Instructor Profiles

Kerrisdale Community Centre  has been voted Best Community Centre, and a large part of that is due to the high calibre of instructors we have for our programs.


alejandraaguirreAlejandra Aguirre, better known as simply “Ali”, began teaching in 1985. Over the years she has developed and refined highly effective fitness classes designed to foster a non-competitive and encouraging environment with a focus on the quality of movement. She has been a Nike sponsored athlete, an instructor trainer and a personal trainer. She offers variety of classes including Pilates and the “Bermuda Triangle” (her own creation). You can learn more about her @ “You are an excellent instructor and a great inspiration to me. Love how you explain each exercise; you are detailed and very knowledgeable! I have seen results.”

M. Reza Atashzad has over 30 years experience in teaching drawing and painting at his own Atashzad Academy of Art. He has also been teaching different art programs at several community centers in Vancouver since 2011. He has published more than 700 watercolour paintings such as greeting cards, posters, albums and books. Moreover, he has held more than 150 solo and group exhibitions in major cities around the world. Visit: 

Berdjis-BahramiBerdjis Bahrami is a dedicated and caring Group Fitness Instructor, with about nine years of experience in the field. She has obtained specialized training in Osteofit, Gentle Fit, Adapted Fitness and Minds in Motion. She teaches fitness classes in a number of community centres across the lower mainland, including the Kerrisdale Community Centre, Kitsilano Community Centre, Hastings Community Centre, Renfrew Community Centre and Brock House Society. She enjoys teaching and looks forward to working out with her class participants.

Jana Birkett 002After many years of teaching aerobics, Jana Birkett began studying yoga and Vipassana meditation in 1996, which lead to her discovery of the wonderful movement form of Nia. She is a certified Blue Belt Nia instructor and has studied with the creators of Nia, Debbie and Carlos Rosas, at Omega at The Crossings in Austin, Texas and in Portland and Seattle. Jana has also studied with Nia teachers in New York, Portland and with Zeta Gaudet in the Sunshine Coast and has presented Nia at wellness conferences. Jana herself continues to be a joyful student of Nia and looks forward to sharing it with you!

jeankaramira2Jean Bosco Jean Jacques BOSCO (JJ) is an exceptional soccer coach, who taught and played professional soccer in Africa and Belgium while having a brilliant career before establishing himself and his soccer school (JBST Soccer Academy) in the Vancouver Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley in British Columbia. For many years he has also taught French I, II including to graduates & PhD candidates at the University of British Columbia, Kerrisdale  Community Centre and other centres. An accomplished academic, JJ holds degrees in philosophy ,BA, sociology ,MA, and education ,Dipl, and is currently working on his Criminology and Criminal studies degree (BA) in Canada as well an LLB in Criminal Law through University of London, UK. Currently, JBST Soccer Academy is partnered with local community centres and cities to develop excellent soccer skills among U5, U8 and U13 Boys and Girls. With the help of his Assistant Coaches (his former players), and the support of Dunbar Soccer Association, Kerrisdale Soccer Association, Point Grey soccer clubs and others, JJ has developed hundreds of high performance players since the school’s inception. Indiscriminate in his desire to transmit the passion of the game in Canada, JJ has coached a broad array of teams. He has had the prestige of coaching the AFC Leopard Premier team in MSL and the pleasure of developing a women’s Dunbar community team, which continues to play today. Currently, JJ has taken U11 boys,U12 girls, U18 boys and U11 boys from JBST Soccer Academy to the World Cup Youth Tournament in Götenborg- Sweden respectively in 2009, 2012, and 2016. JJ sums up his coaching philosophy in three words: Skills, Fun, and Passion.

beth_carrollBeth Carroll focuses on bringing out the music in all of her students, while at the same time passing on the practical and technical skills necessary to play the piano successfully. She has taught privately since 2001, to students ranging in age from 4 to 83. Beth frequently receives praise from students for her ability to explain and present musical concepts and techniques clearly. Beth holds a Bachelor of Arts Double Major of Music and English Literature from UBC. Before her studies at UBC, she received a Music Diploma from Vancouver Community College, where she studied Classical Voice with retired Bach Choir Director Bruce Pullan.

