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About Us

Aerial Arts of Rochester is co-owned by aerial partners and husband/wife team, Jennifer and William D’Ovidio.

Since Opening in 2010, the school has blossomed into a community sharing a passion and respect for all things circus.

Aerial Arts is a safe place where creativity can flourish. Providing an encouraging and supportive environment where students can grow at their own pace is how we approach our training. We believe that everyone can and should fly if they so desire. We will help you on your journey from the ground, up - literally!

 

Although a recreational school, we have the skills to develop athletes and artists who wish to pursue careers in the industry. We are primarily an alternative fitness facility, however we are also a performance arts venue, where both youth and adults have the opportunity to perform in showcases and themed productions.


Currently Aerial Arts of Rochester offers classes, workshops and memberships. In in addition to children’s birthday parties, camps, school field trips and team building opportunities.


We are also home to the The Aerial Arts of Rochester Cirque Performance Troupe that is available for hire in the WNY region. AAOR has a team of instructors all with impressive lists of accomplishments and unique talents that they bring to the school. We continually seek out opportunities to help us grow as aerialists and instructors.

Facility

Our facility is apprx. 13,000 square feet. Upstairs we have an observation desk that overlooks our The Arena, complete with Kitchen and rest rooms.

The "Arena" is 7,500 square feet

Pole Studio is about 900 square feet

Fitness Studio is about 950 square feet
The Gym Space is aprox. 600 square feet

We are also home to EboniFit and Wellness Institute
 

Awards & Recognition

Community Donations

Aerial Arts is happy to make a donation to your organization. Below are local organizations we have worked with in the past.

Camp Good Days and Special Times

The Center for Youth

Geva Theater

Foodlink

CURE

The Strong Museum of Play

Discovering Deaf Worlds

Veterans Outreach

and many more....

Meet the Team

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(he/him/his)

First Aid & CPR Certified




2016 TED Talk Presenter

2017
Rochester's Top Fitness
Instructor Finalist

 

William D'Ovidio

Ring Master
Instructor
Performer
Entertainment Troupe Coordinator

As the co-owner of Aerial Arts of Rochester, William brings an innovative style and approach to teaching that allows people of all ages, levels and abilities to do experience the circus arts. Prior to aerial, he was a 3rd degree black belt and instructed martial arts for 10 years. Throughout college he focused on sports medicine, while attaining a comprehensive understanding of human physiology and anatomy. He has been able to help many athletes and aerialists avoid injuries and succeed in their training.


William is also a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology and professional photographer. Having worked as digital editor for the New York Times Magazine, he has been able to use his multi-media experience to elevate the professionalism of Aerial Arts of Rochester.

When transiting back to his roots in the health and fitness industry William trained under Olympic Athlete, Christine VanLoo, Cirque Du Soliel artist, Ann Stimmel and at many circus arts training schools across the U.S. including the reputable New England Center of Circus Arts. Through education, he continues to inspire others to follow their dreams of running away with the circus.

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she/her/her’s

 

First Aid & CPR Certified


Dance Discoveries Certified Pole Dance Instructor

2012
 Elite Finalist

American Pole Fitness Championship

2013

1st Place

Level 3 Artistic Division

Central Pole Dance Championships

2014
2nd Place

Level 4
Entertainment Division

Atlantic Pole Championships

2019
Girls Scouts WNY
Keynote Speaker

2020
Virtual Pole Judge for
Pole Sports Organization

Follow Jennifer on Instagram


 

Jennifer D'Ovidio

Ring Mistress
Instructor
Performer

 

Jennifer is classically trained dancer all throughout adolescence and continued to pursue dance at the collegiate level. She become a professional actress at the age of 13 when she hit the stage at Geva Theater in "A Christmas Carol". Into early adulthood, she pursued writing and recording music with GFI productions and toured with band, Justified. She has been on 92.5 WBEE's Upstate on Stage, featured on local commercial jingles and sang back up vocals for previous platinum selling artists. Jennifer has also had the privilege of being on the Rochester Brigade dance team, teaching children’s dance classes and coaching CYO cheerleading.


