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About Memphis Aerial Arts

Memphis Aerial Arts (MAA) is the Midsouth’s original and only professional aerial training and performance company.

Founded by Val Russell, Memphis Aerial Arts promotes professional aerial arts through high-quality education and performance. MAA also collaborates with other circus artists in the area to present innovative, multi-faceted shows that feature fully choreographed and improvised dance, contortion, hip-hop, juggling, fire dance, aerial performances, and acrobatics.

Founded, owned and operated by Val Russell, MAA offers classes and private lessons on silks (tissu), hoop (lyra), rope (spanish web) and static trapeze; workshops with nationally-renowned aerialists; and supplementary training in hammock and Pilates at Push Pilates. For more on aerial education, Click Here

Valeria’s Wings is a professional collaborative and production company that offers live performance of fully choreographed and improvised dance, contortion, hip-hop, juggling, fire dance, aerial performances, and acrobatics. Click here for more information or to book Valeria’s Wings for an event.

About Founder Valerie Russell

As owner and operator of Memphis Aerial Arts, Russell teaches aerial arts, a discipline that gives people of all ages a novel way to learn how to get in shape, stay in shape, and have some fun. She began her aerial arts teaching career four years ago with a trapeze swing in her front yard, and within a short time she had created her own circus school. Now she works from her own gym in the Midtown area and performs with her aerial troupe comprising a handful of her students.

Val Russell is a certified Yoga and Pilates instructor. She has spent the past ten years studying the mechanics of the human body and continues to explore cutting edge therapeutic, rehabilitative and exercise techniques. Val is a Pilates and Yoga Rehabilitation Practitioner, Pilates and Yoga Fitness Instructor, Aerial Fitness Instructor and Aerial Performer.

She completed Pilates teacher training in San Francisco at the Ellie Herman Studio in 1991. She holds two teacher-training certifications in yoga through Om Yoga with Cindi Lee, 2004 and Richard Freeman's Astanga Teacher Intensive, 2007. In addition to these certifications, she is currently studying aerial arts and exercise with Carrie Heller in Atlanta.

With extensive sports back ground; she has practiced movement-based arts since she was four years old. Throughout her life, she has been involved in dance, gymnastics, water and snow skiing, scuba and circus arts. This active background has given Val a great appreciation for the body, an honesty to overcome obstacles, and ability to inspire teachers and clients with injury, sports specific training, or just overall conditioning. Her focus is to tailor a personalized program and training regimen that best fits the individual's needs and characteristics.

Val is the owner and director of PUSH Pilates as well as the lead teacher for the education programs at PUSH. She is honored to open and run the first Pilates Studio in Midtown Memphis as well as being one of the first forerunners bringing an evolved method of Pilates to Memphis. She has trained and educated numerous Pilates instructors in the Mid-South area and beyond.
Val continues to hone her craft as an aerial performer and instructor by traveling extensively throughout the year to train with some of the best aerial professionals in the U.S.



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