Nancy Chang was born in Taiwan, where she received her bachelor degree in music and then moved to the University of Texas-Dallas to receive her masters degree. She has taught piano and theory from beginner to ARCT level in Vancouver since 1998. Nancy is a member of BC Registered Music Teachers Association and is very experienced to inspire the motivation of learning for adults and children.

mandycohen2Mandy Cohen holds a degree in Psychology and Art from the University of Manitoba along with an art and marketing diploma from the Toronto Fashion Academy. For the past 18 years, Mandy has been teaching painting and drawing throughout the Lower Mainland. Art is a passion for Mandy as she enjoys “playing” in different mediums You can look for Mandy’s website at ca/mandysee/mandy/ or where she is the Online Art Advisor, answering all of your art related queries.

deecresdeeDee Cresdee has been involved in dance from an early age. In her teens she won bronze, silver and gold medals in competitive ballroom dancing and ventured into choreography. As a young adult, she taught fitness classes and received her BCRPA certifi cation in 1984. In 1990, she began Line dancing and is now considered to be one of Vancouver’s top Line dance instructors. She has choreographed and danced on the award winning “Western Spirit” line dance team. Dee has received several awards for Line dances that she choreographed and are now being taught in many countries.

dylancramerDylan Cramer has been teaching saxophone, flute, and clarinet for over 25 years. He has produced several outstanding musicians during this time, and several of his students have become either professional musicians or teachers. Dylan was recently voted by his peers as Canada’s #1 instrumental Teacher of the Decade (2000-10). Dylan is also a recording artist, and has produced four recordings with his jazz quartet, which have received worldwide acclaim. 2012 marks Dylan’s 19th year of teaching here at the Kerrisdale Community Centre, and he looks forward to many more years of teaching and working with some of Vancouver’s finest young musicians and people.

reneechanRenee Chan has been teaching pottery at Kerrisdale Community Centre since Sept 1998. Teaching is always a great experience for her, she enjoys meeting wonderful people and watching her students learn and develop. She is happy to guide her students to create unique works of art from start to finish and hopes everyone would find the joy of making pottery!

harrycharalambousSensei Harry Charalambous, began his Martial Arts training in 1970 and has been a black belt for over 33 years. He currently holds the rank of 5th Degree Black Belt in the Butokukan Style of Karate. Harry is also the senior ranking black belt in Butokukan Canada and has trained to instructor level the majority of Butokukan Black Belts in the Lower Mainland. Considered a top ranked fighter in the Pacific Northwest; well known for his dynamic and explosive style of fighting he has won over 70 trophies and awards throughout his career, including the 1983 1st Annual Western Can-Am Karate and Kung Fu Championships Grand Champion Award. Also of note, He was a member of Team Canada verses Team USA taking 1st place in 1984 and 1993. Although he teaches all ages, Sensei Harry specializes in teaching children in a safe and fun fitness environment, giving them self-confidence and knowledge skills which help them in their daily lives.

katherinedeaneKatherine Deane, director and teacher of West Side Music Together, has been a teacher of drama, music, and dance and a favorite nanny to children of all ages for the past nine years. She began her career in the performing arts in 1988 as a dancer with the Alberta Ballet and went on to pursue her love of dancing, singing, and acting in both the Toronto and International Touring productions of The Phantom of the Opera. She has also performed in various other musicals across Canada including Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, The Secret Garden and A Christmas Carol-The Musical. Katherine’s formal music education includes classical studies in piano, voice, and music theory and she is currently pursuing a degree in Music Therapy. She has completed her Music Together training and is a registered Music Together teacher.

Nadia-DimitrowNadia Dimitrow Originally from Bulgaria, Nadia has her Master’s degree in journalism at the State University of Sofia Kliment Ohridsky. When she moved to Canada she studied in Broadcasting Communication Technology (BCIT), television option. Her knowledge of mass media, documentary and TV production led her to work for BCTV Vancouver, as well as abroad in LA and Europe. Back in Vancouver she returned to her first passion- drawing and animation. She is the founder and manager of AVCommunications (AVC) and creator of the program “Cartooning & Animation” which brought her and her students first place at the Canadian Film Festival for the animation short film “The Jungle”. Nadia is passionate about teaching and training young animators to create their own characters in the style of Walt Disney, bringing them to life through computer animation.

