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Emerald City Trapeze Arts Studio in SODO Seattle Fully Indoor Rig

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Planning your special event? We host weddings, parties, product launches, special events, and fundraisers. Our indoor space features vaulted ceilings, rough-hewn wood beam construction, and industrial accents. Dine under the net or dazzle your guests with a professional Flying Trapeze Show!  View pricing information, galleries, and more!

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Questions about classes? Call the studio!

Holiday and Event Closures:
*Emerald City Trapeze Arts will be closed for the day on July 4, 2019.*
99 Closure in early 2019 – Plan ahead!
In early 2019, the new State Route 99 tunnel will open, offering travelers a direct route from Seattle’s stadiums to the Space Needle. To open the tunnel, the Washington State Department of Transportation must first realign the state highway, and then move SR 99 from the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct into the tunnel. This intensive work will last about three weeks and prompt the longest major highway closure to ever hit the Puget Sound region.

WSDOT’s current plan is to close SR 99 through Seattle beginning Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Closing SR 99 through Seattle is the only way crews can finish building the highway and the eight new ramps that will allow travelers to enter and exit the new tunnel Travelers should expect region-wide congestion for up to six weeks as crews complete final connections to and from the new tunnel. In addition to the three-week closure:
The off-ramp from southbound SR 99 to South Atlantic Street will permanently close one week earlier than the viaduct.
The new off-ramp from northbound SR 99 to South Dearborn Street will require up to two weeks of additional work after the tunnel opens.
Per the Legislature’s decision, the SR 99 tunnel will be tolled as a part of the project’s financing plan. The tunnel will be free to use when it first opens.

Additional details about the closure, tunnel opening and the future tolling of the tunnel can be found at

January 4, 2019 | SR 99 Stadium Ramps Close: Northbound SR 99 on-ramp from Royal Brougham Way and Southbound SR 99 off-ramp to S Atlantic Street close about one week before the full closure to allow for work on connections to the new SR 99 tunnel.

January 11, 2019 | Alaskan Way Viaduct Closes: WSDOT will close SR 99 through downtown Seattle for approximately three weeks to build roadway and ramp connections, realign SR 99 and open the new SR 99 tunnel.

Early February 2019 | SR 99 Tunnel Opens: The new 2-mile stretch of SR 99 tunnel opens to traffic. After the tunnel opens the northbound off-ramp to
downtown will remain closed for up to two weeks.

Early 2019 – 2020 | Alaskan Way Viaduct Removal and Related Projects: After the tunnel opens, AWV demolition begins by the waterfront, the Battery Street Tunnel will be decommissioned, and surface streets around Aurora Ave N will be reconnected.

March 2019 | Bus Service Ends in the Light Rail Tunnel: King County Metro bus routes 41, 74, 101, 102, 150, 255 and Sound Transit Express Route 550 buses will no longer use the transit tunnel and will operate on surface streets, including a new transit pathway on 5th and 6th Avenues.

2019 – 2021 | Waterfront Construction: Built by the City of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront, the new Alaskan Way street will be transformed along the waterfront with a new promenade and connections to the Pike Place Market.

2019 | SR 99 Tunnel Tolling: The SR 99 tunnel will be free to use when it opens for a period before tolling starts. Tolling could begin as early as summer 2019.

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Please view our LIFT Program Page to learn more about Emerald City Trapeze’s community outreach. Learn more!

Sketch of Emerald City Trapeze Arts in Seattle

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Meet the Staff

Meredith Starnes

~ Aerial Director

Meredith is a classically trained mover, shaker, and dynamite in a neat little Swarovski-encrusted package. Her formidable dance background includes a BFA in Performance and Choreography from UNC – Greensboro, and North Carolina School of the Arts. Her circus training is a decade and counting, and can be found collaborating with Madame Rex specializing in dynamic aerial hoop work and and an uncanny ability to costume from scratch. A celebrated study of character and a gifted improviser, her eagle eye and penchant for unearthing what is compelling in any piece are prized by her audience and her fellow aerialists.

Jenny Penny

Acrobalance, Beginner Aerial

Jenny Penny is a jack of all trades; Aerialist, Acrobalancer, Fire performer, Circus entertainer, Burlesque dancer and Sideshow artist.  Starting with ballet at age 3, trying many different schools of dance, she eventually fell in love with the circus.  She has been performing in Seattle, across the US, and around the globe since 2004. She was a founding member, lead performer, and mama of Seattle’s own dark circus, Pure Cirkus.  Over the past few years she’s been teaching acrobalancing, aerial, and fire arts.  She now teaches out of Emerald City Trapeze, offering public and private lessons. Her talents have been featured at venues such as Neumo’s, the Triple Door and El Gaucho. She strives for circus beauty, but is a carnie at heart.

Enrique Escajeda

~ Aerial & Acrobatics Instructor

Enrique is the most mysterious open book personality you will ever meet in the entire world! For instance, have you ever held a baby goat while Paragliding from a pasta rig set-up? Try swimming upside down while pretending you are shipwrecked off the coast of an imaginary beach on Mars. It isn’t easy. If not no worries. You can always catch Enrique using his spare time teaching classes or performing or recording some sort of wacky video. He teaches a variety of Circus Arts at Emerald City Trapeze, and he is excited to meet you!

