Meet the Team

Lucy Francis-Litton (Company Director)

  • Professional Aerialist & Acrobat, Head Trainer, Creative Director & Choreographer of AirCraft Circus Performance

Before life in the Circus, Lucy spent numerous hours either upside down, cartwheeling or leapfrogging literally everywhere!  Aged 12 years old, Lucy’s passion of gymnastics grew to obsession.  Transferring over to Sports Acrobatics so she could specialise in Tumbling and group Acrobatics, she soon became a member of the National squad and was a National competitor for many years.  Aged 18, in order to continue her training, she moved to Leeds Metropolitan University (Beckett Park Campus) to study for a degree in Sport and Exercise Science. The opportunity arose for Lucy to take up High Diving as a side-line hobby!  Her obsessive nature and determination for perfection, led her to become British Masters High Diving Champion in 1998 & 1999.  This gave her a great grounding to become an all-round International Circus Acrobat and Aerialist. 

In 1998, after auditions, Lucy was selected to participate in the Circus Training programme for the New Millennium Experience Company, which led into performing in the Millennium Dome Central Show during the year 2000.  Following on from this Aerial spectacular, Lucy learnt Swinging Trapeze and went off to Ibiza for a summer season Swinging in Privilidge Nightclub for The Good Ship Manumission.  In 2002 she had the opportunity to realise one of her life-long ambitions, the Flying Trapeze.  After performing in front of The National Theatre and spending the summer flying around in the air, Lucy broke her neck and had to be pinned back together with a metal plate!  Not to be put off by this forced ‘rest’, Lucy fought back to the Circus world, and went on to amaze audiences all around the World with her spectacular and daring acts. Her mains acts are acrobalance, triples trapeze, doubles hoop and fire poi. A unique performer, in a league of her own.

Alongside performing, Lucy has 20 years experience as a circus trainer and is now the director of AirCraft Circus Academy and AirCraft Circus Performance company. She continues to wow audiences around the globe with new and exciting acts and shows.

Highlight Credits Include: Sizzling Hot Circus 2019, The Greatest Showman Performances 2018, Boudoir Circus & Midsummer Circus at Howthelightgetsin Festival 2018, The Last Supper 2017 at GCF, Boudoir Circus at the Underbelly Festival 2017, Dark Circus Party Halloween Ball 2017, Torture Garden Halloween Ball 2017, Secret Cinema Moulin Rouge 2017, Midsummer’s Night Circus 2016, New Years eve “Parade” 2015 Doha, HowTheLightGetsIn Festival 2015, London Orbit Grand Opening 2014, Wilderness Festival 2014, The Box Soho 2014, London Olympics Opening Ceremony 2012, MTV Awards 2012 Frankfurt, Download Festival 2011, Wella International 2009, Erotica Show Olympia 2005, P&O Cruise: Arcadia Launch Circus Show 2004, Royal Albert Hall 2002, Royal Opera House 2001-2004, Speedo Stage Show 2002, The National Theatre Flying Trapeze 2002, The Good Ship Manumission Ibiza Swinging Trapeze 2001, Adidas Stage Show 2001

 

Nik Litton (Operations Director, Rigger, Performer)

Nik came late to the circus world.  In 1999, at the age of 32, he moved to London to study on the Circus Space's first BA degree in circus arts.  It was a transformative experience, which paved the way for a life within the UK circus industry.  Nik followed on from his degree, as a catcher with The Flying Dudes, for 2 seasons, as an Acrobalance base with his now wife, Lucy Francis-Litton, & as a unicycling/juggling Mad Hatter with Curious Company.  Throughout the early noughties, to make ends meet, Nik mixed performing work with teaching work at the old Circus Space.  Until 2008, Nik was a regular teacher for The Circus Space (now NCCA); on their adult evening programme, youth circus, & corporate programme & for 2 years was also a 2-day/week Facilities technician & occasional duty manager.

In 2001, Nik also started working with Alex Frith on a kids' clown show.  Using all of their combined equipment & skills, it soon became evident that they needed a space to train/rehearse.  In April 2002 Nik & Alex co-founded the original Hangar to meet these needs.  This commitment to circus arts has been maintained ever since, in several different guises.  First, from 2002-2007 as a live/work space called The Hangar.  Second, from 2007-2018, as the charity Hangar Arts trust; and now the third incarnation of “The Hangar”, known as AirCraft Circus Academy, which opened in 2018, with Nik & Lucy at the helm.

Nik is primarily focused on the rigging of circus.  However, he still performs with his wife Lucy to this day.

