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Our team

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Robin Szuch
Owner & Creative Director

Founder of Spectacle Blue, Robin Szuch, spent almost 20 years as a dancer, training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and contemporary dance. Armed with those of years dance training, and a degree in Fine Arts in Drama and Dance, Robin moved to Toronto to pursue her love of theatre and dance. While working as a dancer and actor and continuing her professional training, Robin found the element of artistry she was looking for to complete her artistic vision, Aerial. Taking the plunge with fellow artist Stacy Clark, High Strung aerial dance was born and the two spent the next decade training, performing, coaching, and creating dance, circus, and aerial dance works around the globe.

 

After ten successful years on the road High Strung aerial dance officially retired and Robin opened a full-time training and coaching studio, Spectacle Blue Studios. Spectacle Blue is a place where students of all ages and skill levels can train safely, explore their creativity, and build self-confidence and discipline as both technicians and performers.

 

Having made the full-time transition from choreographer/performer to choreographer/coach Robin had time to look at her world, the world of Aerial Dance, only to discover a gap in formal training methodologies for youth for this exciting genre. And so began the diligent work to create a solid, safety-conscious syllabus of training to help young dancers delve into the world of Aerial Dance and Circus. The culmination of Robin's years of experience in Dance, Aerial, Theatre, and fitness, along with the guidance and advice of experts in a variety of sport medicine fields, dance, circus and acrobatics is the Spectacle Blue Aerial Dance Syllabus.

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Kate AUGUSTINE
Coach/choreographer

From a young age, Kate has always had a love for human movement. She began dancing at 5 years of age and continued ever since. Throughout her younger years she trained in multiple dance styles and was part of the youth performing company, Alberta Dance Theatre. More recently, she has placed focus on contemporary and aerial dance styles for her training. This focus has elicited many opportunities for her, including performing in large production numbers and travelling to Europe to perform original works. In addition, she has begun sharing the joy of movement to students who come from a variety of backgrounds, by teaching contemporary, ballet, and aerial arts. Currently, Kate finds herself training and rehearsing with SeSol Dance Projects, Spectacle Blue, and W&M2.

Kate has now completed her Physiotherapy Degree and is a fully qualified Therapist.

She hopes to inspire as she assists audiences and students in experiencing the possibilities and subtleties of human movement.

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Holly Bates
Coach

Holly Bates spent the first twenty years of her life trying to find her niche. Holly dipped her toes in everything from dance, gymnastics, cheerleading and even synchronized swimming and nothing really stuck. In 2009 Holly finally found her calling and fell in love with circus in the small town of Turner Valley, now called Diamond Valley, in a small circus studio where she first met Robin Szuch. Holly has followed Robin to the many studios as the business grew and as she grew as an aerialist and also as a coach. Holly has performed professionally in venues from the festival stage to corporate venues to private events. Holly has been seen Vertical Wall Dancing at the Kaleido Festival in Edmonton, on the silks in the Calgary Opera’s production “Die tote Stadt” as well as the Calgary Opera Gala at the Jubilee Auditorium. Holly’s main focus now is coaching and sharing her love of aerial circus with others.

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JESSICA BARERRA
Coach

Jessica’s circus training began in Toronto with mentors from The Moscow State Circus and Harbour Kids Camp Executive Director, Marsha Kennington. These mentors instilled a love for the training process and reward of performance was planted, along with the seed of Social Circus—she would learn early on that the glue of this community was based on accessibility, mutual respect, collaboration, problem solving and self-expression. 

 

Jessica was recruited from there by Cirque du Soleil, and trained as a lead aerial dancer/acrobat/character of ‘Quidam’ on aerial hoop. Leaving touring life to have a spinal reconstruction surgery due to a genetic disorder was devastating but did not deter her from her passion to pursue circus. Post surgery, Jessica continued her performance career where she was seen combining her circus skills with acting through special skill acrobatic/aerial work on film & TV, and live performance with circus companies all across the country as both performer and choreographer/director. 

 

A coach for theatre, television and interdisciplinary performance, she has also used her diverse training to help professionals develop their craft. Credits include Disney cruise ships, Corus Entertainment, Stratford Festival Young players, The Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance, and most recently, Calgary’s Ambrose University.

