If you are interested in teaching a Guest Teacher Retreat at Sweet Retreats’ Casa Chango, email us at SweetRetreatsDR@gmail.com.
Kerri Kresinski founder/ manager of Sweet Retreats, teacher of aerial tissu, flexibility, handstands, cardio/fitness, yoga, creative movement, act development, and radical self-expression, nutritionalist, life-coach, visionary and believer in dreams.
It is my life’s purpose to support myself and others to find our unique truths and live our dreams. I have a passion for exploring practices that deepen body awareness, physically, emotionally, and energetically. When we dive into our bodies and and climb out of the linear mind, we cultivate self awareness that can open us up to creating a life that is better than we could have ever imagined. This is our life. Let’s live it!
Practicing massage therapy, Alexander technique, butoh, African dance, yoga, and circus arts allowed me to look deeper into myself both physically and emotionally as I explored and pushed my self-perceived limits. I studied circus with master teachers in Canada and San Francisco focusing on aerial tissu, rope, hand balancing, flexibility/contortion training, and floor acrobatics. I have performed in shows and festivals all over the world and express my passion for life through movement. You can see my solo and duo work here.
Technique and physical strength have never come naturally to me. I have had to figure things out along the way, and I still find the joy in it. As a teacher, I love to work with all body types and help figure out the best route for each individual, celebrating successes big and small. I have been teaching acrobatics, yoga, dance, radical self-expression and aerial arts for 20 years. I am a holistic health practitioner/massage therapist as well as a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist through National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Each of our retreats has a different focus, and all our teachers are masters of their disciplines. You are guaranteed to have world class teachers here. Please see descriptions of each retreat to find who will be teaching.
Here are some of our regular and favorite Sweet Retreats instructors.
Chloe Marvel Light Axelrod (aerial hoop, flexibility), a born and raised San Franciscian, has over 15 years of circus training, and over 10 of circus teaching. She trained with masters of acrobatics such as Mr Lu Yi, and Xia Ke Min, and of flying trapeze Scott Cameron. She has done every thing from doubles on the flying trapeze to sitting on her head in contortion to basing and flying for three high human towers. Chloe’s specialty is aerial hoop on which she has a solo act and a doubles act. With these acts, she synthesizes years of training, a love for spinning, strong, fierce passion for movement into a whirlwind of virtuosic expertise. Chloe teaches in the professional training program at the San Francisco Circus Center as well as recreational classes. Through teaching and performing she shares the magic of circus all over the world. chloeaxelrod.com (photo credit Stuart Polkinghorne)
Rain Anya (Rope and Tissu)
Aerialist, actor, and dancer Rain Anya holds a degree in “Performance for Social Change.” She has trained extensively in aerial and physical theatre, including immersive programs such as Circomedia (Bristol, UK), NECCA (Brattleboro, VT), and Circle in the Square (NYC, NY). Rain’s aerial career began with the political circus company Wise Fool New Mexico. Out of inspired collaborations there, the seeds for the Paper Doll Militia were sown. With over 20 years of experience on stage, Rain’s life’s work is the integration of circus arts with other performance and movement disciplines. Most recent credits include:BALD; Beyond the Veil (San Francisco); London based Peter Pan, (US tour), This Twisted Tale (U.S. Tour and Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Rain is also a passionate aerial arts and yoga instructor. She has taught classes, specialty workshops, and private lessons at over 20 different facilities across the US and the UK. www.RainAnya.com
Alyssa Decaro (yoga, Body of Sound, dance)Alyssa DeCaro is a lover of movement, music and life! She has been a movement artist for over 30 years including Yoga, Dance, Gymnastics and Martial Arts. Movement is her primary language and method of downloading universal truths and she feels blessed to share this with others. Yoga was the essential practice towards rebuilding her strength and balance while healing from her second reconstructive knee surgery. She is now stronger, more capable and joyfully embodied than ever! Alyssa has been teaching Vinyasa Flow Yoga for 14 years and is known for her creative sequencing, precise alignment and natural flow. She has a fresh approach to yoga by maintaining curiosity as the evolving practice. Yoga itself has never been a stagnant practice and she inspires students to investigate their own path through deep listening.
