Stacey Kigner’s goal is to make circus accessible to everyone. Her business, Air Temple Arts, teaches circus and aerial arts on Research Drive in Woodbridge.
Recently First Selectman Ellen Scalettar visited Air Temple Arts as part of the Economic Development Commission’s “Shop Woodbridge, Dine Woodbridge, Try Woodbridge” campaign. The campaign is designed to encourage Woodbridge residents to learn about and patronize local businesses.
Kigner opened her business in New Haven in 2013. The business outgrew its space and so she moved it to Woodbridge this past winter. Most of her customers, she told Scalettar, are young women, but she also teaches older adults, kids and teenagers. A variety of classes cover the aerial art forms of trapeze, aerial silks, and lyra (aerial hoop), as well as traditional circus arts such as contortion, tumbling, juggling, partner acrobatics, and hand balancing (handstands).
Kigner organizes three student showcases per year at the and one professional show a year at Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven. The 2,000 square foot main studio is colorful – the floor is covered nearly wall to wall with a bright blue mat and brightly colored “aerial silks” hang from the ceiling.
During the visit, Kigner demonstrated a foot lock for Scalettar. She grabbed ahold of an aerial silk dangling from the ceiling and climbed up it using her hands. She then wrapped the silk around her body and legs and was able to sit in the air.
“That is amazing!” Scalettar said and asked how Kigner got started in aerial arts. While in college Kigner joined her school’s circus troupe club. She got more and more involved and eventually began teaching. “I learned that I liked teaching more than I expected,” she said. And when she moved to Connecticut from New York she learned there were no aerial arts and circus studios so she opened the business.
To learn more about Air Temple Arts, visit www.airtemple.com.