THE WORKS Instructors

Abby Crain, Certified Pilates Instructor, has been teaching Pilates since 1999 in the Bay Area, New York City and Austin Texas. She was certified by Master teacher Madeline Black. She continued her studies with Mercy Sidbury of St. Frances Dance Medicine in San Francisco, who helped her recover from a back injury, and Carrie Field (now of Taos, New Mexico) who taught her the fundamentals of the technique and how to teach. In New York, Abby was fortunate enough to be whipped into shape after her first child by first generation teacher Kathy Grant, at New York University. Abby dances and teaches dance in New York and San Francisco, and has practiced yoga since 1991. Her classes combine strict attention to refining technique and instilling good biomechanics with a rigorous and playful physical practice.

Alan Leon is a graduate of piedmont yoga studio's advanced studies program 2001. Alan weaves, adapts and interprets daily life into the asana practice, He teaches to celebrate the creativity of life and bring greater awareness to our precious embodied existence. His workshop themes have included Partner yoga, Exploring Balance, a Yoga of Creativity, Yoga in Watercolor and Restorative Yoga. Alan has taught around the bay area and internationally since 2000, He considers leading others on the journey of a class practice a great honor.

Christine MacDonald — Chrissy has been teaching health and fitness since she was fifteen. She's a jazz dancer who came to Pilates after a serious car accident. Chrissy has worked as an aerobics instructor, including nine years directing an aerobics program for a swim and tennis club in Redwood City, as well as being a personal trainer in weights and cardio. She danced and taught Pilates in NYC, where she worked with a number of Broadway performers—from the Lion King, Rockettes, Moving Out—as well as opera singers from the Met. In SF, she has taught at dance studios, including Rhythm and Motion, ODC, City Ballet, Jane Kellam's School of Dance, Marin Ballet Theatre, andStep One Dance Academy. In addition, she was an Oakland Raiderette and is still dancing with SRO—an R&B orchestra.

Morning Star (currently on hiatus) has a variegated background that includes a BA in music, over 30 years of teaching piano, dance, swim coaching, athletic team training, music/exercise therapy, stress reduction, therapeutic stretch, cooking, and yoga. She believes in synergistic living and movement, which means one thing, affects and contributes to another action on a holistic level. Travel, living in various countries, wiggling in Brazil, trekking in Australia, learning to teach yoga in Spanish in Mexico, and writing music—all have been key ingredients to her approach, with humor, of teaching people to be comfortably and transformatively in their bodies. Certifications include AAFA, ACSM, Contra Costa Leadership, Integral Studies, and more. She gives retreats in connecting with nature, yoga, dance, and exploration of the outer/inner universe. Try her class and you will feel the magic! Check out her website at:

Rachel Parker took her first Pilates class more than 15 years ago and she has been hooked ever since. She felt strong, centered and present in her body and it was just the beginning. Over the years, Pilates helped Rachel adapt and thrive as she transitioned from dancer to journalist to busy mom. Now as a teacher, she is honored to share her passion for Pilates and movement. Rachel successfully completed the Balanced Body Pilates Instructor Training Program and continues to learn and study. Rachel is passionate about including release work, new movement patterns and laughter in all of her classes and sessions. She loves to work with students at every level: newbies, folks wanting to regain strength and Pilates veterans looking to go to the next level. Her philosophy is to see the unique gifts and challenges in all students and create a movement recipe that brings joy, healing and empowerment. Rachel is originally from Southern California and also enjoys yoga, dance, cooking, hiking and keeping up with her spirited son.

Other Instructors

Alyssa Conn has over 10 years of experience helping people of all ages and abilities who are seeking fitness, rehabilitation from injury, pre- and post-natal work, to individuals just wanting to improve overall strength and awareness in a knowledgeable and supportive environment. She says, "My background includes a lifelong love of movement and fitness including a passion for dance, my Pilates Certification with Ellie Herman in 2001, to hiking in 37 of our National Parks in 2011. I graduated from Occidental College with a degree in Biochemistry and I love applying a scientific understanding and thoughtful approach to my Pilates practice and teaching style."

Beth Kreitzer is a life-long dancer and Bay Area native, having trained in jazz, tap, ballet and hip hop at local East Bay studios. She's been performing since she was a 3 years old in dance, musical theater, and even cheerleading. After high school she received a scholarship at Dancers' Synectics Group in San Francisco, studying under Ann Marie Garvin and Ann Barrett, and continues to perform as a principle dancer for Ann Barrett. She began teaching after the birth of her second child (leaving a career in sales and marketing in Silicon Valley) to spend more time with her family (you're likely to see one or both of her children at any of her classes!) while doing what she loves most — working with children and dancing! She's served as Primary Program Director at California Academy of Performing Arts in Moraga teaching primary dance, youth jazz, and performance ensembles, youth jazz and tap at B*Dazzled Dancers in San Leandro, and adult jazz at City Dance in San Francisco.