TheoTheolina Dimitrow Theo grew up in a family of artist and cartoonists, where she developed her artistic skills from an early age. She graduated from computer immersion and animation program at West Vancouver High School, and won first place in the Toronto film festival for her animation short “A Berry Big Problem”. Despite her age she worked on animated video productions for many years. Theo’s creative arts background combined with her technical and 3D animation skills are well received by her students, who come back again and again to her classes. She graduated from University of Northern BC (UNBC) in the science department- allowing her to combine her experience & knowledge of arts with her passion in science.

Bahamn_EbrahimBahman Ebrahimi has dedicated many years to training and various martial arts disciplines. In addition to physical training, Bahman has done constant research and physiological study in the martial arts area. He is strongly disciplined, genuine, and professional. His intensive training consists of ten years of kickboxing, and several years of Taekwondo. He has a 4th Dan degree with the World Taekwondo Federation, a 4th Dan degree in the art of Japanese Samurai sword, a 4th Dan degree in Kick Boxing and is a member of the Canadian Iaido Association. Bahman has a black belt in Aikido and Kodokan Judo. He also has five years of Okinawa weapons training and four years of training in Brazilian Jiu-jets. He is a devoted teacher to his growing student population

Dino Geremia Coach Dino is an elite coach specializing in the development of student-athletes. After 20+ years on the University sidelines Dino found an even greater way to share his passion. He currently coaches and consults for several programs balancing his leadership roles with All Star Camps, Game Ready Fitness, Life Ready Foundation and with Football BC. “It is rare that you have the opportunity to increase the impact you have within the community you love. being able to share the positive experiences I had in sports and competition with children & youth, is a daily pleasure.” “It may be naive but I truly believe that when we provide special training with positive encouragement it will lead to success; this repeated and the process learned will lead to successful people.” Dino’s humble and unassuming manner is slow to reveal the vast knowledge and experiences he has accumulated in his respective fields. Dino learned enormous lessons and balance from being a student-athlete. His ability to balance roles and ultimately work hard has enabled him to work in recreation and coaching, and then his own business. During those years he somehow found time to complete a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. Dino’s focus has always been on providing opportunities to others specifically youth. Coach Dino has taken the combination of competitive athletics and the appreciation of recreation in all of his pursuits finding great coaches to work with and to deliver quality programs.

Irene Groundwater began her dance training in American Social Ballroom Dancing in Montreal, where she taught and competed in the American Social Ballroom style of Dance.(Fred Astaire style) sheI started Line Dancing in 1994 and promptly joined the CWDI (Canadian Western Dance International Society) In 1995 – Irene started teaching Line Dancing. In 2001 – Irene started choreographing dances and competing in the choreography competitions held by the CWDI (Vancouver Vibrations) in Surrey and at the Hot Tamales Events held every year by Michele Perron in West Vancouver. She received many awards for line dances that she choreographed including”Memory” which was published in the LineDancer Magazine in the UK (and danced worldwide) Presently, Irene teaches at 6 different locations, South Granville Seniors Centre, Kerrisdale Community Centre and The Brock House Society, (which is a private club, overlooking English Bay and the North Shore), Shannon Oaks Retirement Home, Clarendon Court Retirement Home and South View Terrace Retirement Home. The Westend Seniors Action Network, Vancouver, B.C. published the following article in their book “Everyday Heroes” touching the hearts of Westend Seniors.


heather-trainerHeather Hughes got her start in fitness with an unexpected awakening; after holding a desk job for a number of years someone snapped a photo of her and she was shocked at how much weight she’d put on. She was rescued by a personal trainer who taught her how to use food as fuel for exercise and improved not only her quality of life, but boosted her self confidence as well. Eager to share her knowledge and passion for fitness, she welcomed the chance to make a career change into the fitness industry and help people the same way she was helped before. She went on to compete as a figure athlete and then to train both bodybuilders and other figure athletes for competition, but her true passion lies in helping people restore movement and teach them that a healthy lifestyle can be it’s own reward. For more info on her certifications, please see Personal Trainer page.

