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.

Cassidy Slabaugh

 

Cassidy Slabaugh

 

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.

Cassandra Casbarro

 

Cassandra Casbarro

 

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!

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.

Liz Weiss

 

Liz Weiss

 

Yoga Instructor

 

Liz was born and raised in Raleigh. Currently, she’s a pre-law student at High Point University preparing to graduate in December. During the stress of final exams in 2016, she found the practice of yoga and aerial arts. She instantly fell in love with how it made her feel. In the summer of 2018, she completed her 200-hour teacher certification at Carrboro Yoga Company and immediately began teaching at HPU that August.

Becoming a teacher has given her the gift of assisting others in finding empowerment within themselves. If she can convince someone to open their mind and heart to yoga, by all means, she will. She’s witnessed many students gain confidence, self- discipline, and strength through this practice. Additionally, she’s a certified Reiki Master through The Inner Guide School. Cirque de Vol was one of the first studios she had ever attended so she’s extremely excited to be teaching here. She hopes to see y’all on the mat soon!

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!”

Kim Pruitt

 

Kim Pruitt

 

Aerial Silks Instructor

 

Kim is a Certified Beginning Silks instructor.  She is passionate about teaching circus to every body, especially folks who thought their body couldn’t do these amazing things. Kim is also a Licensed Psychologist and recognizes the challenges and triumphs that can come from using your body in new and sometimes scary ways.

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.

Chloe Turnbull

 

Chloe Turnbull

 

Camp Counselor & Front Desk

 

Hello! My name’s Chloe Turnbull. I’m newer to the Cirque de Vol team and work here as a Camp Counselor and front-desk part-time. Outside of Cirque de Vol I primarily work as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, helping women to discover their most radiant, empowered self. I love talking about and participating in all things health and wellness, nutrition, and mindful movement, and hope to bring some of that love into the kids programs at Cirque de Vol!

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.