All Dragonfly instructors have a background in their discipline, experience, and training in teaching circus arts. Dragonfly takes seriously our commitment to help EVERYONE safely explore aerial / circus arts.
Lissa McLeod has been playing in circus arts for over 10 years. She primarily teaches aerials at Dragonfly and coaches kids performance groups. Lissa has taken teacher trainings through Nimble Arts/NECCA in fabrics, trapeze, lyra, and sling, including earning teacher certification in fabrics. Her teachers include Elsie Smith, Molly Graves, Serenity Smith Forchion, Melissa Knowles, Jamie Hodgson, Sandra Feusi, and Lauren Bruenig. Additionally, she's taken workshops with Susan Murphy, McKinely Vitale, Rain Anya, Sarah Beebe Holmes, Rebekah Leach, and Girls on Trapeze. Lissa has also completed training in Circus Arts Therapy with Carrie Heller, with a focus on working with differently-abled children and adults. *Photo courtesy of Chris Alley
Jake Weinstein has been teaching and performing circus arts for more than 20 years. He is an experienced aerialist, stilt walker, clown, juggler, and unicyclist. Jake has trained with the New England Center for Circus Arts, the Circus Arts Institute, and Celebration Barn/Eccentric Performing, among others. Working as a clown with the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit, he's taught circus, street theater, and performing arts at public schools from New Haven, CT to Knoxville, TN, as well as the Children's Circus at Middletown, CT, and countless circus workshops in other venues with both children and adults.
David Stewart is a mystery--an absolute enigma. Where does he come from? Where was he trained? Who knows?!? He's been doing this a very long time, but no one knows just how long.
He serves on the Dragonfly Management Team, is always down for whatever we need, and we love him--even though he refuses to give us a bio.
Young Kim fell in love with aerial silks in 2016 and hasn’t left the studio since. She completed her teacher training for Level 1 Silks with Paper Doll Militia in 2020 and completed Level 2 Silks in 2021. Young is grateful for all the amazingly wonderful people she's met at Dragonfly!
Outside of the aerial studio, she's an Assistant Professor of Music at Lincoln Memorial University and serves on the board of the Appalachian Equality Chorus (formerly Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus). She and her husband Shelby live in Knoxville and are smitten with their cat, Sycamore.
Whitney Jones has been hanging upside down since she was 4 years old. As a competitive gymnast and team gymnastics coach, she learned the importance of strength, proper technique, and pointed toes. And she'll make sure you remember all about the pointed toes, too!
Whitney discovered aerials after a gymnastics draught of 5 years and has been obsessed with the artistry and difficulty ever since. In 2016, she completed Dragonfly's in-house teacher training program. You can find Whitney teaching kids aerials classes, tumbling for ground circus, and at parties and fitness classes.
Gretchen Kratts would like to personally thank Hugh Jackman for her love of circus. She saw The Greatest Showman in December of 2017, and began taking classes at Dragonfly in January of 2018.
The rest is history!
Gretchen’s primary apparatus is silks, but she's always ready to pick-up a new skill when need arises. She's been a regular participant in Dragonfly's Annual Circus Extravaganza and the spicier Circus After Dark since 2019. Beyond silks, she's performed on Spanish Web, Bungee, and Hammock.
As of Fall 2023, Gretchen is actively completing her teacher certification and assisting with the combined Knots A & B Class. *Photo by Taryn at Aw, Snap