We believe the STRENGTH of our organization comes from the PEOPLE who choose to work, train and play at Flip. Our diverse backgrounds lay the foundation for a unique approach to fitness that is educational, creative and fun!
Darlene Traviss, CEO and Owner
Darlene has been actively involved in gymnastics since 1974 in various capacities: Participant, coach, judge, course conductor, administrator, gymnastic specialist in schools and club owner (Alberta Schools Gymnastic Association 1990-2000, Mountain Shadows 1996-2001). Her book, 'Backyard Trampolining' (1990/1994/2011), has sold over 30,000 copies world-wide and was recently republished in 5 additional languages. Darlene competed for the University of British Columbia in springboard diving before moving to Calgary in 1987 to train and compete with Dive Calgary. In 1992 she competed in freestyle skiing (aerials) with the Alberta Team. She is currently a course conductor with Gymnastics Canada teaching the 'Active Start' program. Darlene is mom to Madeline, is an avid gardener, enjoys skiing and other outdoor pursuits with her family.
Belinda Backhouse, General Manager
Belinda joined Flip in October 2013 after 5 years in retail and 7 years of being a stay-at-home mom. She brings a wealth of business knowledge and organization to the team. Belinda has a degree in business from Howard College (Big Spring, Texas) and certificates in Marketing and Office Administration from SAIT and MRU. She is currently taking accounting at Bow Valley College and completed her Gymnastics Foundations and Level 1 in Artistic Gymnastics at the end of 2015. On Friday mornings Belinda can often be seen helping coach school groups that visit Flip Factory. Although she'll deny it, her team members say she can turn a better cartwheel than any General Managers out there! Belinda also spends hours watching her two teenage boys play hockey. She likes to travel, read, camp, and spend time with her family.
Cassia Farias, Director of Preschool Programs
Cassia came to the Flip Factory from Brazil in 2012. She is a very versatile and talented coach. In addition to running top notch preschool programs, Cassia teaches aerials, teeter board, trampo wall, gymnastics and trampoline. Cassia’s specialty is trampoline. She competed internationally in trampoline on the World Cup Circuit as a member of the Brazilian National Team. She has a degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education and has been very active in promoting trampoline, gymnastics and circus. Cassia is a Level 2 Trampoline and Woman’s Artistic Gymnastics Coach. Before relocating to Canada, she volunteered as the co-ordinator of two social circus productions in Brazil from creation and development through to performance. The outreach projects combined trampoline, gymnastics, circus, and theatre for 500 at risk youth. Outside of work Cassia is passionate about nutrition and helps to inspire healthy living around the world!
Sophie Easton, Artistic Director
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Sophie has spent the last 10 years traveling the globe performing and teaching Circus, Musical Theater, Cabaret, Burlesque, Street, Film and Music throughout New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Asia, South, Central and North America as a solo, trio and ensemble performer. Sophie was awarded a one year scholarship in Performing Arts at Center Stage in Melbourne before moving to New Zealand to further pursue her passion for circus arts. She graduated in 2005 with a Diploma in Circus Arts from CircoArts, Christchurch, New Zealand then went on to create the Loons Circus Theatre Company. Loons had great success touring New Zealand then taking one of their shows to London. Sophie is well versed in all areas of creation, development and performance. Her specialties include hooping, clowning, mime, aerial hoop and adagio. Sophie is very passionate about using the arts for healing and has worked as a clown doctor in New Zealand visiting children's hospitals and dementia wards. Sophie also worked with Patch Adams and 100 other clowns in Peruvian orphanages in 2012. Sophie is a very positive person who loves learning about new cultures and sharing her gifts.
Mônica Alvez Maciel, Director of Youth, Tween & Teen Programs
Monica has been the head coach of our Youth, Tween & Teen programs since August 2016. She has previously coached circus in Brazil and gymnastics in Vancouver. Monica brings a strong management background, including a degree in Kinesiology & minor in Sports Management, to lead the YTT Team emphasizing safety and fun! An avid traveler, Monica has backpacked through Australia & New Zealand, traveled through the USA and now loves to explore in the mountains.
JoAnn Pentelichuk, Coach
JoAnn coached recreational and competitive gymnastics in Saskatchewan before moving to Alberta to continue her studies. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Saskatchewan and her Teaching Degree from the University of Lethbridge. JoAnn taught high school science for 10 years. She also holds her Level 2 Artistic Gymnastics certification, Level 1 Trampoline and Active Start. Jo-Ann is a key member of our Preschool Team. She has also taken up lunch time training on the handstand canes - able to stay inverted for almost a minute! JoAnn also enjoys skiing and camping with her family.
