Renee Wu is the founder of Inspiration Studios. She instantly fell in love with pole's endless possibilities during her very first class at Inspiration Studio’s predecessor, Poletential. Renee was thrilled when the opportunity arose to take over the studio space she spent all her time teaching and training in, and jumped at the chance to continue to grow the community she had fallen head over heels for. She loves to explore different forms of movement, blending pole with her background in gymnastics, ballet, contemporary, ballroom, and hip hop. She is known for her precise, detailed, and technical teaching style, and for her graceful, effortlessly fluid movement. She is the 2018 Pole Theatre USA Pro Pole Art and Overall Champion, the 2017 PSO Golden Gate Champion, and the 2016 Pole Theatre USA Pro Classique Champion, to name just a few of her competition titles. When not on a pole, you can find her rolling around on the ground, drinking boba, or watching cat videos (often all at the same time).
Allison Hudson grew up in Houston, Texas and moved to the Bay Area in 2010. She loves singing, pole dancing, teaching pole and spending time with her beloved friends and family. She has been a competitive athlete all of her life in swimming, soccer, golf and cheerleading and discovered pole dancing at age 32 after having her first born son and gaining 60 pounds that wouldn't come off.
What she loves about pole dancing is that it combines her love for music with strength training, dance and flexibility all while achieving a higher level of athleticism. She began teaching pole classes in 2012 and loves helping her students learn new pole twirls/combos/tricks and achieve things they never thought possible. She is so excited to share her passion for pole dancing with the students at Inspiration Studios.
Anna Yanushkevich was born in Russia and immigrated to the Bay Area at the age of 6. She started dance classes and gymnastics shortly after and continued learning various styles from that point on. At 16 she started teaching herself fire dancing to incorporate into her skill-set. In 2010 she moved to san diego and began taking circus classes. At first it was once a week, but them quickly escalated to 8-12 hours a week of aerial, dance, conditioning and flexibility classes. She now lives in the Silicon valley and continues to perform all over California, and sometimes in surrounding states or overseas.
Caitlin Savage is a Bay Area native who grew up singing and dancing at local rec centers and children's theaters. She started dancing at age 5 and has studied jazz, musical theater, ballet, hip hop and modern. She went on to study theater at NYU's Playwrights Horizons studio, dance at Emory College and dance choreography and pedagogy at Mills College where she received her MFA. Caitlin has been teaching movement, dance and theater for over 15 years and has been doing burlesque throughout the Bay Area since 2011. She started poling in 2012 and loved combining her knowledge of dance and theater with the strength and skill required for pole. In 2017 she placed 2nd in Floorwork & Low Flow at PSO Nationals.
Cola Claret comes to Inspiration Studios with a lifetime of movement and performance experience. From a background in ballet and modern dance, Cola dove into aerial arts in 2010 and has been making a name for herself ever since. Specializing in aerial hoop, she also performs on static trapeze, aerial sling/hammock, and chains. She is known for her dynamic spinning, graceful expression, and sharp technique. Cola performs regularly throughout the Bay Area and is a featured performer with Le Cirque de Boheme. She is also one half of the aerial duo Aether Moon. As an instructor, she draws on her keen knowledge of body dynamics and strives to help her students safely build strength and develop proper technique. Cola loves to see her students grow and develop their own styles and individual acts.
Dana Schorr has always been a performer, forcing her family to sit through endless dance recitals, both on stage and at home in their living room. Her love of dance began as a five year old in ballet class, and continued through years of studio classes and competitive dance teams. In February of 2013 she discovered the beautiful and difficult art of pole dancing and is now officially obsessed! A year later she ventured to the aerial side and fell in love with dancing in the sky on a hammock. She is known for her beautifully expressive dancing, has won multiple first place medals within the PSO competition circuit, and loves to cheer on her students's successes.
