Corey Souza is owner & operator of S-Connection, LLC and artistic director of S-Connection Aerial Arts and AscenDance. With a background in contemporary dance and choreography, Souza completed her PhD in cultural anthropology (UF 2015) with a focus on performances of nationalism, race and gender found in Brazilian samba and carnival. Souza was first introduced to cirque arts while researching Brazilian samba and capoeira in Salvador, Bahia in 2005. She specializes in aerial silks and trapezes, and teaches and performs a variety of dance cirque apparatus including samba, equestrian vaulting and flying trapeze. She has studied trick horse training with Carole Fletcher and Vaulting (Bareback Riding) with Timi Loyal and Christine & Sultan Kumisbayev. She has worked with the Brazilian Circo Picolino, Fern Street Circus and Aerial Revolution (San Diego), before launching S-Connection Aerial Arts, which has been conducted under the mentorship of Lynn Polke.
Lynn Polke is a professional Director and Producer with multicultural worldwide experience, known for family friendly fun, whose credits include the Ringling Brothers Circus, Disneyland, film and television. After graduating from UW-Milwaukee with an inter-arts BFA and Dean’s Honors, Lynn mimed and danced her way through Europe then landed in San Francisco. As a clown, acrobat and choreographer for Make-A-Circus she sang punk rock on the side until she passed the Ringling Brothers Circus audition to be an aerial dancer showgirl. Always trying something new Lynn developed a single trapeze act, a hula hoop act, and worked an adagio elephant act the likes of which will never be seen again. Several commercials and the film Big Top Pee Wee in Hollywood led her back into the circus with husband and child in tow criss-crossing the U.S. more times than she can remember with performing jaunts to the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, Canada and Thailand in between. Ever the student of life and art her adventures include touring with T-Pain, Justin Bieber and developing and presenting her act, “Madame Flambeau’s Flea Circus at the Coney Island Sideshow Museum in Brooklyn NY. A gypsy yogini, Lynn drops in on yoga classes wherever she travels always learning something new. Lynn encourages and mentors those pursuing a career in the arts. “I am grateful for the opportunity to motivate others, help them find their muse and shine their light on the world leaving beauty in their wake and light on the path to peace.”
Griffin Wulf discovered aerial arts and her love for circus in 2012, and since then has been immersed in circus life. She has traveled and trained many places, including San Francisco’s Clown Conservatory and New England Center for Circus Art’s Intensive Professional Training Program. She specializes in aerial silks, and her active interests include partner acrobatics, pole, clowning, and equestrian circus.
Becca Burton teaches hula hoop and mixed apparatus. She is a member of AscenDance, and performs with multiple hoops, double and single lyra, trapeze, and triple trapeze. When not working with cirque arts, she works at Florida Sea Grant and is co-founder of The Renaissance Woman.
Demyan Khrolenko is a handstand and movement enthusiast originally from New York. He is a Yoga, Crossfit, Kettlebell, and Gymnastics instructor, who embarked on his Handstand journey in 2011 at the Sophia Isadora Academy of Arts in San Diego, CA. Demyan joined S-Connection Aerial Arts in 2017, and is also currently in our Flying Trapeze Instructor training program.
Barakissa Coulibaly is a Master West African Dance Instructor originally from Ivory Coast, West Africa. She has taught at major universities such as the University of Florida, University of North Carolina Asheville, Bates College and more. Barakissa has traveled and taught among a plethora of counties such as Spain, Japan, Greece, France, Germany, and more! For more information on Barakissa, please visit her website at www.barakissacoulibaly.com
Marc Shahboz teaches Ninja Fitness and enjoys flying through the air and the challenge circus training offers. He has a background in rock climbing, martial arts, swing dancing and swimming. Additionally, Marc has been a competitor on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior and continues to train for ninja competitions. Marc is the lead professor in Santa Fe College’s Digital Media BAS program and coaches swimming here in Gainesville.
Jill Burton was a professional ballerina, modern dancer, dance teacher, accompanist, and free improvisor in Gainesville FL during the 1970s. In 1978, she traveled to San Francisco where she met for the first time her life-long friends and collaborators Davey Williams and LaDonna Smith, and connected for the first time to a larger, world-wide community of free improvisors. She lived in Manhattan’s East Village from 1981-1991 where she was very active as part of the downtown experimental music/dance/performance art scene; including co-founding, w/Rain Worthington, the band HIZOHI (which also included Jane Scarpantoni, Yuval Gabay, and Kumiko Kimoto). She has been privileged to work with and learn from artists from all over the world, including the Peking Opera, the Noh Theater, and Alaska Native Tlingit dancers and storytellers. She has studied and practiced hands-on healing and energy work for over twenty years, always incorporating this into her performance work.
Geraecka Lyonns is a veteran mama, jazz singer, a Certified Professional Midwife and Certified Yoga Instructor. Raised in Germany and the US, she spent 13 years training as a classical ballerina, both nationally and abroad. She has been teaching yoga to kids and adults off and on for over 15 years, and began training in the aerial arts in Argentina in 2014. Now, officially hooked on learning and teaching aerial and circus arts, she is delighted to be a part of the S-connection family.
Isabella Cox brings her love of dance to the floor with her passion for Ballet. A Gainesville native Isabella trained with Pofahl Studio’s and Dance Alive! When she is not dancing she is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Florida