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Meet Our Trainers

Meet our Circa Classes Managers!

Anna Murray 

Raised a gymnast, Anna found a deep love for physical training from a very young age. After many years of competitions and a brief love affair with contemporary dance, she found a creative home in circus, after joining Circas Youth Ensemble, Circa Zoo, in 2010. In 2011, Anna was accepted into the National Institute of Circus Arts, where she completed her Bachelor of Circus Arts, specialising in hand balancing.

After several years of performing with prestigious companies, festivals and cruise ships around the world, Anna returned home to Australia to fulfill another lifelong dream, and co-created the award-winning contemporary circus company TEOC Circus.  In 2018,  Annas performing career was cut devastatingly short when she suffered a severe spinal cord injury. However, Anna used her recovery time to begin her study of physiotherapy and hopes to specialise in injury prevention and treatment of acrobatic bodies using her unique knowledge and experience. In 2021, Anna returned home to teach Circa Zoo and channel her passion and breadth of experience into the training program that was the springboard not just for her own career, but also home of some of her most treasured memories.

Manelaya (Mannie) Kaydos-Nitis

Circus has always been a constant in Manelaya’s life. Whether it be the culture, the challenges, adventure or community, it has always fuelled her passion to train and perform.

At 8yrs old she began learning at Aerialize in Sydney and fell in love with all things circus. Over the years she has found herself training at The Beijing International Arts school, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus and the National Institute of Circus Arts.

In and amongst her training she has enjoyed travelling all over and often finds herself packing a bag and seeing what adventure lies ahead of her.




Rhylee Chapman

Rhylee has a passion for circus and all things aerial. She finds circus art empowering and it feeds her soul! She loves that circus is such a unique discipline and is a place where sports and art can meld together.
Since discovering circus in her youth, her love of heights and being upside down continues to grow.

Rhylee’s circus has allowed for some great opportunities both locally and overseas. Rhylee trains mostly in Lyra, tissue, handbalancing and acrobatics. When she’s not doing that she is getting sassy in pole dance.

Rhylee has a keen interest in the human body and loves being able to push her body in different ways to discover what it can do and how she can expand her skills. Rhylee continues to embrace all that the art of circus has to offer. She loves being immersed in the world of circus and wouldn’t want it any other way.

Ellie Cox

After realising gymnastics wasn’t quite for her, Ellie found her way to circus through Circa Zoo at the age of 12. She trained in the youth program for almost five years before attending the National Institute of Circus Arts, focusing on hand balancing and partner acrobatics. She also loves tumbling, group acrobatics and testing out every aerial before returning back to handstands.

In the past few years Ellie has been performing in Australia and overseas with Company 2 and teaching circus to all ages. In 2020, she completed a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences and intends to further her studies in psychology while also continuing to train circus disciplines.

Tami Dawson

Tami has been working as professional aerialist and acrobat since 2002, starting her career in traditional circus at 16 and continuing to have a successful career performing at prestigious corporate functions throughout Australia and Asia through her company Aerialicious. In 2009 Tami attended the Wuqiao International Circus Festival in China, representing Australia with her aerial partner Michelle, competing with their Duo Lyra act ‘Allure’. As a coach, Tami is passionate and enthusiastic, always encouraging students to challenge themselves. Her main teaching areas are aerials (especially tissu, lyra and rope), contortion, strength and conditioning, choreography/artistic direction, and rehabilitation. Tami been coaching since 2006 well known for her eye for detail and technical knowledge.Tami is currently studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland, with goals of a future career in research. Her areas of interest lie in hypermobility disorders and their management within elite athletes.

Zoe Joiner

Zoe Joiner found her start as a gymnast and dancer at a young age, training full-time at Elite Rhythmic Gymnastics Club. After competing and performing extensively across Australia, Zoe discovered a new passion for aerials, specialising in Lyra, Silks and Trapeze at Aerial Angles Cirque Central. At 15, Zoe decided she would move to Melbourne to pursue her passion further, completing her VCE and a certificate in Circus Arts at the National Institute of Circus Arts. Upon returning to the Gold Coast, Zoe completed the professional Full Time Aerials course at her home studio and maintains a role within CIRCA Zoo ensemble. Most recently Zoe has performed with CIRCA Zoo in Return to Earth at HOTA and Leviathan at QPAC. Zoe will continue performing and following her passion of the arts into the future.

Abby Kelso

Abby was raised in Brisbane and fell in love with circus at age 8 when she attended her first class at Flipside Circus; she has been hooked ever since. She has performed around Australia, including at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, and Sydney Hoopla Festival, as well as internationally in Europe.

She is also an experienced teacher and has been teaching classes and workshops at Circa and other training centres for a number of years.
Abby loves the fact that circus provides a non-competitive space to improve both your physical and creative skills. Her favourite skills to train are trapeze, hula hoops and acro.

