is a 2,700 sf circus space developed to be the home of Monkey Aerial Arts. Aside from the capacity as a circus school, it hosts other types of fun, adventurous fitness and learning.
There are three studio areas (aerial, dance and upstairs stretching/ yoga), and a comfortable waiting area/ viewing room to the main aerial studio. In addition there is a party room also with a view of the main aerial studio.
The Owner: Tera McBlaine
Tera has been teaching aerial arts since 2007. Her focus and philosophy is to encourage mastery of solid technical foundation to enable students’ successful advancement. She loves that aerial arts exist at the intersection of artistry and athleticism. She has founded Monkey Aerial Arts to both bring aerial arts to Lake County but also to be able to provide high quality beginner and intermediate technique based on the curriculum and methods of her former teachers and coaches.
After completing her Bachelor of Arts degree at University of California- Berkeley, Tera began taking a recreational static trapeze class at the San Francisco Circus Center. She fell head over heels for it and decided to pursue circus school instead of finishing graduate school.
At the Circus Center, her curriculum ultimately included training in Spanish web, static trapeze and swinging trapeze under Virginia Meyers and Elena Panova, stretching under Jim Donak, acrobatics and Chinese pole under Liu Ye. These world-class instructors have been a huge influence on Tera’s aerial practice and teaching.
A move to New York, had Tera continuing to train independently at the Streb Lab for Action Mechanincs and also learning aerial silks with both Laura Witwer (Sassy Pants) and Tori Lubecki. She was also working on some lyra and cloud swing along with duo aerial.
In 2007, Tera started offering private lessons and classes. She realized immediately that teaching was far more personally gratifying to her than performing as an aerialist. She then went to NECCA for an aerial arts teacher training course with Elsie and Serenity (who are industry leaders in their focus on spotting techniques and injury prevention) and has focused on teaching and coaching since then. She also jumps on the opportunity to take relevant seminars or continuing education and connect with other industry leaders in technique and safety.
Guest Instructor and Artist-in-Residence: Tank Tana Karo
Graduating with a Bachelors in Circus Arts in 2009 from the renowned Melbourne circus facility NICA, Tank clearly has the life skills to run her own “repelling zombies through cardio” dance studio, should the apocalypse ever arrive. Tank performs Dance Trapeze and Foot Juggling, and can sometimes be found eating fire, perching on a Plyra, or pouring champagne from the air for people in fancy dress. (She calls them “floor people.”) She has performed in exciting corners of the world like Tasmania! And French Caledonia! Also some lesser known places like Melbourne, Sydney, Southeast Asia, Amsterdam and London. She’s spent some time on the “high seas” honing her pirate skills and headlining shows for P&O Australia and Carnival Cruise Lines. Tank is also a huge nerd, and as such is the creator and director of a company that performs geek-culture inspired circus, called Acrobatica Infiniti Circus. With a background in Fashion Design and Ballet, she completes the ultimate trifecta of dancing, sewing and…. sandwiches. Making sandwiches. It’s an exclusive trifecta, I’m sure you’ve never heard of it. (Hair flip) Tank is back in Chicago to teach and perform, and is thrilled to be at Monkey Aerial Arts as an artist in residence.