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Our Beautiful Staff

Instructors

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Stephanie Glandon

Owner

Stephanie Glandon is the founder of Sunshine Aerial Fitness and has been a fitness instructor since 2011.  She started “Pole Dancing” on a whim in 2013 after seeing a pole performance at an Expo, and knew she had to learn.  Stephanie decided to start teaching Pole Fitness in 2016, and her passion for aerials quickly turned into becoming a competitive Pole Sport Athlete.  After competing in the amateur division in various Canadian competitions, she decided to compete professionally in 2019 and won double gold medals for Pole Art and Pole Sport at the Canadian Pole Sport and Art Federation (CPSAF) National Championships, which landed her a spot on Team Canada.  Stephanie then competed at POSA World Championships in December 2019 in Finland, finishing top 10 in the Women’s Masters 40+ division (beating out the USA! WHO-RA!).  Stephanie holds many fitness and aerial certifications including CPSAF Platinum certified coach.

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Sammie Lee

Pole Fitness Instructor

Sammie’s pole journey started in 2018 when she took a class to try something new and became obsessed. She loves the beauty pole creates and the strength it takes. It became an expression of self love and helped her to feel more confident in her skin. Now she can’t wait to teach and see that blossom in her students. She is excited to encourage you to learn more about your self, show how strong you are and most importantly to have fun. Her strongest belief is that pole is for everyone!

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Gail Carmichael

Hoop/Lyra Instructor

Ever since she was a kid, Gail has loved watching Cirque du Soleil and then pretending she could do a few circus moves. After finding pole in 2018, and then aerial hoop (aka lyra) a couple of years later, the fantasy finally feels a bit more real! Gail has loved building her strength, flexibility, and camaraderie with the aerial community, and can't wait to share that love with folks of all different shapes, sizes, and movement backgrounds.

Meanwhile, Gail's day job as a Principal Instructional Engineer at Splunk combines her background in computer science and love of learning.

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Lindsay Diehl

Pole Fitness and Handstand Instructor

Lindsay has been a pole instructor for almost nine years and a proud mom of four teenagers! She taught at a studio in Cornwall Ontario where she learned a lot about the aerial arts. Lindsay is a vey athletic woman who loves to learn. One class of pole fitness and she had to learn it all! Lindsay is an avid outdoors person, who owns a hobby farm with lots of animals including horses that she has trained and ridden all of her life. She loves to compete and has done so with horse riding, throughout North America in obstacle course racing and now in Pole Fitness.

She knows what it takes to succeed; determination, passion and an open mind to always learn.

As an instructor she thrives on seeing the success of her students. Watching their confidence and strength grow with each class is empowering not only for themselves, but also the ones around them. She will always be the driving force behind a student to help them achieve their dreams.

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Kristen Kouhi

Pole Fitness and Hoop/Lyra Instructor

Having trained in ballet for many years prior to moving to Ottawa, Kristen started training in pole in 2014 after attending a free introductory session and discovering she was the least coordinated person in the room!  Challenging herself to sign up for an 8-week beginner class, she moved quickly through the levels, discovering a natural athleticism and flexibility that she never knew she had, as well as a love for pushing herself to the limit to learn new skills.  She has been in love with aerial hoop since her first introduction to it in 2018, and is excited for the opportunity to share her passion and unique way of visualizing movements and skills with her students.  

Kristen also trains in doubles pole, winning gold in Doubles at the 2019 CPSAF National Pole Art Championships, her competition debut, and landing her a spot on Team Canada.  She loves the energy that comes with training and performing as a pair, and is looking forward to having an opportunity to introduce others to doubles in the future.

Kristen loves to be active, whether it is running, downhill skiing, hiking, or dancing, and spends her days working as an engineer/architect specializing in historic buildings and taking care of her daughter, who often joins her at the studio, being a budding aerialist herself.  Having spent many hours teaching a fidgety five-year-old tricks and watching her excitement as she learns and shows off her new skills, Kristen is excited to help others progress along their pole/aerials journey and find the same joy and confidence in their new abilities.

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Becky Vandenberg

Fitness Instructor

Becky Vandenberg is a former professional figure skater who toured the world with Disney On Ice for 12 years before settling back home in the Ottawa area.  She has always had a passion for fitness and has been coaching individuals of all ages, backgrounds and abilities for over 20 years including National and Paralympic athletes.  She specializes in custom programming, corrective exercise, strength and mobility.  