As a Rochester Institute of Technology Alumni she studied Arts Management, Business and Hospitality. As her passion for entrepreneurship grew stronger, she opened the studio in 2010.

Initially training aerial acrobatics with a competitive gymnastics coach, she went on to do private training sessions and workshops with some of the best athletes in the world, including Olympic athlete of the decade, Christine VanLoo.Jennifer has also studied at several circus arts centers up and down east coast including the New England Center of Circus Arts, Esh Aerial Arts, Sunshine Circus Arts and more. Jennifer now performs locally in the upstate area with the Aerial Arts of Rochester cirque troupe.

Recently, she had had the honor and pleasure of being a keynote speaker for Girl Scouts of WNY and would love to inspire other area groups by sharing her experience and knowledge with our community. She is also helping local theater organizations with aerial choreography and is planning new  productions for AAoR students.


 

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Julia Frederick

Studio Manager, Youth Instructor, Party Hostess

With a Bachelors in Theatre, Julia knows how to run this circus! As the front desk coordinator, Julia helps with all aspects of studio including enrollments, event bookings and productions. She has been with Aerial Arts of Rochester since 2015 and loves to hear when students finally achieve the move that had challenged them most!

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Paige Pensgen

Instructor/Performer

Paige specializes in yoga, aerial hoop and pole dance. She has a background in dance and cheerleading/ tumbling. Previously, Paige coached youth cheerleading for Pittsford Panthers and taught yoga for various residence halls and athletic teams at Alfred State College. Paige’s teaching style promotes self confidence, empowerment, and connection between the mind and body.

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Kaylin Cervini

Instructor/Performer

Kaylin started training aerial in fall of 2015. She has performed on the aerial hoop for various music events including Cirque Du Bass in the WNY area. She is published actress in a horror film called "Book of Evil" that can be found on Amazon, Target Online, Fandangonow and other streaming services. Prior to aerial, Kaylin was cheerleader and trained taekwondo, as a purple belt.

Kaylin is a local celebrity playing her original music on several local radio stations, as well as live on Good Day Rochester Fox News. She has opened up for musical stars such as Teddy Geiger, Tyler Hilton, Ryan Cabrera, as well as most recently Aaron Carter.

"There's a certain magic people in seeing people fly, and I wanted to be part of that. One personal thing I love about performing aerial, is that I get to be evidence that people of all body sizes can be fit, can be strong. There are no limitations in the circus."

 

 In the future she hopes to continue bringing music, and singing, into her aerial performances.

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Macrina Jeary

Instructor

Macrina started at Aerial Arts in 2016 when she was 8 years old as part of the children's program. She quickly took a liking to Aerial Silks and eventually started taking adult classes. As her skills have developed she has performed in many showcases with Aerial Arts over the years. Macrina enjoys working on all the apparatuses, but loves fabrics best. In the fall of 2021 Macrina started teaching children's classes with Aerial Arts. She has also taught the summer camps and assists with children's birthday parties. Outside of aerial Macrina loves to spend time with her family and friends, do art, play with her dogs, and travel. 

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Camielle Collins

Instructor

Bio Coming Soon

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Alexa Wallace

Instructor, Performer

Bio Coming Soon

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Kiendra Simpson

Youth Instructor, Performer

Kiendra Simpson is a current graduate student in the Masters of Social Work program at The State University of New York at Brockport. With this, they hope to become a licensed social worker and later a licensed clinical social worker. They also hope to become licensed in play and art therapy. Kiendra further is a recent graduate of The State University of New York at Buffalo with their BA in Psychology, prior to this they also received their AA in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Alfred State College.

