headshot of sandra feusi, chinese pole coach


Born in Switzerland, Sandra Feusi is a graduate of Scuola Teatro Dimitri and trained with Master Lu Yi in San Francisco.

Sandra began performing in San Francisco with the New Pickle Circus, Make-a-Circus, The Dance Brigade and Run for your Life Dance company. She toured internationally for 5 years with Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco. After that she and her husband, Sam Payne, created their unique duo Chinese pole act, Vertical Tango, which won a gold medal at the 2005 Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain, the Prix de la Ville de Paris, the Prix de Cirque Eloize and the Prix Alexandre Grimailo. They received a Silver Clown award at the 2008 Monte Carlo festival where they were also presented with the prestigious People’s Choice award. They won the Isadora Duncan award for best choreography. It was the first time this award was given to a circus act. They performed Vertical Tango with Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco and Seattle, with Circus Knie, with the Carre Theater in Amsterdam, Circus Sarasanni in Buenos Aires, Palazzo in Berlin, and many others. Sandra has co-directed and choreographed 2 full length shows: Birdhouse Factory and Zoppo. She is currently performing as well as teaching circus arts at the New England School for Circus Arts.

“NECCA is an unbelievably fantastic resource that has given my daughter strength, confidence, agility, artistry, and a close family of like-minded souls. Not sure where she would have found her place if not for NECCA.”

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“The kids had a total blast. . .we really appreciate NECCA reaching out to us so that we can all work together to serve our kids better. They were so centered, and grounded, and ready to get back to academics when they came back to school – and that’s exactly what we had hoped for them!”

“I have not felt this beautiful since my surgery. Just as cancer teaches you that you can live through stresses you never imagined, this program teaches you that your body can fly and do things you never imagined.”

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