The Works Instructors

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.

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."

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.

Heather Gersh

Joanna Arhon Clinton (on maternity leave) is a certified Pilates instructor trained in both mat and apparatus through Balanced Body University and a certified fitness instructor. She began studying Pilates as a dancer seeking rehabilitation for her lower back injury. She finds joy in helping her clients learn, understand and grow in their own practice and is passionate about educating her clients about the strength and power of their own bodies. Her class information is available at

Karen Montgomery got her start in the fitness industry after giving birth to her son in 2005. As a client, Karen took stroller fitness classes and instantly fell in love with the challenging workouts and the bonds formed with other moms. Determined to bring this format to Brentwood, she began teaching "Hot Mama Fitness" an outdoor stroller fitness class for mom and baby. Club One approached Karen and asked her to teach a comprehensive pre and postnatal fitness program at their Brentwood location. "Moms in Motion" was born and from there Karen began to teach Kick-box, Spin and small group boot-camps. Karen is passionate about making fitness fun and accessible. Her classes focus on interval training and lots of muscle work as well as stretching and balance. Karen believes in "whole body fitness," focusing not only on the physical body but the mind and spirit as well.

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:

Other Instructors

Aggie Brenneman has been teaching dance classes at Park Day School for over 25 years, after having lived in India and Malaysia for nine years. She had studied Bharata Natyam with the renowned Tanjore Balasaraswati and her daughter, Lakshmi Knight, at the Center for World Music in Berkeley, atthe American Dance Festivals of Connecticut College and Duke University, and in their home in Chennai, India. She was awarded a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to research mythology and to study with Shyamala, the leading disciple of T. Balasaraswati in India today. She has performed in the United States, India, Nepal, and Malaysia. Through her involvement in Bharata Natyam, Aggie Brenneman strives to preserve the ancient dance tradition of the South Indian Tanjore Court in the style of T. Balasaraswati.

Deepa Natarajan has been assisting Aggie in teaching the dance classes for the last five years and has been studying under Aggie since 2007. In 2011 Deepa performed her Arangetram, a graduation performance for advanced Bharatanatyam dances. Deepa has also studying Bharatanatyam in South India with Shyamala, a leading disciple of the great T. Balasaraswati. . Deepa additionally loves plants works part time at the UC Botanical Garden and is actively involved with the Sangati Center for South Asian Music. She brings enthusiasm and warmth to the children whom she teaches.

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.

Colleen Breen hails from Chicago, where she has trained, performed, directed, written, produced, and taught for the past 11 years. She has been a member of ensembles at The Second City, I.O. Theater, Annoyance Theater, Comedy Sportz, pH Comedy, Laugh Out Loud Theater, GayCo, Improvised Jane Austen, and The Playground. Her experience includes long and short form improv, musical improv, theatricals, sketch, and full written revues. She is excited to bring her passion of improv to the Bay Area Community. Lets Play!

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

Jasmin Trotter has a strong practical background in classical ballet, as well as experience in contemporary ballet, modern, tap, and jazz dance. She performed with Jill Johnson's Dance Company in numerous community functions and annual recitals. In the Nutcracker, she performed soloist roles, which included Snow Queen and Dew Drop Fairy, as well as the principal role, Sugar Plum Fairy. She also participated in Tremaine Dance Conventions and Competitions with the Company, winning First Place and Best of Show awards. Jasmin danced several soloist roles in performances with Oakley Ballet Center, including Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, and Pas de Trois in Paquita. For three consecutive summers Jasmin travelled to attend Summer Intensive Programs, five-week sessions that involved rigorous training schedules designed to prepare each student for the professional dance world. Jasmin attended Summer Intensive Programs at American Ballet Theater, Princeton Dance and Theater Studio, and Boston Ballet, respectively, each of which had required her to be chosen from auditions among hundreds of other prospective students. Most recently, Jasmin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary American Studies, with an area of concentration in Gender and Dance, from University of California, Berkeley.

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.

For more information visit or

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

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.

Vicki Virk – Award Winning Bay Area Dance Instructor and Co-Founder of Dholrhythms Dance Company and the legendary Non Stop Bhangra party in SF, Vicki is excited to bring her Bhangra class to the Works Cooperative Community. Vicki was born and raised in Punjab India and grew up dancing to Bhangra. Though she became an attorney, her passion for dance inspired her to form Dholrhythms Dance Company that is dedicated to promoting the artistic and cultural heritage of India through the beautiful Bhangra and Giddha folk dances of Punjab, India. Vicki is the leading instructor and choreographer for all Dholrhythms classes, workshops, performances, and events.

Since its inception in 2003, Dholrhythms Dance Company has grown into a boundless and unique platform for people of diverse backgrounds to come together, express themselves, and dance in a non-competitive and positive environment. With Dholrhythms and Non Stop Bhangra, Vicki has taught and performed at some of the largest stages on the West Coast including San Francisco's renowned Stern Grove Festival, Michael Franti's Power to the Peaceful Festival in Golden Gate Park, Yerba Buena Center For the Arts, War Memorial Opera House, Asian Art Museum, Grand Performances in Los Angeles, Pasadena's Levitt Pavillion, New Mexico's ˇGlobalquerque!, Canada's Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival and many more. Dholrhythms and Non Stop Bhangra have won numerous awards and recognitions including the Independent Artist Award for Making a Global Impact by Independent Artists Week as well as One of the most inspiring in 10 years on the Bay Area Dance Floor by San Francisco Bay Guardian. Non Stop Bhangra was also voted as one of 250 Things to do in SF before you die by 7x7 magazine.

Vicki's passion and love for this dance is at the core of her teaching style which is inviting and infectious to anyone that joins the Dholrhythms classes. She loves teaching Bhangra because its done with zest, energy, and enthusiasm and she believes that's how life should be lived.

~Move to the rhythm of your soul, and you'll never miss a beat~ Vicki Virk

For more info on Vicki, Dholrhythms or Non Stop Bhangra:;

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.

More details and registration at