In their educational career, Kiendra focuses on human rights, mental health care, mental illness recovery, psychotherapy, psychoeducation, quantitative and qualitative research, art and policy. They are a sister of Delta Chi Omega sorority and fluent in violin and saxophone. Lastly, Kiendra was inducted into Psi Beta, and awarded the Senior Academic Distinction Award in their major at Alfred State College. They pride themself in taking a person centered, trauma informed and harm reduction approach with the people they serve.

Kiendra’s athletic background includes running cross country, running varsity track when they were just in eighth grade and being apart of her high school co- ed cheerleading team, the Elmira Express, where they had won States in 2015. Kiendra found a love for hoop dancing in 2018 and then found aerial in 2019 where they have trained on multiple apparatuses. Since working at Aerial Arts of Rochester, Kiendra has assisted in multiple kinds of birthday parties and events. They also have performed at various locations with their hula hoop and on multiple aerial apparatuses, they have also partook in multiple student showcases.

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Emily Sirk

Instructor, Performer

Emily is a stage performer, aerialist and dancer who specializes in metal apparatus performance and duo work. 

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Sebastian Ferlo

Instructor, Performer

Sebastian is a second generation circus performer. His parents met in Ringling Brothers circus with his mother being an aerialist and his father a clown. Both Sebastian and his brother started doing circus when they were children.

 

Sebastian specializes in juggling and acrobatics in addition to diabolo, rola bola, handbalancing, mini tramp, and unicycle. As a coach, Sebastian has worked at Circus Smirkus Summer Camp in Greensboro, VT for four summers as a counselor, juggling coach, and acrobatics coach.He has also coached acrobatics in Clearwater, FL at Dance and Circus Arts of Tampa Bay.
 

Sebastian is a graduate of the Biological Sciences program at RIT and was the president of the Juggling Club for 2 years.

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Jess Soto

Instructor, Performer

Jess Soto is a professional dancer & aerialist from Rochester, NY. She has been dancing for 27 years with experience in numerous styles. She completed her B.A. in Dance & English at Buffalo State in 2016 and has been performing for various companies and instructing students of all ages and abilities throughout Western NY since.

 

Jess began her aerial journey in 2018. She quickly found a love for dancing in the air, as well. She is dedicated in her training and does so on many metal and fabric apparatuses.

 

In addition to this, Jess does prop manipulation, LED and fire performances, and has recently started stilt walking.

 

Jess greatly enjoys teaching others. She hopes to inspire them to find a passionate connection to movement and creation.

 

Outside of the studio, Jess works in the personal and home care field and is on the path to obtain her nursing degree. Most importantly, she has a beautiful daughter who motivates her to never stop dreaming and dancing!

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Cathy Linehan

Marketing & Communications, Instructor

Cathy is a Hoop Love Coach and Hoopnotica-certified hula hooping instructor. Cathy began hula hooping 10 years ago, where she would take her hoop with her on-the-go so she could dance to live music. She became very passionate about learning new tricks and sharing her love for hooping with her friends. Cathy made custom hula hoops for several of her friends and family members, and was inspired by the joy of seeing her loved ones find happiness with hula hooping. Cathy has taught classes and workshops at the YMCA and RAC for Women, and is thrilled to share her love her hooping with students at Aerial Arts of Rochester. She prides herself on being an enthusiastic, dedicated, and attentive instructor, for she genuinely loves seeing others get excited about learning new ways to dance with the hoop. Cathy is a digital marketer by day, and is energized by thinking innovatively and doing what’s best for the customer. In her spare time, she studies aerial hoop (lyra) and trapeze at Aerial Arts of Rochester. Cathy also enjoys making hula hoops!

*Photo by Analise Olszewski

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Franca Mantisi

Graphic Designer

Franca is a graduate from Nazerath College and creates beautiful content for Aerial Arts. She works full time at a local graphic design company.

As a student at Aerial Arts of Rochester, she has witnessed first hand how something can seem impossible, until its done.

