Ariel Schmidtke is an interdisciplinary physical performer and multimedia artist. Encouraged at a young age by gymnastics she began training as an aerialist with the Dream Science Circus at the age of eighteen. Ariel spent several years studying dance, theatre, and circus arts in order to diversify her performances. In 2010 she joined the New Old Time Chautauqua Tour, and was inspired by their mission to bring entertainment and education to diverse rural communities with the intention of inspiring creativity and supporting community. After this tour she traveled to Paris, France to explore the origins of Nouveau Cirque and expand her performance skills. In France, she trained intensively at the Académie Fratellini and enriched her approach to circus dramaturgy. She returned to the United States in 2012, and continues to travel and perform her work, hoping to share wonder and excitement with small communities across the country.