Established in 1993, LIT First Aid & Lifeguard Training provides specialized recreation training throughout British Columbia. The company originated in Lifeguard Instructor Training, which today, remains the cornerstone of LIT First Aid & Lifeguard Training. To better serve recreation employees and to meet the growing needs of the recreation industry, LIT First Aid & Lifeguard Training began offering comprehensive Fitness and First Aid Training in 2002. LIT First Aid & Lifeguard Training & First Aid currently offers over 700 courses per year in 16 different recreation facilities located in Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Richmond, Port Coquitlam, Mission, and White Rock.

Brenda_JagroopBrenda Jagroop has taught dog training classes at West Side Vancouver community centres for over ten years, and earned certification as a Canine Good Citizen and Canine Good Neighbour evaluator. Brenda’s own dog Spartacus is the first Cane Corso in North America to earn a Masters Agility title, and earned a 1st place ribbon at his first Canadian National Championships finishing eighth overall. In addition to agility Brenda and Spartacus train in obedience, tricks and musical freestyle and are currently competing at the Advanced and Excellent level in Rally Obedience. Brenda and Spartacus have demonstrated at the Canadian Pet Expo at Canada Place, appeared on television as well as with Superdogs at the PNE, and recently Spartacus was filmed for a role in the movie “Cats and Dogs 2”.

julie_joyalJulie Joyal is a certified personal trainer with 10 years experience. Her Specialty is working with women and seniors. Julie is a competitive Power lifter and in 2004 earned the title of BC Best Overall Female Lifter. She has a background in competitive gymnastics, the Canadian military and rehabilitation. Having suffered injury from a bike accident, Julie is sensitive to those living with chronic injuries, as well as those starting and restarting fitness programs. Her clients lovingly refer to her as the Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove.


Sheri Kauhausen has been intrigued by sign language since a young age. Certified in teaching Baby Sign Language to caregivers of hearing children, she enjoys watching the bonding and the friendships bloom in class. Sheri is the owner of Into Yoga a mobile company offering on-site Yoga, Pilates, and other health and wellness modalities in community centers and to staff at their place of work. She began her teaching career in 1987. Visit Into Yoga at or contact Sheri at


yolanda-kirompaiYolanda Korompai was born and educated in Mexico City, graduating from Escuela Nacional de Maestros (National School for Teachers) after completing a 4 year teaching degree. She initially taught elementary school for nearly 10 years before undertaking teaching research in Japan. She studied the process of learning reading and writing at Chiba University for a year. After her sojourn in Japan, Yolanda immigrated to Canada where she has been involved in Spanish Language instruction for the past 9 years. Currently she teaches children, youth and adults at various levels, ranging from beginner to advanced.

Miranda Kyle has been dancing from the young age of 3, and loves teaching and sharing this art form with others. Her main focus and passion is ballet, where she has taken her exams under the CDTA syllabus. She has also studied Scottish Highland Dance, where she took her STDA exams as well as competed in numerous competitions. She has also dabbled in tap and jazz dance along the way. Though she has only been an instructor at the KCC since 2012, her passion for teaching started in 2008 when she began as an assistant instructor in a dance class. Since then her love for dance and education has grown tremendously and is thrilled to see a passion for dance in her students.


paul=lattaPaul Tavai Latta’s came by his Polynesian education naturally as a child raised with his adoptive Polynesian family of Rarotonga, New Zealand & Tahiti and continued on years later to advanced education studying and performing at the Polynesian Cultural Centre. He holds the only Master’s Degree certification in Hula & Pacific Dance in Canada. He is also a Male Belly Dancer and a Canadian Champion Tap Dancer! With over 45 years of entertainment, 10,000 shows, movies, TV, Cruise ships and 40 years of teaching behind him, Paul still considers himself as much as a student of dance as a master teacher. With no signs of slowing down, he specializes in training his students for local & international performances, events, film, TV, & tours as well competitions, all dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the Polynesian culture.

