Mercedes (Sadie) LeDonna, CPT
Sadie LeDonna has performed as an aerialist, clown and acrobat around the Pacific Northwest since age 15, debuting on the aerial hoop in a New Old Time Chautauqua show. She has created independent shows, toured with the New Old Time Chautauqua and worked as a part of smaller companies.
She has received training in aerial arts, acrobatics, dance, and clowning in San Francisco CA, Seattle WA, Brattleboro VT, and Quebec City. She also studied social circus with Cirque De Soleils’ social circus training company, Cirque du Monde. She aims to bring a joy of movement and physical well-being to as many people as possible. She has taught at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts in Seattle and UMO School of Physical Theater on Vashon Island, as well as small aerial studios, crossfit gyms and festivals around the Pacific Northwest.
Sadie is a certified ACE Personal Trainer and focuses on finding happiness through health and fitness in her 1 on 1 and group sessions.
Shawn has been studying movement and performing circus arts since 2010. He trained intensively at the San Francisco Circus Center and Ecole De Cirque de Québec. He also studied social circus with Cirque De Soleil’s social circus training company Cirque du Monde. He specializes in hand balancing, ground acrobatics, and juggling. Shawn has created independent shows, toured with the New Old Time Chautauqua and worked in smaller companies.
Shawn is also a school certified structural integration practitioner and has studied kinesiology at The Pacific Center for Awareness and Bodywork as well as with Anatomy Trains Structural Integration. He has also studied osteopathically derived manual therapy techniques, functional movement training and developmental movement patterns. He loves reading contemporary research on the neuroscience of pain and how to optimize physical performance.
Shawn has worked with youth, teens and adults to better their movement, posture, and physical connection since 2012. He also works as a coach and performer at the UMO School of Physical Arts on Vashon Island.
Whether real or imagined, Rachel’s earliest memory is of dancing. As a kid she was a competitive gymnast and figure skater, and had her first circus performing experiences with Professor Bud’s Mini Circus in Yakima WA. As a teen she concentrated on Modern dance with teachers like Michelle Miller, Wade Madsen, and Amii Legendre at Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, and ballet with Lisa Price at The Yakima School of Ballet. She furthered her dance education by earning a Professional Diploma in Dance Studies from London’s Trinity Laban in 2003 followed by a BA in dance and in anthropology from the University of Washington in 2007.
She spent the next 11 years as a freelance dancer in Seattle, doing several productions with Seattle Opera and Khambatta Dance Company, and coached everything from unicycle to flying trapeze at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA) in Seattle. Starting in 2013, she created and taught a year-long dance curriculum for SANCA’s pre-professional track program. She also met her now-husband Nick, and they created their duo Chinese pole act which they went on to perform nationally with the Venardos Circus, the Anastasini Circus, the Zoppé Family Circus, and Circus Kirkus.
Rachel has always been most at home in the worlds of dance and circus, finding fun ways to combine them, creating beauty, telling stories, entertaining herself and others, and helping her students make impossible skills become possible. She is excited to share her broad knowledge and love of circus and dance, and to be a part of the growing community at Pop Up Movement.
Ruth Choudhury began her love affair with Aerial dance after taking a class in Los Angeles in 2013. Finding an immediate love and connection to the fabric, she knew it was something she wanted to explore further and with a background in dance from early childhood, it was a natural progression into the world of aerial.
Ruth has received extensive mentorship training and certification in Aerial Dance under the guidance of Kimberely Simonetti founder of Up Flying Yoga Los Angeles, and in 2015 Ruth began teaching Aerial Dance at Up Flying Yoga.
Ruth has performed as both aerialist and aerial bartender at numerous Los Angeles events with the aerial troupe The Lovely Hearts. She has also appeared as herself on multiple reality shows and local Los Angeles T.V news shows demonstrating and teaching aerial. It brings Ruth no greater joy than to share the love she has for aerial and help bring that exhilaration to others.
Sadie and Shawn recently visited our local elementary school to lead our students through a Circus Arts Workshop. The day was filled with movement, play, and laughter – leaving each and every one of our students feeling excited about their time in class and eager to learn more. The way in which Sadie and Shawn engaged ALL of our students was really a testament to their ability to make circus arts accessible to a wide range of ages and abilities. Our school would be lucky to have them back and we would highly recommend their workshop for students and adults alike!
-Alex Craighead, Chautuaqua Elementary School PE Teacher
Shawn and Sadie have been working with both of my children for years. Having worked with many coaches, I can hands down say that Sadie and Shawn are some of the best my we have worked with. Their commitment to the craft mingles with their playful and loving personalities to generate an environment that inspires both of my kids every week.
-Nekole Shapiro, Parent
Unexpectedly Shawn and Sadie go beyond the standard coaches! Yes, they have strong skills that they translate well to kids, I expect this, but Shawn is also a caring and deeply observant person. Making sure my daughter has fun and also watching how her body subtly moves to prevent injury, accommodating just enough when she is tired or overwhelmed, working with her to move beyond her perceived limitations.
-Michelle Mickle, Parent