Instructors

 
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Heather Christiansen

Heather Christiansen began her career in the city as a dancer. After two years as a trainee with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Heather received full scholarship to the Ailey School. There she performed with the company at City Center in Alvin Ailey's Memoria. Heather then joined the second company of Martha Graham. She performed in Primitive Mysteries as well as Heretic as part of the Martha Graham Company's seasons at the Joyce and City Center. While in Graham II, Heather performed many roles from the original repertoire as well as works by Blanca Li, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, and Virginie Mecene. Heather also traveled to Israel on two occasions to participate in the Gaga Winter Intensive where she studied with members of Batsheva Dance Company as well as former director Ohad Naharin. Since Graham II, Heather has continued to freelance with different choreographers in the city. She recently found aerial arts and uses her dance and gymnastics backgrounds to create acts. You may have seen her under the name Medea at House of Yes, the Muse, BangOn!NYC, or Slipper Room. She hopes to help everyone find their most natural fluid motion between the floor and the sky.

 
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CHRIS DELGADO

Chris has been teaching and performing German Wheel for over 7 years.  Having coached and entertained across the US and internationally, he is thrilled to be living in New York. After graduating from University, he attended Dell Arte International School of Physical theater, then made his way to Chicago where he was fortunate enough to train with the world renowned Wolfgang Bientzle. He immediately fell in love with the German Wheel and hasn't stopped rolling since.  Dividing his time between competitions (one of top in the world) and performances (from Abu Dhabi to Sun Valley Idaho), he stays quite busy.  For more info about him or to learn more about German Wheel, check out TheWheelDelgado.com.

Chris teaches German Wheel at The Muse.

 
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Elena Delgado

Elena Delgado is a New York-based choreographer, artist and aerialist.  Her work explores the body as object with humor and camp, drawing on her background in cabaret, and theater and visual art. In addition to producing her own work she has collaborated with aerial theater companies such as AERA dance, Schmallenberger productions, RKP ensemble, and the Constellation Moving Co. As an aerial instructor she focuses on helping students acquire solid foundational technique so that they may discover their own creativity and joy in movement in a friendly and fun environment.

 
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ALISA FENDLEY

Alisa is an aerialist, dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She flies on dance trapeze, aerial silks, aerial hoop, aerial spansets, hammock, bungee, and harness, as well as custom-designed apparatuses. Alisa has performed contemporary, musical theater style jazz, experimental dance-theater, ballet, and ballroom.

Alisa earned a B.F.A. in Dance and a B.A. in English from New York University.   She has toured the world working for cruise ships (Royal Caribbean), theme parks (Busch Gardens), and national and international tours (Cirque Dreams, RudduR Dance, Timelapse Dance).  She was the Assistant Choreographer of Grounded Aerial and had her own dance company, Fingerprints.  She is currently a company member of ABCirque and performs around the city at venues such as The Slipper Room, Secret Loft, House of Yes, and of course, The Muse.

Alisa teaches Silks, Lyra, Trapeze, Harness/Bungee, and Flexibility.

 
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REBECCA FEY

Rebecca is an aerialist and AEA/SAg-AFTRA actress with a BFA in Theatre from the University of Illinois. She has performed as an aerialist at venues such as The Slipper Room, The Muse, House of Yes, Streb, Dixon Place, and Big Skyworks. She currently teaches children's aerial classes at the 92Y and has taught aerial silks at Equalize Fitness and Asphalt Green Battery Park City. She has also taught acting and improv to all ages at various studios and camps around Chicago, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Rebecca teaches All Levels of Aerial Silks and Kids Cirque at The Muse.

 
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Juliana Burkhart

Juliana shows up with a playful spirit and an eye for technique. A native of Buffalo, NY, she was introduced to acrobatics through the practice of yoga in 2013, and helped found The Bird's Nest Circus Arts in 2016. Juliana has completed Seattle Acro Teacher Training, and has trained partner acrobatics and hand balancing in Boston, New York, Denver, Philadelphia, Ontario, and Los Angeles. Her credits include performances for BMW, Business First, The Bird's Nest, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, SUNY Buffalo, GObike Buffalo, and Canalside. She is happy to be in New York where she is always learning and always playing.

