Rapt Aerial Dance was started with a simple vision:
to offer aerial dance both technically gorgeous,
and abundantly entertaining.
We are eight dancers who have taken our passion to the sky, and are committed to creating crowd-pleasing shows with a provocative edge. Now, we’re doing exactly that! When we came together in 2013, we sought to bring aerial dance to all kinds of audiences, and to find the balance between artistic and accessible. Since our founding, we’ve opened for Willie Nelson at Austin City Limits at the Moody Theater, have put the “wow” factor in numerous corporate events, and hosted our first public event at Brazos Hall in 2015 with an aerial-filled, speakeasy-themed soiree.
Our company performers dance on silks, trapeze, and lyra, and come from a rich variety of movement backgrounds. While our shows are always elegant, we like to tailor and tinker our performances to suit our audiences, whether that means a romantic, Arabian Nights-style ensemble piece, a big band dazzler, or a playful, wink-filled solo. We believe in artistic collaboration, and love nothing more than bringing our clients’ visions to life.
Maya Theresa Kaough
Artistic Director & Aerialist
Maya began her aerial career in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2008 where she trained at Fragmentos Productions. Upon returning to her hometown of Austin, she began to study and then collaborate with Blue Lapis Light as a company member and instructor. Her previous movement experience includes study of ballet and modern dance as well as various folk and social dances. She studied the movement art of eurythmy from an early age with Markus and Andrea Weder, and toured internationally as part of the Summer Eurythmy Academy from 2004-2007. While her primary apparatus is aerial silks, she also dances in harness, bungee trapeze and lyra. In 2013 she won first place in the Miss Texas Pole Star Professional Silks division and in 2015 she was selected as a finalist for US Aerials and participated in the competition in New York City.
Technical Director & Aerialist
Susan always thought she’d grow up to be an actress and spent much of her adolescence in Santa Fe, New Mexico performing in local theatrical productions. She did not discover dance until adulthood (although she has always loved movement and is an avid rock climber and snowboarder), and she has since developed an all-consuming passion. Although she lost her drive to be an actress, she found an inspiring performance and artistic outlet through dance. She began studying aerial dance in 2011 and has performed with Blue Lapis Light and Vayu Aerials. She currently teaches pole dance classes at Vamps Dance Studio, works as a part-time front-end developer, and is pursuing her Associates in Dance from Austin Community College.
Booking Director & Aerialist
Tolly Moseley loves aerial! She began her aerial dance training in 2011 at Blue Lapis Light, where she now teaches aerial silks. She is a proud company member and co-owner of Rapt Aerial Dance, whom she has been dancing with since 2013. Specializing in aerial silks, Tolly has performed at some of the most iconic theaters in Texas, including the Tobin Center in San Antonio and the ACL Moody Theater in Austin. She is a regular cast member of Austin Oddities, and continues her training by studying with aerialists from all over the country, including Sante Fe's Paper Doll Militia, Pittsburgh's Iron City Circus Arts, Banyan Aerial, Holly Ann Jarvis, and Dara Minkin. In addition to silks, she enjoys training on aerial hammock, static trapeze, and harness.
On terra firma, Tolly is forever indebted to her dance teachers and choreographers, especially Austin-based Roxane Gage, Catherine Solaas, and Darla Johnson. In 2017, Tolly was a regular cast member of the 11:11 modern dance series from Jennifer Sherburn and Natalie George, which won a 2017 Austin Critic's Table Award from the Austin Chronicle. Tolly loves intersectional art and collaboration, and is continually inspired by her students and by the creative souls around her!
Founding Member & Aerialist
In 2007, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Amber found her passion. To her surprise it was pole dancing! She found and took a class at the Mariana Lagarreta Pole Dance Studio and fell in love with the body-awareness and empowerment pole dancing provided. When she returned to the states, she discovered Austin aerial dance company Blue Lapis Light, which introduced her to the art of aerial silks. In 2009 she became a member of the company and continues to perform as a core dancer.
In 2010, Amber opened up her own pole studio, VAMPS Dance, and began participating in aerial/pole competitions in 2011. She won first place in Miss Texas Pole Star Professional Silks in 2012, first place in Miss Texas Pole Star Professional Pole Dance in 2013, and a finalist at the Pole Championship Series at the Arnold Classic 2014.
Jason is a teacher and performer for Blue Lapis Light, Vamps Dance, and Rapt Aerial Dance. He has called Austin home for more than 10 years in no small part because of the inspiration and challenge he has found in being part of these aerial communities. The reward of teaching, the thrill of performing, and the privilege to support and collaborate with the Austin's diverse, creative, and hard-working dance community are a huge source of joy!
Julia’s interest in aerial arts led her to Bay Area to the San Francisco Circus Center where she met and fell in love with the trapeze. Since returning to Austin Julia has focused her attention on finding her voice in both teaching and performance. Her specialties are single-point and static trapeze, but her movement repertoire also draws from experience in yoga, silks, lyra, aerial straps, and hand balancing.
Anika Jones was first inspired by dance at the age of four while watching a friend perform in Roswell, NM, and has been dancing ever since. In Roswell, she began her training at Alcorn Academy of Dance and The Studio +. During her time at New Mexico State she enjoyed dancing in the Contemporary Dance Theatre under the direction of Dr. Debra Knapp, while keeping up with her studies in Hotel, Restaurant, Tourism Management. It was in her first year at NMSU that Anika was introduced to aerial dance by Hilary McDaniel Douglas the artistic director of Project In Motion; and was immediately entranced with the idea of taking dance to new heights. She has studied and performed under the direction of the Chicago Ballet and Bill Evans as well as attended and performed in adjudicated performances at multiple American College Dance Festivals. After time well spent, her entire life thus far living in New Mexico, she made a move to Austin, TX to continue her aerial dance journey. She has been dancing and teaching for Blue Lapis Light, a site-specific aerial dance company, since the day she moved to the lively city. She is also a proud member of RAPT Aerial Dance in Austin, TX. Anika is trained in Aerial Silks, Rope and Harness, and loves to work on Static Trapeze, Pole, Cord, and Lyra. When she is not dancing you may find her teaching at Pure Barre or walking her dog. Movement is bliss, so keep on moving!
Kari Lehman’s dancing began in Dayton, Ohio with classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Coppelia, Nutcracker, and George Balanchine’s Concerto Barroco. She continued her studies at Hope College in Holland, Michigan receiving a BA in both psychology and dance performance and choreography. There, she studied with dancers and teachers from Pilobolus, Alvin Ailey, Giordano, Joffrey Ballet, and Nikolais. She performed with Hope’s affiliate modern company, dANCEpROjECt, and also performed and choreographed for Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, a professional summer theatre. Since moving to Austin in 2010, Kari performed with Kanye West’s VEVO production at SWSW. Currently, Kari studies and performs with Blue Lapis Light, including past shows Devotion and Heaven~Earth~One. When not performing, you can find Kari teaching at Dance Austin and Pure Barre.