Barbara McDonald is a BCRPA certified instructor in Group Fitness, Third Age, Osteofit, Yoga and Pilates. Working also as a spa practitioner in massage, her extensive anatomy knowledge translate to her teaching style where she works to educate participants in the proper way to move their bodies to achieve movement with less effort and more ease. She recognizes the needs of our aging Baby Boomers who wish to stay active but are encountering difficulties either as a result of injury, illness or over use. Barbara focuses on correct posture and alignment to reduce many of the physical stresses in the body – encouraging a proactive approach and correct breathing techniques, she aims to improve motor skills and general physical well being.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

heather-marshallHeather Marshall has a BA (SFU), an MA (UBC) and ESL training (VCC). She has taught English at UBC’s English Language Institute, the Open Learning Agency in the Delta School District. Heather has also taught overseas in the Republic of Cyprus and Greece. She is a published author and writing teacher.


andreamindenhsAndrea Minden, B. Mus., flutist, found sound instrumentalist and teacher, graduated from the UBC School of Music. Minden was an original member of the Robert Minden Ensemble, a renowned young audience music and theatre company which toured internationally for ten years and has been featured on Sesame Street and in many educational projects. Andréa is a well known Vancouver musician and teacher and welcomes new students.


czarina-mirandillaCzarina Mirandilla is a very passionate instructor who has been teaching for the past seven years. She brings over 20 years of experience in performing Polynesian, Latin, Interpretive and Belly Dance which gives her style a world fusion flare. She also produces and directs theatre dance shows such as Forbidden Dances, Pandora’s Box, Behind Closed Doors and Mysterious Ways. A world traveller, Czarina takes groups for cultural dance experiences throughout the Middle East.



daniella-modoranDaniela Modoran has a Teaching Certificate from ESL International Training Centre, Vancouver and training in ESL tutoring from, Vancouver Community College, Homefront Learning Program. She has taught at Collingwood Neighbourhood House and tutored through Homefront Learning Program. Her journey with teaching ESL started from the passion for continuous learning and it is rooted in the belief that good communication brings success. Her motto is “If I can do it, you can do it!”


tommyngTommy Ng has been teaching ballroom dancing for many years through Community Centres and at the Crystal Ballroom. He has been a dance lecturer for Fairchild T.V. and for an AM Chinese Overseas Broadcast Radio Station, and is a C.D.T.A. Associate for both Standard and Latin dance instruction. Tommy also performs at numerous functions for non-profit and charity-based organizations as a way to give back to the various communities that have supported his programs.


MayMay Patola has a Bachelor of Arts degree from UBC and a TESL certificate from the Vancouver Community College. Since 1995, she has taught at an ESL international school, as a private tutor, and at the Kerrisdale Community Centre since 2001. She specializes in English Conversation, and builds her course materials to suit adult students, with topics of high interest and everyday life.


barry-petkauBarry Petkau discovered his passion for fitness education in 2008 when he changed careers and completed his BCRPA Personal Trainer certification. From a young age, he became aware of the benefits that a regular fitness plan brings to ones life and now in his 40’s, it is even more evident to him that an active lifestyle leads to happiness and longevity. Barry specializes in functional fitness training for seniors but he has also helped condition young athletes for sport as well as motivate people of all ages to shed some unwanted pounds.

Joyce_ResinJoyce Resin has been teaching fitness classes in Vancouver for over 28 years. Everything from high to high/low impact, to boxercise, to step, stretch, power yoga and beyond. She brings knowledge, passion and zest to all the classes she teaches and motivates her participants with her own enthusiasm. Joyce is a certified BCRPA fitness instructor and has recently developed an innovative and exciting program called Flexercise that is unique in Vancouver. It’s a mixture of Pilates and yoga derived movements with an emphasis on flexibility training, largely through dynamic stretching and core strength. Outside the gym, Joyce is the Executive Director of ImpactBC, a non-governmental agency that focuses on health care improvement in BC and on making sure the patient voice is heard in health care system change. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Healthy Heart Society of BC. Joyce also has an extensive background in media and communications with over 25 years of experience at the CBC in Vancouver as Executive Director and host of many national television programs, including Canada’s first health and wellness program called “Alive! The Picture of Health”.