Duncan MacDonald, Coach
Duncan has 8 years of gymnastics training under his belt and has competed provincially and nationally. He joined the Flip Team in 2014 and has coached every age group from preschoolers to adults. Duncan has his Level 1 Artistic Gymnastics and has taken circus aerials training through Spectacle Blue Circus Studio and teeterboard and trampo wall training through Bob Watson of Vancouver's Circus Lab. He enjoys playing video games, working out, and learning new skills in parkour and circus. Duncan never hesitates to test drive the Ninja Warrior obstacles being created for Flip X-treme! He's a top notch coach with a passion for passing his knowledge along to the kids he teaches.
Jaime MacKay, Coach
Jaime grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The town of Dominion did not have a trampoline club but that did not stop Jaime from pursuing her passion for flipping. Jaime taught herself on her backyard trampoline then went on to offer kids an opportunity to also enjoy the sport through coaching and mentoring local youth and teens. She moved to Alberta in 2011 to work in the oil patch but her passion for teaching kids brought her to Flip Factory. She has since completed her Foundations, Level 1 Gymnastics Certification and has also participated in a number of trampoline and circus training opportunities through Flip, including Spectacle Blue and Circus Lab. Jaime is a key team member for Flip's Preschool Department but is always looking to push her limits and try something new and exciting. She spends her time off boating, dirt biking, camping, and having fun at the lake.
Jo Anna Parker, Coach
Jo is a former competitive gymnast and passionate about teaching kids of all ages. She started her gymnastics career in Kimberly, BC teaching recreational and pre-competitive programs and assisting with the club's administration. She is a certified Level 1 Gymnastics Coach with 6 years of coaching under her belt. Jo has also taken circus and trampoline training since joining Flip Factory in 2015. She is a versatile coach and can be found teaching youth and teens in the early evenings and preschoolers in day care centres in the early morning hours through Flip Mobile. Jo has been a big advocate for gymnastics - she has helped develop programs in her community to share her knowledge and passion for the sport.
Melanie Gaze, Coach
A former provincial level artistic gymnastics competitor, Melanie began coaching in high school in Saskatchewan. Before moving to Alberta, she served as the Recreation Director of the Marion Gymnastics Club in Saskatoon. Melanie is Level 2 Certified in Women's Artistic Gymnastics and Level 1 Certified in Trampoline. She also holds a diploma in Recreation and Leisure. Melanie's first introduction to Flip Factory was with her son in the Parent & Tot program in 2008. She joined the coaching team in 2011 when the club moved into it's current location. Melanie is a talented and diversified coach able to teach preschoolers through to teens. Melanie is mom to three young children and she also teaches birthing classes. Melanie makes sure to get outdoors whenever she can to ski, camp, and hike with her family.
Rianne Rogan, Coach
Rianne is a former competitive artistic gymnast who has coached artistic gymnastics and trampoline. The last 7 years she has coached beginner to international competitive acrobatic gymnastics. She is level 2 certified in trampoline and women's gymnastics, level 1 certified in acrobatic gymnastics, and holds a degree in Kinesiology. Outside of Flip Factory Rianne works as an exercise physiologist with people who have physical disabilities. Aside from coaching, Rianne enjoys mountain and road biking, traveling, and baking! She just had her first baby in August 2015 and is enjoying spending time with her daughter.
Taylor Easton, Coach
Gymnastics & Parkour coach Taylor joined the Flip team in September 2016. Taylor is a born & raised Calgarian who has travelled the world as a circus performer. He has performed and trained throughout Canada, New Zealand, and Mexico. He also owns a business creating and selling t-shirts and jewellery. Taylor is fearless training new skills with the Flip team and is passionate about inspiring the kids to conquer their fears.
Lancelo Poirier, Coach
Originally from Quebec and a graduate of the École National de Cirque, Lancelo joined the Flip team in September 2016. He has experience in many different types of circus including trampoline, teeterboard, acrobatics, handstands, tight rope, clowning, juggling, and dance! Lancelo also operates his own circus troupe called Cirque Nova which has performed all over Canada. Lancelo is bringing a wealthy of circus knowledge to Flip, and also enjoying learning new skills in gymnastics, parkour, and Ninja Warrior! He is about to take his next big adventure and become a dad for the first time this fall!
Madeline Traviss, Coach
Madeline has grown up in the gymnastics world and has been involved with Flip Factory since she was 11 years old. Following in her mom’s active footsteps, Madeline is currently a preschool coach, first degree black belt in Poekoelan, an Indonesian form of mixed martial arts, and aspiring business woman hoping to one day own her own martial arts studio. She also has a background in gymnastics, trampoline, contortion, dance, and hopes to begin soon on working towards her gymnastics coaching certificates.
