Dottie Stanley has always loved to paint dramatic lights and shadows to achieve an atmospheric quality in my work portraying the time of day, temperature and mood. Her paintings have been exhibited in museums in San Diego and Palm Desert, California, and in collections in Mexico, Europe and throughout the United States. Dottie is a Fellow of the American Artists Professional League and a member of other national organizations including The Allied Artists of America and the Oil Painters of America. She is a past board member of the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild; past president of the La Jolla Art Association; president emeritus and founder of the Allied Artists Association of San Diego; and a past member of other art organizations including the Art Students League of New York, The Market Street Society of San Diego, and the San Diego Art Institute. Dottie was selected as one of the four best artists in the Artists Guild of the San Diego Museum of Art and featured in an exhibit at the museum. Her art has won awards in regional, national and international juried shows, including New York exhibitions and the of Artists Council exhibition of Palm Springs Museum of Art. Dottie is a featured artist in the book Best of American Oil Artists (Vol.II) and one of ten leading San Diego art stars for 2018, selected by San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine in its January 2018 edition.
Nicole has been studying art since college, where she formally began using charcoal/pencil, oils, acrylics, watercolors, and photographic equipment under the tutelage of John Nagy and Marge Hyde. She also studied with Southwest artist John Stoner. She received her degree in Language Arts from San Diego State University after completing her studies in Radiologic Technology. Her early years living, traveling and schooling in France, Germany, Spain, and Africa also influenced her love and enjoyment of art, architecture, antiquities and cultures. Later extended travel in Fiji inspired her pursuit of photography which led her to document environmental effects of climate change around coral reefs and to also capture the natural beauty of its natural resources and its island culture.
Her photographic work and paintings have been exhibited at the La Jolla Art Association, the Ryford Library, the Ashton Gallery, the Museum of Man in Balboa Park, the San Diego County Fair, and is currently on exhibit at the La Jolla Community Center.
Scott Farr has been instructing students on all levels of bridge playing since 2006. He joined the Center as an instructor in 2008 and offers three levels of instruction---from the basics of bidding to intermediate instruction including hand evaluation, competitive bidding--and finally to advanced bidding methods, cue bids and defensive bidding and playing. Scott has taught at numerous venues in San Diego including San Diego State University, La Jolla Country Club, Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club and Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. Since 2008, he has been the Duplicate Bridge Director at the La Jolla Cove Bridge Club. Scott is an attorney and received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota in 1974. He is an avid tennis player and manager of the La Jolla Tennis Club. His eclectic talents also include the fact that for the past 30 years he has been a touring magician.
Mah Jongg Instructor
Carol Cohn learned Mah Jongg as a young girl in high school. She has been instructing students since 2014 and offers beginning and intermediate classes. Carol has taught at the Nobel Recreational Center in La Jolla and teaches private lessons at her home. She participates in many of the local tournaments; has gone on several Mah Jongg cruises to the Caribbean; and plays in tournaments in Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Scottsdale. Carol often plays at the community centers and Meet-Ups in San Diego. Carol is a retired teacher and uses many techniques she has learned as a teacher to teach the game of Mah Jongg.
The Casual Gourmet
Phillis has been teaching cooking classes throughout southern California for more than 30 years. Her classes cover a wide range of topics including basic techniques, holiday treats, quick methods to cook chicken, vegetarian cooking, as well as international and regional cuisines. Her focus is on easy, yet elegant, “no fuss” menus that are perfect for entertaining. Students find her classes easy to follow and report that her recipes are “home-cook” friendly. A free-lance food writer, Phillis has appeared in such magazines as Cook’s Illustrated and Cooking Pleasures. She is the author of articles in the food section of the San Diego Union-Tribune and has self-published four cookbooks including her current book, “Fast and Fabulous Chicken Breasts.”
Virtual Cooking Classes
Since 1990, Chef Nikki Schaeffer has explored the culinary spectrum from working at Wolfgang Puck's ObaChine in Seattle, to the four-star luxurious Silks at Stonehedge Inn in Massachusetts. She holds a degree in Baking and Pastry Science from Johnson & Wales University and has worked alongside internationally renowned Executive Chefs. It was under those mentors that she learned the important elements of fine dining, the science of taste, and cooking techniques that have earned her accolades for over two decades.
