Meet the Team

Chris Johnston
Chris started gymnastics at the age of four, and at thirteen he began to focus on trampoline and tumbling. His tumbling career took off quickly, and he was the Canadian National Champion at seventeen, earning him a spot on the Canadian National Team. After leaving gymnastics and completing a degree in human kinesiology , his love of acrobatics led him to Club Med, where he taught and performed circus arts. Despite being terrified of heights, he fell in love with flying trapeze. Chris is a certified NCCP Level 3 Trampoline instructor, and has taught circus and gymnastics and directed circus school programs in Mexico, throughout the Caribbean, and the United States. His passion for flying trapeze and circus arts inspired him to bring the experience back home to Canada, and share it with as many others as possible.

Colleen Forrest
Colleen has been in the recreation and fitness industry for over 15 years. She holds a degree in Recreational Leadership, and she has worked as a personal trainer and fitness motivator in Ontario. Colleen has instructed flying trapeze, aerial arts, and children’s circus programs at various resorts, schools, and summer camps worldwide, including Canada, United States, Australia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Colleen has also performed with The Flying Aces for the Netherlands National Circus on their 2012 UK tour and with Limburgs Kerstcircus for their Christmas gala in Sittard, Holland.

Andrea Moalic
Like many of our coaches, Andrea used to work at a Club Med. However, she wasn’t on the circus team; she first tried the flying trapeze because she lost a bet! Little did she know that flying trapeze would be where she found her happy place. Now, with two kids of her own, she’s excited to share her passion for flying with them, and encourage other students who are a little hesitant to try soaring through the air.

Maria Turner
Maria has been immersed in the performing arts for as long as she can remember, first as a dancer, then a musician, and finally as a circus artist. Since beginning aerial silks training in 2011, she has expanded her skill set to include handstands, aerial hoop, and static trapeze. Before joining the circus, Maria worked as a recreation and dance instructor for seven years. She then completed her Bachelor of Psychology and Master of Special Education degrees, and now works as a behaviour analyst for children with autism to support her circus habit. Maria performs regularly for local production companies, including the Inner Ring Circus, the Underground Circus, and Too Fly Productions.

Beatrix Knoll
Beatrix first fell in love with flying trapeze while on vacation at Club Med in 2015. Though she still travels to tropical destinations for trapeze once a year, she is thrilled to fly and coach year-round without needing to leave town. Beatrix grew up dancing and swimming, and has trained in kickboxing and Crossfit—she loves everything to do with health and fitness! In the summer you’ll find her kayaking or hiking locally, especially with her dog, Tikah. Beatrix is also a grade seven teacher, and loves to challenge herself and share her passions with people of all ages and skill levels.

Kimberly Dioszeghy
Kimmie is proof that you don’t need to be a gymnast or a dancer to succeed in the circus – she grew up riding horses, and is now an Engineer in Training and communications specialist by day. She started recreational pole dancing at 18, switched to yoga, and ultimately fell in love with aerial arts at 23. She has been flying with West Coast Flying Trapeze since they opened at Cypress Mountain, and is excited to be the first WCFT student to make the transition into a coach. Kimmie is a trained NCCP Foundations Artistic Gymnastics instructor.

Matt Mayer
Matt dove into the world of acrobatics almost a decade ago. He started with coaching gymnastics, first recreational, and eventually competitive men’s gymnastics. Matt then began teaching movement therapy, where he worked with kids with physical and mental disabilities, such as autism and cerebral palsy. Matt is also a personal trainer and runs his own fitness training company in addition to coaching at WCFT. Matt has a ton of passion for the smallest details of how the body works, and he has a contagious love for training. Matt believes that there is something in fitness for everyone.

Tara Hinecker
Tara has always loved movement-based activities. She has trained in gymnastics, dance (including ballet, modern, and jazz), cheerleading, kickboxing, and spinning poi. Tara has a fear of heights so she never thought she would try flying trapeze, but she loves to challenge herself—she and her daughter Skye started setting aside time to come to flying trapeze as a mother/daughter activity, and now Tara is one of our coaches. We love climbing up to the platform and seeing her giant smile! She also fits right in with the creative side of the circus world too; her day job is as a costumer for film and TV.

Jen Yang

Jen Yan is a pianist and a certified expressive arts therapist who found her love for all things aerial in 2005 (with no other dance or movement background!) She recently opened her own circus school, Triumph Acrobatic Arts, with co-owners Katie Cresswell and Alex Pearson and is very excited to see where that journey takes her. Other notable institutions include Vancouver’s CircusWest, and Tantra Fitness, where she teaches a variety of aerial disciplines to people of all ages and abilities. She is an ACE certified personal trainer and finds joy in sharing the art and physicality of circus with new students young and old, her infectious energy and patience is apparent in all her classes.

Dave Cavaletto
Dave started his acrobatic career as a trampolinist, competing with the Canadian National Team in double mini. He made his transition from gymnastics to flying trapeze at Club Med Resorts in 1997, and has been active in the trapeze community as a performer and instructor since then. He has experience teaching and performing in nine different countries. Dave has worked with people of all ages and abilities, but his specialty is working with intermediate and advanced flying trapeze students to achieve their personal goals, and enabling them to bring their flying to heights they never dreamed possible.

Michael Locke
Michael is a born-and-raised Vancouverite, who spent years practicing martial arts and many other types of sports. Though he didn’t grow up in the circus world, he fell in love with it while going to Club Med and learning the flying trapeze—coming close to realizing his lifelong dream of flying. Michael is one of our regular flying trapeze coaches, though he teaches other types of trapeze and partner acro as well. Michael loves creating new circus tricks, and spending time with his daughter, who is following in his active footsteps.

Aleasha Holtby
Aleasha fell in love with circus arts in 2010 when she began training contortion and aerials. She has since trained in many circus disciplines in Edmonton, Sydney, San Francisco, and Vancouver, specializing in trampoline wall, flying trapeze, and her favourite apparatus: aerial hoop. Aleasha has also been practicing yoga for nine years, and teaching for three. She is excited to be teaching at WCFT to share her passion for circus.

River Stas

River has always loved anything that involves a little adrenaline—especially if it entails being high up in the air! After falling in love with the mountains while hiking through the Himalayas in 2013, she took up rock climbing and spent a few years building her skills in her native (mountain-less) London, England, where she also took her first flying trapeze class in 2014.
In 2016, she moved to Vancouver to get more time at altitude—she didn’t expect that her move would also include taking her flying trapeze skills to the next level. After meeting the WCFT team, she couldn’t resist being sucked further into the circus world, and she is now one of our flying trapeze coaches.