Thrive Movement Studio opened in the summer of 2014 and is a dream come true for Heidi Kirchofer Joel Melendez. It represents years of dreaming and scheming by the dynamic duo and lots of hard work by Heidi, Joel and Heidi's father Charles Kirchofer. The studio was designed built almost completely by the trio. It was constructed with local wood milled by Charles and finished with eco-conscious products and materials. After so many years of performing and and teaching all over the place (and world), Heidi and Joel are thrilled to have a home studio in which to train and share their passions with their local community!

Heidi and Joel have been performing, training and teaching together since 2000. To see more about their performance work see:
We are located at 221 Burlington Rd. Harwinton, CT

Heidi Kirchofer

A performing and teaching artist since 2000, Heidi has traveled internationally performing, collaborating and training. She is inspired by the moving body and it's vast capabilities. She loves the synthesis of creativity and physicality that circus explores. Circus, movement and aerials for her are creative outlets, a medium for healing the body and building strength, working though vulnerabilities and moving forward. As a teacher she focuses on alignment, building strength and flexibility and finding one's creative voice.
She has studied aerials at the New England Center for Circus Arts since 2007- with so many amazing coaches. She has also done Aerial Teacher Training. She is particularly interested in alignment, technique and longevity of physicality. She studies bio-mechanics and anatomy for fun.

She is also co-founder of the touring duo, Matica Arts, whose focus is on Circus, World Music, and the Moving Arts. Matica can be found performing at many festivals, events, and schools in the North East. She is also the creator of Whole Body Math, a curriculum infused kinestheic moving math program-both for young learners and as a Professional Development for teachers. She is a teaching artist on the Hartford Performs and Arts For Learning CT/Young Audiences rosters. She has completed Yoga Teacher Trainings in Power Yoga and Taoist Yoga. see:

Joel Melendez

Co-founder of the touring duo Matica Arts, has traveled the Americas performing, collaborating and training. He is a gifted performer known for his unicycling, clowning, improvisational, and acrobatic skills. Joel is a “physical artist” who loves exploring the vast capabilities of the human body. For many years he was the director of the Advanced Circus Program at the Children’s Circus of Middletown and teaches at many awesome organizations including Oddfellows Playhouse (, Green St Arts Center, and ASAP ( ). He is also a Capoeirista and has been practicing 1999. He is a student of Mestre Pinga Fogo of Sao Paulo, BR and Austin,TX. When Mestre Pinga Fogo moved to TX, he bestowed the honor of taking over his students to Joel. Currently, Joel teaches Capoeira at Plus 1 Defense in West Hartford and at Thrive.

Megan Mallouk

Megan Mallouk holds a BA in theater from Lake Forest College in Illinois. She has spent the last decade (and some change), teaching and performing. She has appeared on stage, in the air, and in commercials and film.

Megan is a former rhythmic gymnast who competed nationally and internationally in her youth and went on to spend several years coaching at the competitive level. She is a graduate of the full time training program at AirCraft Circus in London and the professional training programs at The New England Center for Circus Arts.

She has worked and performed with Aerial Horizon, NECCA, SHOW Circus Studio, The Boston Circus Guild, The Space, Open Ring Circus, Actors Gymnasium, Aloft Circus Arts, Air Temple, and Cirqulairty.

Megan teaches a variety of disciplines to students of all ages and levels. Her specialities include Lyra, Static Cloud Swing, and Aerial Cube. Megan also enjoys teaching active flexibility, dance, character work, and act creation. She is currently based in Chicago where she is on staff at Actors Gymnasium and Aloft Circus Arts. Check her out on Instagram as @Miss_macaroni!

Allison McDermott

is a circus artist born, raised and trained in Middletown, Connecticut. She first learned to stilt, tumble and clown at the Oddfellows Playhouse Children’s Circus of Middletown. As an adult, she discovered her love for aerial arts and went on to graduate the New England Center for Circus Arts’ Professional Track Program, performing in both The Flying Nut and Gathered Safely In. She has since toured with ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet: Submerged and performed in Soviet Bloc Party’s Missed Connections. In 2015, Allison co-directed and performed in Special Relativity, a full-length circus production in New Haven, CT. Most recently she choreographed and performed the aerial pieces in ARTFARM’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Allison currently resides in Middletown, CT where she teaches and performs aerials, stilt-walking, juggling and acrobatics throughout the New England area.