What our certified teachers, scholars and WCAAF participants say about us.

Mariah Wise has been training and performing in aerial arts since 2013. She specializes in aerial hoop and aerial silks. Mariah began her training at the age of 13 with Metro Movement Aerial Arts. She is currently training with Circus Arts and Antigravity. Mariah has also trained with École Nationale de Cirque during their Summer Camp for two years in a row. Mariah was honored to compete for her first time at the West Coast Aerial Arts in 2014. She was awarded 1st in her category, 13-17 amateur Lyra. Mariah also competed last year, 2015, and won not only 1st in her category again, but also 1st overall. Mariah would like to thank West Coast Aerial Arts for everything.

Mariya Wise, Florida
Overall Winner 2015 WCAAF
1st Teen Hoop 2014 & 2015 WCAAF
Metro Movement Aerial Arts & Ecole Nationale Montreal

Nov. 14, 2014:  Sarah Carr competed in the 1st Annual West Coast Aerial Arts Festival (2013), awarded the Overall Winner,  1st Place in Silk and 1st Place in Lyra – Amateur Division (ages 13-17). Her first experience competing in aerial, this motivated her and boosted her self confidence. Sarah started training at twelve in Las Vegas, Nevada, and exclusively training with lyra until after three months later, she began taking silk classes as well. Together, her mother (a retired professional dancer) and Sarah develop new routines, adding more advanced moves and drops to her repertoire. Sarah also takes ballet, hand balancing and contortion, and she dabbles in hula hooping when she has free time.  Sarah has performed at Circo Etereo’s productions and has nothing but gratitude for the opportunity and the experience, which has encouraged her to continue her pursuit of performing professionally. The Circo Etereo have set a standard as to what Sarah should expect from her future endeavors as a performer, and Sarah looks forward to performing with them again.  When Sarah isn’t training, she attends college classes through a local State high school program, earning credits toward a degree in computer science.

Sarah Carr, Las Vegas
Overall Winner 2013 WCAAF
1st Teen Hoop and Silks 2013
Ecole Nationale Montreal & Various

 Sarah Carr-on Lyra

I felt that the scholarship was very helpful and it encouraged me to take more classes. The scholarship also allowed me to take different classes and let my knowledge expand. For example, I added the trapeze class that I have always wanted to try.  I feel very honored to be the first batch of ambassadors for AAA. It motivated me to train harder and work to meet the potential AAA saw in me. I will post information about our events and overall school on social media. (Mostly, Instagram because I do not have any others). The benefits of being an AAA scholar is being given opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. For instance, I took the summer intensive, which I most likely would not have been able to take without the scholarship.

Staci Ensminger, So. California
2016 AAA Scholar and
WCAAF 1st Open Group 2014 & 2015

Ruby Karen Project Aerial Performing Arts and
Ecole Nationale Montreal


I think that it is such a great opportunity for many young aerial artists like me who are passionate about what they do. It can definitely help improve each scholar in many different ways. I think that it was very generous of the Ruby Karen Project to sponsor this scholarship. It is a great place to train. Last year, I was able to take a private lesson with Ruby and participated in some group workshops. If I had more money, I would have loved to take even more private lessons. I am so excited that this year I will be able to use the scholarship money to learn from the fabulous instructors and the variety of workshops at the West Coast Aerial Arts Festivals.  I feel very blessed and grateful to be a part of this and be chosen as the 1st batch AAA scholars. I think that even those who didn’t get chosen can benefit a lot just from the process of the audition since it was something new and challenging for young performers. As this is a new project, I’m not actually really sure what my role is. Maybe I could give reports about my activities during the year I am selected. Then when I am using the scholarship money, I should acknowledge on social media that it is Aerial Arts of America that has enabled me to take these classes. It may be good to have a discussion with all the first year recipients and their families to brainstorm about how to proceed. (I have attached a summary of my activities in a separate file.  Though I haven’t had the opportunity to use the scholarship money yet, I believe the extra training I can get will help bring out the best performances and allowed me to bring my aerial arts to the next level. It is so important for young performers to learn from a variety of instructors. The scholarship can be used to broaden my experience in particular, to take private lessons. Since they are expensive, I’ve mostly done group lessons. It was great to have an instructor help me one on one to improve on things I need to. To be able to use to money on private lessons from seasoned professionals is such a great luxury for an aspiring performer.

Reina Akiyama, Tokyo
2016 Scholar and 2015 WCAAF Participant
AADP, Circus Lab & Ecole Nationale Montreal

An outstanding opportunity for sharing new information, new techniques and building new relationships.  Clearly made me focus and realize just how important even the simplest of techniques is and how it impacts the outcome of a performance or a trick.  It made me get serious about aerial. Being part of the larger community is a beautiful thing!!!  The camaraderie is fantastic!  Everybody is supportive for all – young and old.  One gets to share ideas, methods, techniques, observe other artists / competitors and their creations.  Set new expectations and future goals higher – always raising the bar!  Participating or not, I like getting to know new people, visiting with friends I don’t get to see often, making new friends and participating in the workshops presented by guest instructors.  Just fabulous!

Edie Morton, So. California
1st Place Senior Amateur – WCAAF 2014
Ruby Karen Project Aerial Performing Arts

 Edie Morton


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