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Casey Dapshi

Instructor

Bio Coming Soon

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Katherine Joliff

Instructor

Katherine Jolliff began her aerial journey in 2021 at Aerial Arts of Rochester. She now instructs adult and youth classes on both metals and fabrics as well as hosting birthday parties at the studio. Her teaching style puts lots of emphasis on body awareness and control, as well as having fun (safely!) both in the air and on the ground. When she's not in the air, she is likely at the Eastman School of Music, where she's currently an undergraduate majoring in Organ Performance.

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Shaun Sirk

 Instructor/Performer

Shaun specializes as Partner Acro Instructor and performer. He has 5 Years of Partner Acro experience and has preciously trained at Pitch Catch Circus. With over 20 Years of gymnastics experience and 10 of those as a coach, Shaun enjoys watching others succeed.

* Experienced spotter and safety line puller

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Nicole Pratt

 Instructor/Performer

Nicole’s passion for aerial arts began after seeing her first Cirque du Soliel show in 5th grade. She performed gymnastics and cheerleading for several years preceding her aerial arts journey at AAOR in 2012.  She has trained contortion, pole, and silks at several NYC studios, including Circus Warehouse, Aerial Arts NYC, Body and Pole, and Pole Position.

When she is not teaching, performing, or training aerial arts, Nicole is working hard towards her degree in becoming a Clinical Laboratory Scientist at Brockport University. In her down time she enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, or spending time with her cats.

As an instructor she applies her knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology aiming to help her students build strength and flexibility.  She advocates the art of movement and aerial as a means of tranquility and a creative expression of oneself. 

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Misha Faerovitch

 Instructor

My name is Misha, I started my aerial journey in 2021 with a concentration in metals and a specific focus on pole.

I have a background in dance and gymnastics and have trained in New York City before coming to Aerial Arts of Rochester. I absolutely love the art of movement and acrobatics and the unique blend it creates in the aerial arts. My goal is to share my passion and inspire anyone and everyone to tap into their deep artistic self and create beautiful movement.

I am excited to join you on your aerial journey!

See you in class

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Julie MacPherson

 Instructor

Julie is originally from Buffalo and graduated from SUNY Brockport where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Dance.  After years of group exercise classes at local gyms, she was PiYo certified in 2014 and taught at the Rochester Athletic Club until it closed in 2020.  She also taught at the JCC and held many Rochester fitness fundraisers at places such as Seneca Park Zoo, Eastman House, Anthology, and Lollipop Farm.  Julie is passionate about yoga and helping others find their strength and resilience through group exercise classes.  She is passionate about ongoing education and has traveled the US and Canada to take classes from iconic yogi’s such as Kino McGregor, Brian Kest, and Baron Baptiste.   

Julie began her journey at Aerial Arts of Rochester in March of 2022 and didn’t just fall in love with the new challenge of aerial arts but with the community of people.  Outside of her fitness endeavors she enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with her two small dogs and family.

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Janelle Hines

 Instructor/Performer

Aerial Arts of Rochester Circus school of Training is my home, away from home.  I started as a student in November 2020, hired as an instructor in December of 2022 and in that time have cross-trained on 11 apparatus.   My first love is forever the aerial hammock and silks. I instruct both youth, tween and adult classes.  Circus life is an enhancement to my prior 20 years of dance and theater experience. I cosplay as an Elf and enjoy using props and cosmetology for self-expression!  I am also a home health care provider, urban gardener helping to educate the community on how to grow a sustainable food and flower garden.  I am a Special Education Teacher, with a Masters in Elementary Special Education and I have merged Circus entertainment into all my daily living! Cake-topper,  all of my jobs combined, I found it necessary to obtain my CPR and First Aid Certifications, to always be prepared and ready to assist in an emergency.

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Natalie Marino

 Instructor/Performer

Natalie Marino is a dancer, teacher, learner and dreamer. She graduated from SUNY Fredonia with BFA in Dance and Minor in Communication. Since her graduation Natalie has performed and trained across the Northern Hemisphere. She is passionate about all things movement. NAtalie holds certification in barre, and assisted stretching.