In 2001, Nikki was hired by an upscale restaurant group for a temporary, yet unique, position. She was to relocate to Southern California for several months to plan and execute wine-paired dinners along the West Coast in order to promote the company and increase brand recognition. When the job ended, and it was time to return to the East Coast, she decided she would rather stay in Southern California!
She quickly found a job in the area and spent the next 13 years as a corporate Pastry Chef while running her own catering company. In 2014, she semi-retired from the production side of the restaurant business and became a private consultant for restauranteurs. In 2015, Nikki found her true (second) calling: teaching. Hired for her boisterous personality, as well as her willingness and desire to pass on everything she has learned as a Savory and Pastry Chef, Sur La Table hired her to be an Instructor. In a short time, she was promoted to Resident Chef, directing the Culinary program at SLT’s La Jolla location until its recent closure.
Nikki resides in Encinitas with her turtle, Puck (no relation to Wolfgang).
Dottie Stanley has always loved to paint dramatic lights and shadows to achieve an atmospheric quality in my work portraying the time of day, temperature and mood. Her paintings have been exhibited in museums in San Diego and Palm Desert, California, and in collections in Mexico, Europe and throughout the United States. Dottie is a Fellow of the American Artists Professional League and a member of other national organizations including The Allied Artists of America and the Oil Painters of America. See full bio above under Art Instruction.
OPERA: Co-Director Opera Wednesday
Patrick co-directs Opera Wednesday along with Derek Legg. A native of Los Angeles, California, he has been a professional opera singer for many years. Previously, he performed for several seasons with Opera a la Carte, Los Angeles’ premier Gilbert & Sullivan repertory company. Recently, he participated in operatic productions by the Pacific Lyric Association. Since relocating to San Diego, Patrick has sung with several notable choral ensembles, including Pacific Camerata and Bach Collegium in San Diego. He is the director of the North County Opera Soiree, a group of professional musicians who present classical concerts to benefit local charities.
Polina was born in Lviv, Ukraine in the former Soviet Union and moved to San Diego in 1989. She earned an Honorable Bachelor’s Diploma in Music and Conducting from Kolessa Music Pedagogy College. While in college, she studied piano under the guidance of Maria Kokotailo, an esteemed professor at the Wroclaw Music Academy in Poland. After her arrival in the US, Polina enhanced her pedagogic skills at San Diego State University, under the tutelage of Professor Nancy McDonald. Polina was an accompanist for the California Ballet Company, the Dance Department at Grossmont College, the Campobello Dance Company in Mexico and the Ballet des Arts International in Montreal, Canada.
Chris has taught “history through music” for over 35 years, originally focusing on world history through the lens of classical music. At Valley Center Pauma Unified School District, he served as a Music Demonstration Teacher, Mentor Teacher for Music, and Music Teacher for the Advanced Learner Program. He also taught classes at UCSD and SDSU Extension; classes included “Using Music to Enhance Learning,” ”Basic Musicianship,” and “Classical Music for the Educator.”
Guitarist James Clarkston was inspired to pick up the guitar by the Rock group KISS and has played in several Hard Rock bands. He studied music in college and discovered a love for Classical and Flamenco guitar. He was the opening act for the world-famous guitar duo Strunz & Farah and performed at a private party for former President George H.W. Bush. His original song Dos Guitarras has received airplay on National Public Radio's Coast to Coast AM show. James has more than 20 years of teaching experience in private, public, and charter schools. He enjoys working with students and encourages them to perform in recitals at least once a year. As well as ukelele, James is proficient in guitar, bass, mandolin, dobro, harmonica, and music theory. He appears regularly in local venues such as the La Jolla Christmas Parade.
