Kirsten Gerding (Artistic Director, Co-Producer)
Kirsten has been singing, dancing and acting for as long as she's been breathing. Growing up with a music teacher for a mother, she had the privilege of studying with some of the worlds best classical singing teachers at the Peabody Conservatory along with the honor of being a dance major and proud graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts. She has toured the United States and Canada in professional productions such as Cabaret, A Chorus Line and Jesus Christ Superstar. Upon landing in the Bay Area, Kirsten found another niche in the world of Cabaret and Burlesque as "Mz.K", where she is known for causing mischief and making heads turn wherever she goes. In 2010 she ran away to join the circus and is currently a principal soloist with the Bay Area company, Vau de Vire Society. Kirsten found pole somewhere around that time and it opened her eyes to a whole new way of expression, changing her life forever. She decided to create her very first pole performance in 2012 and since then has shared her pole art throughout the Bay Area and beyond in many performances and competitions. Kirsten has won several Pole Sport Organization awards in the Dramatic division and in 2015 she claimed the title for Pole Theatre USA Drama (Semi-Pro). Overwhelmed by the love, acceptance and support of the international pole community Kirsten decided that the Bay Area needed a company, thus Flux Vertical Theatre was born.
Leah Marie (Artistic Director, Co-Producer)
At the age of three Leah was enrolled in her first ballet class and from then on she grew up with a bun on her head and point shoes thrown over her shoulders. She attended Denver School of the Arts high school and graduated early to start on her bachelor’s degree in Biology. With her degree in science, she studied animals and spent five years as an animal trainer working with marine mammals. The combination of her love for animals and her captivating stage presence led her to theme parks, where she would send dolphins flying through the air as she clapped her hands together in sync with music. All the way through college she danced but it was not until four years past academia that she found herself on stage singing and acting along with her dancing. Over night she became a "triple threat", staring in the production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show as Janet. Not just a "triple threat" anymore, she decided to run away with the circus and currently performers with the Bay Area company the Vau De Vire Society. In May of 2013 Leah saw her first pole show and fell in love with the apparatus. A particular performer inspired her to use the pole as a playful and powerful dance partner and to break the negative stereotypes associated with history of pole dancing as a symbol of sex. She has won several Pacific Pole Championship awards and performs regularly throughout the Bay Area. Leah is a performer by night and a photographer by day. She owns her own company, Elle Aime Photography, and loves to capture women as their most glamorously beautiful selves, specializing in boudoir photography.
Born and raised in the San Francisco bay area, Seanmichael has been creating art since childhood. After graduating with dean's honors and being awarded his year's photography scholar at The University of California at Santa Cruz, Seanmichael met a coworker who introduced him to her favorite circus arts class - Pole Fitness. Seanmichael approaches his movement practice from a visual arts background and is passionate about the art of storytelling. He is a two time national competitive pole champion and teaches and performs worldwide.
Kirstin has been dancing for most of her life and when she discovered aerial dance, 5 years ago, she fell in love with the concept of creating art in the sky. Needless to say, when she found pole and the wonderful community surrounding it, she knew she found her new home. Kirstin has a BA in Theatre Arts from Humboldt State University and in January 2016 she became the proud owner of Phoenix Aerial Art and Pole in Berkeley, CA. Kirstin currently performs with the Bay Area Belly dance troupe Rockabelly, is a principle company member with UpSwing Aerial Dance Company and is honored to be part of Flux.
Job Bautista is an artist whose humble beginnings stems from his native country, the Philippines. He attained his Bachelors in Music, Major in Voice and theater performance in the University of the Philippines while working as a company member for one of the leading contemporary dance companies in Metro Manila, Airdance Philippines. Job has also had the honor of performing as Angel in the run of Jonathon Larson's 'Rent' in the Philippines. Over the years his passion for performance art has grown and his fervor for theatricality and high concept performances has earned him many International titles including Singapore Pole Challenge Men's Division Champion and International Aerial Tournament Pole Division Silver Medalist. He is currently a satellite ambassador for Polecats Manila, a yoga instructor at Corepower in San Jose, California and a resident pole instructor at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness. Job is honored to be a member of Flux and is extremely excited to present his pole art to the community.
Ever since Renee Wu took her very first pole class, she has been enthralled by its endless possibilities. She has dabbled in various forms of dance ever since she was a young child, and has always been in love with spending time upside down. Her years studying physics at Caltech and Stanford made her realize how passionate she is about the artistic side of her life, and she is very excited and honored to be a part of Flux Vertical Theatre.
Eve grew up as a competitive gymnast and when she discovered pole her whole world changed. She is a regular in the Bay Area performance world and has been a key member of the Oakland based circus troupe, Cirquedelic, since 2015. Eve's passions also include chair and partner acrobatics, fire, and contortion. In early 2016 she was honored to take home the silver medal at the Pacific Pole Championships in LA in the Junior Level 4 division. Eve is excited to be on this new journey as a member of Flux Vertical Theatre.