Meet Our Inspiring Team

We are so lucky to have an incredible team that are truly motivated to nurture and inspire the circus artists of tomorrow.
Each of us have a different story, we are all unique, the paths that lead us to circus were wide, filled with highs and lows, detours and discoveries.
We are so looking forward to getting to know you and cannot wait to guide you on your journey.
Wherever you are on your journey, it’s the right time to start.

Come along for the ride!

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director, REsident renovator & forgetful cook

Specialties: Aerial silk, Trapeze, LYRA (Aerial hoop)
From: Auckland, New Zealand

Likes: Nature, Her DOG, Cheese… & circus of course!
Dislikes: having cold feet & washing machines that steal socks

Dream: To create a ‘happy place’, a circus family where people from all walks of life feel accepted, loved, encouraged and inspired to achieve their dreams and become their best self.

Rosa Pagani

Hailing from the land of the long white cloud (NZ), CircArts director Rosa never thought she would end up running a circus school after moving to Melbourne in 2011. Circus was always a hobby, which she loved intensely but had never considered running away to the circus a serious career option! I mean, who would right? After seeing the Flying Trapeze artists of the Moscow Circus when she was 6, Rosa couldn’t get enough of circus. A few weeks later her mother found an article in the local paper that started Rosa on her circus journey with InFlight Entertainment (Kiwi kids circus) in Auckland, on an outdoor Flying Trapeze Rig. A tiny red belt became her best friend, and her trainers and peers were like a family, keeping her safe as she flew through the air. Rosa took longer than everyone else in her class to make her first ‘catch’ and still remembers it like it was yesterday. “Everyone was so supportive, clapping and cheering “Finally!”, but Mike (trainer & catcher) seemed so proud and happy, he pulled me up and gave me a huge hug as we hung off the bar, it’s one of the happiest moments of my life. Getting past the first hurdle was huge, I didn’t give up and when I finally got there, well I felt unstoppable after that.” The school eventually grew and with it so did her confidence, as she moved on to learning and performing a variety of aerial disciplines over the years including Spanish Web/Corde Lisse, Static Trapeze, Aerial Silk and Lyra.. and Salsa Dancing. Her move to Melbourne led her to becoming part KidsPlace Circus School, eventually becoming business partners and friends with then owner Diana and transforming KidsPlace into CircArts. Now, owning a studio herself, Rosa has come to really respect what her coaches went through to get her to here. “I love them like parents and cannot thank them enough. I don’t know if I would be there without them. Because of their faith in me as a child and teen, the effort they put in behind the scenes to give us the opportunity to train, I fell in love with circus and now live the most rewarding life. Each day I am surrounded by the most amazing, supportive community. Circus is like a world wide family. No matter where you go, if you do circus, regardless of whether you are a newbie or or a relic, you find instant friends that accept, love and support you - whoever and however you are.”
Fun Facts: ‘Boneless Chicken’ was the first nickname Rosa remembers, given to her by her coach Mike because she was so bendy(floppy!)! She loves camping and exploring nature with her Blue Heeler (Chevy) and partner Tom, eating cheese (the softer & stronger the better) and she believes the toaster has a vendetta against her because she cannot seem to make toast without burning it!

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Suave frenchman

SPECIALTIES: chinese pole, handstand, juggling, unicycle, fire manipulation

Likes: Cheese & wine of course!
Dislikes: things that are out of place

Jon Campos

Born and raised in France, Jonathan Campos is a memorable person and performer that ran away to Australia to fulfill his circus ambitions. Entering the industry after many years being self-taught as well as an intense three years at NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts) specializing in Chinese Pole, Jonathan is determined pass on his knowledge to whomever is willing to take it. Jon can be found performing and training a variety of circus acts, including fire manipulation, juggling, handbalancing and chinese pole, most recently touring with Melbourne-based, world-renowned performing arts company, Strange Fruit, as a performer of their unique trademark sway pole apparatus.

Fun Fact: Jon’s favourite food is fire…

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Queen of spin

Specialties: Aerial hoop, Silk, dance trapeze

Likes: anything that spins!
Dislikes: Not spinning ;p

Aleisha Manion - Queen of spin!

Aleisha Manion hails from Christchurch, New Zealand and began her training at Southern Ballet Theatre. Her love for performing drew her to Sydney, Australia to train full time at ED5 International where she gained her Certificate IV in Performing Arts. Upon graduating Aleisha kicked off her professional dance career in North America with Carnival Cruise Lines.
It was after moving to Melbourne that she discovered her passion for aerial arts in the circus world.  Aleisha’s career has seen her performing internationally around Australia, New Zealand, North America, the United Kingdom, Asia and Europe; as a part of in-house and touring theatre productions, festivals, cruise lines and corporate events.

Aleisha’s believes everything in aerial is better in spin, and so loves to bring her passion for spinning to her students!

Fun fact: Aleisha used to play Saxophone in the Jazz Band at high school. 

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Resident strongman

Specialties: hand to hand, perch, adagio, straps, handstand, tumbling

Likes: Donuts
Dislikes: lycra

Liam De Jong

Liam DeJong started gymnastics at age 4, becoming state champion at just 7 years old! He switched to Sports acrobatics at age 12 medalling at 5 national championships, winning gold at two. Turning to circus when he was 17, Liam performed acro balance and acrobatics professionally whilst training at NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts). Liam has performed internationally for huge crowds, tumbling and throwing his partner Maddy into the air. Liam is currently Touring with Rouge the Show… although you may remember him as the Sailor from A Mermaids Tale at the Spiegeltent Barwon Heads!

Fun Fact: Liam danced at the National Theatre Ballet School for 2 years. Along with this, Liam has also been a tumbling and acrobatics coach since he was 12 years old!

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Badass flyer

Specialties: hand to hand, perch, silk, trapeze, lyra, tumbling

Likes: leggings!

Maddy Burleigh

Maddy started

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Dynamic DIVA

Specialties: Dance trapeze, CYR, Aerial Hoop, Hula

LIKES: Dogs, origami
DISLIKES: Being right side up