The Flowjo Obituary
Conceived February 14, 2010
Born March 2011
Death July 2021The Flowjo provided a sanctuary for movers, artists and healers for a decade. Spun into being by hoop devotion, Julia Hartsell was inspired to design a space worthy of connecting with the divine through movement. Dissatisfied with all the options for practice spaces in Carrboro, she took a passionate leap of faith to fashion and sustain a supreme dance space–a place to access her version of heaven: a spacious but intimate space with a buttery sprung floor, high ceilings, enrapturing sound and beautiful lighting.
In their decade of service, The Flowjo provided a home for hoop dancing, circus arts, aerial dance, contact improvisation and also catalyzed a devout community of Ecstatic dancers who lovingly call their practice Dance Church. The name Ecstatic Dance inadequately describes the magic and unique version of community practice that evolved in this space. The container of The Flowjo has deeply influenced this practice and our community.
The youth programs ushered countless young ones, especially femmes, into adolescence and young adulthood through empowering movement modalities, body positivity and ethics of cooperation and collaboration.
World class hoopers and circus artists have practiced, taught and performed awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping feats of strength, coordination and grace within the dance sanctuary on Brewer Lane.
Many people healed deep wounds through embodied practices and community participation there. Adjacent to a car wash in the industrial district of Carrboro, atop the remains of the first freed African American school and church in the area, this place always had an unexpected beauty. Upon entering, many were greeted with a sense of calm and a warm, bass-rich embrace. The connection to the divine was (and is) palpable. An unusual charm cast through playful imperfection gave rise to self-acceptance and freedom. And, as testimonials have it, many lives were saved by The Flowjo’s unexpected grace. Big shout to Scott Crews (Julia’s then percussionist and life partner) for his part in the conception and design of this creative space. Endless thanks to all who have made this place the magical, transformative, healing Sanctuary that it’s been.
Memory Board, Photos from the life of The Flowjo