Shannon has been pole dancing for over 15 years and is one of the co-founders of Ecdysiast. She has been teaching and performing with Ecdysiast for over 6 years, and has directed and performed in all of the Ecdysiast Pole Dance Company shows. She enjoys the thrill of being on stage as a company dancer, and enjoys the creative process of directing. In addition, she has taught Hip Hop dance for Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI), an afterschool program for Portland Public Schools for 2 years. She also took home a Silver medal in the highest level Freestyle Division in the 2016 NW Pole Championships. Also an instructor in the educational program at Ecdysiast, she is very much inspired by her students. Her roles at Ecdysiast are many, however directing and dancing with the Ecdysiast Pole Dance Company has a special place in her heart.




Merri’s background includes outdoor sports, flying airplanes, and nursing. She relocated to Portland from Hood River in 2012 and began taking classes at Ecdysiast shortly after. She continues to train in contemporary, hip hop, gymnastics, and contortion. She placed 1st and 2nd in the Pole Sport Organization’s Pacific Northwest Pole Art Championships 2014 in the Group/Doubles division. She also recently placed 1st in Pole Sport Organization’s Northwest Aerial Art Group/Doubles division for 2015.

Merri was in the Ecdysiast Training Company for 3 show seasons and is honored to be a part of the Ecdysiast Pole Dance Company since 2014.



Jessica was inspired to start pole dancing after attending the Ecdysiast Pole Dance Company show “Elemente”. Soon after, she enrolled in her first beginner class at Ecdysiast in 2014. In 2015, Jessica competed in Pole Sport’s Organization’s NW Aerial Art Championships (PSO NWAAC) and won placing 1st in level 4 Entertainment, 1st place in Doubles Division, as well as 2nd place in Group Division. She recently placed 1st in PSO NWAAC Group/Doubles division 2016.

Jessica was in the Ecdysiast Training Company for 2 show seasons, apprentice for 1 show season, before being accepted as a company dancer in 2016. In the past 3 years Jessica has trained under renowned pole dancer’s Marlo Fisken, Josiah Grant, Rebecca Star, and most recently Dimitry Politov. Jessica’s dance and movement background includes breakdancing and parkour. She also loves afro-contemporary, gymnastics, contortion, rock climbing, fishing, and food.




Leila was first introduced to pole dance in 2012 when she attended a recital at Ecdysiast. Soon after, she signed up for a class and has been poling for the past four and a half years. Leila performed with the Ecdysiast Training Company in EPDC’s shows “Oh Alice” and “Ouroboros.” In 2015 she accepted an apprentice position with EPDC and performed in EPDC’s “No Strings Attached,” and “Sinner Sinner” in 2016, as well as ‘Le Chic Le Freak’ in 2017 and has recently accepted a position as a company dancer.

Leila has competed in the Northwest Aerial Art Championships in Seattle, WA representing Ecdysiast in the solo and group divisions in 2015 and in the group division in 2016. In the summer of 2016 she performed with EPDC at Nationals in Kirkland, Washington in a showcase featuring a selected piece from EPDC’s “Sinner Sinner” production.



Urchin started pole dancing in her living room in 2014, inspired by the energy and athleticism of Portland’s erotic dancers. In 2015, she started attending classes at Ecdysiast, and has flourished in that community of driven, passionate performers. Urchin competed for the first time at the 2016 PSO Northwest Aerial Arts Championship, where she took second place in the Dramatic Level 4 event. She performed with the Ecdysiast Training Company in both Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 show seasons, after which she was thrilled and honored to accept a position as an EPDC apprentice.

Outside of the studio, Urchin works as a software engineer. She applies the technical and creative mindset of her STEM background to her dancing, and treasures the balance that pole brings to her life. Urchin lives on a farm with two cats, one spouse, and a multitude of chickens.



Victoria (Tinkk) has always been drawn to movement since a child. In 2008 Victoria was accepted into the reputable Jefferson Dance Company and trained in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and African through that program. Being with the company for 3 years allowed her to travel and share her passion for dance. In 2014 she began pole training at Ecdysiast and was instantly hooked. She was accepted into the Ecdysiast Spring 2016 & Spring 2017 Training Company seasons and was promoted to an apprenticeship in to the professional Ecdysiast Pole Dance Company in the Fall of 2017. She has also recently taken GOLD (1st place) in the PRO Qualifier Division at the NW Pole Championships and is training to compete in the PRO Division at Nationals next year.



EPDC Apprentice

Captivated by the stage, Caitlin began studying dance at the age of three and began dancing professionally by the age of 9 with The Concert Ballet of Virginia. She devoured studies in jazz, tap, hip-hop and modern, and went on to graduate with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2004 with a degree in Dance and Choreography.

In 2006 Caitlin co-founded Sweet Tease Burlesque with her sister. Wildly successful from the first time they took stage, Sweet Tease was described as “a veritable performance art fireball worth their weight in pasties”. In 2011 she was invited to be the Artistic Director and Choreographer for SAX Lounge, an opulent, upscale performance venue in D.C. Here she was not only able to perform nightly as a burlesque soloist, but also had the opportunity to create a fantastical world of indulgence and sensuality. Fascinated with pole dancing since 2008, she began studying a couple of years ago and has never looked back. Caitlin wishes to combine the technique and artistry of modern dance, and the passionate performance style of burlesque with the beautiful acrobatics of pole dance.