DANCE & Music
Amanda trained at the London Contemporary Dance Studio in the UK in the early 90s and performed for 10 years with European dance companies. She subsequently became a freelance teacher and choreographer, working with children and adults in various European communities. In 2006, she received two years of professional training in ‘Laban’ principles. This study deepened her interest in developing a style of dancing that encourages internal balance and a connection the body, energy, the creative spirit and the surrounding environment. After relocating to California, Amanda created “Ico-Dance,” named after the icosahedron—the “platonic solid, which is symbolic of water, emotion, flow and movement.”
Jazz Dance Instructor
Alexandra grew up in the south of France and began her training in jazz and ballet at the age of 6. She received her degree in dance in Paris at the Academie Internationale de la Dance and taught ballet and jazz dance in Paris, Singapore and the US. In addition, she has performed in musicals, shows and on television for various artists. In 2008, she joined the Parisian cabaret “Crazy Horse Paris,” where she performed as a chorus line and solo dancer. She subsequently joined the show “La Femme” at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casio in Las Vegas in 2011. Alexandra moved to San Diego a few years ago and is excited to share her passion of dance with children and adults.
As a teacher of dance for more than 20 years, and a certified Zumba instructor for 10 years, I believe that dance is in everyone. It just has to be brought to the surface. You must continually challenge yourself and pursue your passions. Dance, for me, is a form of pure sensual self-expression which brings joy, and a feeling of well-being. My passion for dance enables me to be the very best I can - training, teaching, or performing. Sharing my passion is my philosophy. If you share passion, your students will perform with passion.
I believe in starting each day with a positive thought. My other interests include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, learning Spanish & spending time with my granddaughter, Abbey. I live in La Jolla with my husband John and my English Cream Golden Retriever Mila.
Guitarist James Clarkston was inspired to pick up the guitar by the Rock group KISS and has played in several Hard Rock bands. He studied music in college and discovered a love for Classical and Flamenco guitar. He was the opening act for the world famous guitar duo Strunz & Farah and performed at a private party for former President George H.W. Bush. His original song Dos Guitarras has received airplay on National Public Radio's Coast to Coast AM show. James has more than 20 years teaching experience in private, public and charter schools. He enjoys working with students and encourages them to perform in recitals at least once a year. As well as ukelele, James is proficient in guitar, bass, mandolin, dobro, harmonica and music theory. He appears regularly in local venues such as the La Jolla Christmas Parade.
Christen is a music teacher who is passionate about helping students discover and embrace what excites them and what they love. She loves helping students discover their voice and just what they’re capable of. She is particularly passionate about teaching students who think they “can’t sing” or can’t sing “well.” She truly believes that everyone can sing, it just takes time and practice (like everything else!), which is easy when you’re having fun!
Christen sees herself as a student of life; she is always learning. She recently earned her Masters in Opera Performance (with Honors) from the University of Kansas, which is where she learned that she genuinely loves teaching. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to expand what she has to offer students.
She has also learned to embrace the diversity of the music she loves. While she has focused on opera for the past 10 years, she has an incredible passion for musical theatre, film scores, and video games scores, and is excited to now be pursuing opportunities in those areas as well. When she’s not immersed in music, she runs a life coaching business for geeks and gamers.
Ali received a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology (study of movement / physical activity) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, graduating with commencement honors. She has 7 years of experience in developing and executing strength and flexibility exercises for kids involved in gymnastics. She also has experience assisting seniors with range of motion exercises in an in-patient hospital setting. With her own strength, flexibility, and endurance exercise routine, Ali continually trains for obstacle races such as Tough Mudders and Spartans. Ali says her two passions are working with seniors and teaching strength and flexibility. She’s happy to be teaching at the Center with a class that allows her to combine these two passions.
Mat Pilates/Silver Age Fitness
Rene MacVay holds Single Subject California Teaching Credentials in Art and English. She taught high school English, AP Art History, Art. Her Art History class at the Center addresses topics ranging from major movements such as Impressionism to a closer look at individual artists such as Picasso and Caravaggio. Rene has also been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years, teaches yoga, mat Pilates, group fitness, and is a personal trainer. In addition to the Art History Class, she teaches Pilates and Senior Fitness at the Center. In her free time, Rene is a gluten-free food blogger/influencer at HealthyRecipeVariations. When not working, she and her husband enjoy an active lifestyle and traveling.
