As two immigrants from vastly different backgrounds and religious upbringings, Bassam and Mendel have developed a surprising and unlikely friendship since meeting in New York City nine years ago. Despite being raised in seemingly opposing cultures, Bassam, an Arabic refugee from Iraq, and Mendel, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, both found themselves at an Acroyoga class because of a shared love for movement. The two discovered an instant connection, forming a friendship that has only continued to blossom. Together, they’ve trained to become teachers as well as performance partners, finding their unique differences to actually complement one another. Their acts are known to be both passionate and playful, and beyond being wildly entertaining, they inspire others to pursue their dreams in the same way. They are proof of what can be achieved by setting aside where you come from and following your passions – especially when you are lucky enough to share the journey with your best friend.
Mendel grew up in the Bronx and his passion for movement began with break dancing over 14 years ago. His curiosity led him to hip-hop, parkour, gymnastics, and yoga. In 2012, he had his first AcroYoga experience and has since been thoroughly hooked into the world of partner acrobatics and AcroYoga. In 2015 Mendel earned his first Acroyoga teachers certification and began teaching regular handstand and AcroYoga classes in NYC and around the world.
Being that Mendel is a dedicated acrobatic performer, his focus and method revolve around a sense of flow and full body integration. Constantly striving for emotional and mental self growth, his classes have a sense of purpose, community collaboration, and connection that is unique to Mendel’s style. Keep an eye out for Mendel’s partner acro and aerial silks performances at venues such as House of Yes, the Box, Slipper Room and more.
Qualifications & Certifications:
-AcroYoga International Level l Teachers Certification
-Seattle Acro Teachers Certification
-Yoga Alliance 200-hour Teacher Training