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Our team

Ben Kotovski-Steele

Ben began his circus career as an adult with just one aerials class a week but soon realised he had contracted a full-blown case of circus fever. A qualified engineer and economist, Ben is focused on circus for the present and has formed a circus company with Jess Smart - Yip Yip Circus. Ben thoroughly enjoys teaching everything circus from aerials to acro to juggling!

Jessica Smart makes a new friend backstage
Ben Kotovski-Steele juggling

Michael Speranza

An outlandish vagabond from another world known as "Pirateman" during the weekend... but on weekdays Michael is a good all round circus teacher from the Joondalup area. Michael's specialties include crystal ball "contact juggling" as well as regular juggling and manipulation/spinning based props like staff, poi, hoops... basically anything you pick up and use when your feet are on the ground.

Isobel Lyall performing as Miss Information at Blues for the Bush, 2016

Isobel Lyall

Former international touring circus artist and rigger Isobel Lyall was a co-founder of Disco Cantito Association and CirQuest Circus School, Isobel is also an occupational therapist working in her own private practice.  As a child she was a passionate, but not well co-ordinated gymnast who, like many who struggle to learn motor skills, found teaching to be her calling and to inform her own learning as a teenage gymnastics coach.  Isobel was an accredited level 2 gymnastics coach in her early 20's before discovering that in circus, you can adjust your clothing for decency or comedy without losing points (and can even gain some).  She oversees the CirQuest program as its principal teacher, works as the General Manager of Disco Cantito Association, and teaches our early childhood classes and satellite program in Swan View. 

Jessica Smart

After hanging up her secondary teacher hat to follow her circus calling, Jess has recently returned from a two-year journey across the globe learning, teaching and performing circus everywhere she went. Jess teaches our Next Step and adults aerials classes, mentors junior teachers, and brings her own special kind of brilliance to our school every time she walks in the door.

Pirateman Michael Speranza performing at CirQuest Show and Have a Go, July 2016

Natasha Wind

Natasha's circus story began in a community circus program in Tasmania, Slipstream Circus.  A consummate hooper and gifted teacher,she is now studying horticulture and teaches CirQuest's hoops classes.

Amanda Cope

Mandy began circus in a Disco Cantito youth social circus project in Carnarvon, the Gascoyne Youth Circus.  Her love of aerials training has only been eclipsed by the discovery of the German Wheel.  She is currently studying forensic biology at Murdoch University, teaches our children's classes, and works as part-time administration assistant for Disco Cantito Association.

Amanda Cope performing aerial silks at April Fools, 2015
Natasha Wind performing hula hoops at Circus Show and Have a Go, July 2016
Cata Ranieri perfoming trapeze

Cat Ranieri

After many years of intensive training in gymnastics, sports acrobatics and cheerleading, Cat strayed

into circus performance at the age of 17, beginning with a South-East Asian tour through Singapore,

Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia with Australian circus company Lunar Circus.  Since then, Cat has worked closely with a variety of performance companies to present both large and small scale shows around Perth including corporate and community performances.  As well as being an experienced performer Cat is one of Perth’s premier circus trainers, specializing in aerials and acrobatics. Cat holds gymnastics coaching qualifications and has trained and taught circus all over the world including Canada, England and Italy.

Isaac Salter

Isaac Salter teaches our Chinese Pole and Adults' Tumbling, Tricking and Trampoline classes, and is a master of the pole and teeterboard.  After 10 years of gymnastics training, Isaac studied at NICA for two years and has toured the world with companies such as Circus Aotearoa and the Trash Test Dummies.  Isaac's enthusiasm is contageous and he has already made an amazing contribution to our organization by making us our own professional-standard pole!

Miriam Cawley

Miriam always had a dream to run away and join the circus. Starting gymnastics at five years and continuing on with Dance and acrobatics for the rest of her school years. She completed her Bachelor of Circus Arts (NICA) in 2015, specialising in Hoop Diving, Aerial silks and Group juggling, as well as learning the basics of being an all-round circus performer getting advanced training in dance, tumbling, handstands, performance and partner work. She has a strong passion for teaching and loves giving her knowledge, experience and inspiration to her students.

Jamee Campbell

Jamee has toured internationally, working with companies such as Empress Stilt Dance, Yarra Theatre Company, Phoenix Entertainment, and performied at The Aerial Dance Festival in America.  She has worked with Flipside Circus in Brisbane, where she developed her passion for social circus, and has a  BFA in Dance, Diploma of Circus Arts, Cert IV in Small Business Management and is currently working towards her Masters in Teaching.  She also teaches our Advanced Lyra and Contortion classes.

Ruth Battle

One of WA's most established circus artists, performing with Natural Wings and MAXIMA, Ruth has recently performed in the acclaimed "Fearless" at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.  Ruth has toured internationally and has recently become a mother to little August.  We're stoked to welcome Ruth back to teaching our Kids' Aerials Advanced class, and delighted that we get to play with August sometimes too!

Sven Hopla

Narrowly avoiding a career in design, Sven Hopla has been performing circus throughout the UK and Europe for the past 9 years and is now home in Perth. A graduate of both the Academy of Circus Arts and Circomedia, where he specialized in aerial rope under Jonathon Priest, he has performed with the likes of Arcadia Spectacular, Invisible Circus, Jean-Paul Zaccarini, Curtis Eller and his American Circus and, most importantly, as giant kangaroo in the 2012 London Olympics. As well having a strong foundation in technical skill Sven is keenly interested in the theory behind what makes circus work and how that knowledge can give birth to new techniques and performance styles in the air.  He also secretly juggles.

Emma Gardiner 

Emma has been a wheeler since 2004. She has trained with the Harlequin Spirals, Japanese wheeler Emiko Tajima and with Melbourne Wheel Gymnastics founder Jarrad Cuff. She trained at the 2010 International Training Camp in Valencia with accredited German trainers.

Emma Gardiner perfoming German Wheel
Leighton Beanland inspecting the facilities and safe work practices

Leighton Beanland

An enthusiastic young performer with the Act Belong Commit Canning Vale College Circus Troupe, Leighton takes any opportunity he can to perform and sets the goal of making people laugh, often through his own fallability.  Leighton usually performs with diabolo, but is well versed in the ways of most manipulation based disciplines. You may see him walking around dressed as the grinch or like he just came back from the 80's - don't worry, he's with us!

Olivia Marshall

Assistant teacher of the satellite program in Swan View, Olivia is also a year 12 student at Helena College with a background in dance and a passion for physical education.  She is looking forward to completing high school and pursuing a teaching career.

Riannon MacPherson

The newest member of our CirQuest team is Rhiannon, who as the eldest of three siblings already has a lot of the skills required for being a circus teacher - patience, boundless enthusiasm, and the love of being in motion.  Rhiannon assists with the Busy Bodies and Circus for Home-School kids' classes and is well on her way to becoming an early childhood teacher in the near future.

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