See below for a list of teachers and
their bios for FemPower Acro Fest 2019.
Justice Movement.org on Social Media
Danya Xena is a full-time traveling acro teacher who creates supportive, safe, collaborative and fun learning environments. With a focus on dynamic acrobatics, she encourages everyone’s inner Super Heroes by offering a community feeling with great progressions and awesome spotting. As a mid-weight acrobat she is both a base and a flyer, and as such, has a great understanding of both sides of the practice.
Danya co-founded the Acro SuperHeroes and the Canadian Acro Intensive and Justice Movement.Org, founded the SuperHero Circus Academy, FemPower Acro and has taught in over 100 communities. Danya brings with her a career in adult education, coaching and facilitation, a deep passion for social justice, and a Masters degree in Diversity Studies with a focus on pedagogy (the art and science of teaching). Danya is certified as both a Partner Acrobatics and Acro Revolution Teacher and attended 10 weeks of Pitch Catch Circus in 2016, runs the Acro and Social Justice Teacher Training program.
She is so excited to be hosting the 4th FemPower Acro Fest, beyond the festival her goal is to create a FemPower Acro movement, a celebration of the diversity of badass, inspiring, powerful & empowered fempower in Acro.
As a child growing up in a small town, Melanie had always craved for dance and circus arts. With a constant desire to move her body, she used dance and play to express herself throughout the years. She later moved to Vancouver where she fell in love with Yoga, leading her to her true love, Acro. While practicing Acro she experienced the power it can have; how it can break down walls, foster expression and create communities. Melanie believes we rise by lifting each other. Teaching at FemPower last year really highlighted this ideology. The power in celebration for female (cis or trans) or gender non-binary/non confirming to acknowledge and recognize diversity is moving and shift-making.
Natalie B Nguyen
Natalie Brewster Nguyen is an artist and educator in the fields of social justice, yoga, acroyoga, performance, creative writing, and movement. She performs, teaches, and creates with Flight School Acro, Cirque Roots, Borderlands Theater, La Pocha Nostra and others. She is a certified E-RYT Yoga teacher, a senior teacher and trainer with Acroyoga Montreal, and a Yogaslackers Teacher. She has been teaching yoga and movement since 2008, and social justice since 1998 (and the moment she could form words). She has experience working with diverse communities, and believes in teaching from a culturally relevant and compassionate perspective that does not further exploit marginalized voices, but lifts up communal knowledge and dignity. FemPower Acro is one of the best ways to combine her love of movement, and working towards more accountable and inclusive spaces. Teaching and training with the FemPower Acro community is a joy and an honor. Natalie lives in Tucson, AZ with her co-parenting family, kids, and amazing supportive community. She can be found at Justice Movement, and on facebook and on instagram.
Kannon here. Social worker by day and AcroYogi by night. I identify as a queer, leftist radical intersectional feminist. I use she/her pronouns and like to incorporate social justice into Acro classes and performance. I volunteer a large part of my time around consent issues in the acro world. I have been teaching acro for about 3 years. I teach a Queer and Trans Acro Class in Portland. I had the amazing opportunity to teach with Danya Xena at last year's Fem Power and also lead a discussion. I have also taught at various festivals around the country. I think spaces like this are important if we want to help create a sustainable practice where we keep people safe and celebrate our differences. This year at Acro I feel its important to discuss consent.
Amy Impellizzeri is a force of movement and fitness. Amy has been teaching acro, yoga, movement and fitness for over 20 years. She taught dance for 26 years, including 10 years at the University of Oregon as full-time faculty. She presents regularly at Yoga & Fitness Conferences, Acro Festivals and other international festivals in her nurturing, challenging, & fun style. Currently, Amy is focusing on hosted events as AcroFarmers, exploring the idea of acro as a vehicle for social change, returning to dance and learning through exploring the planet as a full time nomad. She is excited to be part of the FemPower Acro Fest as a teacher and student, seeing the value of this time together in acro, community and discussions. As someone committed to social justice and learning in our commuity, this is an opportunity to grow as a leader in the community with others as we celebrate the diversity of badass, inspiring, powerful & empowered women in Acro.
Angela loves to move, create, share and play! She is a coach, teacher, performer, and student of both the acrobatic and aerial arts in Portland OR. She coaches and performs for both Tempos Contemporary Circus, and Awol Dance Collective. She is honored to be able to create and teach at this years FemPower Acro fest with its founder Danya. She believes in the power of the divine feminine, and is honored to be able to share her passion for the art.
Bee started learning Acroyoga in Long Beach, CA in 2010. Since then she has learned and practiced in the Pacific Northwest. Moving to Portland, OR in 2013 she started practicing in the strong Acro community of Portland, eventually beginning to teach with Serena Scaglione in 2015. She had been teaching weekly classes, at festivals, events, retreats, schools, and even in a few different countries abroad. As a dancer and preformer, Bee fuses contact improv, acroyoga, vinyasa flow, contortion and dance into her practice creating a fun and unique way of moving through the world.
Bee has been teaching acroyoga for 5 years in Portland. And more recently co-created the organization Queer & Trans Acroyoga Portland. She is an advocate for LGBTQIA+ inclusivity in the AcroYoga community, and has been happily a part of FemPower Acro Fest since its conception.
April has been involved in movement her whole life. From the age of 5 she began gymnastics and continued on competing and coaching for 13 years. She went onto complete a degree in Kinesiology with a BSC in exercise and sport studies in 2001, going on to personal train for 4 years. Always trying to fill the void gymnastics left behind, she did everything from Pole-Vaulting in University and Ultimate Frisbee to Capoeira and Ashtanga Yoga completing a 200hr TT in 2012. She fell in love with Partner Acrobatics and in 2013 she received her TT with Acro Yoga Montreal. At Fem Power Acro Yoga April wants to help create a non judgemental space that allows for all individuals to feel welcome to join in and to be themselves.
Serena Tang brings a unique perspective to their movement practice. Through their art, serena fuses their passion for social justice with performance art, capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian martial art), dance, and partner acrobatics. Serena has taught workshops internationally, including Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, as well as at the first FemPower Acro Festival last year, where they co-lead a discussion on racism and oppression. Serena received their AcroYoga Montréal teaching certification in 2010 and assists in their teacher trainings. Serena performs with Flight School Acro, Sugar Beast Circus, and Cirque Roots, and teaches AcroYoga classes in Tucson, Arizona.
Ariel Mihic & Liz Willimas
Ariel and Liz of Precision Acrobatics began their acrobatics partnership in 2009; dare we say it was love at first flight? They have trained diligently with world renowned coaches over their years of practice together and have been teaching as part of the YogaSlackers crew since 2011.
Motivated by the interplay of strength and receptivity, Ariel and Liz are known for challenging their students with material in a way that is safe and attainable. As a similar-sized female duo, they have worked diligently to understand the technique required for advanced tricks, and they love to share how these can work for EVERY BODY. Precision Acrobatics is committed to providing a safe training space, continually evolving their practice so their teachings reflect their values of communication, trust, inclusivity, and accountability.
It has been an honor to teach at the FemPower Acro festival, bringing standing acrobatics to a room full of empowered folks who are ready to train, hold each other up, and put their egos aside. Thank you for including US in this community.
Ariel has a Doctorate in Pharmacy and certifications in the following yoga disciplines: Ashtanga, AcroYoga, YogaSlackers, Thai Massage/Pranassage.
Liz is a licensed physical therapist and is certified in the following disciplines: massage therapy, yoga therapy, and YogaSlackers.