Casey PassafaroOwner / Head Ninja Coach
Joye ElsburyGeneral Manager
Jake HollowellFlips / Ninja Coach
Dustin ZiskaNinja Coach / Course-setter
Mike DawkinsNinja Coach
Clayton ElsburyNinja Coach
Taylor HunterNinja Coach
John Paul AbelaNinja Coach
David SpindelOCR / Ninja Coach
Derek FurrNinja Coach
Ryan GriggsNinja Coach
Jake BendorfNinja Coach
- NBC’s American Ninja Warrior Season 8 & 9 Competitor
- CMT’s Broken Skull Challenge – 2016
- Competitive Obstacle Course Racing
- CrossFit Level 1 certified, CPR/AED certified, and a board-certified Nurse Practitioner.
Casey Passafaro is a two-season veteran of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. She has also competed on CMT’s Broken Skull Challenge. She holds her CrossFit Level 1 certification. In addition to owning NoVa Ninja & CrossFit Loudoun, she works full-time as an Oncology Nurse Practitioner.
As GM, Joye works with the Staff and Coaches to provide a welcoming experience to each Visitor and Member that enters the facility. Her goal is to get you or your child started on the path to Ninja (or fitness) success. She is the Team Manager of the Youth Ninja Competition Team for the 5th consecutive Season, Coordinator of the Youth Ninja Spring, Summer & Winter Break Day-Camps, and Mom to Ninja Coach, Clayton.
- ANW coach at NOVA Ninja since 2018 (competition kids and flips class)
- Martial Arts Instructor since 2004 (2nd degree in Shoshin Ryu, 1st degree in Tohkon Ryu, 1st degree in Tae Kwon Do)
- Systems Engineering Manager at Perspecta (cloud, big data, cyber)
- University of New Mexico Alumni (B.S. in Electrical Engineering)
- Hobbies: Spartan obstacle courses, travel, cooking, skateboarding, running, peak performance research and practice
- Started my own company to help teenagers maximize their potential (SET – SUCCESS EDUCATION FOR TEENS)
Coach Dustin is our resident Adult/Teen Ninja Night coach. He is an experienced Ninja himself and an expert course setter. He placed first in “Goliathon”, and was awarded the coveted “David” status which is only shared with some of the most recognized faces in the American Ninja Warrior community. He enjoys training new ninja athletes just as much as experienced veterans.
Join him on Wednesday from 7:30 – 9:30pm for the Adult/Teen Ninja Night class!
Mike graduated from George Mason with a degree in Psychology, worked as a Behavioral Therapist for 2.5 years with a passion for helping kids. His athletic background includes 5 years of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 2 years of Varsity Wrestling, 2 years Boxing, and 2 Years of Kickboxing.
Mike likes to work one on one in private training sessions to help people achieve their fitness goals.
Clayton has been at NoVa Ninja since 2017 and works with all level Ninjas. His focus is to teach the skills required to become a Ninja Warrior while still making classes fun and safe for everyone. You will see him running our Ninja Specialty Classes, Half-Day Camps, Parents Night Out and some of the Comp Team practices.
Coach Taylor is a strong and determined ninja! She has made world’s for two different Ninja Leagues and finished at the top of her age group in both.
John Paul Abela
John Paul's Bio
John Paul coaches all Youth Ninja Classes, competes in the National Ninja League (NNL) and has made it to Worlds multiple times. He is also experienced in Obstacle Course Racing and is one of the few Instructors qualified to coach Lache’ class.
David has been at NoVa Ninja since 2019 and coaches both the Adult OCR and Adult and Youth NinjaFIT classes. He played baseball in high school and is currently playing on scholarship at the California University of Pennsylvania, (a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, Atlantic Region) and NCAA Division II school. (@CALU_baseball)
He is also a Certified Personal Trainer and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Derek has been at NoVa Ninja since November 2019. He has played a variety of sports including baseball and basketball and is currently studying Physical Therapy. He coaches Adult OCR and many Youth Ninja Classes.
Ryan is an advanced flipper, diver and g-tramper. He joined NoVa Ninja in 2020 and enjoys encouraging and motivating others to learn new skills helpful in becoming ninja warriors. He is currently coaching several youth classes including the popular Flips Class.
Jake graduated from highschool in 2019 where he played baseball and football. He currently attends Salisbury University where he plays football and is pursuing a degree in Exercise Science.