Ayana Strutz (formerly Freeman) is a trained dancer, circus artist, singer, and actress tucked into a 5-ft tall frame. Not to be fooled by her petite size, she is known for her explosive energy and athleticism. She is of Japanese and Black descent, and is able to speak, write, and read Japanese. Thrilled to call Chicago her current home, she is represented by Gray Talent Group.
Ayana was born in Japan and raised in Hawaii. She attended the Mid-Pacific Institute School of the Arts and was actively involved in her high school's 4-year Theatre Arts program. She left the island to attend The Ohio State University, graduating in 2015 with a BA in Sociology and Dance minor.
Ayana moved to Chicago in 2016 and attended the Actors Gymnasium's 9-month Professional Circus Training Program, where she trained 27 hours a week in various circus disciplines. Upon graduating circus school in June 2018, she has been continuously working professionally as a dancer and circus artist. Regionally she has performed at the Goodman Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Mercury Theater Chicago, Porchlight Music Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, Skylight Music Theatre, Music Theater Works, Short North Stage, Cocodaco Dance Company, and Diamond Head Theatre.
Before the pandemic hit in 2020, she traveled across the US (and Canada!) with the First National Tour of Broadway's The Spongebob Musical as Ensemble/Sandy Cheeks understudy. You can catch Ayana on various commercials, and competing on episode 7 of NBC's TV show, FROGGER on Peacock TV.
Outside of performances, you can find her hanging from the ceiling as an aerialist, bending in half as a contortionist, teaching youth dance and youth circus classes, doing commercial work, or performing as Disney Princess Moana as a princess performer.
No matter where the unpredictable twists and turns of life take her, she will always be an island girl at heart!