Jennifer Dempsey is the founder and development officer for Salida Circus. Before she established Salida Circus in 2007, Jennifer spent 12 years with the Belfast Community Circus in Northern Ireland, 2 years with Circo Rum Ba Ba in London, and 5 years running the Scarlet Sisters Circus in Orange County, California with her sister Jessica.
Tom Hinerman, Board President
Tom Hinerman is the Board President of the Salida Circus Outreach Foundation. He got involved with the circus when his then 9-year-old daughter attended a camp one summer and got hooked. He originally just helped with camps and shows but then brought his photography hobby into the circus and expanded to a video production that has helped expand the circus’ presence. He is also one of our host locations specializing in aerial acrobatics and gymnastic groundwork.
Joan Lobeck, Workshop Manger
Joan Lobeck has been a tutor and performer with Salida Circus since 2015. As a teenager, Joan had learned how to juggle and ride a unicycle, which are skills, she discovered, that is never forgotten. Since joining Salida Circus, she has learned to walk on stilts, perform and teach the diabolo, and theatrical clowning. For over 20 years, Joan has worked as a church music director, accompanist, and vocalist. She occasionally brings her musical experience to circus performances. Her favorite moments in working with Salida circus are the opportunities to clown, juggle, and teach with her son, Joe. Joan currently manages circus programs at Horizons and the Salida Boys and Girls Club.
Joe Lobeck, Training Manager
Joe Lobeck joined Salida Circus in the fall of 2015 as both a performer and tutor. Joe has an extensive background in parkour, martial arts, and acrobats. He competed on American Ninja Warrior in 2012. Joe performs and teaches juggling, unicycling, acrobats, stilt-walking, and clowning.
Lexee Barrera, 24, grew up doing gymnastics, diving, cross country, and theater in her home town of Hartland, Michigan moving to Detroit to receive her BFA in Theater at Wayne State University. She then moved to Chicago to intensify her circus training & physical movement to assist her storytelling. In Chicago, she met Jester Joe who convinced her to move to Colorado and become a mountain lady. Lexee is very excited to join the Salida Circus to share what she has to offer, and to learn what others are willing to teach!
Laura Hart, Outreach Coordinator (Buena Vista)
Laura Hart is an Early Childhood Educator in Buena Vista, Colorado. She has two fun and happy children, Ashley and Adam, who also share her love for circus arts. Laura is originally from the San Diego California area, where she grew up spending her time in the dance studio as a dance instructor’s daughter. During high school and college, she was heavily involved in competition co-ed cheerleading. This is where she learned how to elevate her tumbling and flying skill set. Now Laura is so thankful to have found and been a part of the Salida Circus Family where she loves to perform with her children, make new memories, and help people on their smile filled journeys. Laura is the Buena Vista Outreach coordinator.
Lizzy Beth Elkins has been coaching circus to the young and the young at heart for over 10 years. Specializing in tightwire, clowning, and character/act building, she has previously coached at Circus Smirkus (Vermont), AmVil (France), and Future Stars (New York). As a performer, she toured the world as a Physical Comedian and Magician’s Assistant with Disney Live! Mickey’s Magic Show performed as a tight wire walker with the Aerial Angels Circus, and as a Physical Performer with The Living Theatre. Lizzy Beth has a Masters in Performance Studies from New York University Tisch and has worked as the Assistant Creative Director with Circus at Webster Hall (NYC) and in wardrobe at the immersive, circus production, Queen of the Night (NYC). She is thrilled to join Salida Circus as Crestone Outreach Coordinator!
Lou Collins, Outreach Coordinator (Cotopaxi)
Lou Collins is a professional maker of fun things…or is it making things fun? She is a physical educator and wellness coordinator for Cotopaxi schools as well as the vital role she plays in our circus family. “I live to love life and share joy and am constantly blessed by being part of the growth and journey of kids.”