Aloft is an internationally-renowned collective of circus artists dedicated to providing awe-inspiring and memorable experiences. Founded by Shayna Swanson in 2005, Aloft award-winning artists make innovative use of traditional aerial circus equipment such as trapeze, rope and fabric to showcase a variety of unique skills and talents. Every performer in the company is a highly trained, visionary professional who will leave any spectator breathless.
In addition to 3 full length shows that have been received with critical acclaim and glowing reviews, Aloft creates stunning custom entertainment that challenges, awes and excites all who view it. From aerial performances to strolling entertainment, Aloft can create and produce a personalized program based on your specific parameters and budget for a complete
Aloft has provided entertainment for a variety of clients, including Steve Wynn, Seneca Niagara Casino, Crobar, Absolute Vodka, Coors, Maxim Magazine and many more. Performers have worked with Pegasus Variete, Krystallpallast, Cirque de la Mer, New Vision Cirque, The Midnight Circus, Circus Smirkus, Chicago Lyric Opera, as well as participating in dance and
circus festivals around the world. As leaders in the field both locally and internationally, Aloft has trained members of the Aerial Angels, Ameba, Thodos Dance Chicago, Bindlestiff Family Circus, Cycropia Aerial Dance, The Cabriri, Circo Rose, and independent performers from all over the country.
All Aloft performers are insured. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, adaptability and friendliness, as well as our technical proficiency and creativity. We look forward to creating and working with you in the future!
"The creative contribution, professionalism and energy that the Aloft team delivered over long rehearsals and non-stop performances was nothing short of amazing! Shayna listened to and adopted our vision, creating stunning choreography. The complexity of Imagine Christmas required flexibility from the entire cast and crew. Aloft solved problems before I even knew there was an issue. The troupe was double and triple cast, everyone preformed at their peak with great attention to safety. It is an absolute joy to work with the Aloft team." -Julie Chappel--Willow Creek's Imagine Christmas Director
Shayna Swanson: Artistic Director
Angelique Grandone: Events Manager
What to Expect
Typical Gig Duration: 3 - 120 minutes
Aloft has thrilled spectators from all over with their style, sense of humor and daring. Our artists have won prestigious awards at circus festivals around the world. Whether flipping around a trapeze, hurtling up and down a rope or dangling from luscious silks, Aloft will amaze!
Below are just a few of the acts we can provide. Acts can be presented individually or we can create a full show for you. Aloft has 3 full length performances available and regular create custom entertainment
Solo, Duo and Group Silks/Tissu
Solo, duo and group Rope
Solo, duo and group Spanish Web
Solo, duo and group lyra/aerial hoop
Solo, duo and group hammock/sling/net
Solo, duo and triple Static trapeze
Solo Swinging Trapeze
Duo Aerial Frame
Harness Work/absailing, rappelling
Custom Act Creation
Acrobatic female duo
Female Mime Solo
Puppet Stilts duo
4 legged/Creature stilts
Acrobatic “flip around”
Aloft’s free-standing aerial rig enables to quickly set up or take down within minutes! 10 min up, 5 min down! Great for outdoor festivals.
Rigging points often required
For aerial performance we prefer a min of 18 ft ceiling height, though we can provide acts in more intimate venues as well. Contact Aloft for a list of venues we've worked with in the past if you are looking for the perfect place for your aerial-enhanced event. We need a rigging point that can support at least 1 ton of load. Aloft can provide a qualified rigger for any situation or work with the in-house rigger at your venue.
We also have a free-standing aerial rig that can set up anywhere, indoor or out. It's easy and fast to put up and take down.
No aerial capabilities? No problem! We provide many awesome ground based acts as well!
In addition to short, a la carte acts, we can provide full length shows!
El Circo Cheapo Cabaret:
Flexible in length (45-120 min) and rigging, El Circo Cheapo is our most popular show. Born of the recession, it is a show for our times. Part old vaudeville and part stunning contemporary circus, it has become a legendary variety show, with 3 years of sold out shows and a 7 city US tour under its sparkly belt. Performed by a rotating cast of performers from around the globe, the aerial and ground based displays are tied together by one of the most hilarious comedians working today.
"If you have a deep love of circuses by detest the sprawling 3-ring aspect of them, El Circo Cheapo is the ideal alternative!" --Chicago Decider/Onion AV Club
Dinner of our Discontent:
Dinner of our Discontent (75 min, 8 performers) combines intense aerial acts with with the heartfelt, passionate performances that the company is known for. Following five estranged sisters coping with the untimely death of their parents, "Dinner" is at once hilarious and heartbreaking. Making innovative use of traditional equipment (acts are seen on clotheslines, birdcages, chains and a dining room table) the acts seamlessly weave themselves into the story-line--the audience barely recognizes the transitions from ground to air. The strength and clarity of the performer's personalities reads as exuberantly as their physical performances.
