A graduate of the prestigious Moscow Circus School, Andrey Yanson began his career by being featured in the world famous Moscow Circus. An accomplished ice skater, Andrey performed for many years in the "Sovgoscircus" Russia State Circus, Moscow Circus on ice.
From Six flags theme parks to the world famous Ice Capades and Disney on Ice, Yanson has presented his unique style of comedy juggling, high level skill, and crazy antics in over 25 countries for the last 31 years. Yanson has appeared in National Circus Project performances and conducted countless NCP School programs since 1995.
Justin Wood is a young and talented comedic variety circus artist. He is an accomplished juggler, wire-walker, unicyclist, and all-around versatile circus talent who has been on the performing scene for over 10 years. Originally from Kentucky, he now makes New York City his home. Justin has appeared in hundreds of theaters, schools, night clubs, and variety shows presenting his offbeat, wacky comedy performing style. He has performed as far away as Mexico and Taiwan but when home, Justin can be found thrilling crowds on the streets of Manhattan, N.Y.C..
Mr. Wood is also an experienced circus instructor and coach having taught circus skills for several American circus schools, including 9 semesters at the prestigious circus training program at Purchase University. (Purchase N.Y.)
Justin has now been with N.C.P. for over a year directing student circuses and conducting hundreds of workshops throughout the Northeastern United States.
Greg Milstein has been a part of NCP since 1984, and has served as Executive Director for the past 14 years. He has conducted programs in over 2,000 schools, camps, libraries and community centers throughout America, and has personally taught circus skills to over one million students. Greg represented the USA at the Circus Ring of Friendship, the former Soviet Union's international circus festival, for which he received a commendation in the US Congressional Record for "helping to further the cause of international understanding". Greg also performed on the main stage at Red Square as part of the 850th Anniversary Celebration of Moscow; in 2004 he appeared at the Gorky Park Theatre of Celebrated Artists as part of the 5th Moscow Circus Festival’s “Planet of Clowns”. He was again commended by the US State Department for his role as “cultural ambassador” to Russia.
“Little Lou” Beekhuizen was born in London, England. She originally started off as an actress at a young age and attended drama school where she got an advanced degree in Performing Arts and Entertainment Industries. After performing in many comedy shows she decided she wanted to take comedy seriously! At the age of 20 she ran off and joined the circus studying at the Academy of Circus Arts, a touring circus school. After graduating she then toured with Zippo's Circus around the UK for 3 seasons, quickly becoming the UK’s premiere female clown. From there she branched out of the UK and came to New York to bring a little English comedy to the States. She is now teaching and performing with the National Circus Project in New York and is enjoying every second. She feels very privileged to be here and looks forward to continuing working in the USA.
“Renaldo” joined the NCP as an artist/instructor in 2007. Originally a graphic artist, Al began his circus career with the Big Apple Circus at age 26, eventually becoming a core company member. A gifted clown, he went on to work with Circus Sarasota, the Royal Hanneford Circus, the Luna Stage Theater Co. and at SeaWorld, as well Canada’s Garden Bros. Circus and England’s Zippo’s Circus. Recently, he has toured with UniverSoul Circus and performs as star clown with Circus Sarasota. He is also author/illustrator of the children’s book “Renaldo Joins the Circus!”
Native New Yorker Sky King learned to juggle almost by accident. Now twenty years, seven countries, dozens of states and thousands of students later, she is as passionate about juggling now as she was on day one.
Sky is also an accomplished musician and composer, working with TV’s Sesame Street a few years back. She is a popular DJ and has appeared at night clubs and special events in the N.Y. area and throughout the U.S. Sky is a valuable fixture in the New York recreational juggling scene and is privileged to have given many young professional jugglers their start. She now brings her versatility and years of teaching to the National Circus project.
Keith Leaf graduated from Cabrillo College with a degree in Philosophy/Religion. While at Cabrillo, he was president of the “Juggling Club” for 2 years. A long-time juggler, object manipulator and variety performer, Keith has appeared at prestigious venues throughout North America, including the Barnum Museum (CT), the Metropolitan Opera House (NYC), the Mavis Beacon Opera House (CA), One World Music Festival (CA) Toronto Winter City Festival (CANADA), the Spiritual Center (RI), Crystal City Gala (VA), the Maine Performing Arts Festival (ME) and many others.
Performing since the age of 3, this NYC native has performed nationally and internationally on stage, screen, TV, Broadway and has also worked behind the scenes for all. “Jordana Rollerhoops” is currently and predominantly a circus arts and fire performer and instructor. She has performed and worked in various capacities with such artists as The Dresden Dolls, Debbie Harry, Margaret Cho, Cyndi Lauper, John Cameron Mitchell, Neil Gaiman, Nellie McKay, Amanda Palmer and Sutton Foster. From her carnival inspired fire acts to dizzying hula hoop skills, Miss Rollerhoops is a whole lot of show in a petite little package!