Ellen Lovelace has been dancing in one form or another her whole life–from cheer-leading to musical theater, she has always loved to boogie. Despite having no formal dance training, no gymnastics experience, and a terrific fear of heights, she began pole dancing in 2008, and found herself immediately smitten! She has spent her years on the pole training with all of the top names in the sport, and continuing her education by traveling to work with the best. Ellen’s nickname is “Dr. Sultry,” as she’s known for her smooth and sexy style. With an eye for details and a love for musicality, she has also developed a niche as a coach to some top pole competitors. Ellen is co-producer of the Northern California Pole Presentational, held annually in San Jose, CA. She has also taught self-defense through Women Defending Ourselves, and is a certified Aerial Yoga teacher. In her real life, she's a functional nutritionist, a passionate animal lover who volunteers at a wildlife rescue facility, and can often be found smelling of skunk while covered in Mastiff drool.
Jessica Campbell has been a professional dancer and choreographer since 2000. From performing in an acrobatic modern dance company, Eva Dean Dance in New York to hip hop Burger King commercials in L.A., from Argentine Tango to Classical Ballet, Jessica has a wide range of skill and expertise. With a degree in dance, a yoga certification, and a specialization in writing dance curriculum for K-5th grade, Jessica was looking for something to balance her dance career and frankly make it more fun. Pole dance became an obvious haven in 2010 and Jessica has been loving exploring pole ever since.
Jessica Roginsky started studying movement at the age of 3 in her first ballet classes and has not stopped learning ever since. At age 13, after reaching the Junior Olympic Level as a Rhythmic Gymnast, she sought out a more expressive and freeing atmosphere through which to focus her movement. And so her love for circus arts began. Since 2010, Jessica has performed with companies such as Circus Smirkus and Cirque Mechanics in acts including contortion, hand-balancing, aerial hoop and hula hoop. Her love and fascination with movement and the human body, drove Jessica to earn Bachelor's Degrees in Kinesiology and Biology from Occidental College ('16). She now works as a scientific specialist in a Biotechnology (Genome Engineering) company. After learning about the deep physiological importance of incorporating fitness into a person's daily routine, her favorite aspect of teaching has become showing every person that no matter their level of experience they can reach their fitness and performance goals in healthy, fun, and meaningful ways.
Kimmy Fitz started pole dancing after celebrating her birthday at a pole dance studio. Immediately hooked, she signed up for her first class in 2010 and competed in her first competition in 2013. A former two sport college athlete, she loves competition and training hard. Her pole moves are as aggressive as her smile is big. She is known for her killer stage presence, is the 2017 PSO National silver medalist, and performs throughout the Bay Area. In her classes, don't be surprised when you find her singing along to the music playing, and making up her own lyrics to apply the song to whatever is happening in class!
Laura Rose Leslie is a Bay Area native who has been twirling through life from day 1. While growing up, she attempted to play multiple sports, but would always end up walking off the field to go climb trees and play on playgrounds. She has a dance background in ballet, tap, hip-hop and jazz, though took a short break from dance to pursue volleyball full time. At 16, she tried pole dancing classes, fell completely in love, and hasn't missed a week of classes since! She has competed and won multiple medals at PSO competitions and discovered that she absolutely loves performing and being on stage. She is known for her slinky smooth movement style and her stunningly long legs (we call her Laura Legslie for a reason).
Michelle Cheng grew up climbing every doorframe in her house and hanging upside down at the playground every day. She got her first taste of trapeze at Club Med trying flying trapeze. She was immediately addicted to the aerial “high” and started receiving extensive instruction on all kinds of aerial apparatus. Since 2000, she has focused primarily trapeze. She has received hundreds of hours of instruction from Cirque de Demain Gold Medalists Elena Panova and Helene Turcotte. Her love of trapeze stems from the combination of its beauty as an art form and the vigorous physical challenges to the body.