When she’s not at the Circa Studio, Abby spends her time studying electrical engineering and growing her budding houseplant collection..

Izzy Lawton

Izzy has fell in love with performing at a young age, through her dance classes. At 11 she began to take acrobatics classes at her old dance studio, where she developed a strong passion for being upside down. After 3 years of acro classes she decided to enrol in Flipside Circus’ advanced tumbling class, falling in love with everything circus.

From then on, Izzy knew that she wanted to become a circus trainer and performer. After 3 years at flipside she decided to take her passion further and auditioned for Circa’s youth performance ensemble, Circa Zoo where she currently trains and performs.

Izzy specializes in tumbling, trapeze and acro. She is also currently studying a Bachelor of Exercise Science, inspired by her love for circus and her general curiosity of how our bodies are capable of doing such amazing things.

Michael Maggs

Michael began training with Circa in 2009 and soon fell in love with aerials. He now specialises in tissue, trapeze and corde. As a freelance performer and collaborator, Michael has been performing on and off in Australia since his first independently run show in 2011.

Michael also has a background in electronics and has collaborated with many artists to develop interactive projection mapping systems, specialised stage lighting and props, a wearable gestural music controller, sound-activated light costumes, highly sensitive audio equipment, display interfaces for artists and more.

Michael has been inspired by so many talented circus artists and trainers over the years and loves teaching circus himself. He really enjoys helping others develop their skills and gain confidence in this fun and supportive circus community.

Riley McDonald

From Ulladulla, a small town on the south coast of rural New South Wales, Riley grew up with a creative mind and a whole lot of energy. At age 11, he was enrolled into a local circus troupe and hasn’t looked back since. In 2017, he graduated from the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne before spending a year travelling and performing with multiple circus companies and festivals. He attended l’École Nationale de Cirque in Montreal, Canada, for a year in 2019. He is both an experienced performer and coach with a strong love for the circus arts.


Maite Miramontes

Maite has been involved with circus for over seven years initially starting as a C!RCA student after finishing up her competitive career in gymnastics. She is a qualified Primary school teacher and also has 10 years of experience teaching gymnastics.

Maite specialises teaching and performing in tumbling and acrobatics, but also enjoys handstands and aerials. Maite has performed for Vulcana Women’s Circus, Wilde Applause, Aerialicious as well as various cabarets and festivals including Mullumbimby Circus Festival, Wonderland Festival and Anywhere Theatre Festival.

Alex Mizzen

Alex Mizzen’s background has left a wonderful imprint on the artist we find today. As a trained gymnast and a graduate from the National Theatre Ballet, Alex worked as a contemporary dancer, honing both her physical and performance skills before turning her eye to circus. Now as an established circus artist with specialities in both hand balance and aerial chair, Alex has worked with some of the leading Australian & international companies; Les 7Doigts de la Main, Company 2, Cantina, CIRCA, Legs on the Wall, La Soirée, Tanssiteatteri Hurjaruuth & Le Grande Cirque.

Alex’s work is heavily influenced by this rich movement background and so ensues a particular style which has been recognized across a range of platforms since 2010. This was acknowledged in 2015 when Alex was awarded an Arts Queensland grant to further research her unique intersection of dance and circus. In conjunction with 15 years teaching experience in dance yoga, and circus, Alex is currently working with Circa Zoo, facilitating emerging artists in this very same process of uncovering their own creative voice.

Jacob Ramis

Jacob Ramis is a Brisbane-based circus artist and musician, with a keen interest in juggling, tumbling, and playing piano and guitar. Since finding circus at a young age, Jacob has performed with the Circa Zoo youth ensemble and the Flipside Circus Performance Troupe for audiences around Australia.

He has worked on a wide variety of shows ranging from small, intimate performances to large-scale outdoor works. Jacob’s musical involvement has continued to grow over the last few years, writing and performing original music for the Circa Zoo shows A Little Wonder and Tempus. Jacob will graduate from the Queensland Conservatorium with a Bachelor of Music Composition later this year and is excited to combine his circus performing with his musical interests. Jacob is enjoying teaching as he continues to develop his own skills further and grow as an artist.

Eve Timmins

Eve discovered circus in 2015 when she joined Circa Zoo Ensemble. This gave her the opportunity to perform for audiences around Queensland in a number of shows including A Little Wonder, Tempus, Bloom, Fred Bobby & me, Circus of the Senses, and Antithesis.

Eve has developed a particular interest in the areas of tissu, acro, straps and handstands. In addition to her C!RCA training, a highlight for Eve was travelling to Albury in 2019 to attend the National Training Project at the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.

Eve is currently studying a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at the University of Queensland.