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Sarah Sacchitella

Front Desk Associate

Bio Coming Soon

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Tiffany Sheganoski

Instructor

Tiffany discovered aerial arts in 2022, shortly after beginning her pathology residency at the University of Rochester. Besides working as a physician, Tiffany is a technical scuba diver, and has found aerial silks to be the optimal complement to her adrenaline-fueled lifestyle. Tiffany has coupled her passion for aerial arts and fitness with her knowledge of anatomy to bring a unique perspective to both her students and to her own personal growth as an aerialist.

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Angelica Lamb

Event Hostess

Angelica has15 years experience dancing at Valley School of Dance in Geneseo, NY. Angelica specializes in aerial silks and pole and is responsible for helping teach parties during the weekends. When she's not doing aerial, she is an interior painter with Monarch Painting. Angelica is a powerful force in the workplace and uses her positive attitude and ambition to push others to try their best and succeed. “Movement has always been apart of my life and I enjoy being able to connect with others everyday that love it just as much as I do.” 

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Julia Gullo

Instructor

Julia Gullo is a recent college graduate from SUNY Brockport where she received a Bachelors degree in both theatre and dance. She currently teaches pole, chair dance and stretching as well as barre classes in the Buffalo area. She has performed in Geva Theatre’s A Christmas Carol and assisted in costume construction for some of their productions!

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Taryn Mullen

Instructor

Taryn Mullen (she/her), known in capoeira as Monitor Fênix, has been studying capoeira since 2009, after first learning about it from a friend from Brazil. After training with several groups, she eventually joined Capoeira Angola Quintal in 2012, practicing under experienced teachers including Mestre Ombrinho and Instrutor Espião. She has participated in numerous capoeira events across the United States and internationally. Since graduating to the rank of Monitor in 2018, Taryn places her emphasis as a teacher of Mindful Capoeira on building community and the importance of having a well-rounded practice grounded in the music, movement and history of the art form.

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Leah Nelson

Instructor

Bio Coming Soon

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Marrianna Baiera

Instructor

Marrianna has been learing and performing a variety of aerial skills since 2016, specializing in silks, hoop and pole! What started out for her as a fun hobby turned into a career when she accepted a job to perform in the Bahamas after only training with Aerial Arts of Rochester for 3 years! She has also performed locally with the Aerial Arts of Rochester Cirque Troupe. Now that she’s back home you can catch her still practicing silks and teaching pole level 1 class! 

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Jacquline Parks

Instructor

Bio Coming Soon

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Melissa Goppert

Front Desk Associate/Instructor

Melissa embarked on her aerial journey in 2023 when she joined our team as a Front Desk Associate and Aerial Yoga instructor. A quick embrace of Aerial Arts allowed her to elevate her yoga practice significantly. Presently, she holds certifications as a Yoga Alliance RYT 200 Unified Yoga instructor and Yoga Alliance Aerial RYT 150 Level 1/2/Yin. While specializing in Yoga, Melissa is actively acquainting herself with various apparatuses, demonstrating her commitment to
continuous learning and mastery.

Her early background in dance, encompassing ballet, tap, and jazz during childhood, laid the foundation for her physical prowess. Melissa further honed her performance skills as a member of the Avon Braves Varsity Cheerleading team in 7th grade and has explored amateur modeling for various events/ calendars/photoshoots in the Philadelphia & Rochester regions. In 2023, she made her debut in the Aerial Coven Halloween show, showcasing her talents and captivating the audience.

Beyond her artistic pursuits, Melissa holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Temple University, majoring in Legal Studies with a double minor in International Business and
Entrepreneurship. Outside the realm of Aerial Arts, she dedicates her time to serving the community as a Life Insurance/Accident & Health broker.

Fueled by a passion for movement, Melissa aspires to inspire others and make a positive impact in the community. Her commitment to the art of movement reflects a dedication to personal and professional growth, establishing her as an invaluable member of our team.

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