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Dotte Stanley, art instructor

Dottie Stanley

Art Instructor

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 Caulfield, art instructor

Nicole Caulfield

Art Instructor

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.

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Scott Farr

Bridge Instructor

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.

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Carol Cohn

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.


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Phillis Carey

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.” 


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Dottie Stanley, cultural advisor for artists' exhibits

Dottie Stanley

ART: Artists Exhibits 

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.

Patrick Anderston, Co-director of Opera Wednesdays

Patrick Anderson

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. 


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Chris Burns, music appreciation instructor

Chris Burns

Music Appreciation

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.”


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Amanda Penaloza-Banks Ico-Dance instructor


Amanda Penaloza-B​anks

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.”

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Zumba Instructor

Ruth Karhu

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.

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James Clarkston

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. 


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Paola Baracco, Italian instructor

Paola Baracco

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. 

Olga Fabrick, Spanish instructor

Olga Fabrick

Café Español

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. 



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Sasha Briskin, brain longevity and meditation instructor

Sasha Briskin

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.  


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Sherlie Miller, T'ai Chi instructor

Sherlie Miller

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. 


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Anne Marie Welsh teaches yoga and meditation

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. 

Bob Spindler, silver age yoga instructor

Bob Spindler

 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. 

Guruamrit Kaur, Kundalini Yoga instructor

Guru Amrit Kaur Khalsa

Kundalini Yoga

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. 

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