The staff of Trapeze Arts is uniquely international, drawing on a wide experience base. Our instructors have been performers, teachers and even riggers with circuses around the world. We teach Circus beginners to performing professionals. Juggle on the ground or soar with the greatest of ease knowing that the TAI staff place your safety first. All of our staff are available for private lessons.
Here you can meet our department heads and lead instructors. We also have a talented group of part-time staff to help students of all levels and ages get the most out of their experiences at Trapeze Arts.
Stephan Gaudreau, Owner, President and Artistic Director of Trapeze Arts, Inc. is a professional flying trapeze artist. He originally taught circus skills including the Flying Trapeze, as an instructor for Club Med. After teaching for 6 years, he decided to proceed with a professional performing career. He was hired as the lead flyer with the Flying Angels Troupe at Circus Circus in Reno, Nevada, because he is one of only a select few who have accomplished the triple somersault. He has also performed with a number of other flying trapeze acts around the world and in the United States. In September of 1992, he was recruited by the San Francisco School of Circus Arts to formalize and direct a Flying Trapeze program.
Trapeze Arts, Inc., started in 1994, under the artistic directorship of Stephan Gaudreau, continues to teach flying trapeze and other circus arts to adults and children. In addition to classes at the Oakland facility, Trapeze Arts teaches trapeze and circus arts for corporate events, birthday parties, after school programs, and youth camps.
Stephan continues to perform on the Flying Trapeze. Stephan and Trapeze Arts Incorporated have performed for audiences such as the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Warner Bros., NASCAR, KQED, USAA, the Television Critics Association Press Tour, American Express, Bechtel, Club Med, the California Kidsfaire, the Crucible's Fire Arts Festival, and the Boise River Festival.
In addition to the recreational aspect of the Flying Trapeze Program, many of Stephan's students are now working in the professional Circus world with Cirque du Soleil, Cirque de la Mer, Velocity Circus, Flynn Creek Circus and more.
Flying Trapeze Instructor
As a native of Jamaica, Herdlyn was first introduced to the flying trapeze at the Super Clubs resorts in 2006, where he worked until 2009. He then went to work as a Circus instructor for Club Med from 2009-2011, and it was there that he met his wife. In 2011 they moved to the San Francisco area and he joined the staff of Trapeze Arts. In addition to being a lead instructor of flying trapeze, he is also an accomplished acrobat. His talents extend to Chinese Pole, straps, acro/hand balancing, trampoline, single and double trapeze, juggling and more.... Herdlyn is a member of the Acrosanct Performance group in San Francisco. And, you may recognize him as the catcher on the flying trapeze in a Fitbit commercial, or the person riding the bike on top of a Prius for a Toyota commercial.
Flying Trapeze Instructor
A jack of all trades and master of some, Andrew taught himself to juggle and ride a unicycle at a the ripe old age of twelve, before being a circus nerd was cool. Andrew is always willing to learn new skills and dabbles in diabolo, hand balancing, rola-bola, fire juggling and other random acts of circus. He has no formal training or athletic background and likes it that way (well, he played tennis for a while...). When Andrew is not hiding out in his studio making art for newspapers and magazines or in the garage wrenching on motorcycles, you can find him goofing around on the trampoline or catching on the flying trapeze. Andrew has worked at Trapeze Arts since 2006 and loves helping students have fun while achieving their goals.
Head of Trampoline Program
Cisco, born in Virginia but raised in the Bay Area, is a gymnast by trade, starting his coaching career in Richmond in 1994 while attending Saint Mary's High School in Berkeley. He has coached everything from preschool recreational to competitive teams and was Head Coach of Boy’s Team, Girls Compulsory, and the Trampoline and Tumbling Team at Windmill Gymnastics in Richmond and MEGA gymnastics in San Rafael.
Aside from his passion of coaching, he spends time pursuing other activities like archery, playing guitar, skateboarding, snowboarding, parkour, gymnastics, playing video games, and rock climbing. He has climbed since 2002, bouldering and sport climbing from coast to coast and abroad.
While new to the world of circus arts, he is excited to teach and learn new skills and apply his coaching expertise to new forms of movement and expression.
Born in Canada, Hélène Turcotte graduated from the Montreal National Circus School in 1989. Together with her partner Luc Martin they created a very innovative trapeze duet "Mouvance", which is choreographed as a passionate aerial tango. Their wonderful act received numerous international awards, among which a Gold Medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris in 1989, and a Silver Clown at the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo in 1997. For over 19 years, Hélène and Luc have been touring Europe and Australia, in the best theaters, circuses, varietés and TV shows. Here in USA, they performed at David Letterman's "Late Show" and for five years at the famous dinner-theater "Teatro ZinZanni" as the closing act. Hélène has produced and directed several cabaret shows in the Bay Area and choreographed for Teatro Zinzanni. She has judged three international circus competitions in Paris. Hélène joined the teaching team at Trapeze Arts in May 2007.
Before discovering circus arts, Tracy was a gymnast and coached gymnastics for fifteen years. She then transitioned to modern dance, working with several Bay Area dance companies, including John Butterfield's New Urban Dance Company. Tracy started her aerial pursuits on the flying trapeze in 2004 here at Trapeze Arts. Her initial purpose was to deal with her fear of heights but she quickly developed a passion for circus arts. After several years on the flying trapeze, Tracy began training on static trapeze, single point trapeze, and aerial fabric. Tracy has performed all over the Bay Area and began teaching for Trapeze Arts in August of 2012, specializing in aerial fabric.
For Tracy, aerial fabric marries both the grace of dance and the power of gymnastics. She has trained under world-class instructors including Rain Wilson, TT Robson, and Sarah Romanowsky. She specializes in fabric because she says "it's the apparatus that makes me feel like I'm dancing through the air." Tracy loves sharing this enthusiasm with her students.
Nate James has been practicing movement and bodywork his whole life. He's studied many forms of dance, martial arts, and circus arts. His primary focus has been in aerial dance/acrobatics, encompassing strength and flexibility techniques as well as artistry and quality of movement. He's studied, trained, and taught in the SF Bay Area and through out Europe, including Baross Imre, the oldest circus school in existence. Privately he has mentored under Zsilák "FUDI" György. He believes "movement is life" -Ida B. Rolf, and that moving the body produces happiness. His aim is to help anyone who wants to move and be happy to achieve that goal!
Katherine Hutchinson studied Ballet, Modern and Aerial Dance at Towson University where she earned a BFA in Dance Performance. Since moving to the Bay Area, Katherine has performed aerial dance solos and duets on the single point trapeze and silks. She has studied Aerial Kite, hammock, rope and harness, lyra, and static trapeze under greats such as; Chelsea O'Brian, Seanna Sharpe, Bandaloop, Chloe Marvel Lite Axelrod and Helene Turcotte. As a teacher Katherine works to improve alignment and inspire students to move in an authentic way. Katherine also speaks french and hopes to one day live in the south of France and teach aerial among the lavender.