Eva initially joined La Jolla Community Center as the front desk receptionist and was the Corporate Relations Manager of the La Jolla Community Center from 2014-2015. During that time, she noticed how many seniors struggled with using their personal technology and how few options or resources they had to resolve their problems. She subsequently began teaching the iPhone class on a weekly basis at the Center. Eva continued to study information technology and worked for a local tech company in La Jolla. She currently teaches at various residential communities in San Diego, runs a website containing a video library of lessons aimed at helping seniors with technology, and continues teaching the iPhone & iPad class at the Center.
Italian: Beginner, Intermediate and Italian for Travelers
Paola Baracco was born and raised Torino in northern Italy and graduated from the Universita degli Studi di Torino with a Literary Arts Master’s degree. She also received a Master’s in Communications Technique from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Paola held positions for 12 years as director of client relationships for several worldwide advertising agencies in Italy. She moved to San Diego in 2004, where she taught Italian at the Italian Cultural Center, in elementary schools and for La Jolla Community Center. Paola enjoys reading, painting and yoga.
Beverly received an M.A. in French language and literature from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and was a French teacher for 30 years. She has been leading the French conversation group at the Center for several years. Beverly has studied and traveled extensively in France and other French-speaking countries and received a scholarship from the American Association of Teachers of French. She is now retired and lives in La Jolla.
Olga is a native Spanish speaker and was born in Cuba. She was introduced to several languages under the age of 10 and acquired English in New York City. Curious about how the brain acquires language, she majored in Linguistics with a minor in Cognitive Psychology and immersed herself in psycholinguistics. She graduated from University of California and was awarded a Ford Foundation scholarship for graduate study in Linguistics. Taking a turn in her career, she discovered the dilemma of profoundly autistic children and their inability to acquire age appropriate language and trained in special education to address these children. During that time, she had the distinction of teaching the first Spanish maintenance bilingual class for upper elementary grades in the Los Angeles School District and was eventually promoted to Director of Bilingual Education for a large school district in southern California. After 13 years in education, she decided to pursue law, graduated from law school and open a law firm practicing family law. Olga practiced law for 30 years and recently retired. She enjoys teaching conversational Spanish—returning to her love of language acquisition.
Marlane has a Master’s in Depth Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego. She has a certificate in Dream Tending from Pacifica Graduate Institute where she studied this emerging and revolutionary method for more than a decade with its creator, Stephen Aizenstat. She has also attended several workshops with the acclaimed Jungian Analyst Marion Woodman, and has practiced Jungian dream work based on the writings of C. G. Jung, and others. She has studied and written about the mythopoetic imagination, an interest that began with her discovery of the writings of Joseph Campbell in the late 1980s. She also has a Master’s degree in English Literature from NYU, where she was a scholar in the Poetics Institute. She has made a life study of dreams, creativity, imagination, writing and self-discovery, all of which inform her work as a tender of dreams.
Barbara Yoes founded Solace Mindfulness in 1997. Her studies have taken her from bodywork, massage and East/West medical practices for well-being, as well as having the honor of studying with several mindfulness schools, including receiving the 5 Mindfulness Trainings at the San Diego Deer Park Monastery of Thich Nhat Hanh, The Chopra Center, and The Dharana Meditation Training Program as an instructor.
She has done clinical work at UCSD’s Gifford Clinic, utilizing medical and psychological studies as well as empirical studies of mind/body/spirit in her counseling of the gravely mentally disabled and created the first-ever art therapy group at Gifford Clinic.
Barbara teaches children, families, adults and corporations, and is also an advocate and voice for victims of crime. Resiliency and lovingkindness are subjects of her seminars to corporations, schools, institutions and individuals and families.
Through a colorful lens on life, her years of experience, and the passion to empower others with the knowledge she has gained from her teaching, Barbara enjoys her personal practice through meditation, dance, fitness, yoga, writing, teaching and consultation work. She is a happy grandmother to four boys, and loves to swim and enjoy the beach with them in her hometown of San Diego.
