HILLARY BASSOFF

AERIAL ARTS PROGRAM DIRECTOR

AERIAL SILKS INSTRUCTOR

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Hillary received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and was a performer and specialty choreographer for the UCSB Dance Company touring throughout California and Europe. While in Europe, she was selected as a guest instructor for a master dance class at an arts boarding school in Prague. As a soloist in the company, she was honored as the recipient of the prestigious Alice Condodina Performance Award and was chosen to be a guest artist for Santa Barbara Dance Theater.

While living in Santa Barbara, she discovered her love for aerial dance, performing as an aerialist and dancer in Christina McCarthy's "Repremend Bubbles" and training at the Santa Barbara Centre for Aerial Dance. She then continued her aerial training in New York City at Aerial Arts NYC and Body & Pole before moving back to Orange County to pursue her artistic career.

Starting in 2014, she performed independently for private parties and corporate events, and was invited to be a member of Ruby Karen's Circo Etereo Professional Company specializing in aerial arts, circus acts, and dance choreography. She was involved in choreographing and performing aerial silks, acrobatic, and ground routines for various special events, weddings, birthday parties, and festivals in the Orange County and Los Angeles area. Soon thereafter, she created her own aerial dance company, On Edge Aerial Entertainment, with Laura Olivas, hoping to bring their ideas of molding dance with aerial work to life with innovative concepts that will touch audiences alike. Hillary is beyond excited to be working with Avanti Dance Company to share her passion for aerial dance and hopes her choreography of combining contemporary dance with aerial artistry inspires both dancers and non-dancers alike.

 

JESSE DE LA CRUZ

AERIAL LYRA INSTRUCTOR 

Jesse has been performing circus arts for 10 years. As a child, he went to many traditional circus shows and was always fascinated by the aerialists, acrobats, and trapeze flyers. When he was 10 years old, he saw the Cirque Du Soleil show Quidam, which inspired him to pursue a career in circus after retiring from gymnastics.

Jesse has been performing as an acrobat and stuntman at the Disneyland resort for the past six years. He has done stunts as high as 80 feet on a moving pirate ship and currently does gymnastics high bar out of a dinosaur’s mouth(!) on a moving float. Jesse is an aerial instructor all over Orange County and San Diego.  When is isn't flying in the air, he trains gymnastics and does springboard/platform diving as a hobby.

In addition to competitive gymnastics, Jesse has competed in circus, placing first in the 2014 West Coast Aerial Arts Festival for both solo aerial net and duo aerial hexagon. He was also a finalist in the 2016 US Aerial Championships. Last year, he was selected to be one of the competitors for the Circus Star USA 2017 competition deputing his heart shaped lyra and hammock routine.