 
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Jen James

Jen James is an aerial performer, choreographer and instructor with a background in dance.  She began training aerial arts in 2006 as an extension of her dance career and feels she found her niche creating movement on various aerial apparatus.  Jen has performed as an aerialist at venues including Hammerstein Ballroom, Marquee, The Box and House of Yes. She was also a founding member and choreographer of AERA Dance, a founding U.S. Aerial Championships board member and Aerial Director at Body & Pole.

Her company, MIXT Dance, provides performers and choreography for all types of events and productions and she has created works for Good Morning America, Armani, Gentleman Jack and Red Bull to name a few.  Jen's recent endeavors include managing the mom life with 3 young children while trying to spend as much time as possible in the air.

 
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YONI KALLAI

Yoni Kallai started doing acrobalance in a beginners workshop in Israel, while studying at The Hebrew University. This started out as a hobby that quickly became a primary occupation. He found himself teaching people tricks and showing them that they can do more than they think all the time, not just in class. "I enjoy how this fun activity is a gateway into human contact and relationships. Come join me on so many different levels."

Yoni teaches Family Acro, Acrobalance and Games, Kids Cirque and Acro Standing Circus at The Muse.

 
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Gary Lai

Gary Lai is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor through the Three Sisters Yoga Teacher Training program directed by Jen Whinnen. First exposed to yoga through dance, Gary's class recognizes how various movement forms can inform yoga instruction and practice. In addition to instructing yoga out of Big Sky Works, Gary has also instructed kids and adults in physical arts such as gymnastics, martial arts, dance, climbing, and yoga, in the diverse settings of juvenile detention centers, public and private schools, and various fitness centers.

With a background of teaching physical education (B.S.) and multiple physical disciplines, he was the owner-operator of Physical Arts Center-a multidisciplinary movement center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is involved in dance and performance - having worked with Doug Elkins for Arthur Aviles, Luis Lara Malvacias, Stephanie Nelson Dance Group, Liz Magic Laser, and in aerial work with Elise Knudsen, and Noemi Lafrance’s Sensproduction, among others. More recently he has performed in performance artist Marina Abramovic's "The Artist is Present"/ Retrospective at MOMA and for artist Liz Glynn in Performa '11 and the Public Art Fund Gala.

 
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SHANE MICLON

Shane Miclon is 26 years old and currently living in Brooklyn NY. At the age of five he learned to juggle 3 balls. Just a few years later he began performing at his father’s theater in Buckfield Maine. He apprenticed with IJA Gold medalist Fritz Grobe for nearly 6 years. Shane’s juggling is a combination of technical proficiency and contemporary movement.

Shane teaches Juggling at The Muse.

 
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NICKI MILLER

Nicki is an aerialist, actor, creator and co-founding artistic director of Only Child Aerial Theatre. In addition to performing as an aerialist in projects throughout NYC, notable credits include aerial choreographer for in Ripe Time’s “The World is Round” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and Only Child Aerial Theatre’s “ASYLUM” (co-author, director and performer) at NYU’s Skirball Center for Performing Arts. Nicki has been as resident artist with the Santa Barbara Floor to Air Festival, The Contemporary Circus Arts Festival of Toronto, Toronto Circus Sessions at the Harbourfront Centre, and the New Victory LabWorks Program. Most recently Nicki completed a creative residency in Sweden at Cirkus Cirkör, where she also shadowed their director Olle Strandberg on the premiere of his new show “Under.” www.nickimiller.com

Nicki is also an NASM certified personal trainer with 10 years experience. Specialty certifications include Functional Range Conditioning (FRC), Corrective Exercise, and Pre/Post-Natal training.

Nicki offers classes and private lessons in aerial rope, silks, smart conditioning for all levels and aerial choreography/act development.

 
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KRISTA PERKS

Krista loves swimming through the air. As an acrobat she mainly focuses her training on aerial fabrics and straps, but enjoys doing trapeze, rope, rings, handbalancing, chinese pole, ground acrobatics… basically everything circus. Krista is interested in combining her love of science with her circus life through research and performance in generative art: constructing and implementing computational models to explore creative possibilities in movement and apparatus design and developing interfaces to mediate real-time interactions between technology and biology in performance theater.