"Veering from melancholy to hilarity out outright aggression, Swanson makes a time-honored dramatic situation her own by physicalizing grief and sibling rivalry."-The Chicago Tribune
The Circus Princess
The Circus Princess is a 20-40 min show with only 3 performers, making it a very economical option. It premiered to rave reviews at the Medora Musical in 2011. Featruing trapeze, hat manipulation, aerial rope, silks and physical comedy galore, the Circus Princess is a delightful romp of delight! Great for kids parties, cruises and anywhere a fun, fast family show is needed. You wont be able to wipe the smile off your face, and it also teaches a great lesson about girls, rivalry and friendship.
The Science of Heart
This 60 min show was specially created for the Innovators of America awards presentation in 2010. It follows a Sad Scientist, who can create any machine, but can't manufacture someone to love him. His Buffoon sidekick leads him on a journey to find passion and happiness in his work. This show is a great motivator for corporate events and features unusual apparatus, like an aerial horse structure and hair hanging! Let Aloft create a customized show for you!
Aloft can create one-of-a-kind shows or bring just a few acts (ground or aerial, solo or group) to spice up your event. Some of our past clients include Mori Seiki, Absolut, Izod/Indy 500, Deutchebank, Cirque Du Soleil and more! Please email us for more info.
Past Booked Dates:
03-26-2010 — Moisture Festival-Shayna and Amanda Seattle, WA
02-26-2010 — Private Party, Shayna, Elena, Amanda, Costa Rica
02-15-2010 — Trapeze workshop, Shayna, Cirque School LA
01-16-2010 — Women's College Gymnastic Championships, Elena and Emily, University of Kentuky
12-31-2009 — French Lick Resort-Gym Wheel, Adagio, Aerial, Hula Hoops and more! Fench Lick, IN
12-11-2009 — Imagine Christmas-Laura, Helena and Elena, St Louis, MO
11-30-2009 — Pegasus Variete-Shayna's rope act, Frankfort, Germany
11-21-2009 — Christmas on the Pier-Shayna's rope act-Santa Monica, CA
11-02-2009 — Mori Seiki private event-multiple aerial acts, Schaumburg, IL
10-31-2009 — Wherehouse Halloween Party-Shayna and Elena's silks act, Milwaukee, WI
10-31-2009 — Voodoo Experience Music Festival-Emily's trapeze act, New Orleans, LA
10-24-2009 — Cirque Voila-Shayna and Amanda, Elgin, IL
10-17-2009 — "We Live in Public" film premiere-Shayna, Laura, Helena, Lizzy, Chicago, IL
10-16-2009 — El Circo Cheapo-Los Angeles, CA
10-07-2009 — ISSA Conference-Shayna and Elena's silks act, Chicago, IL
10-02-2009 — El Circo Cheapo-Seattle, WA
09-25-2009 — El Circo Cheapo-Portland, OR
09-22-2009 — El Circo Cheapo-Santa Cruz, CA
09-11-2009 — El Circo Cheapo-Santa Fe, NM
09-08-2009 — El Circo Cheapo-Denver, CO
06-12-2009 — "Above the Belt" Aerial Showcase-Shayna's rope act, New York, NY
03-27-2009 — Moisture Festival-Shayna's rope act, Seattle, WA
02-20-2009 — Starfish Resort-Shayna's rope act, Jamaica
12-05-2008 — Deutchbank Private Event-Shayna, Elena, Sarah S, Emily-Chicago, IL
08-08-2008 — Olympic Greek Festival-Shayna's lyra act and Elena's silks act, Hong Kong, China
02-08-2008 — Ka Furniture-Shayna, Elena, Laura, Helena, Sarah S, Green Bay, WI
12-20-2007 — Imagine Christmas-Willow Creek Church, Barrington, IL
11-16-2007 — Coors Light/Maxim Model Search Tour-Shayna's rope and Beth's silks, 7 US cities
10-17-2007 — International Clown Festival-Shanghai, China
07-01-2007 — Circus Performer's BBQ
05-27-2007 — Street Fashion Show--Madison WI
01-18-2007 — Cirque Voila
01-11-2007 — Absolut Vodka Product Launch
12-22-2006 — Imagine Christmas-Willow Creek Church, Barrington, IL
2006: 65 gigs
2007: 89 gigs
2008: 74 gigs
2009: 105 gigs
2010: 145 gigs
2011: 178 gigs
2012: 136 gigs
Available for Your
Awards Night, Bachelor Party, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Party, Bar/Lounge, Birthday Party, Club/Nightclub, Concert Venue, Convention, Corporate Event, Cruise, Dinner Dance, Festival, Fundraiser, Grand Opening, Launch Party, Private Party, Restaurant, Trade Show, Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception
Here are testimonials Aloft has chosen to post.