Becky is a Fitness Instructor Specialist and Personal Trainer with Can Fit Pro, as well as a certified Exercise Therapist with the Exercise Therapy Association and a Fascial Stretch Therapist with the Stretch to Win Institute.  She is also a licensed ZUMBA™ and STRONG Nation™ instructor.

In her spare time Becky loves doing anything outside:  gardening, snowboarding, cross country skiing and playing with her dog.  She is always keen to learn new skills and loves helping people achieve their fitness goals.

Stephanie Bio
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Hailey Turner

Silks Instructor

Hailey fell in love with aerial silks through the usual suspects - P!nk and Cirque du Soleil - and eventually realized you can pursue these things as a regular person. She then practised silks at various studios in Ottawa before moving out of the city and hibernating for a few years with the rest of the world. Finally, in her desperate search for aerials and community she landed at Sunshine Aerial Fitness and has fallen in love all over again. She is excited to work towards being certified and continue learning and grow along with her students.

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Amanda Petropoulos

Instructor

Amanda has received extensive dance training in a variety of styles including Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Acro, and Hip Hop. She competed nationally in all styles and also qualified for “Best Dancer” at The Dance Awards convention in Las Vegas and Orlando. After her competing years, she continued to develop her artistry at École de Danse Contemporaine de Montréal (EDCM). 

 

With the temporary closure of schools and dance studios, she wanted to learn something new and get herself active again - so around 2021 she decided to install a dance pole at home.

She began by experimenting different ways to transfer her dance skills to the pole, and immediately fell in love with the process. She’s been dedicated to training and exploring ever since the day she started.

As an instructor, Amanda’s goal is to create a comfortable and judgment-free space for students  to experiment, explore and refine their own style.

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Julia Pama

Instructor

Julia started her aerial journey in the summer of 2022. She was ecstatic to find a place where she could grow not only her strength, but her self confidence and friendships as well. Julia loves learning about what the human body can do and loves to show others what they are capable of. 

 

When she’s not upside down, Julia loves reading, writing, driving, and playing with her dog Basil. 

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Mackenzie Dowson

Instructor

Mackenzie (Kenzie) has returned to aerials after an almost decade long hiatus.

 

Growing up, Kenzie trained as competitive gymnast before discovering her love for the circus. She attended circus training camps in Montreal, where she learned the fundamentals of movement, expression, balance and flexibility. Her prior training includes handstands, tumbling, aerial silks and duo trapeze. She is self-taught in aerial hoop. Before having to take a step back to heal from an injury, Kenzie was accepted into the college program at L'Ecole Nationale du Cirque.

 

In 2022, after a long break, Kenzie returned to the world of aerials with open arms and a new perspective. Instead of pushing for perfection, Kenzie's aerial attitude is all about curiosity, effort, self-kindness and fun (of course!). As an instructor, Kenzie prioritizes these elements in her classes. She will cheer you on, challenge you and encourage you to be creative.

Support Staff

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Victoria Sammario

Assistant Studio Operations Manager

Victoria is a hard working mama who loves to help others.  She loves fitness, health, wellness, fashion, makeup, photography, cooking, reading.... just about anything.  With a variety of knowledge and a willingness to learn new things, Victoria joined Sunshine Aerial Fitness in the fall of 2022.  She started with a Level 1, eight week pole fitness series, but now practices pole, hoop, and silks.

 

"After having my son I felt like my body wasn't my own anymore.  I didn't love myself and I wanted to get back to working out, but in a different way.  I went to the Sunshine Aerial Fitness open house and fell in love with aerials.  I couldn't wait to start, and now I will never stop.  I am proud of my body and what it is capable of doing.  I have learned to love myself again and I couldn't have done that without this studio.  This place truly has made my dreams into a reality and I am forever greatful".  

Emily Dobson

Energy Exchange - Social Media Coordinator

Emily’s first joined Sunshine Aerial Fitness in July 2022, immediately connecting with the energy and community she found when she walked through the doors. First joining Sunshine to find an outlet for her theatre background, she has since become a loyal student and energy exchange participant with Sunshine Aerial Fitness. "I was immediately struck by the authenticity and inclusivity I felt, and immediately knew this was something special that I NEEDED to be apart of." Emily is always happy to help, and hopes to foster the spirit of community with any and all who enter our studio’s walls. 

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