Coleton Stinson

~ Cyr Wheel

Due to a botched Valentine’s Day date, Coleton discovered his true love at Emerald City Trapeze Arts’ Nocturnal performance. Beginning in March 2015 and having no prior gymnastics experience, he focused diligently on Cyr Wheel while getting a little taste of different aerial apparatuses and even dabbling a little in acrobalance; however, Coleton’s calling was the Cyr Wheel. He began instructing in June 2015 and continues to obsess over Cyr wheel to this day.

Sarah Brownstein

~ Flying Trapeze

Sarah’s mom was eating pecan pie and listening to Carmina Burana when her water bag broke and out came Sarah.
Three experiences primed her for flying trapeze: she was a national rhythmic gymnastics competitor growing up, she was the Step Aerobics Champion of the Pichincha region of Ecuador in 1999, and she lived off the grid amongst monkeys for a few years in Costa Rica.
Sarah started training and teaching flying trapeze in Austin, Texas, and has been happy in life ever since. She dances salsa, has two cats, and can make a clover with her tongue.

Erica Reeves

~ Flying Trapeze

Erica has been trying to defy gravity since she was about 5 years old when she climbed a fence and jumped off thinking she could fly. It may have taken two black eyes and many years to find out how to fly in a more constructive way. While living in Washington, DC, Erica discovered not only her passion for flying but also for the sense of community that circus offers. In 2014, Erica moved to Seattle and joined the staff at Emerald City Trapeze as an instructor and administrator. Here, she has discovered her love of teaching and now has the privilege on a daily basis to introduce and foster her passion for flying in others.

A Seattle native, Erica grew up playing a variety of sports including basketball, softball, volleyball, etc. As an adult, her love of heights has taken her around the world rock climbing, skydiving and bungee jumping. Erica holds a PhD in genetics and spends her non-circus time working on developing new potential medicines for rare pediatric diseases.

Julie Istvan

~ Aerial Arts

Julie feels at her best when she’s hanging upside down. She’s been suspending herself ever since encountering the art of aerial silks on a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. Since then, she’s made a point of spider-climbing toward the nearest high ceiling on long sashes of cloth for roughly five hours a day. Julie started Aerial Fabric in 2010 at ECTA. After taking one class, she knew that she wanted to run away with the circus! Julie also loves Lyra and Flying Trapeze.

Meg Drouhard

~ Pole Dance

Meg has been poling since 2013. She had no prior background in dance or gymnastics, but she immediately fell in love with the challenge and expressivity of pole dance.  Meg loves the support and encouragement that pervades the pole community, and she is excited to help students discover and explore their own unique styles.  In addition to her pole exploits, Meg is recognized as a proficient cat toy thrower and board game rule monitor. When not otherwise occupied, Meg can be found in the Human-Centered Data Science Lab at the University of Washington, struggling through her PhD research.

Rachel Strickland, “Madame Rex”

~ Aerial Arts

Classically trained in ballet since the age of three, Rachel is a dancer turned aerialist and an innovative variety performer. She began her study of circus arts in 2007, developing a unique style and approach to aerial choreography, and has performed and taught aerial technique around the world.

She is founder and artistic director of Madame Rex, a contemporary circus and aerial dance collaboration. Rachel’s cross training allows her to deliver a wide range of roles, from lithe and ethereal to earthy and visceral. Rich, extravagant movements and strong, multifaceted technique are her trademarks. And a touch of creepy aesthetic…Performing extensively as a soloist internationally and in several national tours, Rachel specializes in creating aerial hoop choreography and the practice of telling stories.

Tiffany Rivera

~ Pole Dance Instructor, Active Flex, and Contortion

Tiffany has been pole dancing since April 2016 and immediately fell in love with the community. She has a prior background in dance, collegiate cheer, and does Mongolian contortion which is her second love.
When not pole dancing you can find her running, studying for the MCAT, or having onesie movie night. She loves all things cats, wine, and science.

Jedidiah Roe

~ Instructor

Coming soon!

Ethan Hechanova

~ Intro to Silks, Intro to Aerial, Strength and Flexibility Instructor

Ethan grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada where he cultivated his passion for the performing arts. After high school, he moved to Reno, NV for college where he discovered aerial silks and started training endlessly. In May of 2017 he came out to Seattle and started training at ECTA. He fell in love with the studio and the instruction and very quickly moved to Seattle permanently. You will often find Ethan on aerial silks or swinging around in a flying trapeze class!

Gil Bugarin

~ Pole Dance Instructor

Gil joins Emerald City Trapeze after spending the last four years training in Los Angeles. Gil found pole through Groupon and figured, “Hey, why not.” Since then he has fallen in love with the creative expression and physical challenge that pole offers. Gil went competes internationally and performed in the LA nightlife. When Gil’s not dancing, you can find him binge watching the latest Netflix craze!

We are proud to provide our schools with instructors and staff from all over the globe, with diverse backgrounds, talents, and teaching styles. If you’re interested in joining our team, please contact our team at: