Curtain Climbers Aerial Dance Company

The Curtain Climbers Aerial Dance Company

Performing in the 2014 Green Show Wednesday, September 24.

This is their fourth season in the OSF Green Show.

Empowering aerial dance performance on aerial silks, trapeze and lyra.

The Curtain Climbers Aerial Dance Company is a collective of athletic aerial dancers who enjoy inspiring and empowering their audiences with the strength, beauty and grace of aerial dance. We perform daredevil skills on aerial silks, trapeze, rope & lyra to the amazement and delight of our audiences.

The company’s members are Susan Chester, Veronica DeWitt, Drew McDermott, Karen Bolda, and Vanessa Nowitsky. We perform at various locations in the area including Ashland Historic Armory, SOU Gymnasium, ScienceWorks, Ross Ragland Theatre, Medford Armory, Craterian Theatre, Catalyst Aerial Arts & Dance, Burning Man, outdoor events on our rig, and The Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant on First Fridays.

Susan Chester (Director)
Susan first discovered Aerial Silks at Burning Man and upon returning home immediately sought out classes, workshops and aerial festivals in order to study circus arts. She traveled to study with many talented artists and in 2006 began performing and teaching aerial silks to students in the Rogue Valley, adding it to her lifelong repertoire of varied dance and athletic experience. Susan has studied gymnastics, ballet, tap, jazz, modern, Afro-Cuban, salsa, west coast swing, Argentine tango, pole dancing and yoga. She enjoys many outdoor activities including snowboarding, wake-boarding, rafting, mountain biking, motorcycling, and gardening. In 2007 she formed The Curtain Climbers Aerial Dance Company, which performs regularly at various locations in the Rogue Valley and surrounding area. In addition, Susan is proprietor of The Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant in Ashland, Oregon, which she established in 1992, and where The Curtain Climbers perform each First Friday in conjunction with the Ashland Art Walk.

Veronica DeWitt
Raised in Sixes, Oregon, Veronica began her professional training at the University of Oregon when she was eighteen. She graduated with a BA in dance in 2007 and in the same year joined Dancing People Company. In 2010 she studied with Susan Marshall at the SUMAC workshop in NYC. She is also a member of Nutshell Mask and Theater, working closely with director Jamie Peck and touring to Pennsylvania, and has choreographed for two productions of Children's Musical Theater of Oregon. Veronica joined The Curtain Climbers in 2010, and hopes to create performance art that represents a new generation of expression through the synthesis of multiple artistic disciplines.

Drew McDermott
After a career in competitive sports, Drew has studied dance and aerial arts for the last ten years. He finds the combination of athleticism and art that aerial offers to be both challenging and inspiring.

Karen Bolda
Karen discovered aerial dance after being advised to seek out more low impact activities after herniating a disc.  Hanging on a wooden bar proved to be just the thing to help heal the back!  But, she also became smitten, and never went back to just dancing on the ground, preferring to fly.  Karen has been working exclusively on dance trapeze for over five years, but with the encouragement and support of her fellow Curtain Climbers, has added silks to her repertoire.

Vanessa Nowitsky
Vanessa has been a fairy her whole life, a singer since age five, and a climber (of trees, originally) as long as she can remember. She absolutely loves dancing in the air, and is privileged to be a part of this company. Vanessa learned dance in Ashland: ballet from Suzanne Seiber, modern from Suzee Grilley and trapeze from Peggy Paver. She has a BFA in Music from California Institute of the Arts and also completed actor training at Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. She has performed in five seasons of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is currently choreographing a musical for Theater Convivio. Her website is

The Curtain Climbers Aerial Dance Company on Community: The Curtain Climbers are part of the communities of dance, aerial arts, circus arts, performance art, theatre, gymnastics, athletics, yoga and fitness. We work with many talented people, with a variety of performance skills. The Curtain Climbers work with various event producers to create exciting performances for the local community.