Instructor Bios

Stacey Kigner (Owner):

Stacey Air Temple ArtsAfter spending the first eighteen years of her life growing up on the edge of nowhere in Minnesota, Stacey packed her bags and headed east to attend Vassar College, where she majored in English and spent four years in the school’s recreational circus group, the Barefoot Monkeys.

She has performed up and down the east coast in performances ranging from street fairs to music videos. She specializes in aerial silks, solo and duo lyra and Spanish web.

In addition to performing and teaching, she has produced and directed several professional shows including Missed Connections, and SPECIAL RELATIVITY: Circus Through Space and Time, and Reverie in Black and White. She completed her Fabric Teacher Training in 2012 at NECCA. She opened Air Temple Arts in 2013.

In 2015 she was acknowledged as one of New Haven’s ‘Rising Stars’ by Busienss New Haven, and featured on the national PBS program START-UP.

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Nick Cegelka:

nick baby bw

Nick has been involved in circus arts of one kind or another for the past decade. He started riding unicycles as a way to cross train for freestyle skiing in high school, but was soon addicted to riding on one wheel just for the fun of it. Since then he has taken up juggling (and other object manipulation), partner acrobatics, and Chinese pole as major areas of interest.  In addition to those traditional circus arts, Nick is an accomplished fire and sideshow performer with a wide variety of skills. From 2009 – 2013 he was the head of Safety for Wildfire, a fire arts retreat.

Nick is currently performing as one half of the circus duo Soviet Bloc Party. His past performance highlights include juggling alongside Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band, repeating (on location) a suspended straight jacket escape first performed by Harry Houdini, entertaining audiences between sets at the World/Inferno Friendship Society’s annual Halloween shows, and performing in the full length shows “Missed Connections” and “Special Relativity.”

When not teaching or performing, Nick is putting his Mechanical Engineering degree to good use as Air Temple Arts’ resident rigging expert. He has been responsible for designing, building, and maintaining all of the points at both air temple’s old and new locations. In addition to in studio work, Nick also heads up rigging at all Air Temple performances.

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Azkadelia Hattress:

Azkadelia always knew she wanted to run away and join a circus but as a kid in North Carolina she never knew how to make that happen. At a young age she started Ballet and Figure Skating and continued well into her teen years, enjoying the outlet it gave her. Dancing in the Nutcracker, Madeline, Wizard of Oz and many more along with skating in quite a few competitions, but it just never really gave her that jolt she was looking for.

Azkadelia Hattress - Air Temple ArtsIn High School she joined Drama Club, where she went on to perform in several musicals and also gave Cheer-leading a try however, nothing seemed enough. Years later after moving to NJ she found her calling in the aerial world. She started her training at STREB with Laura Witwer and has been going ever since. Even with a few bumps and bruises along the way she continues going strong.
Azkadelia performs aerials at various events like Steampunk World’s Fair and Wicked Faire and is also a Cast Member in The New York Renaissance Faire and their sister event Forest of Fear as an Aerialist and a Fire Performer.
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Allison McDermott (on leave):

allison monster

Allison was first introduced to circus at The Children’s Circus of Middletown in CT. She began teaching circus at camps and schools throughout CT and soon she discovered her love of aerial arts at the New England Center for Circus Arts.
In 2011-2012, Allison performed in ArtFarm’s Circus for a Fragile Planet: Submerged as well as performing in Soviet Bloc Party’s Missed Connections in 2012. Allison has recently completed the New England Center for Circus Arts Professional Track Program where she performed in The Flying Nut and Gathered Safely In, as well as Trapeze Teacher Training with Nimble Arts. She is looking forward to sharing her brand of fun, pop circus with the world! Find more about Allison as a performer and teacher on her website.

Joel Herzfeld (on tour):

Joel Herzfeld has been living life upside-down for about four years now. He started his circus career training in hand balancing, partner acrobatics and contortion at Esh Aerial Arts in Massachusetts before advancing to the New England Center for Circus Arts, where

croc he added cyr wheel, tumbling, Chinese pole and straps to his skill set.
He graduated from NECCA’s Intensive program in 2013 with a major in handbalancing and a minor in partner acrobatics, and is currently continuing his studies in the school’s ProTrack program. Before he ran off to join the circus, he studied education at Brandeis University, earning his teacher’s license. Joel loves all things circus and will stop at nothing to share his passion.
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Elaine Cassarino (on leave):
Since two-years old Elaine has been trying to find out exactly how far she could push elaine Air Templeher body.  The first outlet she found for all of her energy was a gymnastics gym.  As a high schooler she began teaching “Mommy and Me” and Tots gymnastics and continued to coach lessons and pre-team through college.  Once she had exhausted the gymnastics outlets available to her, she dabbled in pole dance, swing dancing, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but nothing really stuck until she got a fateful phone call from a friend. The phone call began with her friend stating very matter-of-factly, “I know you secretly have always wanted to be in the circus.”  Together they went to a flying trapeze class, as she took off the platform for the first time and felt that first rush of adrenaline, she knew she had found what her body was meant to do.  That was almost six years ago, and flying trapeze was her gateway into various other aerial arts, including mostly aerial silks with some static trapeze, lyra, straps, and trampoline.  Coaching at Air Temple Arts has offered her the opportunity to combine her education degree and her passion for aerials while giving back to a community that is immensely important to her.
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Lauren Seuch 
Lauren Seuch - Air Temple ArtsIn Lauren’s search for a unique form of fitness, she stumbled upon Air Temple and was immediately drawn into the circus world. A natural born aerialist and an extremely fast learner, Lauren felt that she found her true passion and has been at the studio constantly since she began in early 2013.  She has also taken to juggling, aerial straps and aerial partnering, and loves to take every opportunity to improve and learn a new type of circus art. She attends the University of Connecticut and majors in marine sciences.
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