Meet Our Instructors


Sara Phoenix

 

Sara Phoenix

 

Owner/Instructor/Creative Director

 

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.

Ulia O’Hara

 

Ulia O’Hara

 

Trapeze, Contortion, & Aerial Fitness Instructor

 

After 5 years as a professional ballerina, Ulia lost her inspiration to continue her career. She went to a few Cirque de Soleil shows and decided that she’d found her path. She attended E’cole Nationale de Cirque in Montreal and studied dance trapeze and contortion. She’s also had the opportunity to learn lyra, juggling, Russian cradle, acro, acting, contortion, handstands and headstands. The people she’s met and trained with from all over the world have inspired her to learn, grow, have more discipline, and create original routines. Her life has opened in ways she never thought was possible. At E’cole Nationale de Cirque she started with Dance Trapeze. Starting with Circus straight out of high school in 2011, she’s been doing it ever since.

Arika Brown

 

Arika Brown

 

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.

Faith Towner

 

Faith Towner

 

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.

Matt Berno

 

Matt Berno

 

Acro Yoga Instructor

Building on a foundation of self-practice, Alexandra earned her RYT-200 in Early 2018 and has been teaching ever since. Finding an interest in inversions both on the mat and in the air, aerial yoga became a quick passion. She is also a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach and brings many of her coaching techniques into her yoga classes as she guides students to breathe and look within. She attempts to give students a view of asana practice that is aimed at what is inside. Anyone interested in looking inward is encouraged to try one of Alexandra’s classes. “It is a sincere pleasure to help people find their path to connection.”

Rachel Marshburn

 

Rachel Marshburn

 

Aerial Yoga Instructor

Rachel has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and enjoys sharing her passion with others. She will be completing her 200hr core based vinyasa teacher training this February. She was certified in teaching  Aerial Yoga 3 years ago and has enjoyed combining yoga with the creativity of aerial arts. She enjoys arm balances/ inversions, wraps/drops and alignment based flows. During the day she is a Registered Veterinary Technician at a local animal hospital and graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelors of Science in Zoology.  When not at the hospital or studio she enjoys reading, traveling , and spending time outside.

Emily Roberts

 

Emily Roberts

 

Aerial Yoga Instructor

Emily has been in love with yoga since going to her first class in 2016. She loved how the practice made her feel connected to her body. After incorporating a consistent practice into her life, she decided to study yoga in Thailand where she completed her 200-hour teacher-training course. She is passionate about teaching others and loves to watch her students grow and excel. In August 2018, she had the opportunity to become trained in Aerial Yoga, which has become one of her favorite things to do. Aerial Yoga has helped her become stronger and more diverse in different types of yoga. Emily enjoys exploring her mind and body connection through movement and shares this intention in her classes.

Eiley Hartzell-Jordan

 

Eiley Hartzell-Jordan

 

Aerial Instructor

My aerial journey started back in 2015, but it wasn’t until coming to Cirque De Vol this past year that I was hooked on it. Aerial arts has brought me passion, confidence, and self-love. I began on silks, but immediately fell in love with lyra the first time I tried it. I also practice on sling and rope! I am very excited to be a part of the Cirque De Vol community and to share aerial arts with others!

Alissa Fagan

 

Alissa Fagan

 

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.

Megan Grable

 

Megan Grable

 

Aerial Yoga Instructor

 

Megan is a very passionate certified aerial yoga instructor and started at Cirque in the Spring of 2019 after a new move to Raleigh. She began teaching mat yoga over 15 years ago and took time away from teaching after earning her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She had a bad back injury in 2017 which left her unable to work, and at that time found a new spark within her practice when she added silks! Megan proclaims “It is so much more fun to do yoga while hanging upside down!” She has developed a profound love for healing the mind, body, and spirit from the inside out, and believes yoga is a fantastic therapeutic tool to gain strength, flexibility, and balance. “Come get a great workout hangout with me!”

Alissa Pollack

 

Alissa Pollack

 

Aerial Silks Instructor

 

Alissa Pollack is an art educator in the Wake County Public School System and has been teaching for over 7 years. Although a relatively new aerial artist she fell hard and fast for this physically demanding art and went to training for teaching silks within a year of her first silks experience. With her education background Alissa finds the most joy in scaffolding beginner silks moves to be accessible to all. Alissa is excited to join the Cirque de Vol team in bringing positive body awareness to students through this beautiful performance art.

Kevin Nesnow

 

Kevin Nesnow

 

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.