Fit & Bendy Instructors

Lily Huang

Lily began her flexibility journey in 2009 while taking pole dancing classes. When she moved to San Francisco in 2011, she started taking contortion classes at several of the circus schools in the Bay Area, and when she moved to Los Angeles, she sought out Kristina Nekyia and Fit & Bendy, based on the recommendation of one of her instructors. Lily joined the Fit & Bendy team in 2015 as one of the first certified instructors and has helped many others in their flexibility training the same way that Fit & Bendy has helped her.

“When I first started taking contortion classes in San Francisco, I got a lot of guidance that I didn’t find very helpful. There was a lot of cajoling me to relax, which felt pretty hard to do considering I was trying to bend in half backward, and I dreaded the day that I might literally be pushed so hard that I would start crying as I had seen some other students do. I definitely felt like I had missed the flexibility train because I hadn’t been doing this since I was a kid.

That sentiment changed when I started taking classes from Kristina. Instead of the one-size-fits-all-must-bend-by-any-means-necessary approach, Kristina was equipped with the kinesthetic knowledge to emphasize active flexibility, which not only did my body happen to respond pretty well too, but is more useful in performance.

I think what sets Fit & Bendy apart is the combination of understanding how the body works and then applying it individually to each student that comes through the door. For instance, for years a middle split felt like jamming my legs into my hip sockets but no inner thigh stretch. It took a while, but Kristina finally figured out the combination of strengthening exercises and stretches to help me reach my goal. It’s taken years (with a baby thrown in there), but I can now do middle splits without having to give myself a 10-minute pep talk and lots of moaning and groaning. In fact, now I’ve got a pretty solid over middle split!”

Lily Huang Fit and bendy Instructor split pool

Lena Fumi

Lena has been training contortion under Fit & Bendy since October of 2013 at the age of 36. She has a background in classical ballet, jazz, modern dance, and had (in her much younger years) the opportunity to train with the San Francisco Ballet and members of the Joffrey Ballet.

As an adult, her career took a different path into Technology/Engineering support, but she continued to dance and find new ways of exploring movement while staying creative and agile outside of the office. After taking up pole dancing, she wanted to gain some flexibility to challenge herself in new ways and enhance her performance skills. This is when she followed a friend to a Fit & Bendy class. It changed her life in so many ways!

Lena became one of the first certified Fit & Bendy instructors in 2015 and is currently also a working professional contortionist and aerialist aside from teaching.

Lena Fumi Instructor fit and bendy

Lexi Powell

Lexi is a firm believer in the power of movement to nourish the soul. She received her B.S. in Kinesiology from Cal State University Fullerton and since then has been fortunate to travel the world sharing her love for fitness as a trainer and health coach. Over the past 10 years, she has taught everything from kickboxing and spin to Pilates, strength & conditioning, and high-intensity interval training. She also frequently serves as guest faculty to her alma mater’s Kinesiology program. She discovered her love for dance in 2010, and circus while teaching fitness in the Caribbean in 2015.

This introduction of movement as a performance art heightened her understanding and appreciation of just how powerful movement is. Since returning to California, her focus has been to grow her movement repertoire, allowing for a more genuine and creative expression of the body. She began training contortion with Fit and Bendy, took her aerial practice to a new personal level, and incorporates what she has gained from parkour, acrobatics, dance, handstands, martial arts, flow artistry, and more, into her teaching philosophy. Combining her love for performance arts with her passion for fitness, Lexi applies her knowledge to assist dancers, circus artists, and movers of all fashions discover their most authentic self-movement.

lexi powell fit and bendy instructor

Dr. Su Havens

Dr. Su is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, as well as a Los Angeles-based performing artist and instructor. In addition to her DPT, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in World Arts & Cultures – Dance from UCLA, and a Master’s degree in Film & TV Production from USC. She began training dance in 1997, aerial in 2010, and pole in 2012. She has taught dance and circus fitness classes for 8 years at studios throughout Los Angeles, including Artistic Athletics, Luscious Maven, and Fit & Bendy.

Dr. Su’s obsession with dance science, anatomy, and injury rehabilitation led her to the world of physical therapy. She now has her own physical therapy practice, Motion Art and Science, in which she specializes in movement systems analysis and the unique needs of dance, pole, and circus artists. She took her first class at Fit and Bendy in 2015 and immediately fell in love with Kristina’s intelligent approach to contortion training, incorporating it into her physical therapy practice.

sioux zq fit and bendy contortion instructor

Brandon Grimm

Born in Ft. Lauderdale, FL Brandon began his training as a gymnast and dancer at an early age. He traveled the U.S. assisting and competing in dance competitions and, it wasn’t until his college years in NYC where he discovered Pole Dancing and Circus.

