Instructors

Airin Beaugnon

Airin Beaugnon is an aerial dance artist, choreographer & educator who recently relocated to the Washington DC area. She’s excited to be teaching & share her work in physical investigations with gravity and expansion in both the vertical & horizontal. Airin toured with the international company Cavalia as a Performing Artist for 3 years and worked as the Artistic Director Assistant collaborating in new creations for the tour in China. Her work with aerial arts began in NYC 2009. She’s set work and taught across the US & internationally. Her commitment to explore aerial dance brought her to work with select teachers in Montreal, Quebec City, Costa Rica & France. After 4 years of study in a two track program (technical track – creative track) she earned her BFA in Dance & Choreography from VCU 2008. She is a certified instructor of EBAS (Elemental Body Alignment System) & VAYU Aerial Yoga.


Sophia Chen

Sophia Chen discovered aerial arts in 2017 here at Monarca and we’ve been stuck with her ever since. She splits her time between aerial hoop, split fabric, and trapeze (static and dance) and loves to explore invented apparatuses whenever possible. Sophia completed teacher training with Paper Doll Militia in 2019. She is passionate about transitions, theory, and helping students develop their own frameworks for relating with their apparatus.

Sophia’s non-aerial performance experience is primarily in music and musical theatre; she is a classically trained mezzo-soprano who has performed in nine countries. She holds a BA in Music Education and Political Science and supports her circus habit with a day job in management consulting.


Gwynne Flanagan

Gwynne is a DC-based aerial performer with over 15 years of experience. She has trained in NYC, NECCA, Montreal and also holds an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Gwynne is a founding member of Girls on Trapeze, Forever Marzipan, and Duo K+G. You can find out more about her at gwynnewithwings.com


Hilary Eckberg

Hilary Eckberg has studied aerial silks since 2011 and rope since 2015, and she has taught both silks and rope since 2016. She began her training at TSNY-DC and various studios in Northern Virginia, but she has also trained at studios wherever her day job in the aviation industry has taken her. At last count, Hilary has visited and trained at nearly three dozen aerial studios or trapeze rigs in the US and Mexico, which has given her a wide range of experiences and exposure to a variety of teaching styles.


Cyndi Gadhia

Cyndi Gadhia started her circus journey accidentally in 2013 when accompanying her kids to their classes. While her kids have since replaced circus for other interests (like girls, dogs, and video games), Cyndi has continued to see her own passion for the circus arts grow. Her journey started with split fabric, flying trapeze, and acrobatic partner balancing, and has expanded over the years to permanently land on hard apparatus and contortion. Her current obsession is finding and creating little spaces within her body to squeeze into. If you hang out long enough with her, she will share that obsession with you too.

Cyndi has a background in nursing and art history, and is a certified health coach. She works with people in recovery through DHS and Arlington County’s Healthy Living Program. She is often seen with her current puppy being raised for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and its sister organization, America’s VetDogs. She enjoys curling up with a good book, stealing midday naps, foraging for wild eats, and spending time with her family.


Sally Haden

Sally loves to fly! She has been practicing and performing aerials since 2013, and in 2019, after taking Aerial Physique Teacher Training, Sally began teaching aerial silks. As a coach, she believes in grounding your practice with a strong foundation in the basics, with room for exploration and celebrating your successes. Sally teaches Intro to Soft Apparatus and Level 1 silks, and is here to lift you up!


Tricia Melka


Danielle O’Donnol

Danielle O’Donnol is a mathematics professor. She found her passion for aerial arts after starting her career in math. Because of moving and traveling she has taken classes at studios all over the US and London, with most of her training at National Centre for Circus Arts (formerly Circus Space) in London and Asabela Studio in Bloomington, IN.

Danielle has focused on static trapeze, but also explored Lyra, dance trapeze, rope, German Wheel, silks and sling. She tries new apparatuses whenever the opportunity arises.

She started performing three years before moving to Arlington. She has completed the Asabela Studio instructor certification for both static trapeze and Lyra.


Hannah Robinson

While working full-time as a government drone, Hannah has also been studying circus arts for 13 years.  An interdisciplinary learner and thinker, she has studied and performed on flying trapeze, static trapeze, doubles trapeze and aerial straps, with forays of varying intensity into lyra, fabric, rope and even cyr wheel.  She is excited to share her love for the classic circus discipline of static trapeze with the Monarca community.

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