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Meet FRÉ Ambassador Hayley Larson, Circus Artist & Coach

by Jude Jacob March 01, 2021

Meet FRÉ Ambassador Hayley Larson, Circus Artist & Coach



About me: I was born in Asheville, North Caroline and currently live in Chicago, Illinois. I'm a professional performing artist who is also scientifically minded - I like to think I have the best of both worlds being able to think creatively and analytically.

My fitness journey 

I started dancing at the age of four and continued to dance pre-professionally throughout high school and eventually received a BA in dance from Oberlin College. While in college, I started doing circus recreationally. It was readily accessible, which is not usually the case, and I found it easier to start aerial with a dance background. As I progressed, I began to think about becoming a professional circus artist rather than a dancer. 

After school, I moved to Chicago to do a professional circus training program. My first identity was as an aerialist, I focused on aerial silks and duo trapeze. However, as I was introduced to other apparatuses, I switched to thinking of myself as a generalist acrobat and circus artist. I’m constantly striving to improve my own acrobatic skills. Right now, I’m training in hand balancing and on Cyr wheel, both of which have a bigger dance component than other forms of acrobatics. As a former dancer, bringing myself back to the ground for hand balancing and Cyr wheel has been refreshing.


"As a former dancer, bringing myself back to the ground for hand balancing and Cyr wheel has been refreshing."



The past year has been very different from my usual coaching schedule. I generally coach either high recreational level or professional level aerialists on aerial silks and duo trapeze, as well as working with all levels of students interested in handstands. This past year really pushed me to branch into fitness and ground coaching for circus students with a focus on mobility and functional strength training. 

Duo Filamental 

I’m one half of a trapeze duo, Duo Filamental, with my flyer Rachel Webberman, a friend from college. We’ve been working together for 5 years. Typically we perform for individual gigs, and we were recently on tour with the show Brave Space by Aloft Circus Arts. That show was meant to be on tour this summer, but of course that didn’t happen. I’m the porter in the duo and usually this role is taken by a big muscly man while the flyer is a small woman, but as we are a female duo we have to work smart and be creative.

Fitness tips

Less is more a lot of the time, and work smarter not harder! The most important thing to pair with strength work is mobility. As athletes, we are most functional and successful when our strength is equal to our flexibility and mobility. Working on the branch where you are weaker and trying to meet yourself in the middle is the quickest path to finding success and comfort in your body.


"As athletes, we are most functional and successful when our strength is equal to our flexibility and mobility."



I have combination skin so it’s dry and oily all at the same time. It was the worst when I was a teen. No one really showed me how to look after it, most people just gave me makeup and told me it would get better as an adult. During normal times I am usually sweaty all day, and at night I have a full face of makeup on for a performance. I also don’t always do the best job taking it off at 2am when I get back! So there’s a lot my skin has to deal with day to day. And now add on dealing with exercises and coaching in a mask and you get to a whole new level of skin torture!

My daily routine 

FRÉ has been a big part of me succeeding in having a daily skincare routine. Knowing and having access to products I like makes it easier to take care of my skin. My routine depends on my athletic schedule for the day. On a lazy day at home I'll wash my face in the morning, then use 100% Argan oil, REFRESH ME, I AM LOVE and maybe the moisturizers (REVIVE ME and RECOVER ME).

On training days my routine is the following:

  • Morning - wake up and apply BRIGHTEN ME before I work out. 
  • When I get back after a sweat I like to pamper myself with skincare for 20 minutes, in this order:
    • I AM JOY
    • 100% Organic Argan Oil
    • Let it all soak in!
    • Come back and apply REVIVE ME or RECOVER ME


My favorite FRÉ is PURIFY ME because I have never ever encountered a face wash that didn't dry out my dry skin before. Now I can wash my face and it still feels like I just moisturized, and my skin doesn’t feel crackly. 

Rapid Fire:

  • Favorite exercise?Different types of squats 
  • What does sweat mean to you?It means success!
  • What comes to mind first when you think of FRÉ?Good feels and vibes! Good for the world and community
  • What are you most excited about in life right now?For it to stop snowing and get warmer! 
  • What’s something you’d still love to learn?To play guitar - I tried and failed and will try again
  • If you were a hashtag, what would you be? #shamelessselfie
  • What is your mantra?Be patient with yourself and the people around you
  • What’s the best advice that you’ve ever received in your life?There’s no right or wrong in terms of the path you take, you just have to choose a path
  • What is an issue that you wish we spoke about more often?Fitness as a form of self care and not because it makes you look a certain way 
  • What does women’s empowerment mean in 2021?For visibility for strong women who don't fit the mold of what we think of as a strong woman 

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