Jenna Pealow, Coach
Jenna moved to Calgary from Montreal and joined our Summer Camp and Birthday teams in June of 2013. Jenna has competed and coached at a national level in cheerleading, tumbling, badminton, and tennis. She also enjoys snowboarding, figure skating, back packing and is fluent in English and French. Jenna’s warm, enthusiastic and caring approach to everyone she meets makes her a favorite coach for many! Jenna is a Level 2 Women's Artistic Gymnastics Coach and has taken circus aerials training through Spectacle Blue and teeter board and trampo wall though Bob Watson of Vancouver's Circus Lab. Jenna is working toward a degree in business management in addition to sharing her knowledge and passion for teaching at Flip. Her goal is to open a Flip Factory in the Yukon. Jenna is currently on maternity leave after the birth of her first child in January 2017!
Cara Bourgeois, Coach
A dancer, a musician, a birthday coach! Cara has 14 years of dance experience in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and lyrical. She has completed her gymnastics foundations course, and has student taught ballet and jazz for 2 years. Cara is a passionate musician who plans to attend university for music. Cara currently works as a birthday coach, but has also coached Preschool classes at Flip.
Claire Kotkas, Coach
Claire is an acrobatic gymnast who has been training for 10 years. Claire has competed at an international level all over the world including in Portugal, Switzerland, and France. She has been training in circus aerials for the several years, specializing in aerial silks. Claire is currently coaching Preschool classes at Flip, but has also coached youth, teens, and adults.
Alexis Pawluk, Coach
Alexis is a Youth and Bookings coach. She has competed provincially in artistic gymnastics, nationally in acrobatic gymnastics, as a competitive cheerleader. She also enjoys training in circus aerials as well! Alexis has recently completed her Foundations course, and hopes to continue coaching as a way to positively impact kids’ lives!
Mariah Wilson, Coach
Mariah is a preschool teacher, an international volunteer, a dancer, and part of Flip Factory's bookings team! Adopted by a Canadian family from Haiti when she was young, Mariah is passionate about making a difference all over the world. She has done volunteer work in Jamaica, Kenya, Uganda, Haiti, and Mexico! Mariah holds a diploma in Early Leaning and Childcare from Bow Valley College, her level 1 coaching certification, and has been coaching since she was 14 years old. She is also part of a Haitian dance troupe that performs all over Canada and the USA.
Jessica McKnight, Administrative Assistant
Jessica joined Flip Factory on the administration team in May 2015, bringing her skills in administration, design, and trapeze. Jessica studied at Alberta College of Art and Design, and took several years of trapeze training for fun. She enjoys her time off by camping, traveling, and baking!
Lauren Bourgeois, Birthday Facilitator
Lauren is a junior coach and an acrobatic gymnast who has competed at an international level, and is currently working in our Booking department! Lauren trains in aerial hoop and hand balancing, but also enjoys painting. Lauren has recently completed her CPR training and will start working on her foundations training as soon as she can!
MacKenzie Potter, Assistant Coach
Assistant coach Mackenzie joined the Flip Preschool team in September 2015. Mackenzie has also trained at Flip Factory for circus aerials and as a participant of Under the Big Top Circus Camp! She is currently still pursuing her training in aerial hoop, contortion, and acro and hopes to progress her future in circus arts. Mackenzie enjoys the fun and excitement of Flip and helping the kids to develop their gymnastics skills.
Hailey Michaelis, Assistant Coach
Hayley is part of our Preschool team as an assistant coach. She joined Flip Factory in September 2015. Hayley started in gymnastics at age 5 and has progressed to a Provincial level in competitive trampoline & tumbling. She has been training in circus arts since 11 years old, including hand balancing, aerial hoop, and aerial silks. She hopes to become a certified coach one day so she can train kids in the sports she loves!
Jim Sinclair, Guest Coach for Parkour
Jim has been practicing Parkour for over 10 years. He is experienced in a variety of martial arts and gymnastics coaching. Jim holds an English degree from University of Calgary, and is also working to create a one of the first certification programs for parkour!
Patrick Chan, Guest Coach
Patrick is a Guest Coach at Flip Factory who contributes his skills to the circus community in his spare time, through performance or instruction. A late bloomer gymnast, and Patrick started at a age 25. After finding circus arts, and training straight for 4 years, he was invited to audition and successfully entered Cirque Du Soleil’s roster in 2014. Originally from Calgary, Patrick currently work for the City of Calgary in Water Treatment, ensuring water quality and safety for Calgary’s citizens and future generations! His next goal is to perform with Cirque Du Soleil after joining their roster and developing his skills as a professional straps artist. Patrick is excited to be making connections in such a vibrant industry and experimenting with movement and people who look like they are having a blast.