Music has been a key part of Alyssa’s life. She has been drumming and tap dancing since she was a little girl! Her rediscovery of music was sparked when she was unable to dance during her healing process and her spirit was deflated. She soon realized a love that would not take second place. Alyssa developed Body of Sound as a way to blend her passion for movement and sound. The first time she taught Body of Sound for a group of people at Esalen Institute it was a great success and she knew she wanted to develop it into a deeper practice and offering. It was a revelation that there could be so much satisfaction in simply stepping, clapping, snapping, singing and making creative sounds together. It is the most natural form of human expression and interaction.
Alyssa has performed as a solo artist, with groups such as B.A.S.E in the International Body Music Festival, as well as performed and choreographed for Gamelan X, a bali-bass groove music ensemble for 9 years. Through the journey of teaching and performing, she is constantly amazed at the capacity of creative energy that is within each of us. Alyssa finds deep joy in drawing this out of people who may have temporarily forgotten how to access the source within. It is from her own dedicated practice that Alyssa finds the overflowing abundance of this work. openingpresence.com
Brett Womack (Int/Adv Rope, tissu, choreography, performance)
Brett is a critically acclaimed aerialist who has been teaching and performing professionally for over 14 years. He received his training in aerial, acrobatics and dance from the Circus Center, Acrosports, and the San Francisco Ballet. The San Francisco Weekly has described Brett’s work as “Stunning to behold,” and he was the winner of the Judges Award and the Audience Award for ‘Best Aerial Act’ at the 4th Annual American Circus Festival in 2006. Brett has performed all over the world with such companies as Cirque Du Soleil, Luminario Ballet, Cirque Dreams, Troupe Vertigo, and Cirque Berserk as well as appeared on TV shows such as NBC’s The Voice, Syfy’s Face Off, and Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen. He has also worked on various commercial campaigns for the popular FX series, American Horror Story portraying characters such as ‘The Rubberman’ and ‘Liz Taylor’. Currently based in Los Angeles, Brett performs weekly at The Edison downtown as one-half of the dynamic aerial duo Womack and Bowman. Together, with a passion to share their love of aerial art and provide high quality training to the greater Los Angeles community, the duo founded the popular aerial dance studio ‘Womack and Bowman – The Loft” in North Hollywood. www.WomackandBowman.com Here is a video of Brett’s work.
Shira Yaziv (handstands, acrobatics, AcroYoga, partner massage, hula hooping) I grew up in Haifa, Israel. Currently live in Oakland, CA, USAThroughout my childhood I experimented with different movement disciplines. In my late teens to early twenties, I spent 6 years studying with Ido Portal. Ido introduced me to the worlds of Capoeira, acrobatics, strength & conditioning, nutrition, teaching and performing. I went on to teach crossfit, Capoeira and became a personal trainer. This is when I found circus arts and parkour.
In 2008 I co-founded Athletic PlayGround, a playful dynamic playspace, which inspires a supportive, non-competitive community-oriented environment through vibrant movement group classes, open play times and events. I love teaching a wide variety of movement disciplines, performing and giving bodywork. shira.yaziv.com
Cohdi Harrell (trapeze, rope, flexibility, handstands, creative movement, act development) is a New Mexico born performance maker. Coming from a backwoods history of training in circus and martial arts, he has spent the past thirteen years crafting, improvising, producing, and examining the articulation and potential of the human body. A primarily self taught trapeze artist and an untrained dancer, his unique approach to acrobatics and movement has brought him international acclaim; being hailed as “vital to the evolution of contemporary circus in America.” His work takes him around the world and has been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic, CNN and many other publications he doesn’t read. He is a 2013 recipient of the ‘Makers Muse Award’ from the Kindle Foundation. For the past seven years, he has worked as the co-director of RICOCHET (www.ricochet.name), a circus of two, whose theatrical circus productions have toured to sold out audiences and standing ovations across the country. See Cohdi on trapeze. For more information, please visit www.cohdiharrell.com
Niff Nicholls is an artist and has a background studying theater, music, cheer, and art with a BFA in illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design. Niff began studying aerials in Philly in 2007, and has since traveled and trained under numerous talented instructors. Her students have gone on to study in professional programs, including Circus Smirkus, and Ecole National de Cirque Quebec. She has performed in Philadelphia’s International Festival for the Arts on the rooftop garden of the Kimmel Center, in the Franklin Institute and multiple acts in Philadelphia Fringe Festivals, and continues to perform all across the region.
Niff loves to challenge her students, and is always striving to grow her art as a teacher and performer, but Pablo Picasso sait it best – “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Susie Williams is an aerial performer, choreographer and instructor in New York City. She specializes in rope, silks and flying trapeze and is loving her new work with double trapeze.
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