Michelle is a children’s rights attorney and juvenile mediator. She received her undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley and her J.D. from NYU School of Law. She has trained attorneys and child advocates nationwide, been lead council on child welfare class actions in several states, and teaches mediation skills and conflict resolution in San Mateo County. She has been teaching adults and children for over 22 years, and considers teaching the most rewarding aspect of every job she has held. Michelle believes that trapeze and other aerial arts are an incredibly fun way to build strength of body, mind and self-esteem. She is thrilled to share her love of trapeze with people already in love with aerial arts
and those that will surely fall in love.
Michelle Ong has loved the circus all her life, but it wasn’t until she was in college that she encountered a troupe of aerialists playing in a park that she was able to really experience it. After her first class, it was love at first flight! Michelle trained on aerial silks and lyra with Suspended Motion Aerial Arts in San Luis Obispo, California for nearly 3 years, teaching for 2 of them. During that time, she performed for many local events and the studio’s annual show, Eventyr. She also discovered that she possesses uncanny flexibility and began to train in contortion upon moving back up to the Bay Area. Michelle loves teaching, especially when students have that “ah-ha!” moment! She hopes that all of her students leave at the end of the day feeling confident and ready to come back as soon as possible. She wants everyone else to love being up in the air as much as she does!
When on the ground, Michelle works with code as a front-end web developer. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Communication from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo in 2013.
Mikal Smith is somewhere between hyper child and curious poler. Growing up, the phrases he heard most were “get off of that!” and “get down!”, and he’s excited to share that energy & refusal to sit still with the Bay Area. Coming from a background of hip-hop, contemporary, and ballroom dance (with a humorously brief stint in gymnastics), Mikal fell in love with the unique blend of fitness, dance, and acrobatics in pole in 2016. He can’t wait to get shaking and sweating with the Inspiration Studios community and helping students explore new styles of movement. If you can’t find him hanging from a pole or shaking his humbly compact booty, you’ll find him napping or consuming large amounts of fast food (and sometimes a combination of the 2…).
Miriam Robinson Gould first encountered aerial dance while playing a Fury during an experimental theater performance in Austin, TX. The director wanted actual flying Furies and taught all Furies basic aerial tricks. It was love at first climb! After the show ended, she continued her aerial journey through classes with Austin's award-winning aerial dance troupe Blue Lapis Light and performances with CircX Vortex and the Jezebelles Dance Troupe. After moving to the Bay Area, organized a series of street festival circus performances with South Bay Circus Collective and aerial classes with South Bay Circus Arts. She currently performs solo and duo aerial silks and solo hammock with Fire Pixie Entertainment.
Miriam is also a storyteller, cabaret-style bellydancer, and fire performer.
Nathalie Nebula is a professional aerial silks performer, instructor, and multi-disciplinary dancer. She grew up in the Bay Area, training in the world of competitive figure skating, where she fell in love with movement and the sensation of flying. When she found the world of circus arts in 2013 she trained rigorously until she became the co-director and instructor at the Humboldt Aerial Collective, an aerial studio nestled in the redwoods of Northern California. Since then she has been performing at both national and international festivals, corporate parties, theatrical productions, concerts, and more. She has also produced and choreographed full-length multi-disciplinary circus shows, including an interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. Nathalie draws inspiration from her wide array of dance vocabulary, including ballet, contemporary dance, belly dance, hip hop, and acrobatics. She is passionate about sharing the authentic expression of art by exploring different forms of movement on land and in the air.
Seanmichael Polaris is an international performance artist with a penchant for rotational inertia and a rebellious attitude toward gravity. With an ethereal movement quality and otherworldly command of rigid aerial apparatuses like pole and cube, his work has been described by humans as “extraterrestrial ballet” and by extraterrestrials as “not too bad.” Seanmichael brings a professional career in andragogy and a personal training certification with him to the classroom. He delights in nerding out on precision technique and anatomical minutiae almost as much as he likes to let it all go and dance with zero regard for "the rules."