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About Us

The four of us have developed careers as aerial instructors under the same roof at Challenge Aerial in Grant Park, Atlanta with various performance arts backgrounds. We all officially started collaborating as a part of a larger group of aerial arts performers back in 2021 and created shows that were attended mostly by our studio community. And although we adore our aerial arts family, we are looking to branch out beyond aerial arts alone.

We believe Atlanta audiences deserve to witness expansive performance experiences.

We believe Atlanta artists deserve a show that involves collaboration, bravery and encouragement. We want dance, aerial arts, physical theater, musicians and beyond.

We want it all. And we want to create a collective with Atlanta artists that shows how truly connected we all are, and the empowerment that comes from that interconnectedness.

We want to show the performing arts world what Atlanta's got.


Beth Del Nero

Beth has been training in aerial dance as well as ballet, contemporary, modern and other floor dance genres for many years but it wasn’t until she began teaching and performing with D’Air Aerial Dance Theater beginning in 2009 (under the direction of Nicole Mermans) that aerial as an art form really took off for her. After D’Air closed it’s doors Beth continued teaching aerial dance at Challenge Aerial and continues to do so in multiple disciplines, mainly silks, trapeze, lyra, and sling. Beth also was a member of Atlanta’s Dames Aflame Burlesque troupe for many years and participated in and choreographed for their many lavish Vegas-style productions, including performances with the Kingsized Orchestra and Puddles the Clown. Along the way she also preformed with a handful of local and even national modern dance troupes, and has choreographed multiple works shown on Atlanta stages both in the air and on the floor. Beth’s goal with the Crux Collective is to continue to merge dance on the floor with dance on aerial equipment, blurring the lines between the two and opening up doors to a more cohesive style that is less about circus tricks and more about the language of movement driven by music.  

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Hilary Riall

With more than 25 years of circus arts experience, Hilary is excited to be a part of the Crux Collective team! Hilary's parents made the mistake of taking her to see a Cirque Du Soleil show at the age of 5 and she was immediately hooked! She started learning circus arts at Circus Camp in Atlanta at 5 and soon after began classes and private lessons with the owner, Carrie Heller, at her studio, the Circus Arts Institute. Hilary worked at Circus Camp for many years as a teenager and adult, moving from assistant instructor to aerial director over her years with the camp. She continued to work with Carrie Heller at the Circus Arts Institute from the age of 20, assisting in Circus Arts Therapy groups and individual sessions, as well as running their Circus Arts Fitness program for children and adults and co-leading their teacher training program.  Hilary teaches silks, sling, trapeze, Spanish web, and lyra, and her ground skills include hula hoop, juggling, and balance board/rola bola. She loves teaching private lessons, where she is able to adapt lessons to her student's abilities, goals and needs. 


In her free time, Hilary enjoys spending time with her dogs, and doing weird stuff like restoring old steamer trunks and knitting.

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Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson studied classical and contemporary ballet for many years. After finding aerial arts she realized her heart was in the air rather than the ground. It's not just a circus act; it's not just a dance routine. She combines both a strength of body and a strength of heart to reach into her audience and wring out an emotional & meaningful response.

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Kat Saxon

Kat Saxon is a loud and proud movement artist. Starting in 2011, she has been training as an aerialist for over twelve years, primarily on dance trapeze. She has performed in many showcases at Canopy Studio in Athens, Georgia, before moving to Atlanta and received her Nimble Arts Aerial Teacher Training certification in 2016. She is currently training and teaching out of studio Challenge Aerial, located in historic Grant Park, Atlanta. She has learned from many artists in many cities including Charlotte, North Carolina, Philadelphia and New England Center for Circus Arts in Vermont. She created acts showcased in Satarah’s Bloom Festival in North Carolina, for the Dair Project and Open Grip in Atlanta, and has starred in and produced many video projects during the COVID-19 pandemic. Improvisational movement and choreographing pieces has always been her focus and her main source of joy within the aerial world. Now she wishes to create a bridge between aerial arts and the contemporary dance style. She wants aerial dance to be seen as a true art form, and loves teaching others how to let go of themselves and to create authentic pieces of movement using aerial apparatus.

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Hayley Adamson

New to the Crux Collective Artistic Director team as of early 2024, Hayley is an Atlanta-based aerialist and circus artist who focuses on coaching and performing lyra. She loves the art of storytelling through movement and specializes in creating acts that can immerse the audience in an alternate reality. She’s very excited to be able to collaborate with Crux and bring all of our collective visions to life on the stage!

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