Instructors

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Orlando Vargas
 
Training Programme Instructor Orlando is a spectacular and dynamic aerial artist and circus performer. Born in Chile, Orlando started his career as a circus performer in 2001 when he was accepted onto the four-year professional training course at Circo del Mundo. After completing his training, he joined the company as an employee, and remained with them until 2005.
 
While studying, Orlando worked as a circus teacher, sharing the magic of circus with the children of impoverished communities, and building their self-confidence. Orlando is highly trained in aerial work (rope, straps and scarf/silk), basic acrobatics and Chinese pole
 
During his artistic training, Orlando was also trained in the technical and safety aspects of rigging. Upon moving to Cape Town in 2006, Orlando joined Jazzart Dance Theatre on a three-month exchange programme and trained in contemporary dance, adding a new skill to his repertoire.
 
In 2007 he joined Zip Zap Circus School and worked on projects like Namjive in Namaqualand, as well as with the Jazzart Dance Theatre. From 2008, Orlando has been performing in shows across South Africa and globally. Along with his technical role in the business, Orlando also facilitates the Art of Synergy training programme, and facilitates the highest standard of technique amongst the instructors and performers.
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Natalie Vargas 
 
Advanced Aerial Instructor Natalie is an inspiring and breathtaking performing artist, who has trained as both a dancer and circus artist. She has built up a wealth of experience – performing in many national and international shows including Madame Zingara, Vaudeville, Big Top Burlesque, Bohemia, Urban Circus and many others.
 
Natalie’s performance career began in 1999 when she joined Jazzart’s Professional Dance Company in Cape Town, after completing their three-year Young Adult Training and Job Creation programme. Natalie trained in contemporary, tap, rhythm and gumboot dancing, as well as contact work.
 
In 2004, Natalie represented South Africa at the Oxfam International Youth Partnership in (OIYP) Sydney, Australia. She ventured to Santiago, Chile, in 2005 where, as a representative of Jazzart Dance Theatre, she taught dance to marginalised children. It was here, in Cerro Navia, that Natalie began training as a circus artist and teaching as a choreographer with Circo del Mundo School and Company. Upon returning to Cape Town in 2006, she joined Zip Zap Circus as both a performing artist and teacher.
 
In 2007, Natalie was one of the initial aerial artists for Madame Zingara Theatre of Dreams. Since then, Natalie has been performing in shows both locally and internationally. At Art of Synergy, Natalie is involved in providing training to all levels of performers passing on her knowledge and creating new artists, as well as perfecting aerial technique in the advanced aerial students.
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Michelle Fok 
 
Beginner Aerial Instructor Michelle has always lead an active lifestyle. During her schooling years, she was exposed to various dance disciplines (contemporary, modern, tap, latin and ballroom).
 
Her continued perseverance in building strength and flexibility steered her into pole training as well as pilates. In 2014, Michelle joined Art of Synergy and began training in the aerial arts
 
Within two years, she performed in several student showcases and became one of the studio’s aerial instructors. She is now a full-time aerial performer and instructor at Art of Synergy. She assists students in building a solid foundation in aerial technique.
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Gerard Hung 
 
Beginner Aerial Instructor Gerard started his fitness career shortly after high school in 2002, which focused primarily on strength training.
 
After several years, he set his sights on fitness and began teaching Bootcamp, offering classes of his own. During this time, Gerard expanded his energies into different disciplines in search of his passion; these included off-road trail cycling and running.
 
His hunger for perfection in fitness fuelled him into continuing in different disciplines, and sharing his knowledge with anyone on the path of fitness and self-improvement, through his classes.   In 2014, he joined the Art of Synergy studio, and trained his way to becoming an instructor, specialising in aerial silks.
 
Gerard started performing in 2015, and currently conducts aerial workshops at the studio as well as teaching classes, gearing up our future aerialists to become the next generation of aerial performers.
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Sherilee Friedenstein
 
Beginner Aerial Instructor Sherilee has been with Art of Synergy since January 2016, and became engrossed in the lifestyle of circus arts, working her way up into the advanced class and then instructor. Prior to joining Art of Synergy, Sherilee was a Karate instructor and was involved in traditional and competitive Karate in the Protea team representing South Africa. Sherilee is passionate and dedicated in her teaching, and will push you safely to your full potential whether you realise it or not.
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Kessuree Srisoy 
 
Sirkids Instructor Kessuree has a background in Thai Folk dancing, starting training at the age of three. She performed with various schools, and competed in regional competitions in Thailand.
 
In 2012, she joined pole dance, and has never looked back. She is known for her elastic-like flexibility and daring pole tricks. Kessuree joined the Art of Synergy team in 2015, where she has learnt a great deal in aerial performing and teaching, and has since showcased her skills across a variety of genres, embracing both aerial performing and the sport of pole art. She has competed in the SA National Pole Sports Competition (NPSC), Miss Pole Dance SA and Pole Theatre SA.
 
Kessuree was also the winner of the Basic Instincts Sexpo Pole Dance Competition 2015 and many more. As one of the star performers of Art of Synergy, Kessuree is inspired to develop circus arts amongst the youth.