Held in New York City February 6, 7, 8, 2015, the inaugural U.S. Aerial Championships featured professional aerialists on silks, lyra, and pole from all over the world, representing 12 countries. 

  • 250 aerialists submitted videos
  • 45 elite aerialists were selected for the live shows
  • 15,000 computers tuned in to the live stream each night
  • 6 champions were crowned

meet the 2015 U.S. Aerial Champions


2015 Women's Silks Champion
Anna Thomas-Henry

Specializing in aerial fabric, Anna's innovative work has earned her first place at the 2015 U.S. Aerial Championships (NYC) as well as placement as a finalist in the 2015 Aerial Acrobatic Arts Festival (Denver).  She is a multi-disciplinary artist performing in circus, dance and musical theater.

As a coach Anna trains aerialists, hand-balancers, and strength & flexibility students alike. She works with the SANCA Professional Prep Program as their Principal Aerial Coach in order the ensure quality aerial training for the next generation of circus artists.
Education: SANCA Professional Prep Program (Fabric & Hand-balancing. Seattle), Circus Warehouse Pro Program (Generalist. NYC), The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (Musical Theatre. NYC), Shanghai Conservatory of Music (Voice, Shanghai, PRC).

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Watch Anna's Winning U.S. Aerial Performance

2015 Men's Silks Champion
Nico Maffey

Nico Maffey has competed nationally and internationally as a member of Argentina’s National Gymnastics team, trained as an aerialist and hand-balancer in the professional program of the National Circus School of Argentina, and has performed in several musicals, corporate events, dance show, circuses and television shows. In 2006, the Argentinean Ministry of Culture recognized him with the Promising Young Talent award, and in 2007 he received the Artistic Excellence Award from the National Dance Institute. He received the Traub scholarship to attend Harvard University, and is currently a free-lance performer, director, and instructor in New York City.



Watch Nico's Winning U.S. Aerial Performance


2015 Women's Pole Champion
Dalijah Franklin

Dalijah Franklin is a dancer trained in ballet, jazz, tap and gymnastics. After graduating from The Ohio State University she moved to NYC to dance. She has trained with numerous choreographers from New York to LA including Rhapsody James and Dana Foglia. Dalijah began pole dancing in 2009. She is the 2013 Level 3 champion of the Atlantic Pole Championships and Third Place winner of Polesque 2012. She is a member of AERA and an instructor at Body & Pole. She is the Founder of Black Girls Pole, an organization to educate, empower and inspire black women about pole dancing! 

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Watch Dalijah's winning U.S. Aerial Performance

2015 Men's Pole Champion
Slava Ruza

Slava is the 2015 U.S. Aerial Male Pole Champion. He hails from Stockholm, Sweden, starting his pole journey three years ago at North Pole Studio, where he practices every day and teaches pole choreography. He is double 1st runner up in the World Pole Sport Championship 2014/2015 and he also holds a title of a Male Pole ART champion from IPC 2015 (International Pole Championship) in Hong Kong. Pole for Slava is an additional dimension in the dancing space, it is a natural connection between dancing and aerial arts with no limitations in self expression, even if you want to fly! Slava has more than 10 years of experience performing and holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics.  

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Watch Slava's winning U.S. Aerial Performance


Women's 2015 Lyra Champion
Rebekah Burke

Rebekah Burke studied ballet and contemporary dance at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Ellison Ballet in New York City, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, and at American Ballet Theatre’s summer intensive in New York City. Rebekah studied Aerial Hoop with Jan Manke in NYC, at Le Studio in LA and on her own in Fredericksburg, VA. She has performed on a freelance basis in NYC and LA and is an Aerialist at SAX in DC. Rebekah currently stars in the dinner show experience, Queen of the Night and teaches in New York City.

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Watch Rebekah's winning U.S. Aerial performance

Men's 2015 Lyra Champion
Oliver Pavick

Oliver Pavick dreamt about acrobatics as a child, but at his peak of 280lbs in high school he knew he would never attain such a dream. After a year of high school in Japan he had lost 100 lbs, which led him to training at the Circus Center in San Francisco. After a 2-year depression, he was able to regain his mentality and physical spirit while training at Body & Pole in New York City where he has been given the chance to start teaching aerial acrobatics again. Oliver placed 3rd at the IPAAT 2015 on pole and is touring, teaching, training, and continuing his CandleLight Series of photos!

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Watch Oliver's winning U.S. Aerical performance


Photos from the 2015 Championships

Photos by Cristian BuitronRay TamarraRyan C. Jones, David C. Haws.
Click on a photo below to see the larger version. See more on Facebook.


Meet Our 2015 Sponsors!

Click on any link below to visit a sponsor website and learn more about the products, services and experiences they offer to enhance your aerial life!