Elizabeth Skwiot, Ph.D. founder of Cirque-It® Fitness, is a fitness video talent, professional educator, inventor, former professional aerialist and aerial dancer, and a certified Pilates instructor, personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritionist.
Elizabeth's entrance into the world of aerial arts happened when she began climbing trees, scaffolding, and door frames as a child. She first stepped off of a flying trapeze platform in 2001. Feeling more at home in the air than on the ground, she continued to study other aerial arts including aerial dance, corde lisse, static trapeze, doubles trapeze, and fabric.
After becoming trained in Pilates, she realized that the aerial apparati she used as a professional aerial performer offered a new dimension to standard Pilates exercises; thus began her exploration in blending acrobatic arts with traditional fitness. She created Cirque-It Fitness and Aerialates® to challenge participants in ways unavailable with other modes of training and offer the general public an accessible way of training with aerial equipment.
Elizabeth has taught aerial arts at Trapeze Arts, Oakland; Studio 12, Berkeley; Xelias Aerial Arts Studio, Minneapolis; Hennepin Center for the Arts, Minneapolis, and has served as a guest instructor at the Motivity Center, the 2005 American Circus Festival, and the 2005 Sustainable Living Festival. She has performed with Terry Sendgraff's Aerial Dancers, Flynn Creek Circus, and Xelias Aerial Performance Company. Her aerial studies include training at Circus Center, San Francisco, CA; Motivity Center, Berkeley, CA; and Espacio Zero, Buenos Aires. She is also a top-rated instructor for Wellbeats, a leading digital fitness platform.
Before (and during) her circus training, Elizabeth received a traditional education, starting college at the age of 16. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and Comparative Literature (graduating from UW-Madison Magna Cum Laude) as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research (UC-Davis). In addition to teaching Pilates and aerial arts, Elizabeth has taught Spanish and English at many colleges and universities including the University of St. Thomas, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and the University of California-Davis. Elizabeth is currently Principal Faculty at AMDA Los Angeles. She has authored a textbook and several peer-reviewed articles, and she regularly presents on topics involving literary theory and feminist pedagogy.