Cheryl Fralick started training PGB White Crane Silat in 1986 under Dr. Bryce Carter. Cheryl is the head trainer for the San Francisco PGB branch, which merged with Bay Area WCS in 2013. She has been teaching children's groups at the Soja Martial Arts studio in Oakland since 2006. Teaching kids and adults is an important part of her training and a way to give back to the community.

Connie Zhang first fell in love with K-pop and started dancing to it 7 years ago when she had a Korean roommate. Before that, Connie did Ballet and Chinese traditional dance for 11 years. Connie is a star instructor at Enjoy Dance and a director at the Korean Performance Group (KPG), UC Berkeley's premier K-pop dance team. She has so much passion for K-pop and teaching, students are guaranteed to have a great time with her!

Dr. Jaida Kim Samudra is a medical anthropologist whose doctoral research was conducted in the Persatuan Gerak Badan (PGB) school of White Crane Silat (WCS) in 2000. She began studying the WCS self-defense art with trainers Peter and Gary Gartenberg in Berkeley in January 1984. Later that year, she traveled to Indonesia to study with PGB founder Suhu Subur Rahardja (now deceased). She became assistant trainer to the Berkeley branch in 1991 and later opened WCS groups in Minnesota, Hawai'i, and Wisconsin with the approval of current grandmaster Suhu Gunawan Rahardja. She rejoined the thriving White Crane Silat community in California in 2011 and helped form the Bay Area WCS collective in 2013. She also teaches Tao Kung, PGB's internal energy and health system, in El Cerrito and Oakland. Email

Jean-Pierre Sighé of West Central Africa's Cameroon nation grew up in a cultural environment where dancing was part of normal living. Equipped with his African dancing background, he later discovered the Latin dances and immediately felt their appeal. Living in Europe, he delighted in Salsa. In the U.S. he pursued his passion for Salsa dancing and decided to further explore Latin dances, such as Rumba and Cha-Cha in the Ballroom context. In 1998, he was invited to discover the Argentine Tango. He intensely and exclusively studied with his first teachers Alberto Paz and his partner Valorie Hart for several months. Solidly grounded by Alberto and Valorie's instructions, he later intensified his learning with other Tango Masters, such as Carlos Gavito (and Marcela), Fabian Salas, Chicho (Frumboli), Julio (and Corina); and occasional classes with Eduardo and Gloria, Fernanda and Guillermo, El Indio, Todd and Marizabel. Jean-Pierre has been dancing Tango since 1998 and believes everyone of these Tango Masters opened an enriching window in his mind. Another Tango Master who has enriched Jean-Pierre's experience is Facundo Posadas who generously shared his knowledge and extended his friendship.

Jean-Pierre is a founding member of A.R.T.S. (Afro Roots in Tango Society). The group was created under the active inspiration of Facundo Posadas, the living Tango Master from Argentina. A.R.T.S. is dedicated to spreading the little known information about the Afro roots in Argentine Tango, dating all the way back from the Candombe of the African slaves and their descendents.

His motivation for teaching Tango derives from his desire to share with others the beauty of this wonderful gift to the world from the Argentinean people. He does not want to simply teach a set of steps following some futile pattern. Jean-Pierre desires to faithfully transmit to others what he has had the privilege to receive directly from the Tango Masters—the spirit of Tango.

Kami Liddle has been a student of dance since she was 4 years old. Throughout her childhood, she studied and performed various styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, modern and hip hop. When she was 18 years old, belly dance became her passion and she began studying with different instructors in her area as well as traveling to out of state festivals and dance intensives. In her early years, she primarily focused on American Tribal Style (ATS®), ballet, jazz, modern and hip hop training, thus beginning to develop her own voice as an artist.

Liddle graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in 2005 with a B.F.A. in Art with a minor in Dance. Shortly after Kami was invited to join the Bellydance Superstars (BDSS). She toured with BDSS for 6 years as a principal dancer as well as creating 9 choreographies for the show. In 2010, Kami decided to leave BDSS in order to pursue her art as a solo artist and began to tour with Zoe Jakes and Beats Antique for two years. Since then has been hosted in over 2 dozen countries as a performing soloist and teacher. In order to fulfill her artistic vision and use her abilities to the fullest, Liddle decided to return to her love of group choreography. Selecting six colleagues from an array of the Bay Area's leading belly dance companies, Liddle formed Gold Star Dance Company in early 2013. In 2014 Gold Star joined forces with local San Francisco band Junk Parlor to create a new show with live music. Since then Kami has collaborated directly with band leader Jason Vanderford in the creation of a new album specifically for Liddle's choreographies and has toured the West Coast.

