Nikki Borodi

Name: Nikki Borodi
Age: 35
Location: Oakland, CA
Occupation: Performance Artist

Nikki Upright UkeNikki Borodi is a musician, aerialist, clown, and performer in San Francisco, California, and she’s dedicated her whole life to making art of different mediums available to all of us. But, like many young girls out there, she struggled with bullying in school, and found her creativity as an outlet that gave her strength growing up.

“I was the biggest outcast around,” Nikki says about school. “People made fun of my hair from ages 7 until 17, which was when I started college early to get away from the challenges. Not a day went by that I didn’t come home crying from the bullying.”

Fortunately for Nikki, she triumphed over her adversity, eventually becoming a vibrant, expressive performer, everywhere from on stage to in the air, spinning on silks! Nikki’s quest to become a Cool Girl started at an early age, in part because of the Material Girl!

“I saw Madonna perform when I was seven years old and it influenced the entire direction my life took,” she recalls. “I remember the roar of the audience and the way it built up and exploded when she jumped onto the stage. My big dreams were what kept me going though the challenges of my childhood. At one point I actually got to thank her for being such a superhero and saving my life in a certain kind of way. I was super grateful to have the opportunity to thank her for her inspiration.”

Nikki Upside DownFrom being messed with to meeting Madonna is the type of awesome experience Nikki chalks up to her dedication to her craft, one where no day can be described as “typical.”

“It depends on what my project is at the current time, but training aerials, partner acrobatics, working on music, my yoga/meditation practice and my recent interest in video editing occupy my time,” she says of her day-to-day routine. “I also love taking my little dog Max for walks, and spending quality time with the wonderful beings in my world. Balancing work and play are super important to me.”

And juggling both is critical for Nikki as she looks to conquer the world by uniting both her music and visual art. She’s currently working on five music videos as well as a Circus Rock show when she’s not teaching or performing. She’s even hoping to tour her acro-ukulele act! So how does Nikki recommend that fledgling Cool Girls who may be dealing with being teased as they start to express themselves?

Nikki From Ted Talk“I think that creative visualization is a really useful tool when trying to manifest new creative work. Really taking the time to sit and create a visual and visceral experience of what it is they are working towards. I think also having friends that are also working towards their own dreams that they can have check-ins with where they can hold each other accountable for goals they are setting and offer overall support is really useful as well.. Most importantly take at least one step, put at least minutes towards their goal EVERY day,” she advises. Very wise words from a woman who flies!


Check out Nikki’s aerial extravaganza, as well as her musical act, at her website,

You can take a peek at Nikki in action here and see her music video for her song “Lion Queen” here

Nikki in TedxBerkeley

Nikki’s Facebook

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