e-rolandoEliana Rolando is a native Spanish speaking instructor from Argentina, where she taught English as a second language to adults and elementary school children for nine years. She has been teaching Spanish in Vancouver for twelve years. Eliana is passionate about helping people to learn a second language. Eliana’s passion for languages has enhanced her academic studies as a Technical Translator of English and Spanish in Argentina. In 1999 Eliana had the privilege of initiating and being involved in a cross-cultural exchange between Strathcona and Jose Ingenieros Elementary schools located in Chilliwack, British Columbia and Cordoba, Argentina respectively. Currently she teaches Spanish to children, youth and adults at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Eliana is self-motivated, open to new ideas, hard working, enthusiastic, patient, positive and supportive. She is Fluent in English and Spanish.

laura-rossLaura Ross is a professional dancer, musical theatre performer and instructor. She has been teaching various genres of dance for many years. She began her own classical dance training at Pacific Dance Centre in Victoria. Later, her love of ballet brought her to study jazz, modern, tap and musical theatre. Laura has been fortunate to work with such companies as The Vancouver Playhouse, The Belfry Theatre and KOBA Family Entertainment. She looks forward to bringing her love of dance to Kerrisdale Community Centre. She teaches with enthusiasm and encouragement. Be prepared to sweat, breathe deeply and laugh.


Ebrahim-SaadatiEbrahim Saadati has earned a 6th degree Black Belt from the World Taekwondo Headquarter (Kukkiwon). He has been training in martial arts for over 30 years. He was a member of the Iranian National Team for 5 years. He immigrated to Canada in 1995 and became the Canadian Champion in 1998. He has won numerous medals internationally, including a gold medal from World military CISM championships in 1992 and a Silver medal from Asian Olympic Games in 1994. He established Third Eye Taekwondo in 1999 (recognized as a member of the B.C Taekwondo Federation). He was selected as B.C team trainer in 2009. Today he has over 300 hundred students who train and compete at all levels. Please visit his website at

Linda-SheddenLinda Shedden was a client of the CALLANETICS EDINBURGH STUDIO in Scotland for 3 years before she moved to Vancouver in February 2006. She missed the classes and the affect on her body shape so much, that she decided to train as a CALLANETICS teacher herself! Linda is now the only certified teacher in BC, and one of only a few in Canada.


Sylvia Smallman is an experienced Yoga Instructor and Yoga Therapist. She leads classes and provides training in Yoga for Later Life, and Chair Yoga. Her style of teaching engages the Mind with anatomical awareness, the Body with movement and Breath and the Spirit with fun and joy. Sylvia believes in the benefits of Yoga for Every Body….and feels priviledged to share this wisdom.

christinaMeneghinChristina Taylor is a Licensed Early Childhood Educator and a BCRPA Certified Yoga teacher who has combined the two things close to her heart – Yoga and Kids. Christina has worked both as a Preschool teacher and an Out-of-School Supervisor for the past 14 years . In addition, Christina’s childcare experience includes working with infants and toddlers, children with special needs, and teaching Yoga to teens at the Children’s Hospital. Christina’s Preschool Program had a Yoga component and she knows first hand the joy and happiness Yoga brings to children. Learn about the benefits of children’s Yoga and visit .

Meg-toddMeg Todd has been at the Kerrisdale Community Centre since 1989. She is a registered BCRPA fitness instructor and teaches group fitness and weight room classes.



barrywadeBarry Wade enjoys teaching bridge to both beginner and intermediate students. Originally from South Africa, he began teaching bridge in 1958. He moved to Vancouver in 1990 and began teaching bridge with the Vancouver School Board. He has been teaching at Kerrisdale Community Centre since 1990 and also teaches at other community centres .



