Meet Our Badass Belles
Cassandra Thompson (Boss Belle / Studio Pole Mama)
Just prior to my 42nd Birthday I took up a hobby (pole fitness) while I was on a sabbatical, that close friends call “midlife crisis”.
Mine, however, didn’t turn into a new car, but new ‘car’eer.
See, the thing is, I have a geeky science education, worked as a self-employed/entrepreneur in the finance industry for 17 years, have never been overly fit, or involved in any physical sports. Wife and Mother of two wonderful daughters, I’m certainly not the type of person you’d expect to find in the Sisterhood, and yet I am sooo typical. I’m one of the few that get such an adrenaline rush from being in a studio and around other polers that I even put up with my vertigo while I had to learn spins! People call me strong, but I look at all the great pole artists, aerial artists and I can only find fault in my imperfections and strive for more greatness. But I willingly admit to a strength of character to go after something I’m passionate about and try and make the world a better place by enthusiastically and genuinely trying to share it with others, so they can also experience or feel that same powerful connection to achievement, accomplishment, to unleashing and reconnecting with your sexy strong self. I am Loving every minute of this challenge.
Laura Griffin is the innovative founder of Griffin Aerial Arts. A professional performer since 2005, Laura has toured across Canada, the United States, Mediterranean, Philippines and Europe with companies like Illuminair Entertainment, Cirque Sublime and Disney Cruise Lines. She is a multidisciplinary professional circus artist coaching and performing over the past 15 years on aerial hoop, silks, Spanish web, mobile, net, straps, Chinese poles, dance trapeze, and partner balancing.
Taking her passion for movement, Laura chose to seek an education in movement by studying dance through the Etobicoke School of the Arts and the Fine Arts (Dance) Department of York University. This afforded her the opportunity to study the science behind strength, flexibility and cognitive adaptation. Aerial arts blended the elements of dance and sport which she loved, developing a deep passion which burns strong in her heart. A passion she loves to share with students and colleagues. Her NCCP training and affiliation with the Coaching Association of Canada has added to her appeal as a competent instructor and coach. She recognizes that each student has unique challenges and strives to optimize the outcomes and satisfaction of all of her students.
In 2015 Laura became a Certified Personal Trainer with CPTN, she uses her training to optimize strength development for her students. This certification is a continuation of her study of the human body and its multitude of movement modalities. Through CPTN she was also introduced to Z-Health and applied neurology.
Laura currently coaches circus under Griffin Aerial Arts and the Flying Arts Collective Toronto, and now here at Brass Belles. She performs independently and in affiliation with Illuminair Entertainment. As an experienced performer, Laura brings a high quality of entertainment that has captivated audiences on more than four continents. Her love of the art form pushes her to continue innovating and creating, enjoying the challenge of a life of circus and aerial arts.
As a Dance Artist, movement coach and personal trainer Sharon Harvey has been sharing her knowledge for 15+ years and shows no sign of slowing down.
Introduced to Pilates as a part of her maintenance tool, to restore alignment imbalances, elevate endurance, and maintain her flexibility during long running performance concerns. This method since then has evolved and has developed as the base of Sharon’s conditioning vocabulary. Along with BalleCore, CI-training (Conditioning through imagery), yoga and the meticulous approach to her classical dance training from Traditional African to Contemporary Modern and everything in between.
Her love for the in studios to performance creative process has lead her to coach dance companies, facilitated anatomy and movement for teachers, choreography, has become a Dramaturge for dance companies, independent dance artists, gymnast, and actors, throughout North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Sharon has developed an eye and a well guided vocabulary for intuitive mind and body awareness, that she continues to expand, share, and grow while keeping current in cross training and interdisciplinary arts.
Helen brings her passion in circus arts and artistic nature to our Pole Silks and Aerial Silks classes, makes them fun and challenging at every fitness level. When she is not busy training her circus skills, she enjoys her family and achieving big goals in her IT profession. Helen is a mother of a teenager and a school-ager and believes that impossible is only if you believe so but opening mind towards possibilities will get you beyond you’ve imagined, in fitness or else.
Victoria started her pole journey in 2015. With a contemporary dance background, and known for her clean and fluid pole moves, her passion is to help students to build solid pole skills foundations by focusing on techniques of the fundamental moves, which is crucial in preparing students for higher level. She incorporates training that targets small muscle groups which is vital in pole fitness. Recognizing that each student has their own strengths and weaknesses, she provides tips and small tweaks that help students master tricky moves and smooth transitions.
Serena’s gentle, graceful approach to pole helps our Intermediate & Advanced level students to polish and push themselves. Serena has many years not only with pole, but circus training and silks. When she isn’t busy flying high, she has a Clark Kent alter ego professional life, and a loving family to keep her busy.
Jasmine started her pole journey in 2015 and was immediately enamoured by all things pole/pole silks. Seeing the total body transformation that ensued opened her eyes to the amazing things the human body is capable of if we let our minds set us free. She tried aerial silks and aerial hoop a couple years later and fell in love with those art forms too. Jasmine is now embracing a new phase of her fitness journey as an instructor, continuing to advance her pole/aerial skills, revelling in it all.
Anne Garcia is a thoroughly ecstatic person and Pole Instructor who has joined the Brass Belles Instructor family in 2019. Her pole fitness journey began three years ago, in 2016, and the now student-turned-instructor hopes her passion for dance, love of pole, and energetic teaching style inspires those around her. Anne’s objective every class is to ensure her students gain not only physical strength and flexibility but self confidence through pole dance.