The newest flagship chapter of the Vegetable Circus family, the Raleigh, NC chapter was launched in early 2012. Backed by an enthusiastic, wellness oriented group, the Raleigh chapter is excited to bring wellness education to this region of the country.
Performers & Instructors
A scientist by day and performer by night, Memory is entranced by all things fire and LED. With a Ph.D in Microbiology and Immunology from Stanford, Memory realized that being a labrat wasn’t as fun as being a circus rat. She is committed to using circus arts to show science is fun, nutrition is important, and exercise heals the body and mind.
Liz Bliss-Elizabeth Roberts
Liz Bliss combines her devotion to advocacy and practice of healthful eating from sustainable local sources with her love of children and play, passion for flow arts and education in public health and nutrition. After receiving her MPH in Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina she dreamt about running off to join the circus; instead, she planted roots and began to cultivate and support the community around her.
Julia “Jewels” Hartsell
Jewels, a pioneer in the modern hoop-dance movement, has dedicated the past decade of her life to hooping, performance, education and building community. She has been working with children since 2003 designing home-school, after-school & summer camp programs for youth combining circus arts, hooping, yoga, nutrition and self-care. In 2008, she created a Youth Hoop Teacher Training program for those interested in working with children with hoops and movement. Jewels currently performs regularly with hoopdrum and The Flowjo Family Circus; organizes and International Hoop Conference, Hoop Convergence; creates Internationally renowned performance gear with Synergy Firehoops; and runs The Flowjo, a circus, flow & dance studio in NC.
“Pyro Pete” – Pete Morello
Pyro is the youngest circus performer around the Triangle. Currently 14, he shows his “”true-self”" and finds greatest joy while hooping or practicing other circus arts. As a young adult, and a proud member of the Flowjo Family Circus and circusSPARK, Pyro will offer many good ideas, as well as his many talents which include: hooping, spinning poi, juggling and aerials to the Vegetable Circus cause.
“The Jolly Green Giantess” (aka “Jolly Green”) – Christy Booth
“How did you get so tall?” is a great question to ask the Jolly Green Giantess! Not only did she get so big from eating her veggies, but she has loved exercising and playing since she was a little girl. Now, she dedicates her play time to teaching kids how to draw, dancing with hoops and poles and other fun things, fighting (literally) for immigrant rights, and learning new ways to grow and help others grow, too!”
Carrot Stix – Ian Thomas
Programmer by day Performer by night, Ian has been practicing Flower Sticks for 19 years and loves to entertain. Having vegetarian parents and a Mother who studies the effect of global warming on food crops, Ian has have a personal relationship to plants and food since childhood. He now supports local organic farms and seeks to spread awareness through entertainment.
“Caroleeena” – Carolyn Mabry
Caroleeena is a multi-prop teacher, performer, poet, writer and animal lover who has been teaching hoopdance in Raleigh and around the world since 2005. She believes that serving others is one of the reasons we are on this planet and that one way we can do that is by teaching and sharing our passions with other. She encourages all around her to consider how they might do the things they love in a way that makes the world a better place.
Warren has been juggling, unicycling and generally clowning around since he was 12 years old. After forsaking a life in the circus to become a software developer and have a family, he began performing in the Triangle after his own kids started showing interest in the circus arts. Warren believes that everyone can learn to juggle and that learning how helps to instill that hard work and persistence is important in all of life’s adventures.
“Gummy” – Irene Krohn
Gummy has been crazy and silly her whole life‚ she grew up in sunny South Africa with a great family that made healthy living part of their lives: running and playing outside, and snacking on fresh fruit for energy. When she discovered poi, she was immediately hooked on circus arts. With the Triangle Chapter of the Vegetable Circus, Gummy can combine all of her favorite things: spinning, jumping, playing, and being healthy. She’s excited to teach kids that energy from healthy eating is the best way to play and jump at our best. Gummy also believes that true beauty comes from within and that if you feel the right way on the inside, it radiates to the outside.
Sara Phoenix is all about the whimsy. A herstory of performance art and a flare for bringing bright magic and sparkly awe into form has landed her in the world of circus arts. Wielding her trusty hoop, Sara Phoenix lives to inspire hope, healing and laughter. Her trip the light fantastic fire, flow and aerial art weaves a web of cosmic intention. With her love of community and group-work, Sara Phoenix is the founder of Phoenix Rising Productions, and initiated the formation of The Eclectic Circus Collective. She also initiated the formation of a local triangle chapter of The Vegetable Cirus. She currently has studio construction underway to bring Raleigh its very own school for the Circus Arts, Cirque de Vol Studios. She believes in the healing nature of food when grown and consumed naturally. And the importance of living with intention and mindfulness. She loves raw green smoothies, children, dancing, and you!