Some career highlights include; Sizzling Hot Circus 2019, Submersion at the Royal Naval College 2018, Boudoir Circus at the Underbelly Festival 2017, Secret Cinema Moulin Rouge 2017, 'Parade' show New Year's Eve 2015 Doha, Howthelightgetsin Festival 2015 & 2018, Canary Wharf Spiegaltent 2014/15, O2 Arena World Skills 2011), Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Village Underground, National Theatre, The Hippodrome, London, acrobalance in front of Prince Charles (2004) & Lady Sarah Ferguson (2018) & at the Golden Jubilee at Buckingham palace (2002), teaching flying trapeze to celebrities; Charlie Dimmock, Pennie Smith & Sadie Frost, performing as a juggling/unicycling clown in Pagliacci, at the Royal Opera House (2003), rigging & performing at Download festival (2011), Teeter-board base work for CGI-effects in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory (2007), rigging work on Britain's Got Talent (2014), London Olympics closing ceremony (2012), running a circus skills pilot training scheme for Esther Benjamin's Trust in Kathmandu (2010).

 

 

Hayley Ingle (Aerialist & Trainer) 

While growing up Hayley loved dance and drama classes and later graduated from the University of Wales Aberystwyth with a BA Honours degree in Drama and Spanish.  She then went on to work as an actress in touring theatre shows across the UK for the following 2 years.

After moving to London, Hayley worked as an actress and entertainer and discovered her love for aerial arts. She first embarked on her circus journey at AirCraftCircus Academy, where she trained on the foundation course in 2012, a move that completely reshaped her life.  She continued her acting career with the addition of her new circus skills and developed into a professional circus artist.

In 2015 she completed the professional course at Gravity Circus Centre specializing in Rope. Hayley performs multiple aerial acts including Rope, Silks, Hoop, and Static Trapeze as a solo artist at festivals, cabarets and corporate events; and as part of duos and triples trapeze with AirCraftCircus Performance Company. Hayley also teaches aerial arts to children, adults and professional artists here at ACA and other circus venues.

 

Charlotte Dawson (Aerialist, Acrobat & Trainer) 

Charlotte is originally trained in elite gymnastics, contemporary dance and musical theatre, before diving into the circus world, graduating from the National Centre of Circus Arts in 2014.

When Charlotte was tiny- though not much bigger than she is now... She has always been into sports such as basketball, tennis, running and generally keeping active. There was no stopping her climbing trees, kicking high past her shoulders, twirling around the front room, playing football or bouncing from one trampoline to another trampoline- and sofa to sofa! This is probably why her mum sent her into more constructive activities! With a supportive family behind her, she chose to do a degree in circus arts which has led to her career as a circus artist and trainer.

Specialising in straps, hoop, dance and acrobatics, Charlotte has performed around the world including Australia (2016) with the all girl circus troupe Les Femmes Circus. She thoroughly enjoyed performing in Sizzling Hot Circus with Aircraft Circus Performance 2019; as part of Greenwich Circus Festival 2018; Citrus Arts performing ‘Ceirw-Savage Hart’ 2015-2018; ‘Come Fly with Me’ Brighton Festival 2016; Brighton Festival 2015; Wilderness Festival 2015; and the  Royal Variety Show in 2012.

Charlotte has been teaching circus skills and gymnastics to all ages from 2014. She has been part of the Aircraft Circus teaching team and performance company since 2016. She trains adults, youth, and full time students. There is no denying that Charlotte feels ‘at home’ while she teaches and performs.

When Charlotte is not teaching, performing or training, she spends time with her family, cooking and trying to bring her feet back to the ground.

 

Merryn Novelle (Aerialist & Trainer)

Merryn completed the Foundation Course in Circus Arts at AirCraft Circus Academy in December 2017, and having fallen in love with circus, decided to complete the Intermediate Course; which she graduated from in June 2018.

Merryn originally trained in dance and drama from a young age, and after deciding she wanted a future career as a performer, she joined an award winning dance troupe, and went on to perform with them for four years.

Moving to London to study at AirCraftCircus Academy gave her a new direction as a performer and she hasn't looked back since! She loves being part of the teaching team, and since her graduation from the course she has enjoyed performing as part of AirCraft Circus Performance.

Merryn is now a trainer at AirCraftCircus Academy specialising in Dance, Act Creation and Performance.

  

 

Yma Ziranek Wilson (Aerialist & Trainer)

Yma, born and raised in London, began circus at NCCA as a member of the London Youth Circus, specialising in static trapeze.

After a few years she left for university but quickly ran away to pursue her passion for a life in circus. She studied on the Foundation course at AirCraft Circus in 2016 and once graduated joined the AirCraft Circus professional performance company, going on to perform duo trapeze as a partner to AirCraft Circus director Moira Campbell.

She spent the summer of 2017 performing dance trapeze with the traditional big top circus, Chaplins and spent 2018-2019 doing further circus training in Portugal at INAC.

