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Meet the Team
Sara Phoenix Howell Owner/Founder Cirque de Vol



Sara Phoenix created Cirque de Vol to combine her life passions. She specializes in performance production and aerial rigging, and has trained with Delbert Hall, Cathy Gauch of Aerial Aircats in Boulder, Co. and Ludwig of Ludwig rigs in Golden, CO. Sara worked for many years as a circus and performance artist,  aerial instructor and meditation teacher. In 2009 she founded and led Cirque's event booking company where she organized, directed and produced staged aerial and circus theatre productions, including her personal passion project the Fringe Dwellers. Her favorite movement and performance art forms include hoop dance, fire arts, ritual performance, compositional and improvisational dance. Her intention is to create an aspiring community that fosters human growth through creative movement and community. She finds deep worth in practicing and sharing the joy that can be found in these art forms. Sara now works in transformational and breakthrough coaching, though she still acts as the founding director of Cirque de Vol.



Aerial Silks Instructor & Performer

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 Straps and Silks, Aerial Program Manager

Paulina was a competitive karate athlete and studied martial arts as a child. She later discovered her passion for dance and has performed and competed in dance for many years. Paulina discovered aerial in 2006 and has mastered multiple apparatuses (including some unique and invented ones) and has a strong sense for combining intentional movement and dance with high level technical skills. For over 15 years, she has worked as a professional aerialist performing internationally and has been featured on the CW network television show The Big Stage.



Aerial & Yoga Instructor

Natalia is an avid traveler and an incessant seeker of the true nature of being. Since childhood, she explored diverse artistic expressions including dancing, writing, poetry, music and theater, but her main interest was looking for paths that allow access to spiritual evolution and healing. That's why she started practicing Zen meditation and Yoga more than 12 years ago in Chile, her native country.


Over the years, she became a Registered Nurse specialized in Hemodialysis, worked at a children's hospital including Critical Care and Emergency room. But her passion for traveling and her constant personal search led her to quit her job and go for a trip to Asia for 8 months, where she learned about Buddhism in Tibet, and Hinduism and Yoga in India and Nepal, among other countries. Later on, she moved to the USA where she got certified as a 200hr yoga teacher by Yoga Alliance. Currently, Natalia is enrolled to complete her 500hr yoga teacher training.

She fell in love with aerial arts during the pandemic. Natalia completed her Aerial Teacher Trainer in 2022 with The Paper Doll Militia Company.



Aerial Instructor

Shannon’s aerial journey began at Cirque de Vol as a student in 2018 in aerial silks and aerial yoga. Lyra may come most naturally to her but aerial yoga is her happy place. Shannon’s goal is to always leave aerial yoga class with a greater sense of self and with a little less stress from the week. As a plus-size yogi and aerialist, she hopes to create an environment for her students where everyBODY feels strong and capable where they are.



Aerial Yoga Instructor 

Yoga has been a part of Kaitlin’s life for over 18 years, starting when a cheer coach introduced her to the practice to improve flexibility.

Kaitlin is currently completing her 200-hour yoga teacher training and looks forward to combining her passions for yoga, aerial arts, and mindfulness grounded in gratitude.

She has a special interest in helping beginner aerial yogis find the practice accessible, exciting, and rewarding. Come try a class with her today!



Aerial Silks Instructor

Meet Cassidy. Data Scientist by day, sling slaying + silk instructor by night. Cassidy completed her Aerial Silk Instructor Training in November of 2021 with The Paper Doll Militia. 


Aerial Rigging & Safety

Kevin has been a professional rigger, work at height safety trainer and evaluator, rope access technician, 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.


Circus Acrobatics, Tumbling, Hand balancing & Youth Programs Coordinator 


Mena is from Ohio. She grew up in a ballet studio and fell in love with handstands and yoga in 2014. She started her Acrobatic career as a coach in 2016, and has coached competitive and recreational gymnastics for 5 years.

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Aerial Arts Instructor

Colleen fell in love with all things aerial in 2012.  Since then she has studied with various teachers throughout Los Angeles, CA (Womack & Bowman, Paper Doll Militia) and Austin, TX (Blue Lapis Light) and loves performing at live events.  She received her Aerial Yoga teacher certification from Up Flying Yoga in 2015. She has also completed her Aerial Silks Teacher Training through Paper Doll Militia. She believes you should never stop learning and this art form is ever evolving, giving us endless things to explore, create and discover.  Her goal when teaching is to make sure everyone finds success at their own level and leaves feeling proud of what they have accomplished.

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Aerial Arts Instructor

Rainy Via grew up wanting to climb and jump on anything and everything she could find. She went to a circus as a kid and fell in love with Aerial. She trained on silks for many years and found Cirque de Vol in 2022. She has been in charge of the dance team at her local church and has been mentoring and serving with kids most her life. Rainy is passionate about loving and serving people, and is thriving in this opportunity to do it through aerial


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Aerial Arts Instructor

Maria started her aerial journey in Costa Rica around the age of 12. There she was part of Baile Plaza Victoria's dance company for five years. During this time, she was the lead aerialist for Baile Plaza Victoria and had the opportunity to perform in different shows, fundraisers and corporate events throughout the country; as well as leading youth workshops during the summer from ages 15-17. After moving to the United States at the age of 17 Maria joined Jamie Poletti's Cape Fear Circus Arts dance company, which allowed her to gain experience as a performer in the United States. Maria's passion and talent for art and multidisciplinary collaboration has been a major point of success in her life. She has used her experience to influence service teams in academia, non-profit research and most importantly, circus arts. Maria believes in the power of collaboration as a means for self-expression and empowerment. She also obtained a Psychology and Cognitive Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and aims to incorporate more abstract concepts such as memory, cognitive skills and body mechanics into her teachings. Maria's artistic background stems from a combination of visual arts, dancing and media art. She has experience working with sling, trapeze, but her favorite apparatuses are lyra, corde lisse and silks



Hula Hoop Instructor

Originally from Nashville, TN, Rachel moved to the Research Triangle in Spring 2023. Fittingly, she works as a Clinical Research Associate by trade. She fell in love with Hula Hoop during the pandemic and is excited to share her passion with others!

We’re better together. Cirque de Vol’s doors are open to people of all backgrounds. Our community here values diversity, inclusion, and compassion. People of all sexual orientations, ages, abilities,  and ethnic, economic, and racial backgrounds are welcome here. 

Email is the quickest way to reach us. Please use the “Contact Us” form here

or give us a call at 919 615 2484 

We look foward to meeting you.

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