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Durango Aerial Arts & Acrobatics (DAAA) offers educational training in aerial arts, acrobatics, juggling, unicycle, rolling globe, clowning, stilt-walking, hand-balancing and more, to people of all ages in a safe and supportive atmosphere.  We hope to instill body awareness and a strong work ethic that will be beneficial to our students even outside of the studio.  We teach with the intention of encouraging students to challenge themselves in new and exciting ways, at the same time absorbing the knowledge of how to be safe and how to perform with grace. 


Elle Carpenter-Hockett (Artistic Director, Performer, Instructor):

Originally from Vermont, Elle started as a child in competitive gymnastics and stage acting. She became extremely interested in circus arts after performing with the High Flyers Family Circus in Bloomington, IN at age 11, and continued training with Circus Smirkus coaches Zina and Vladimir Augustov, (graduates of Moscow's State Circus and Variety College) in between gymnastics lessons.  Since graduating from American University with a BA in Musical Theatre, Elle has worked as a performer, director, choreographer and instructor in musical theatre, on film & television, for large corporate events and as a guest artist in theatrical productions.  As a performer Elle has appeared on TV (Grey’s Anatomy, House M.D., Conan O’Brien, Cake Wars) and live with the Eye of Newt Circus, Dream World Cirque, Le Petit Cirque, The LA Circus, Cirque De La Mer at Sea World, and the Kennedy Center, (Carnival 2007).  In addition to founding and working for DAAA and The Durango Circus Elle has taught circus classes all ages, camps, and workshops with Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures, Focusfish, Le Petit Cirque, and various circus companies around the USA.  On top of being a circus artist, Elle is also a professional actor and singer-songwriter.

Kati Harr (Managing Director, Performer, Instructor):

Kati has never been afraid to be a goof, which makes her a perfect fit for clowning roles in DAAA

performances and a super fun "Aerial Littles" Instructor. While she has only been involved with the circus arts since 2018, Kati has gymnastics experience from her youth, is an avid runner and hiker, loves to express herself through dance and rhythm, and believes a healthy, strong, empowered body equals a healthy, strong, empowered mind. When she’s not working her day job as a 911 center Director, you can find her playing on the Lyra, running fast on the Animas River Trail, hanging out far far outside, reading excellent fiction, or having dance parties with her two kiddos.