Brain Longevity and Meditation
Sasha is a brain longevity therapy specialist who received a certification from the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation and has a B.S. in Cognitive Science. Sasha’s meditation class focuses on the practice of meditation and methods to ensure deep relaxation and stress reduction. This class is offered separately but components of it are also offered in her five-part “Brain Health” series that presents medical and scientific research behind brain health and includes information on how dietary and lifestyle changes to help reduce and perhaps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. As well as stress reduction, she provides practical information on exercise, diet, gut health and interactive brain stimulation methods to help reduce and/or prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Qi Gong Style T’ai Chi
Sherlie has been practicing T’ai Chi since the 1980s and began teaching T’ai Chi and Qi Gong in 1998. Her classes feature the short form of T’ai Chi—a gentle, meditative movement form that is easily learned and practiced.
Writing Your Memoir
Sid Shapira is a San Diego-based writer, author and corporate communications specialist. In his professional career, he has had extensive experience in media, public relations and marketing.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Sid graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto with his B.A. in journalism. After beginning his career as a reporter for The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, Sid transitioned into the public relations and marketing communications arena. Shortly after moving to Southern California, Sid was commissioned to co-author The Time of My Life, the autobiography of Jack Leonard, a Time Inc. executive who lived in La Jolla. After leaving the corporate world in which he held management roles in marketing communications and internal communications for such companies as Qualcomm and The San Diego Union-Tribune, Sid decided to follow his passion and started a memoir writing business called Stories Be Told in 2011. Since then, Sid has enjoyed compiling and documenting the stories of many fascinating individuals. Some memoirs are written exclusively for individuals and their families in a coffee table book format while others have been published for the general public. As Sid says, “everyone has a story to tell!”
Michael Lieberman is a poet and fiction writer, who has taught poetry workshops for Inprint (Houston). He is a winner of the Pen-Texas Award for fiction and the Southern and Southwestern Breakthrough Prize for poetry. He is a former research physician, a pathologist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry; a former board member of the Jung Center of Houston; and a former member of the advisory board of Inprint (Houston's creative writing organization). He is the author of eight books of poetry and five works of fiction. His latest book is The Life Within Us, Stories.
Ann Marie Welsh
Deep Flow Yoga
Anne Marie is certified as an instructor at the 500-hour level by Deep Yoga School of Healing Arts and the National Yoga Alliance in 2010. She continues to train with Bhava Ram and Laura Plumb, the founders of Deep Yoga. She has also trained extensively in Yoga therapeutics, Vedic therapy; and Happy Back Yoga with Ram, physical therapist Rachel Krentzman, Gary Kraftsow, and others. Anne Marie has been practicing yoga since 1999 and is an author, editor and writing coach. She received an M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature and drama. She also was the San Diego Union Tribune’s dance and theatre critic for 25 years until Deep Yoga transformed her life and work. Ann also teaches Meditation for Deep Healing at the Center.
Silver Age Yoga
Bob is a certified yoga instructor and has been practicing yoga for more than 11 years. In 2007, he observed another yoga instructor teaching Silver Age Yoga. Shortly after that, he was invited to teach the same class to students at the Center. Since then, Bob has enjoyed teaching yoga to students of all levels. In his spare time, he likes to read, hike and travel as much as his semi-retirement status permits.
Carole began taking yoga classes in college and was hooked after her first class. After that, she sought out yoga classes wherever she was living. When she moved her family from England to La Jolla, she started taking Svaroopa® yoga classes. She soon decided that she wanted to share this style of yoga with others and became a Certified Svaroopa® Yoga teacher. Carole has Advanced Teacher Training Certifications in Deeper yoga, Gentle yoga, Yoga for your Back and Pregnancy Yoga. In addition, she is a Certified Yoga Therapist and Meditation teacher. Prior to moving to the US, Carole taught English as a Foreign and Second Language in elementary and high school.
