Founder + Creative Director
Karen A. Fuhrman has her M.A. from NYU in choreography and specializes in both ground and aerial dance. As a professor, she has taught at New York University, Kutztown University, and DeSales University. She has performed with Pilobolus, seen with 2007 Oscars Award Show, Ellen Degeneres, Good Morning America, and twice on the Conan O’ Brian show. Other credits include Cavalia of Cirque du Soleil, De La Guarda, and MOMIX. She has also danced for the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards, MTV, PBS, ABC, and SHOWTIME. She has toured and taught aerial and dance in extensive venues throughout the world.
I mean, I had to get realistic…..who do I think I am, right?
There were two things that saved me. One, my daughter. I couldn’t be a quitter- for her. And two, the power of flight. It always gives joy, and that was something that I could hold on to. As the person flying, or the person watching the flying, it is an immediate life-booster and affirmation. And that….that’s everything to me. The power of flight literally and figuratively lifts us higher.
So I kept going. One unstable step at a time.
Now, I travel near and far teaching the brave to fly, and inspire audiences with feelings of flight and mindful art around the globe. Our community is strong and becoming more and more creative and mindful. My partner/husband and I remember to be grateful as we meander through this crazy life. Phoenix, our little one, is a mighty bird that reminds us to stay fiery with our wing-ed dreams and grounded with our diligence to play.
My message is simple. Lean toward the difficult, and when you can, bask in the magic.
Co-Founder + Technical Director
Jason Heartsfield studied kinesiology at Texas A&M University as part of his teacher certification program. He has over 18 years of experience in the sports industry including roles in coaching, gym management, gear expertise and maintenance, and program development. As a salesman and technician, he developed vast equipment knowledge and technical prowess with companies such as Dollamur, EZ Flex, and the American Athletic Inc. He is an award-winning gymnast that offers a pedagogy based on solid physiological clarification to all ages and level students. He creates a safe, informative, and inclusive atmosphere where students can learn at their own pace in a setting rooted in play and curiousness.
Why we do it
I always had dreams of flying as a kid- where I could soar and leap without boundaries. I found my first flight with the off-Broadway show De La Guarda, and have continued flying since. But where I found my personal wings- is with nature. Among the trees and sky of Yosemite National Park— that is where flight and dance merged in giddy joy. Grounded Aerial strives to maintain a mindset of playful investigation.
When we openly listen to others and ourselves, we release. We become more available for connection and growth. Aerial art offers that same opening. It is an opportunity to practice patience, mindfulness, and acceptance. Then, we walk out of the studio, and it automatically applies to our lives, and the ripple affect begins. How grand is that?
Life is full of many struggles and challenges that feel constraining. The bungee experience reminds us that these forces, which appear to hold us back, can be harnessed to help propel us forward and beyond our natural limitations. We can find hair-raising excitement, clarity of self, and overall acceptance- while working hard with gratitude.
This physicalized and practiced mindset directly affects how we dance through life. In our classes we investigate trust, accepting guidance, releasing control, and nurturing perseverance. We find levity with a good belly-laugh here and there as well! We believe that every class and show is an opportunity for collective and individual growth. Remember, if you can fly…what else can you do? #justlikelife