He was the 2015 U.S. Men’s Pole Champion, and from there has continued his dance and circus career performing and traveling internationally teaching Pole, Dance, and Handstands. Currently, residing in Las Vegas, NV his love for teaching and performance still continues.

Brandon Grimm

Brynn Route

Brynn Route is a contortion-trained pole artist based in Los Angeles. She has over 17 years of combined background in gymnastics, acrobatic pole, and movement. Brynn discovered circus arts and was immediately hooked when she realized it could combine her childhood training in gymnastics with her love of artistic expression.

Her passion for performance has taken her around the world and has provided her opportunities to collaborate with artists from all walks of life. She is honored and grateful to be able to share what she loves through performance and workshop instruction.

Brynn Route Instructor Fit and Bendy

Sagiv Ben-Binyamin

Sagiv is an internationally-known circus artist living in Los Angeles. Born in Israel, Sagiv’s gymnastics training started at an early age. His passion for performing combined with his growing gymnastics skills, inspiring him to move to the United States where he could study and work in the circus arts.

Once in Los Angeles, Sagiv trained with a small group of circus artists in a variety of aerial apparatuses and acrobatics. This soon led to more advanced training at the world-renowned San Francisco Circus Center.

Sagiv’s natural talent and dedication to the physical demands of circus quickly paid off. With advanced skills in trapeze and acrobatics, he landed the title role of Spiderman in Universal Studio’s popular stunt show “Spiderman Rocks” for 3 years. While there he performed motion-capture work for the feature film “Polar Express”. These successes quickly grew into numerous professional shows across the globe.

For more than 15 years, Sagiv has performed as a circus artist in acrobatics, hand balancing and partner balancing, aerial rope, hoop, dance trapeze, static trapeze and more. Productions include: Teatro ZinZanni, Cirque Mechanics, Cirque De La Symphonie, Cirque Production, Cirque du Soleil Special Events, and Troup Vertigo.

Sagiv’s diverse skill set, along with his ability to learn dance and choreography, has also landed him in many musical acts. He performed with Cher’s three-year residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He was then asked to join Cher’s Dress 2 Kill tour in 2014, where he performed on aerial apparatuses that he designed, and which were unique to the show’s theme and aesthetic. He has also performed at The Grammy Awards, and alongside artists like Taylor Swift and the Black Eyed Peas, just to name a few.

Lenise Jay

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Lenise is a professional aerialist specializing in aerial hammock. She has trained with Air Fit, the Paper Doll Militia in full scholarship. She is also scholarship recipient of Connecting Circus Students Around the World (CSAW). Lenise performs in music videos and live events and she was the first place winner of the All-Star hammock 18+ division of the Aerialympics in 2021.

Lenise is also a fitness educator, with certifications in both Pilates and Yoga. As a coach, her energy and enthusiasm are infectious, and she brings over 750 hours in training to her Fit & Bendy practice.

Prior to her circus career, Lenise was a professional dancer. She grew up dancing and roller skating, and brings that artistry to her aerial work. Contortion and handbalancing are her newest loves and she has been dedicating herself to the Fit & Bendy method, increasing her flexibility and learning about the science and art of stretching since 2020. Lenise is also the founder of the Fly Black Aerialists Organization, which is dedicated to cultivating a community of people of Black descent in the aerial arts/circus arena. You can learn more about their work here:

https://www.flyblackaerialists.com/

Lenise Jay

Araceli Green

Araceli is a lifelong mover. She danced competitively for five years, and performed as a professional aerialist for three years. Movement is integral to her sense of being alive, and she decided she wanted to share that joy by coaching healthy movement in others. She began coaching aerial arts and acrobatics for kids and young adults in 2014, then earned her BS in kinesiology and became certified as a personal trainer under NASM. She is currently finishing her Pilates certification through Balanced Body.

Araceli started training contortion with Kristina in 2015 and has been a dedicated bendy person ever since. She brings her wealth of movement experience and a deep passion for body mechanics to FaB. She is particularly interested in coaching functional flexibility for better quality of life.

Araceli and her husband run a gymnastics and martial arts studio in Orange County and when she isn’t moving and coaching she loves to be outdoors and gaze at beautiful sunsets.

araceli green