meet the circus
MEET OUR FOUNDER
Carrie Heller, MSW, LCSW, RPT
Carrie Heller, our Founder and Executive Director, is a professional trapeze artist, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). Carrie has spent over 40 years in the circus ring mastering an array of skills in the circus arts. She began her circus training at the age of eight with the Florida State University Flying High Circus, and moved on to become a circus teacher, performer, and choreographer. She complements her circus training with the study of dance, yoga and martial arts.
Carrie received her Masters in Social Work from Tulane University and moved to Atlanta after graduating. She has been a therapist for over 20 years. In 1988 Carrie founded Atlanta’s first circus school at the same time she served as Director of Clinical Services at The Bridge Runaway Shelter in Atlanta. Shortly after that she went into private practice and founded Circus Camp.
Carrie has traveled throughout the world lecturing on topics relating to both circus arts and Circus Arts Therapy ®. She has served as a trainer for Cirque Du Monde, a Cirque Du Soleil Outreach Program that uses circus arts to help youth in difficulty around the world. She is the Aerial Supervisor and Consulting Therapist to the internationally-renowned Camp Winnarainbow in California. Carrie is also a co-founding member of the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO).
Carrie is the author of the industry’s first Aerial Circus Training and Safety Manual, a guide for teachers and students in the Aerial Arts, as well as several other training manuals focusing on Circus Arts Therapy®.