Dr. Szu-Wen Wang is an established singer and an experienced teacher with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Her students have achieved high marks in auditions, competitions, as well as exams, and have gone on to university music programs.  As an opera singer, she has been the recipient of glowing reviews from Opera Canada time and time again. Her most memorable operatic roles include: Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly), the Fairy Godmother (Cinderella), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Gilda (Rigoletto), Amahl (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Josephine (HMS Pinafore), Patience (Patience), and Phyllis (Iolanthe). As a concert soloist, she has appeared in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Haydn’s Missa Brevis St. Joannis de Deo, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Orff’s Catulli Carmina, Nunes Garcia’s Mass, and many more. She was a featured soloist in Vancouver Opera’s “Voices of the Pacific Rim” concerts in 2008 and 2009.Dr. Wang is currently a member of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and sings in the Vancouver Opera Chorus.

charleneCharlene Wharton started her Fitness career at SFU in the late 80’s. Since then, she has taught in a variety of locations across Canada and Australia. Although Charlene teaches an array of fitness classes, her passion is teaching Boxerfit Bootcamp and Core Conditioning classes for those individuals who aren’t afraid to sweat. She is a BCRPA Supervisor of Fitness Leaders, BCRPA Personal Trainer, has a Marketing Degree from SFU and is the owner of Prevention Works, a company that specializes in Ergonomics.


candice_wongCandice Wong began training Wushu in 1998 and has accomplished many first place awards in forms and point fighting. She was ranked top 10 in the world (3rd in Canada) . She represented Canada at numerous competitions including the Wushui Pan-American Games where she received a gold medal in her Broadsword routine. She has won many Grand Championships in North America and won numerous Grand Championships as a National Blackbelt League competitor. Candice is a level 6 (masters degree) certified coach recognized by The Confederation of Canadian Wushu Organizations. Receiving her black belt in 2003 she began coaching and has since produced many top competitive students in North America.

Benjamin-YangBenjamin Yang is a senior Taiji and Chinese martial arts instructor fromthe prestigious Shouyu Liang Wushu Taiji Qigong Institute which is well known world wide and has nurtured tens of thousands of students and qualified instructors. Benjamin has over 20 years of Chinese martial arts experience under the personal guidance of Grandmaster Shouyu Liang. As the Grandchampion of the 11th World CupInternational Martial Arts Championships, Benjamin holds a 7th Degree Black Belt of International Sanshou Dao Association. He has been featured in the books “In the Spirit of the 2008 Olympics Extraordinary Chinese Martial Artists of the World”, and “Contemporary Famous Chinese Martial Artists”. Benjamin’s enthusiasm in promoting the ancient exercise of Taiji as a life prolonging, physical, mental, and spiritual training that brings harmony to your body and mind is clearly demonstrated in the teachings he conducts.

sung-14-260pSung Yang is a mindfulness teacher, dedicated to teaching and practicing mindfulness for the benefits of all. He taught thousands of mindfulness classes at recreation centers, schools, universities, hospitals, Buddhist centers and other organizations, teaching people from all walks of life. He is bringing abundant experience in teaching and practicing mindfulness to benefit learners. His specialties are teaching the foundations of mindfulness (satipatthana) and teaching mindfulness through easy body movement as well as leading mindfulness retreats. More info:

John_ZitnikJohn Zitnik began his training in Japanese martial arts in 1973 (at the age of nine) when he began practicing Shito-ryu Karate. John practiced for four years until the school closed. He then began training Kodokan Judo under Sensei Tamoto at the Vancouver Judo Club. He competed twice for the Vancouver team in the B.C. Winter Games, both in the junior category at 16, and as an adult at 19, taking two gold medals and one silver in the individual and team Judo competitions. When Sensei Tamoto retired and closed the Judo school, John moved onto college, and after four years of study returned to training under Sensei Hirokuni Fujiyama of the Manseikan Aikido School in 1990. Sensei John Zitnik has made several trips to Japan to train at the Manseikan main dojo and has widely traveled throughout Japan practicing at many aikido and aiki-jujutsu dojo’s to expand his knowledge and experience. In 2002 John took the position of chief instructor of the Vancouver Isshinkan Aikido Dojo.