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Karen R. Clark has performed and recorded worldwide and is well-known for her many performances of early and new music. A devoted voice teacher and practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method®, Karen enjoys researching the mind/body connection and healthy vocal technique in a variety of vocal styles. Karen holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and has taught in music departments, such as Princeton University, the Thornton School of Music at USC, and UC Berkeley. Karen maintains private studios in Oakland and Petaluma, and, directs the vocal ensemble, Vajra Voices.

Mark Jellison — For more than 15 years now, Mark has demonstrated a passion and tenacity for encouraging, creating, and implementing strategies to improve the lives and the performance of elite athletes and also complete beginners to Health & Fitness. Instructing Group Exercise classes of more than 100 people per class and also 1:1 behavioral change coaching is within a normal day for Mark. As grows his knowledge of Wellness and Performance, so does his passion for sharing this wealth.

In 2006 Mark moved to Berkeley to train for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Trials in the Men's Decathlon. Mark was part of 3 USA Decathlon teams competing against Germany in the Thorpe Cup 2010 & 2011 and also representing the USA in 2011 at the Pan American Games held in Mexico. See more at

Nathalie Tedrick is a Northern California Bay Area native. She toured internationally for seven years with Miles Copeland's Bellydance Superstars, and has performed and taught Belly Dance across the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Her dancing has been featured on PBS, BBC, ABC, national and international commercials as well as various Persian music videos. Nathalie was honored to perform with Thievery Corporation during their West Coast tour in 2015. Nathalie both teaches and performs regularly in the Bay Area and is privileged to share her art with the world.

Nives Wetzel de Cediel is an internationally trained visual and performing artist with 20 years of experience in performance and dance education. Nives has studied and performed Spanish, Brazilian and Cuban dance with groups such as Bailes Flamencos, Ginga Brasil, Fogo na Roupa and Kubata. She studied Capoeira for 8 years with the late Mestre Carlos Aceituno and is currently the Artistic Director of Batucada do Leste - Escola da Samba. Nives is concerned with the energy and emotion dance solicits—the 'power' of dance to communicate.

Royland Lobato, originally from Guantanamo, Cuba, is a founding member of the Havana-based dance company, 7 Potencias, an Afro-Cuban Folkloric dance and music ensemble. A graduate of the Escuela de Instructors de Arte de la Ciudad de La Habana, (School of Arts Instructors in Havana) with a degree in Education, specializing in dance. A professional dancer with an expertise in Afro-Cuban folkloric and Cuban popular dance, Royland has also participated as a principal dancer as well as instructor, and invited guest in performances, workshops and classes throughout the greater Bay Area, Hawaii, New York, Cuba, and Mexico.

Chief Trainer Sutrisno Samudra oversees the development of White Crane Silat trainers throughout the United States and Canada. He began studying White Crane Silat when he was 15 years old and trained full-time with grandmaster Suhu Gunawan Rahardja for 11 years in Indonesia. Three years after receiving his first black belt, he opened a branch in Germany. He moved to Hawai'i in 2001, where he continued training students for a decade. Shortly after moving to California in 2011, he was awarded the 4th degree black belt and became Chief Trainer for North America. He leads the WCS class at The Works on Sunday afternoons, oversees annual belt tests, and provides advanced training seminars at different locations several times a year.

Zoe Jakes — A versatile and extremely well-rounded performer, Zoe has developed an instruction style all her own and is a popular touring instructor, her workshops regularly selling out.

Katarina Burda (an original member of Bal-Anat) is her first teacher and influence, and Zoe was a company member of Katarina's troop Aywah! along with the talented Mira Betz and Elizabeth Strong. She went on to perform with Suhaila Salimpour, spent a few years learning how to get in peoples faces in Extra Action Marching Band, and immersed in Americana Vaudeville with The Yard Dogs Road Show. A proud Member of The Indigo Belly Dance Company, Zoe holds Mardi Love and Rachel Brice as her teachers and inspiration. Currently Zoe Jakes is touring with her band Beats Antique, a group that has 6 albums and hundreds of live shows under their belt. Zoe designs and makes many of her own costumes and co-produces tracks with Beats Antique, also adding set designer and stylist to her body of work.

Zoe Jakes has the desire and opportunity to bring belly dance to the masses, having performed at Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonneroo in front of thousands of people that don't know belly dance from an elephant. It is her passion that Belly Dance can get a wider recognition and respect, and her classes reflect that with a focus on strong technique and long term motivation.

Zoe has classes at her home studio, Coven, in Oakland, travels all over the US to teach and perform, and has many classes on

In 2015 Zoe launched her own tribal fusion belly dance format, DanceCraft®. The purpose of this accredited dance program is to provide a structure in which dancers can progress towards an achievable goal, and to provide an opportunity to build a dancer's skills intelligently and clearly. This format applies strong technical training as a framework for artistry and creative expression.

DanceCraft focuses on dance technique, strength and flexibility, musicality, choreography, improvisation, critical thinking, stamina, analysis, teamwork, belly dance history, teaching and creating original work.

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