THE ARTIST ATHLETE at LOT42 in Kitchener, Ontario

September 19th and 20th, 2019

Aerialists and students all over the world follow The Artist Athlete for the latest educational materials in training and teaching.
This is the first time that Shannon McKenna will be offering her workshops here in Canada, and we are incredibly excited to host her at our space in LOT42, right in the heart of Waterloo Region.

Don’t miss this incredibly rare opportunity to train with an artist who is at the leading edge of the circus industry.

Class sizes for these workshops are very small (max. 6), meaning that students will receive VERY specialized attention.
Please inquire about private and semi-private lessons for an even more specialized class.


Shannon McKenna, aerialist and founder of was never a dancer, never a gymnast, but one hell of a tree climber.

She earned her B.F.A. from NYU with a concentration in physical theater and decided the summer after college, without much idea of what it meant, to become a circus artist. She packed up her life in a suitcase and traveled the globe in search of the best coaches to teach her, teaching aerial arts to whoever wanted to learn, and put her work on any stage she could.

She trained straps with Jonathan Fortin in Montreal and Juan Luis Gonzalez in Guadalajara, and rope and flexibility through the professional training program at The New England Center for Circus Arts. She teaches workshops and classes to all ages and abilities in over 20 states from Circus Smirkus in Vermont all the way to the legendary San Francisco Circus Center in California.

Her performance work has spanned from traditional shows in large arenas to intimate contemporary pieces in small black box theaters. She performs as a solo artist, a part of artistic duos, and ensembles. Career highlights being a magician’s assistant in Portugal, a post-food poisoning silks act in the German show WET, and hanging underneath a motorcycle on a tight wire with the Flying Espanas.

In 2018, Shannon launched The Artist Athlete, an online resource that produces educational material for aerialists, as well as a weekly podcast which contains interviews with professionals in the circus industry. It is available on Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and iTunes.

Instagram: @the_artist_athlete



Shannon has a wide range of offerings, so if you have specific things you would like to focus on please contact us about booking a private or semi-private lesson on the 19th or 20th.

DANCING YOUR DROPS (Fabric Drop Workshop)
Thursday, September 19th, 6:00PM - 8:00PM (2 hours)


As aerialists, we seek control over our bodies at every moment we are in the air. When we are climbing and posing, this control is relatively easy to master. However, it gets more complicated when we begin to look at “drops.” This workshop looks at several basic drops which cause us to rotate forward, backwards, and sideways. We will explore how the wrap, the body positioning in the set up, and the body positioning during the drop can change the speed, shape, and aesthetic quality of the skill. This is a fun workshop for those who are looking to clean up their drops as well as add their own dramatic flair to the movement!

Prerequisites: Must be able to cleanly invert and hold oneself upside down in the air.

Price: $90 +hst



Thursday, September 19th, 8:30PM - 9:30PM

Come for a hip opening, hamstring lengthening, toe cramping good time. This workshop is great for people looking to improve their leg lines in the air or on the ground.

Prerequisites: the ability to breathe in, then out again multiple times. Also, must have legs.

Price: $60 +hst


KNOT TYING WITH STYLE (Intro to Fabric Theory)
Friday, September 20th, 6:30PM - 8:30PM (2 hours)


Never get stuck again! This workshop breaks down the basic components of "fabric theory" to explain how different wraps and drops work in the air.
Using sequences and puzzles, we will play with different and surprising entrances and exits to popular skills. Great for anyone who wants to understand WHY fabric works, build more vocabulary, or pick up new sequences quickly.

For beginner - intermediate level students.

Price: $90 +hst



Friday, September 20th, 8:45PM - 9:45PM

Come for a chin lifting, rib cage widening, pelvis tilting good time. This workshop is great for those who want to strengthen and stretch their backs safely, and learn proper techniques to safely gain flexibility. 

Prerequisites: the same as for "Leg Work." Additionally, you must also have a spine.

Price: $60 +hst