Who We Are

We are a collection of educators, artists, athletes and circus performers who are totally dedicated to creating the best educational space available!


Katherine Tesch - Director, Youth Circus, Aerial Acrobatics, Balance

Katherine began her career as a dancer and joined the circus in 2006, spending the next 10 years as a circus performer.  During this time she also began developing her circus and dance education program. She has had the great opportunity to perform and train with a wide variety of companies all over the world giving her a well rounded and strong base to create the curriculum and program that The Circus Academy of Tucson uses. Some highlights are that she has trained and done workshops with Circo Picolino in Brazil, The New England Center for Circus Arts, Pilobolus, Streb and Air Dance Moscow. She is an active member of the American Circus Educators. Her favorite thing about teaching circus is watching children learn that through hard work and dedication the impossible becomes possible! 

Annie Mielke - Aerial Acrobatics

Annie Mielke has over 10 years of circus experience. She began training with Circus Juventus in Minnesota when she was 10 years old and joined Katherine when she moved to Arizona for college. She performed, trained and taught with Katherine for 5 years before moving to Austin to teach and perform with Blue Lapis Light. She returned in 2018 to teach, help run the programming and help with business development, using her degree in Business. She specializes in aerial acrobatics including aerial silks, Spanish web, lyra and trapeze. She also has a strong background in yoga and conditioning. 

Tran Thai- Handstands, Contortion, Stretching, Conditioning, Aerial

Tran has a movement background in stretching and color guard, before joining us in 2013. She is also has a degree in music education from the University of Arizona and teaches music in the Tucson school system. She has taken her training in handstands and contortion and used it to develop our Contortion and Handstand program.


Olivia Rivera - Theater and Youth Education

Olivia Rivera has a degree in theater (as of May 2019!) and brings that excellent background to augment our circus program. She is also a great instructor of youth programing and a has graduated from being an intern to being a great asset to our team!

Talia Troyo - Tumbling

Talia was a competitive gymnast though out her childhood and teenage years. She is currently a speech therapist, competitive ultimate frisbee player and silks student. Her excellent base in tumbling will allow her to take our advanced students tumbling skills to the next level!

Jacob Stockton - Juggling, Props, Balance

Jacob has a background in juggling and balance skills and with adaptive and youth education. He joins us to help with our general youth programs.



Jordan Ruiz- Stretching, Contortion and Conditioning

Jordan has been training in contortion, dance and aerial acrobatics since she was a child. She has both her personal training and yoga teacher certification. She recently got a degree in visual art with a minor in early childhood education, making her a perfect fit for our programs. She is currently available for contortion training by private session only, email for availability.


Laura Burghardt, Julia Fisher, Sam Garn, Ren Carter-Tucker, Isabel Vincent, Nola Millet and Summer Solon.

These talented ladies and gentlemen are our advanced students and interns. They bring their unique athletic and education backgrounds and talents to assist in all of our classes and help nurture our students development with more one on one in class instruction. 

In addition to our regular instructors we have guests that come through on a regular basis who include Rachel Walker of the National Circus School in Montreal, Cody Hayman (@circococo), Elena Sanders of the Zoppe Family Circus, Liam Halstead: box juggler extraordinaire and more!

Hiring! We are always looking for ways to strengthen out program! If you teach a skill we don't offer or have an idea for an awesome new class, always feel free to reach out with proposals and resumes! We are currently looking for a tumbling teacher. One of our goals is that this program will support three full time teachers/partners. If your passion is circus education and you have a goal to do that for the long term and live in one city, reach out, we'd love to talk about partnership opportunities. This person would have strong skills in juggling, acrobatics, tumbling or balance skills.