Renee Wu is the founder of Inspiration Studios. 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.
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.
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.
Jake Small found static trapeze at 19 in a college club & has been enthralled by circus arts since, training practically every day. Though he's branched to other circus arts including silks, hammock, lyra, & partner acrobatics, trapeze remains his steadfast favorite.
Kasia Meow fell in love with pole a long time before she started seriously training a few years after arriving in California, and she hasn’t stopped since. Pole, aerial hammock, 8-inch heels, and the stage are her happy places. She has competed and won medals at many PSO events, starting in Level 2 at 2017 Golden Gate and up through level 4 at 2019 Nationals. She’s also a part of the aerial theater group Cirque de la Luna.
Kasia has degrees in Philosophy and Art, and is also a certified Fitness Instructor who has been teaching fitness and pilates for many years. She spent her childhood training martial arts and has also experimented with different types of dance including jazz, contemporary, tango, and sensual movement. Her (not-so) secret mission is to put everyone in a pair of 8-inch heels ;)
KC Hyland is an actor and aerialist specializing in dance trapeze and tiny hoop. As a scientist who seeks to rebel against her role as a corporate cog, she emerges from her cubicle to chameleon into a bright, colorful, aerial storyteller. KC brings humor, room-filling personality, and a grinning charisma to any stage. She began her baby steps into aerial artistry in 2013 in Denver, Colorado, taking the occasional class here or there, until her retirement from rugby in 2015 when she finally came to pursue circus arts in full, unthrottled earnest. Since then she has trained at the San Francisco Circus Center (under the hawk-eyed direction of Elena Panova), Aloft Circus Arts (Chicago), the Movement Academy (Sydney), MOTH Contemporary Circus (Denver), Caserne (Montreal), and Trapeze Arts (Oakland). A deeply-held commitment to always improving as an athlete and growing as an artist leads KC to also occasionally dabble in a variety of other ground and aerial apparatus including straps, tightwire, and sling/hammock. KC performs with a variety of SF Bay Area groups including Mystic Ventures Collective, the Dragon Theater, Little Boxes Theater, and Duo Medusa.
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!
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.
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.
Polly Ma has been dancing since she was in the single digits, first training in ballet, contemporary, jazz dance, then later on moving into hip hop in college where she captained the Johns Hopkins hip hop team. In her dance career, she has competed in numerous national competitions, performed in The Nutcracker with the Fremont Symphony, and auditioned for America's Got Talent. She picked up pole dancing in 2017 after graduating with her Masters in Biomedical Engineering and was looking for a way to continue her artistic career while working at a surgical robotics company. She has managed to juggle a full time job while competing in the PSO competition circuit and putting together several gold medal routines. She’s super excited to share her love of contemporary dance and help her students discover new movement.
Rilla Peng is a CA-bred pole dancer who loves pole for its dynamic athleticism and creative artistry. She found pole after moving to the Bay Area in 2015 and was fascinated by how it builds strength, flexibility, and fluidity while serving as a home for infinite forms of expression and storytelling. Rilla enjoys playing with both spin and static pole skills and loves exploring concept, character, and emotion in performance. She has competed both nationally and internationally and medaled in various performance styles; she is the 2019 PSO U.S. Nationals Dramatic Level 5 gold medalist and the 2018 Pole Theatre USA Semi-Pro Comedy & Overall Champion. She loves helping and watching students find their own joy and eureka moments in their pole dance and fitness journeys!
Shardé Hunter grew up in Texas and began dancing in high school, specializing in hip hop and lyrical. After moving to the Bay Area in 2011, she began pole dancing and flexibility training. Backbending quickly became an addiction she never wanted to give up. Two years later, she started performing both pole and contortion and loved taking the stage once again. After contortion became her passion, teaching others was a natural continuation of her journey. Shardé's flexibility instruction not only focuses on injury prevention and strengthening students, but also includes passive stretching. Outside of performing arts, Shardé also owns a hair salon studio in Sunnyvale and specializes in natural color and cuts.
Taylor Dyste fell in love with the aerial arts in 2010 when she first saw beautiful aerialists flying high at the Congress Theater in Chicago, IL. She began to practice aerial silks soon after with the Grand Rapids Circus out of Grand Rapids, MI. When she moved to Madison, WI in 2016 she trained in a range of aerial disciplines - including aerial silks, hammock, rope, lyra (hoop), trapeze, and pole dancing. Beginning in 2017, she transitioned to becoming a premier aerial instructor and coach, earning her aerial teaching certification through Paper Doll Militia. Taylor has taken multiple teacher trainings across the country including, 200RYT (Inner Fire Yoga, Madison, WI), Silks 1 (Paper Doll Militia, Durham, NC), Flexibility 1 (elevatED, San Francisco, CA), Pole 1 (elevatED, Lansing, MI), and Pole 2 (elevatED, NYC, NY).
Taylor is dedicated to providing the best instruction possible in the aerial arts. She specializes in teaching aerial silks, hammock/sling, pole dancing/fitness, conditioning, and flexibility. She is always striving to be better and plans on taking several more teacher trainings in 2019.