Krista teaches Rope at The Muse

 
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Stephanie Sine

Stephanie has been performing & teaching circus arts for 15 years. As a circus performer she toured with Britney Spears in her World Circus Tour. She’s also performed for The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, Big Apple Circus (Circus2Go), Mohegan Sun, The NYC Choreographer’s Canvas, Foxwoods Casino, ImaginAerial, Streb, Cirque du Jour & The Muse. She teaches silks & lyra at Streb, Bridge for Dance, & Cirque du Jour school programs.

Stephanie loves teaching kids to be circus-strong!

 
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Rebecca Stronger

Rebecca Stronger has been tirelessly pursuing the art of physical performance for decades (yes, it’s true, decades). Gymnastics, dance, acrobatics, trapeze, theater, voice, you name it- she’s chased it down (worldwide!). In 2006 she established STRONGERCircus, a circus-based, avante-garde performance company, and has had her work presented by The Streb Lab For Action Mechanics, The Hot Festival at Dixon Place in NYC, The Flea Theater in NYC, Aloft Aerial in Chicago, The State of The Nation V Festival in New Orleans, The National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco and WiseFool in Sante Fe. Rebecca was a recipient of the 2010-11 Streb Emerging Artist’s Commission. She also received a creative grant from BAX in 2015. Five years ago she gave birth to a sassy baby girl who demanded that she take a circus hiatus. Rebecca is super excited to be re-emerging in partnership with Zoi and Angela and the entire team bringing The Muse Gowanus into existence. She teaches Handstands, Acrobatics and Static Trapeze - always with a focus on building strong and safe technique. She was born and bred in Brooklyn and really really really loves handstands.

 
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DIANE TOMASI

Diane is an aerialist and a dancer. She has performed at Galapagos, The Slipper Room, Jacob’s Pillow, and Dance New Amsterdam. She also performs regularly with Phaedra’s Cabaret. In Diane’s class, you will build strength, flexibility, and coordination. Diane fosters an atmosphere that is both positive and challenging. She encourages her students to go deep into their bodies and discover their own interpretation of the movement given or experienced. Diane has a Degree in Performing Arts, Dance from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. She is also certified in Simonson Method of Teacher Training, Thai Massage Advanced Studies Sen Theory & Application, and Thai Massage Basic Studies Level I and II.

 
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sara Zepezauer

Sara Zepezauer (Zepe) is a movement and visual artist hailing originally from the west coast.  A classically trained dancer for over twenty years, Zepe’s future seemed shattered by a partnering accident right before college auditions.  After surgery and a cross country move, piecing together a broken body and finding a new path was difficult, especially in a new city.  Fortunately, it did not take long for acceptance and a home to be found within the New York City circus community.  Drawing upon an aerial foundation from high school, and with the help of dedicated instructors and peers in New York, healing and redefining the future was made possible- from the ground, to the air, and back down again.  Zepe has been able to share this knowledge and journey with many students over the years and feels that the cycle of learning is most important for continual growth as an artist.  

Today, Zepe is the the proud co-founder and co-director of Circus Solaris, a movement company specializing in contact improvisation and site-specific performance.  Zepe is also one half of the Lost Boys, the dynamic aerial duo of Circus Solaris. 

Zepe has choreographed and produced for: ABC’s Good Morning America, New York City Dance Parade, Pandora Radio, Theater for the New City, Tribeca Film Festival, Canon, Wild ‘N’ Out, LUST NYC, The Illuminati Ball, Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic, Queer Coney, and has graced the stages and ceilings of the Liberty Theater, Weylin, Paramount Theater, House of Yes, Kings Theater, and Capitale to name a few.

 

TROY LINGELBACH

Troy Lingelbach first stumbled upon aerial arts through a Groupon in San Diego, California (but really, he has to give credit to his mom for this). With a background in seven years of competitive gymnastics and a lifelong passion for theatre and dance, he quickly excelled in aerial arts and found his new home to be in the air. He is a current student at Marymount Manhattan College, pursuing a degree in Musical Theatre and Philosophy. Troy has performed with ABCirque, The Circus Collective of San Diego, Cirko Teleskóptico, Lindley-Lopez Productions, and in 2016 was the youngest competitor at the US Aerial Championships—and the only competitor to perform in more than one category (Male Silks and Lyra). He specializes in aerial fabric, dance trapeze, lyra, and contortion, but dabbles in all circus apparatuses. As an instructor, he loves watching clients’ reactions when they accomplish things they never thought possible, no matter how big or small.