Congratulations to lead Aerial Arts Instructor Amanda Finch for her recent graduation from world renowned E’cole Nationale de Cirque.
Cirque du Soleil Headquarters in Montreal, Quebec. Class of 2018!
Sara Phoenix created Cirque de Vol to combine her life passions. She specializes in performance production and aerial rigging. She works as a performance artist, hoop dancer, aerial yoga instructor, and meditation teacher. Her favorite movement and performance art forms include hoop dance, fire performance, and improvisational dance. You can catch her at Cirque de Vol leading youth and adult circus arts programming, or leading ecstatic dance, teaching hula hoops, mindfulness, and aerial yoga. Her intention is to create an aspiring community that fosters human growth through creative movement. She finds deep worth in practicing and sharing the joy that can be found in these art forms.
Aerial Silks Instructor
Faith has learned aerial skills from many great regional and local instructors as well as internationally renowned teachers, Fred Deb, Elsie and Serenity Smith, and Susan Murphy. She completed her teacher training at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) in Introduction, Foundation Level, and Intermediate Level 1 for both aerial silks and trapeze as well as Foundation Level Aerial Sling. Faith continues her aerial education through workshops, immersions, and training’s throughout the year. She has a passion for aerial fabric and believes circus arts are for all abilities and ages.
Aerial & Fitness Instructor
Cassidy grew up in Monroe, North Carolina but moved to Raleigh in 2013 to study at NC State University, where she was also a part of the NC State Winterguard team. She just graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition Science! Cassidy has always loved climbing and circus arts was a perfect fit. Her mother has been a fitness instructor for many years, and it seems that Cassidy is following in her mothers’ footsteps, albeit with a circus twist, and is currently training to become a certified personal trainer! Cassidy is high energy and is excited to encourage you to push yourself in her classes.
I was introduced to aerials as an alternative form of fitness and it evolved into a passion for teaching, as well as a performing. I received my education in aerial acrobatics from the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, Vermont. I have been accepted to Ecole in Montreal Canada and I will attend this Fall to continue my aerial acrobatics education. I had the opportunity to study and train under some of the original creators and acrobats from “La Nouba”, of Cirque Du Soleil. Last year I created a Summer Reading Program for the North Carolina Library System and taught and performed aerials at over 46 libraries. The theme was Get Ready, Set, Read! Exercising the Mind and Body. The program encouraged kids to combine physical fitness and reading and was a great success! This summer I’m scheduled to teach at 25 more libraries.
I am a teacher, a trainer, a lover of pimento cheese & North Carolina Oysters. Some of my favorite things include runs (walks) through the city with and my yellow dog Lilly. I love the coast and like to spend my time there paddleboarding and fishing. I truly love the City of Raleigh and I am proud to be a part of the creative growth in our community.
Some of my most memorable Aerial Highlights include the following:
- I met and then hung upside down over the Chinese Ambassador to the United States and his secret service at the Forbidden City Exhibit held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Virginia.
- I once mistook the real Hall and Oates for a Hall and Oates cover band at a tech rehearsal before a performance in Maine.
- I met Vanilla Ice at the NC State Fair and later got to see Joan Jett do a tech rehearsal singing the national anthem in the Dorton Arena to our crowd of five people.
- I performed at the Watkins Glen International Speedway in New York, and then got to take endless pace car rides around the track.
Aerial Yoga Instructor
Dawn began her personal yoga practice over 20 years ago. After her first experience with aerial yoga she was instantly hooked and decided to share her passion & practice with others. She received her aerial Yoga teacher certification at Aerial Fun and Fitness in New Castle, DE under the tutelage of Zina DiTonno. Dawn believes aerial yoga is accessible to ALL bodies. She strives to create a safe and supportive environment by challenging her students with compassion and encouragement. Away from the silks Dawn works in the horticulture industry.
Acro Yoga Instructor and Camp Counselor
Cassandra grew up in Hamilton Square, New Jersey, right outside of Trenton. She has been working in the childcare industry for ten years and is extremely passionate for watching children learn and grow. Being a camp counselor instructor and hosting birthday parties at Cirque has been the highlight of her journey in childcare because it combines her passion for children and her love of circus arts. Cassandra also has a passion for partner acrobatics and enjoys hosting open jams and letting those in the community skill share. Outside of the circus arts, she is a dancer at heart and works as a pediatric medical assistant. She is currently working her way through nursing school—her biggest passion of all. When not working, she enjoys studying (unlike most students!), reading, and hugging her pitbull. She has a peculiar passion for running marathons and enjoys working out in a multitude of ways; her best decision yet was to skip the gym and join the circus!
Lyra & Yoga Instructor
Alissa Fagan is passionate about aerial arts and is certified to teach Aerial Hoop (Lyra) through Aradia Fitness. Her primary apparatus is the Lyra, but she enjoys playing on the trapeze and silks as well. Her journey into aerial arts began with pole fitness, but after her first Lyra class, she was officially hooked. She feels at home in the Lyra and loves introducing others to its magic. When she’s not hanging out in her hoop, you can probably find her on her yoga mat.
Aerial InstructorAbby Hylton is an aerial teacher and performer based in Carrboro, NC. They particularly love teaching kids and youth and choreographing on trapeze and lyra. Outside of aerials, they are a community organizer specializing in queer and trans youth issues and enjoy cuddling with their cats, singing bad pop music, and getting overly excited about sea creatures and bio-luminescence.
Yoga & Aerial Instructor
Arika moved to Raleigh to study at NC State after being recruited by a cheerleading coach. She cheered and did gymnastics for over 9 years of her life and spent 3 years learning hip hop and jazz dance. While at NCSU she was introduced to yoga and aerial arts, she signed up for a 6 week lyra series at Cirque De Vol and the rest of her aerial journey started. She spent the next few years training on lyra, silks, hammocks and pole, practicing yoga while teaching classes in both TN and CA ranging from aerial yoga, yoga, lyra and contortion.
Now Arika is a stay at home mom and her daughter, Saylor enjoys doing yoga and even enjoys exploring the aerial hammock with her mama. Arika is hoping to continue deepening her own yoga practice and continue to train on the lyra and hammock with hopes of teaching and performing for years to come.
Aerial Rigging & Safety
Kevin has been a professional rigger, work at height safety trainer and evaluator, rope accesstechnician, backcountry access guide, and fall protection safety equipment retailer for over 10 years. His attraction to climbing and heights as a child amplified when his older sister introduced him to sport rock climbing at the age of ten. This passion has persisted ever since.
While receiving his MBA at the University of Hawaii, Kevin partnered with the small climbing outfitter Climb Aloha. The company soon grew from selling rock climbing equipment to providing professional fall protection equipment to all work at height industries. In addition to equipment, the company expanded its recreational rock climbing school into an accreditation academy that serves working professionals.
He has rigged numerous projects professionally, including: Aerial performance, commercial and film production, as well as a reality TV shows. He is SPRAT I certified, and brings to his classes over a decade of personal work at height knowledge and experience from a multitude of work environments. Having introduced over a thousand students to fall protection and safe rigging, he has himself learned immeasurably from those students.
Kevin’s claim to fame is being one of only a few people who have stood atop the highest point on Earths tallest mountain.