Alisan Funk is a Montreal circus coach and creator currently pursuing a PhD in education at McGill University. She received her initial practical training at the Ecole de Cirque de Quebec and taught and performed for many years before going into higher education. She holds an MA in circus education from Concordia University and works as a research assistant on multiple projects which examine the technical and creative aspects of circus, theatre and physical literacy.Basically Alisan is super smart, and she uses all her smarts to think and write about circus in super smart ways. We went all over the place in this interview from how circus is different from other artforms such as theater or dance, the dangers and benefits of institutionalizing circus education, and why circus isn’t studied more in academia.

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This podcast is dedicated to CIRCUS. Aerialist, Shannon McKenna interviews guests from acrobats in Cirque du Soleil to circus therapists and everyone in between. Learn the backstage lives of those who flip, twist, sparkle, and shine under the big top.

Shannon McKenna is an internationally recognized circus performer and coach. For the past decade, she has been a freelance artist: giving workshops and classes across 7 countries and working on and back stage for both traditional and contemporary circus shows in the US, Portugal, Germany, and Australia. She holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a concentration on post-modern physical theater (how’s that for a mouthful?). She founded The Artist Athlete in 2018 as a means to produce educational materials for aerial artists and a podcast in which she interviews experts in the circus industry about their careers. If you’re reading this, you’re probably listening to it. Thank you!

She currently lives in Atlanta, GA USA, but gravitates towards whichever circus community is the warmest.

Find her online:

Facebook: The Artist Athlete

Instagram: @the_artist_athlete

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