Silver Age Yoga
Carolyn has practiced yoga consistently for more than 20 years and is a member of Yoga Alliance. She received the ERYT-500 designation of an experienced yoga instructor, indicating years of experience in the study of yoga. In 2005, she was trained in Silver Age Yoga and has developed and branded her own offering, “Silver Sage Yoga and Wellness.” Carolyn completed the Advanced Raja Yoga Teaching Training Certificate at La Jolla Yoga Center in 2012 and also trained in the Walt Baptiste Method of Raja Yoga, receiving her certification in Baptiste Power of Yoga in 2004. Swami Veda has been an important influence on her spiritual journey. For Carolyn, the mind-body connection is a vital part of her personal practice and one she shares with her students. Carolyn is a long-time resident of La Jolla and has been a featured presenter at the La Jolla Woman’s Club, La Jolla Yoga Center, and Joshua Tree Retreat Center.
Guru Amrit Kaur Khalsa
Guru Amrit Kaur Khalsa is a yoga teacher, trainer and healer. She directed an Ashram in Mexico City with her husband, SS Babaji Singh and became a Kundalini Yoga teacher/trainer in 2002. She is a Reiki Master, certified in EMF and is a 3rd level Sat Nam Rasayan teacher and healer. As a trainer, she had a privilege to participate with a great team of teachers in Mexico and the US. The most important and honorable participation she has had in Sikh Dharma worldwide was to help in the revision of the translation in Spanish of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, who was accepted in the different Thakats of India, including the Golden Temple. Guru Amrit Kaur Khalsa was part of the board of directors of 3HO in San Diego. She has a Master degree and PhD in Philosophy (Suma Cum Laude) and was also a professional ballerina.
Hari Das Kaur
Sat Nam Rasayan
Hari Das Kaur is a member of a very small group of global Sat Nam Rasayan® (SNR) healers who are certified by Guru Dev Singh, Master of Sat Nam Rasayan® to teach this ancient healing art. Hari Das comes from a long lineage of powerful healers experienced in intuitive and energy-based modalities from her maternal line, and traditional medical physicians from her paternal line. Hari Das’ great-grandfather was one of the first homeopathic physicians in New York City. She retired from her surgical nursing career in 1999 to commit herself to healing and teaching this beloved art throughout the US. She continues to teach and heal in her long-standing practice in La Jolla.
Pamela Godde is a long-time yoga student who is passionate about the rich tradition, science and philosophy of yoga. She completed her 200-hour training through Yoga Alliance and her 300-hour training through Yoga Works, mentoring under Shauna McKay. She has deepened her practice and teaching through extensive formal study of the Yoga Sutras, the Mastery of Life Training and certifications in Happy Back/Yoga Walls, Restorative Yoga and Yoga for the Center. She has mentored under Rachel Krentzman in therapeutic yoga, focusing on the koshas, including the relation between the physical anatomy and the subtle body. Her classes incorporate pranayama and meditation with an emphasis on slow and mindful movement, as well as alignment to create a deeper but more sustainable practice.
Victoria began practicing yoga in 2002 and quickly gravitated toward Ashtanga Yoga. She currently studies with Tim Miller at the Ashtanga Yoga Center and with Trevor Monk at Infinite Yoga. The foundation of her teaching style comes from her sense that the benefits of her dedicated practice have exceeded anything she could have imagined when she started her practice. She enjoys sharing her experience in classes that are challenging, not intimidating and fun. Victoria is a registered yoga teacher at the 200-hour level with Yoga Alliance.
Jean became involved with Svaroopa® yoga in 1996 at the Master Yoga Academy in La Jolla, on the recommendation of a friend to relieve a pain in her hip. The pain went away but Jean continued with the yoga practice. She believes that the teachings from the ancient texts upon which Svaroopa® yoga is based, fulfilled years of study and yearning and searching for something more. Jean has always looked for common denominators—universals—that are true for all. The teachings and practice of Svaroopa ® yoga helped Jean find the essence inside that is the universal, the common denominator for all. Teaching has allowed her to share the principles of this truth with others in a tangible way. Jean's teaching style is compassionate and clear with meticulous attention to detail for maximum benefit from the poses. Jean has been teaching since 1999 and is a certified Svaroopa® Yoga teacher (CSYT), a certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT) and registered with Yoga Alliance (E-500). She has also been trained to teach meditation.