November 2021, and continues teaching Kids and Teens classes twice a week as well as a regular adult straps class.
Beginning her Taking Flight Journey in 2017, Ciara is an aerial acrobat and artist, focusing primarily on aerial rope and straps, while dabbling in aerial hoop, fabric and acrobatics. Inspired by the challenges and frustrations she faced in her role as a mental health professional, Ciara's artistic work shares the laughter, the joy, the sadness, the confusion, the fear and the frustration of establishing oneself in a society that proves resistant to fundamental change. Ciara truly believes that aerial art and acrobatics can be and should be accessible to everybody willing to take part and has a multitude of positive impacts on the participants' wellbeing. Ciara received her diploma in Circus Arts Instruction with Ecole Nationale De Cirque, Montreal in 2019. Ciara feels really honoured to be part of the Taking Flight team, who create a supportive and inclusive environment for all staff and students.