St. Louis Aerial Collective was founded in 2018 by Alison Headley and April Silverman, two riggers and aerialists who wanted to build a circus space for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Alison took over the business in 2022.


Lindsey Borgna
Lindsey BorgnaSlings, Handstands
Lindsey’s background in gymnastics, cheerleading, and yoga made it so falling in love with aerial as an adult came as no surprise. You’ll find that her aerial classes focus on playful movement, body awareness, and mobility as she encourages you to develop strength and your own creative expression. Lindsey is best known for her love of Slings and handstands, but she can often be found playing on other apparatuses, as well. She has trained on Rope, Silks, Dance Trapeze, Hoop, and Static Trapeze; performed locally in a few shows; and is excited to continue evolving on each apparatus.

If she’s not practicing aerial, you’ll probably find her napping with her beloved cat, Scout.

Photo by Jason Tucker

Kelly Cunningham
Kelly CunninghamRope, Silks, Hoop
Kelly Cunningham is a St. Louis born and raised aerialist. She has been a fan of movement since childhood and loves exploring all types. Anything dance related and athletic are her favorites. Naturally, aerial arts was the perfect marriage upon taking her first class in 2015. She loves getting to be curious and have a place where adults have a creative outlet. Her specialties are the aerial silks, corde lisse (rope), and hoop. You can occasionally find Kelly performing and producing aerial shows in STL. Tell your dog she says hi.
Rosie Eastman
Rosie EastmanHoop
Bailey El Ex
Bailey El ExConditioning
Bailey El Ex is a St. Louis based pole dancer and flexibility instructor. She has competed and performed across the US since 2016, winning several titles and performing regularly with Snoop Dogg since 2019.

When she isn’t training and teaching, she is taking naps with her dogs or trying to conquer her TBR.

Katie Farrell
Katie FarrellAdmin
Katie grew up dancing at a small dance studio in St. Louis. In high school, she discovered her love for aerial when a touring aerialist taught a few workshops at her studio. She continued to dance throughout her college career and was able to return to aerial during the summer breaks. After college, Katie focused her training on silks, but she loves to play on all the aerial apparatuses. Aerial has become something that inspires her and something that she is always excited to share with others. “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward.” -Leonardo Da Vinci
Alison Headley
Alison HeadleyTrapeze, Horizontals
Alison Headley grew up in Texas, and lived in Houston and Austin before making her way to St. Louis. She’s spent her career as a web and graphic designer and front-end developer, but she’s also worked professionally in writing, editing, photography, social media, blogging, sewing, and jewelry production and design.

Alison found trapeze in her late thirties and discovered a love of exercise, performance and act creation she never knew she had. She has received aerial teacher training from Born to Fly™ Aerial Teacher Training, and additional training in trapeze, handstands and acrobatics from École de Cirque de Québec.

Claire Hilleren
Claire HillerenRope, Silks
Claire Hilleren is from St. Louis and received her BFA in Dance with a ballet emphasis from Webster University in December 2008. Webster University is where Claire caught the aerial bug through working with Monica Newsom on Aerial Silks. After graduation Claire continued her aerial training at Bumbershoot Aerial Arts, doing ambient and choreographed gigs in St. Louis. Claire has attended both the Aerial Dance Festival and the American Dance Festival to further her dance and aerial vocabulary. Taking classes from dancers/choreographers; David Dorfman, Ohad Naharin, Mark Haim, Abby Yager, Ishmael Houston-Jones, David Brick, and Yvonne Meiers and aerialists; Kevin O’Connor, Danielle Hendricks, Alex Allen, and Susan Murphy. Claire joined the Modern American Dance Company in the Fall of 2009 and continued until June 2018. Claire has gotten the chance to choreograph on MADCO, MADCO 2, University of Missouri St. Louis Dance Department, ambient and choreographed aerial gigs, El Monstero Winter and Touring Performances, and Music Videos.
Helen Jones
Helen JonesDance Trapeze, Slings
Helen’s background in dance, yoga, and swimming inform their aerial practice and classes. They specialize in Sling/Hammock and Dance Trapeze. Helen enjoys finding intentional shapes and pathways on any apparatus, building aerialists’ choreography vocabulary, and providing ground conditioning/mobility support for efficiency and ease in the air. They find aerial a powerful form of non-verbal expression, and are excited to teach, share and collaborate!
Christine Knapp
Christine KnappRope, Silks, Hoop
Coming from a tumbling, cheer, and equestrian background, Christine was never into any traditional sport that requires you to kick, catch, throw, or run. When she left her cheer and equestrian teams after college, she was disappointed that there was no such thing as “adult recreational stunting,” so she found the next best thing: circus arts. Christine trains silks, lyra, and rope, and enjoys creative partner work. A teacher by profession, Christine has also completed aerial teacher training from Bumbershoot Aerial Arts. She loves helping students troubleshoot “sticky” skills and reach their goals.
Sandra Manzoni
Sandra ManzoniTrapeze, Silks
Sandra Manzoni is an aerialist based in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2006 she was first introduced to circus arts by a high school friend in Paris, France and found that she was an enthusiastic but terrible juggler. Then she met a Trapeze and fell in love. She’s been taking classes, teaching, and performing aerial arts ever since.

Sandra has both taught and taken classes from Circus Day Foundation and from Bumbershoot Aerial Arts. She has taken classes and workshops through NECCA, Frequent Flyers, Aircat Aerial Arts, the Circus Center of San Francisco, ALOFT Circus Arts, Circus Flora performers and from ENC graduates.

Having performed both as a freelance aerialist, and as a traveling member of the Beggars Carnivale, her specialties include Static Trapeze, Single Pointe Trapeze, Aerial Silks, Corde Lisse, Aerial Hoop, Stilt Walking, and Silent Comedy. She collects rubber ducks and marbles. Plz consider inviting her to be in your DnD campaign.

Lauren Weiler
Lauren WeilerRope
Lauren Weiler is an aerialist and object manipulation artist new to the Midwest as of 2023. She began her foray into circus with hula hooping and flow arts in 2013. Since then, she’s performed solo and partner hooping, dragon staff, fire arts, and aerial silks and rope for audiences big and small. Per aerial, she’s trained at Esh Circus Arts, Gravity Alternative Movement, The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and the New England Center for Circus Arts for silks, rope, and straps. From 2022-2023, she was the understudy for five rope artists in Circus 617’s show “Gathering the Threads,” a contemporary all-rope show.

Lauren loves big, dynamic rope moves and funky choreo the most. You can catch her working through rope puzzles regularly at St. Louis Aerial Collective.