About Our Director
As a lifelong lover of dance and movement, studio owner Jen Keehn discovered her deepest passion in 2009, and began her aerial training with Amy Powell. Upon completion of her training, Jen became a teacher for Chattanooga Aerials and remained such for three years. In the fall of 2013, Jen took over as director once Amy had opened a new studio closer to her home in Georgia. As an instructor, Jen enjoys the physical challenges, and the puzzle/problem solving that aerial dance has to offer, and is naturally more apt to gravitate towards those same things when it comes to working with students. Although her first priority is to specifically cater to the aerial wants and needs of students, Jen is most attuned to working on strengthening, conditioning, technique development, and similar things that apply to tangibly mastering the aerial arts. She sets aside plenty of time to focus on creativity and exploration, and believes art is not possible without such. As far as studio atmosphere, she likes to keep things casual. "I find so much joy in getting to learn and grow every single day through aerials. I absolutely love having fun and getting to PLAY!" Jen is available to primarily teach skill progressions, foundation classes, privates and workshops to anyone interested, and is devotedly willing to centralize a curriculum around any person or persons' particular aerial appetite.
In addition to teaching for Chattanooga Aerials, Jen has been a dance and movement instructor to high school students since 2005, directing eight dance productions for local high schools. Before 2005, Jen was an active dance member for four years at her school, completing eight seasons of both indoor and outdoor dance sports, which continued throughout college. After recognizing her love for aerials, she has aided Amy Powell in the production of A Love Song for MYSELF, the encore production of Food for PLAY, and has acted as a primary dancer for several of Amy's personal projects, including participation in the Chattanooga Aerials Dance Company and local event performances in Chattanooga.
About Our Founder
Ten year aerialist Amy Powell founded Chattanooga Aerials in 2009. She teaches classes to the public in Georgia at her home studio, Ellijay Aerials. Amy has performed for various events in Chattanooga such as Nightfall, Volkswagon's Opening, the Water For Elephant's premiere, AVA Gallery Hop, as well as many other charity events such as the Monster Gala for the March of Dimes and the Bunny Hop for the Chambliss Children's Home. In addition to teaching, she also travels to train advanced aerialists in Chattanooga, Atlanta & Asheville, NC. In 2009-2010 she taught Aerial Dance and Aerial Dance Composition at Chattanooga State. Before moving, Amy danced as a performing member of Canopy Studio's Repertory Dance Company. In her 7 years at Canopy, she choreographed for many of the shows she danced in at Canopy and continues to choreograph all of her current material.
Amy has had the opportunity to train and work with notable dancers such as Susan Murphy (a pioneer in Aerial Dance and founder of Canopy Studio), Elsie & Serenity Smith (former Cirque du Soleil performers & founders of the New England Circus Center), and Matt Kent (dancer and Artistic Director for Pilobolus).
About Our Instructors
Instructor for our Children's Program, Rebecca Link has been dancing since childhood. After a ten-year career as both a professional ballet dancer and instructor, she continues her work with children as an elementary teacher in Cleveland, TN. Rebecca began her aerial dance training with Amy Powell in 2010, and re-discovered a joy she previously thought she could only find in dancing on the floor. She began teaching for Chattanooga Aerials in the fall of 2013, and loves sharing her joy with aerial students of all ages. The playfulness and creativity that comes so naturally to children is encouraged and fostered in her classes, alongside the emphases of strong technique and safety.
"I believe the art of play can often be a bridge to help heal many woes in our lives." Aside her passion for aerials and teaching children, Rebecca is also an avid and certified practitioner of Yoga. She enjoys incorporating it into aerials, and is a constant influence to our new addition of Aerial Yoga classes.
Instructor for our Aerial Yoga Program Rebecca Balch has been an aerial student of Chattanooga Aerials for most of its existence. Since receiving her YTT 200 Hour Yoga Certification in 2013, she has assisted in basic vinyasa and hot power flow yoga classes. Rebecca will continue her study and exploration of Yoga, both on the floor & in the air! She has led her own community yoga classes in-studio, outdoors and on stand-up paddle boards! "I enjoy sharing my passion for yoga with others as a way to restore and rejuvenate body and mind for all parties involved."
Rebecca began her aerial training with Amy Powell in 2010, and has worked with several of Chattanooga's finest aerialist and aerial instructors. When she isn't busy teaching engineering at Chattanooga State, or Yoga around town, Rebecca is always sure to make time in her life for play!
“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change,growth,
discovery, movement, transformation; continuously expanding your vision of what is
possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your
[self], and taking courageous challenges at every step along the way..." - Caroline Adams
More About Aerial Dance
Aerial Dance appeals to a wide range of people because it offers something playful, fun and unique. It enriches people on a personal level...mind body and spirit. They get stronger without even noticing they are working. They get more body awareness. They gain coordination. They gain peace of mind....like going to a yoga class. They have much needed fun. They tap into parts of themselves. They learn to trust themselves and aerial partners. They find things in them that they'd like to express. They learn to communicate with themselves and others by just using movement. The list doesn't end. Aerial dance enriches individuals personally.
Men participate as well as women. People who are interested in artistic expression and performance participate, but also people who consider themselves to be "not creative" and who would otherwise not seek out a form of dance as an activity flock to the aerial dance studio because of the playful exercise and fun it promises to provide. These "not creative" people often end up falling in love with dance and finding their own creative expressiveness. In fact, I would say that one of the best things about aerial dance is that it appeals to people from all walks of life and acts as a beautiful "bridge" that introduces people to dancing, creating and stepping into their own voice. Individuals who just showed up for a birthday party that involved a trapeze, promising to be unique and fun, find themselves drawn into dancing despite what they would have guessed about themselves before. For others who never get interested in the dance aspect, aerial dance is still a very fun fitness activity that can truly be a lifetime sport. Despite what it seems, aerial dance can be done low to the ground, very safely, and by using very basic principles of the human body's ability and desire to move. Everyone I've ever taught is thoroughly surprised at how much they can do on the aerial equipment...which leaves them feeling so empowered and literally thrilled.