Faculty

CARLO PELLEGRINI (aka, Mr. Amazing) is AGC!’s co-founder and Artistic Director. Mr. Amazing performed for many years as White Clown, Acrobat and Ringmaster with Big Apple Circus, The Royal Lichtenstein Circus, Piccolo Circus NYC, was professional dancer with internationally acclaimed Nikolais Dance Theater, and appeared in movies, TV and many radio commercials over the years. He brings over 38 years of professional circus, dance and theater experience to AGC! He has assembled a team of circus arts trainers that is highly skilled in teaching the circus art form. See his full Bio here.

JANET HAYES, COTA/L, is co-founder and Program Director of AGC! Her work with children on the autism spectrum and children with different abilities at B.O.C.E.S. in Rockland County, NY, is an invaluable asset to AGC!  She is responsible for the programs, health and well-being of the teens in AGC!’s Youth Circus Troupe, as well as strategic planning and growth of AGC!. See her recognition award here.

KAREN GERSCH – Began her professional circus career studying with Moscow Circus acrobat Nina Krasavina. A founding member of both Big Apple Circus and Vermont’s Circus Smirkus, she has toured with one-ring & three-ring circus shows throughout the U.S., Canada and France. In 1981, Karen founded ACROBRATS, Inc., a non-profit physical arts theatre company specializing in educational and family shows. For the past 15 years, Karen was Artistic Director/Ringmistress of “CIRCUSundays” – an acclaimed circus-variety series aboard the Waterfront Museum Showboat Barge, in Brooklyn, NY. Many AGC! teens have performed on ‘The Barge’. Karen has also choreographed many acro acts for AGC! since its founding in 2002.  See her full Bio here.

HILARY SWEENEY - principal aerial trainer for AGC! – has been a ballet dancer since the age of 5, Hilary attended her first Cirque du Soleil show 8 years ago and was so inspired by the high flying artists that she decided to learn to dance in the air.  Shortly after, she traded her ballet shoes for a pair of wings and set out to train intensively with some of the top aerialists in the field including Elsie and Serenity Smith and Ivo Georgiev (Cirque du Soleil), Kevin O’Connor (National Circus School), Laura Witwer (Imaginaerial), Bobby Hedglin-Taylor (Streb), and Terry Beeman.  Hilary performs at major corporate events around the country with her company Lux Entertainment. She is currently co-founder of Westchester Circus Arts Center at the Y in Tarrytown, NY  and has been a member of the AGC! staff since 2010. See her full Bio here.