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Elizabeth Klob (School Program Director, Teaching Devising Physical theater)

Elizabeth has been directing, teaching and leading the UMO School since its inception in 2007. She is a long-time physical theater practitioner, and Executive Artist for the UMO Ensemble for 15 years. She is thrilled to share the skills of creating physical theater and bringing students stories to stage whether it be in the form of an “aerial poem” or a clown routine. She looks forward to the new directions that the students and school will take in the years to come.

Esther Edelman (Teaching Adult Aerial)

Esther started her movement career as a modern dancer in NYC. She co-founded Vashon-based UMO Ensemble, performing original physical theater internationally for over 20 years. Esther then began a love affair with aerial arts and started performing as a soloist. She has appeared locally in Seattle’s Moisture Festival, Open Air, Burlesquo, and corporate events around the region. Some highlights include: dangling from a crane at the Point Defiance Zoo, Silkfire fabric piece in the Hotbox at the Museum of Glass, Fabric Tango with Glenn Easley, Aviatrix -a 4-woman aerial troupe.
Esther’s most recent full length creation was Secrets I Can’t Remember, an aerial dance quartet. She teaches Pilates at her home studio and is excited to continue sharing aerial arts with UMO School.

Mik Kuhlman (Teaching Physical Comedy)

A gifted and experienced teacher, Mik Kuhlman has performed and taught on Vashon, in Seattle, NYC, and Paris and in over 500 schools, universities and art centers throughout the United States. She returns to the UMO School to instill curiosity, creativity, self-confidence and physical awareness to all students regardless of their experience.


Willyum LaBeija

Willyum LaBeija, William McLeod, North Carolina native who served in the US Army. During his time of service, he completed the MWR Soldier Show for two years as a dance captain. Training includes classical and urban genres of dance with an emphasis in vogue performance. Current member of the Royal House Of LaBeija since 2011 Recipient of the following awards include National Veterans Art Summit 2019 residency, Movement Residency Brazil/Panama 2019/2020, Links Hall Co-Missions Winter Residency 2019, Physical Theatre Residency in Austria 2019/2020, New International Performing Arts Institute Residency 2020, Neighborhood Arts Entrepreneurship Project-Task force member, Ways Residency 2020, Global Water Dances Choreographer/Site Lead2019/2020, Breaking Grounds Performance Series 2018.

Ava Stephenson (Teaching Aerial Intro and aerial 1)

Ava has trained with UMO School for 4 years. During that time she has provided admin assistance, co-taught classes, and performed in the UMO aerial shows. Ava enjoys the theatrical physicality of aerial and creating routines using exciting new skills, particularly on the silks and the lyra/hoop. She loves to see children discover new ways of moving and expressing themselves through aerial, and becoming part of the UMO community.

Allene Rodrigez-Miller (teaching Aerial Intro and Aerial 1)

I am a junior at VHS and I've been doing aerial with umo for about 6 years now. I’ve also been assisting classes for about 2 years. I really enjoy being able to teach what I love to others and having fun while simultaneously prioritizing safety. I want kids to be able to love aerial as much as I do. Outside of aerial I spend a lot of time with friends living my best life.

Amanda Thornton (Teaching Aerial 1, 2 and 3)

Amanda has been in love with aerial arts since the moment she took flight in 2012. Having discovered circus arts while studying theatre and writing at Western Washington University, Amanda found that the best way to express herself was by combining the power of aerial skills with the beauty of storytelling. Having moved to Seattle in 2015 to pursue theatre, she kept finding herself drawn back to the circus scene and quickly devoted all her attention to teaching and performing aerial. Her favorite style of aerial arts is duo aerial silk, which she trains and performs with her husband, Nick Perry. But when she is training solo, she still loves the silks most of all. Amanda has taught aerial arts at circus companies all over Seattle, including Teatro Zinzanni, SANCA, Arcadia, and Synapse Circus.

Sarah Smith (Teaching Intro To Aerial, Substitute Teacher)

Sarah has been pursuing aerial arts for many years now with UMO School. She is now an alumni and is generously spending time between college classes at UMO helping teach classes and manage the school. She loves the dynamic nature of aerial rope and hopes to inspire others to try out this extremely physical dicipline.

Mark Gibson

Mark Gibson is a master artist of contemporary performance who first started aerial arts at Louisiana State University. He has performed internationally both at the Edinburgh Fringe festival and with Cirque O’Champs in France. Mark is continuing his practical research into applied methodologies of somatic integration and awareness practices.

Special Thanks to our Founders!

Kajsa Ingemansson

started the journey of the UMO School back in 2007. A graduate of the Dell Arte Institute and member of the UMO Ensemble, she combined her deep knowledge of clowning and physical theater with her love for teaching. Mik Kuhlman, returning teacher, joined her in the development of the clown classes. Kajsa has since moved back to Sweden with her family. Many thanks to Kajsa for getting the ball rolling.

Lisa Elliott and Kathy Zbryk

joined the UMO School in 2007, bringing their years of teaching experience and love of Aerial to the program. While they have moved on, we thank them for their program building contributions.

Sadie LeDonna and Shawn Kellogg

followed close behind and helped create the curriculum that is now our aerial and circus gymnastics programming. They have since moved on to open their own studio in Port Haddock. Their incredible dedication will live on at the UMO School.