Robin Buck

Office Manager

Robin is a Jack of all trades with experience in project management and coordination. She has worked in a variety of industries including hospitality, oil and gas, architecture, manufacturing and television. Oh, and of course Circus! She's been in the circus community for 4 years now and is loving it.

Outside of work you will find her either in nature: exploring through the mountains, kayaking or depending on the season, she could be on the baseball diamond or playing hockey. She truly believes in play to balance out work life.

She is an active volunteer for many causes close to her heart - most importantly Kids Cancer Care Foundation. She has built with Habitat for Humanity, Skates for Hockey helps the Homeless, Volunteers with Inn from the Cold, Walks many km’s for Believe in the Gold Walk/Run and helps with the Art Exhibit for Helping Families Handle Cancer. If you have ever been to the Calgary Dragon Boat races every year at Glenmore Park, you may have seen her as lead stroke guiding the Parents of Kids Cancer Dragon Boat. The funny part is, she is deaf, 100% and she is the one in charge of the stroke for the entire 26 person boat… why? Because she can feel the beat through the boat and block out all of the other boats and keep her team on track.

And if all that wasn't enough, Robin is also "Mom" to a beautiful daughter who is a nurse at the Alberta Children's hospital, and "Bruh" to an amazing teenage son who is a caring, beautiful old soul of his own, "Sweetheart" to her hubby and let's not forget "Mommy" to her furbaby named Buddy.

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Chris Gibbs

Videographer

From a very young age, Chris always had an interest in technology, specifically photography & video.  That passion has taken Chris on a 25+ year journey through the broadcast industry.  From controlling the equipment and programming on the front line, to overseeing technical operations of local and national televisions stations, to being involved in the launch of many specialty television networks and Pay-Per-View services.  Over the past 5 years Chris has taken his photographic passion to the next level, especially in nature, wildlife, sports, and architecture, and is currently working on his goal of becoming a Master Photographer.  He has also ventured away from the broadcast industry, and with his wife have created Gibbs Media, which provides photo, video, and social media services to small businesses and the real estate industry.  Chris has been a part of the Spectacle Blue team for over 5 years making photo and video magic.

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Michael King

Rigger

Michael is a Calgary based rigger and stage carpenter with a specialty in flying effects and acrobatic rigging.  His work has been featured on stages from the smallest black box theatres to the world's biggest stadiums as well as high -end retail installations all over the world.  

Michael is available for rigging consults and to install your initial rigging at your facility... just contact him at info@spectacleblue.ca

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Jennifer Fell is an Aerialist, Fire Performer and Teacher. A graduate of the George Brown Dance Performance Program, Jennifer began working in the Circus Arts in 2004. She has performed with many companies including Circus Orange, Hit & Run Productions and Zero Gravity Circus. Jennifer currently teaches aerial silks for Artists' Play School of Dance.  Having toured across North America, Mexico, The Canary Islands, Barbados, Dubai and Bahrain, Jennifer is happy to be home in Toronto sharing the love of aerial silks with those eager to learn

Jennifer fell
cONSULTANT (teacher training)
 

Stacy Clark
cONSULTANT (teacher training)

 

A former gymnast and professional circus performer, Stacy worked in marketing and communications before leaving it all behind to perform and teach circus around the world on stage, at festivals and on screen.

Stacy is a freelance consultant specializing in casting, coaching and creation. She also teaches career development and act development to the next generation of circus artists training at San Diego Circus Center.

 

Until 2020, Stacy was the Director of Casting at Cirque du Soleil, leading a team of international talent scouts and advisors. Stacy's journey at Cirque du Soleil began in 2007 when she joined the Casting department as a Talent Scout, recruiting athletes and circus artists for the company’s shows worldwide. In 2011 she became Acrobatic Coach on Amaluna, touring North America.  


Stacy holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson University and a Leadership diploma from Concordia University. She is a certified yoga teacher, nutrition coach, NASM performance enhancement specialist and CrossFit level 1 and CrossFit Kids trainer.  


“I believe in safe, open learning environments, and cultivating a sense of agency in students, athletes and artists. Excellence in human performance begins with being an excellent human.

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