Rob is a graduate of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Clown College, and the first Chinese-American clown to work for a major American Circus. U.S. tours have included Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus, Circus By the Sea, Bindlestiff Family Circus, and Cirque Du Soleil/Theatre MAMA. He has performed at theme parks and major festivals in Austria, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and the U.K. Working in “social circus” he has taught circus at Roma gypsy villages, at armed refugee camps in the former Yugoslavia, and at Kabul University and the Afghan-Schulen Schools in Afghanistan. He has appeared on The Today Show, The Learning Channel, MTV, HBO, Nickelodeon, the Letterman Show, Steve Harvey’s Big Time, and was featured in Asian American Spotlight in New York City.
Felicia hails from a small town in West Texas and is happy to be part of The National Circus Project! She is a trained actress and juggler who is also associated with Foodplay productions teaching children healthy eating and fitness using theatre. Felicia is also the brand ambassador for jugglefit, a company that promotes health and fitness combined with juggling.
Kyle Petersen’s been an artist/instructor with the NCP since 2007. A serious college student who had never imagined becoming a performer, Kyle spent his senior year at NYU working as a substitute and assistant teacher in an under-funded public high school in Brooklyn. His circus skills hobby then led him to a Summer job as the “juggling-peanut-vendor-on-a-unicycle” for the Brooklyn Cyclones (a baseball team affiliated with the NY Mets), where he performed for thousands of NY fans. From there, teaching and performing circus skills to kids was “a natural.”
Andrew Scharff has been an artist/instructor with NCP since 2006. A 1995 graduate of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Clown College, Andrew subsequently toured with the Ringling show, followed by tours with the Culpepper-Merriweather Circus, the American Circus/Circo Americano during its 5 country European tour, and Japan’s legendary Kinoshita Circus. He has twice performed in International Clown Festivals in Beijing, China. A career highlight came in 2004, when he was chosen to give a command performance for His Holiness Pope John Paul II. More recently he has been performing down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and in China as part of international clown festivals.
When Liam was nine years old, his father taught him to juggle, and he never looked back. Liam is a second generation circus artist with a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Arkansas. He has performed all over the country, including a tour of Italy where he did a musical theatre show as well as playing Caliban in an Italian language production of “The Tempest." He is always looking for ways to create more wonder and excitement in the world by incorporating circus into unexpected situations.
Will Shaw has been performing for over 25 years everywhere from the streets and nightclubs of New York City to festivals in Bangkok, Thailand and Osaka, Japan to the studios of major motion films, national TV commercials, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart…. and camps, parks, libraries, schools and civic events of all sorts. He's been an instructor for The Ringling Bros. Circus and has been a performer with The Big Apple Circus for over twenty years.
Jen has been a professional performer since 1991, and directed her own Summer Circus Arts Camp for children since 2006. She has also taught with Big Apple Circus in NY. A recipient of the International Jugglers' Association's “Three Ball Award” for creativity and innovation, in 2010 she became Executive Director of Juggling Life Inc., a non-profit working with underprivileged children. Her favorite juggling moments include passing clubs with actor Patrick Dempsey on Good Morning America, teaching Captain "Sully" Sullenberger to juggle, and juggling to opera at Lincoln Center!
Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Brittany has over twenty combined years of dance, theater, cheerleading, martial arts, and circus training. She has trained at the STREB Lab for Action Mechanics in Brooklyn, NY, and most recently at the elite National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Melbourne, Australia. From quirky and cute to hard-hitting and action-packed, Brittany is a versatile performer and has been enchanting audiences all over Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, Tasmania, and Melbourne. Her specialties include aerial acrobatics, object manipulation, walking globe, trick rope skipping, and clowning.
Michael “Wilding” Venn comes to the National Circus Project by way of Canada. Venn began his performing career as a stage actor and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. While studying theatre and performing arts, he learned to juggle and stilt-walk and has been doing both for the past 10 years. In 2013, he graduated from the Academy of Circus Arts, the UK’s only travelling circus school. Venn specializes in juggling and object manipulation but isn’t shy to try his hand at any skill you’d find under the big top. With a keen interest in photography and video production, Venn will also be stepping into the role of Digital Content Creator with the National Circus Project.
Justin Weber is a world-class yoyo performer. He started yo-yoing during the fad of the 90’s and has competed in over 30 yoyo competitions. He has ranked 2nd in the World and won an international yoyo contest. He’s toured in Japan and traveled around the world to such places as Brazil, the UK, and Canada, all because of his yoyo expertise. Now, he resides in NYC and aims to make yoyo an entertainment and circus art in the public’s mind.
Natalie "McFancy" Wise is a classically trained dancer with a passion for choreography. She holds a BFA in Modern Dance and Choreography from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. She has been teaching, choreographing and coaching dancers and performers since 1999. Since 2009 she has trained with hula hoop artists such as Miss Saturn, Hoopalicious, Marawa the Amazing, and Luna Breeze. Her work has been selected to be performed at the Suffolk Theater, Webster Hall NYC, The Jenny McCarthy Show, Broadway Dance Center Professional Semester Showcase 2012, the Electric Forest Hoop Troupe 2013, Burning Man Fire Conclave 2013-2014 and the Flow Show NYC 2013.