Lily Risely-Pritchard (Chinese Pole Artist & Trainer)

From a young age, Lily trained in tap, ballet and modern dance.  After making her way through the ISTD grades including jazz, she went on to study contemporary dance as a foundation degree.  Discovering circus at age 19, she was accepted on the degree at the National Centre for Circus Arts in Hoxton, where she specialised in Chinese pole.  Lily is a varied circus performer, taking from her contemporary dance background and infusing various movement qualities into her circus disciplines.  Lily has a first class BA Hons in Circus Arts and has been teaching different age groups for the last 4 years.

 

Miley Einhorn (Aerialist & Trainer)

Miley was born in Argentina, where she started her career as a circus performer training in silks and aerial hoop at the Centro Cultural of Universidad de Buenos Aires.  After moving to the UK she decided to up her training and joined the Foundation programme at Aircraft Circus in 2017. Miley then moved to Bristol and completed the two year FDA degree in Contemporary Circus with Physical Theatre at Circomedia, graduating with Merit in 2019. Later moved back to London and completed the Intermediate full time course at Aircraft Circus in 2019.
Miley specialises mainly on aerial hoop, double straps, physical theatre and silks. However she is also highly experienced in most circus areas including rope, straps, partner
acro, Chinese pole, petite and grand volant, static trapeze, doubles on verticals and hoop, poi and dance.  She has performed several acts across Argentina and the UK as a solo on hoop and silks and as a duo on straps, hoop, silks and rope. As well as performing she enjoys teaching different circus arts to both children and adults.

 

 

Lucy Gould (Aerialist & Trainer)

Lucy trained at the London Centre for Theatre Studies as part of the Actors Company in 2007. Whilst there she discovered a circus school (Circus Space) just minutes down the road and knew where she would be heading after graduation! She signed up for adult evening classes and has never looked back.

She joined the Foundation Course in Circus Arts at Aircraft Circus in 2011 and then went on to start a Foundation degree in Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance at Circomedia in Bristol. Unfortunately, her time there was cut short by the unexpected arrival of a baby!

Since then she has continued training at Aircraft Circus and joined the Youth Teacher team in early 2016.  Alongside this, Lucy has been working as a professional Children's Entertainer for the last 10 years, performing solo magic shows and running workshops. 

 

Pete Elins (Aerial Trainer)

Pete pretends to be normal by having a regular job, but loves flying through the air in his spare time.  Pete has been flying and teaching flying trapeze with AirCraftCircus since 2015.  He absolutely loves doing it and is very passionate about teaching it to anyone who has a passion to fly.  Whatever their level or experience.   

 

Polly Witherick (Aerialist, Acrobat & Trainer) 

After years of competing as a high level acrobatic gymnast Polly found her way into circus when she successfully auditioned for the National Centre for Circus Arts youth circus program. She initially specialized in tightwire and soon after joining she realised she wanted to turn this new passion into a career.

Polly then went on to study Contemporary Circus and graduated from the National Centre for Circus Arts’ degree program in 2017, with her main discpline being Cyr Wheel. Whilst training, Polly continued to develop her acrobatic and aerial skills in a technical and creative manner, as well as furthering her theatre and dance experience. Alongside her cyr wheel training Polly also focused greatly on hand-balancing and contortion training, two disciplines she’d carried forward from her gymnastic training.

Since graduating Polly has been performing with an array of disciplines and acts all around the world in a variety of different shows and events. As well as performing she has also spent her time teaching circus and gymnastics to all ages, including workshops in local schools.

 

 

Adrian Martel (Aerialist, Contortionist, Trainer) 

Also known as Andromeda Circus, Adrian originally trained in Ballet, Contemporary and Modern dance.  His circus training began with Stilts and Fire performing in 1999, and silks training in 2006.  In 2007, Adrian graduated in Physical Education at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria & Barcelona University, before moving to the UK in 2008, where he joined us at AirCraftCircus Academy.  Here he developed other skills, such as aerial net, hoop, rope, web and straps. 

In 2012, Adrian started taking contortion classes with Iona Luvsandorj (Guiness Record Winner) to improve his flexibility, but his enthusiasm and focus soon took him to a performance standard and now he is performing this skill around the world.

Andromeda began teaching in 2000 as an Activities Leader at camps in Spain. In 2006 he started teaching dance in Valsequillode Gran CanariaDance and Music Council School. And in 2008 he started teaching PE at schools in Spain.

Andromeda has been a member of AirCraftCircus Company since 2009 where he was  performing and teaching a variety of circus skills alongside his “circus family”.

He just moved back to London from Australia where he taught contortion and aerial on regular basis in pole and circus schools (PDA, Love Pole, Miss Fit, Umbilico) and stretching/conditioning in dance schools (Village on Broadway, Dance Central) along side workshops.