About Aerial Space

Aerial Space is a studio dedicated to the promotion and education of all forms of expressive movement and art. Trapeze, Lyra, Silks, Aerial Dance, Aerial Yoga, Acro Yoga and ... just good clean fun. Since 2009 our goal has been to contribute to the Asheville community by offering both adults and children an outlet for play, self-expression and exercise. We offer a variety of classes for all ages and skill levels from Aerial Kids to 'Find your Inner Beast' strength training. As the first circus arts studio in North Carolina, our instructors are some of the most knowledgeable and experienced in the south.

 Andrew Hartnagel

Owner, Aerial Silks

Andrew is a formerkljhlkjlkjlkj     dfederfer     er ferf

As a former ropes course director and martial arts instructor, Andrew found aerials to be unique synthesis of his past. He began teaching body movement at the age of 16. That was...a long time ago. He joined Asheville Aerial Arts in 2008, but upon finding performing allowed so little time for naps, he devoted himself to teaching instead. He has also managed and taught at science centers all over the country; as a result, he’s one of the few instructors who will discuss your rotational inertia with a smile. He specializes in curriculum development, fabric theory, anatomy and injury prevention.

Hazel Willis

Owner, Resident Beast


Hazel began training at Aerial Space in 2009 because of a life-long love of athleticism and climbing things. She has an undergraduate degree in Sociology, and her passions include mental and physical wellness, language, soft things, animals, traveling, home projects, and snacks. She can guarantee you have a supportive environment full of humor in which to progress on your personal journey of inner and outer strength.

Myoei Centanni-Sachs

Flexibility, Handbalancing

I trained contortion from 2007-2015 at the San Francisco Circus Center and then the Sons of Cayuga gym- starting under Xia Ke Min and Lu Yi and later with Serchmaa as well as other Mongolian contortionists in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In addition, I complete year long pre-professional and intensive programs in San Francisco.

As a past instructor at the SF Circus Center, I also have a general interest in the body and theories around it. I have trained as a massage therapist and yoga instructor. Afterwards I became a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist and will be finishing a Doctorate in Chinese medicine this year.

My full-time job is as a Buddhist priest but I find a lot of joy in teaching people how to move past their own belief in what their body can and cannot do through persistent effort. Flexibility training can literally be life changing! I love helping folks through the process of learning about their body.

Leah Cooper

Silks, Trapeze, Lyra


Leah began practicing at Aerial Space in 2014 and immediately fell in love with the challenging and creative art form. Leaving Asheville shortly after, she traveled the states training at various studios along the way from the San Francisco Circus Center to NECCA. Glad to be back in the mountains, Leah is excited to share her love of circus arts and get students in the air! 


Valerie Phillips

Owner, Mixed Apparatus

Valerie has been practicing aerial arts since 2010. Growing up she studied ballet and modern dance, later choosing to focus on theater arts and eventually receiving her Bachelor's Degree in theater. Valerie loves performing whether it's in on the trapeze, silks or in a rock band. Her dream is go on an aerial road trip and visit aerial arts studios all over the country.

 Blue de Leeuw  

Aerial Yoga, Kid's Classes, Trapeze

Blue received her early training at the San Francisco Ballet and SF Circus Center. After narrowly escaping a career as a ballerina she instead sought out the thrill of aerial arts, extreme costuming, fire performing and 3D animation/motion capture. Her recent projects include performing with the fire circus Uberlesque, Supperclub SF,  Asheville Aerial Arts, the Aerial Angels, Air Born Aerial, BoHo Stage Show and Asheville Vaudeville. 

Anna Bartlett

Trapeze, Beginning Aerials

Anna has always preferred a high perch to the ground, whether on the swingset, in the high branches of a magnolia, pole vaulting, or on a trapeze. She trained as a gymnast for twelve years and taught gymnastics from 2010-2014. Her aerial training began in 2010, when she fell in love with trapeze. She has performed with Asheville Aerial Arts and Bromelia Aerial Dance Collective.

Savannah Willingham

Kids' Classes

Savannah Willingham has been a part of Aerial Space since 2011 as a wide-eyed lover of the circus arts, so it was only a matter of time before she joined on as an instructor. Thanks to her own childlike wonder and love of finger painting, as well as being a mother, teaching kids is her passion. Savannah is thorough in giving our aerial kids the structure and important building blocks of learning how to play on mixed apparatuses so that they can move forward in a safe and positive learning experience that still fulfills every kid's love to fly and climb. She believes you're never too old to learn and that her students have just as much to teach her as she does them. Especially about whatever the cool kids are saying these days. 

Alyson Gary


Born and raised in Northern California, Alyson followed her heart to Asheville in 2012 and has loved every moment of it. Alyson began dancing at the age of 7 and later spent six years as a performer at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California. Since then, her love for an active and artistic lifestyle has led her to pilates, hiking, pure barre, lots of canoeing, and of course AERIALS! During the past 4 years, she has been an instructor at Pure Barre Asheville and has been training at Aerial Space. Learning silks not only increases her strength, flexibility, confidence, creativity, and endurance, but also gives her a wonderful community of fellow aerialists in a safe and supportive environment. She is excited to be teaching and sharing her passion for this art form with others!

Meet Our Friends and Family

River Arts Ballet - Fletcher NC

The Shift - Hendersonville NC
A place to nurture your inner knowing. Joyously and bravely let go of what no longer serves you and surrender to your brilliance! 


Clan Destiny Circus, based in Asheville NC, at Aerial Space is a group of circus artists, dancers, musicians, and visual artists, who come together to create new works of circus theatre.

Aerial Fit in Charleston, SC
Providing top notch aerial training to anyone who wants to learn. All of our classes focus on excellence, safety, empowerment, and fun! 

Night Owl Circus Arts - TN
Aerial Space alumni Craig Lewis offers classes in a wide variety of circus arts for kids and adults.