Our Instructors

Our Instructors

Dylan Cramer

BIO:

Dylan Cramer has been teaching private saxophone, clarinet and flute lessons at the Kerrisdale Community Centre for 30 years. During that time he has produced several top-notch players who have gone on to have successful careers of their own. Dylan has also recorded five albums during this time and has written a book on the saxophone, “Alto Saxophone Mastery.” He is planning two more recordings this year and continues to perform at live events around the globe.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Studied in Los Angeles from 1977-1987 at the Dick Grove School of Music and with two outstanding private saxophone teachers and performers, Sonny Criss and Phil Sobel.

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

MUSIC

Ginny Chiu

BIO:

Teaching is a passion of mine and I’ve been fortunate to teach in various settings ranging from K-12 to working with adults. I am an advocate of developing the growth mindset to inspire learners and most importantly to motivate students to foster the love for learning. I help students from pre-K to high school strengthen their reading and writing skills and use a range of resources and materials to engage students and create interactive and fun learning experiences. I also write blogs to provide tips for parents to support their child’s learning journey. When not “educating”, I enjoy spending time with my 3 children. We enjoy biking, hiking, and sipping on bubble tea!

Find out more: www.readytosetgoals.com

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • BA, UBC
  • BEd, UBC

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

EDUCATION

Josefino ‘Joe’ Soliven

BIO:

Joe Soliven is a professional chess instructor with over 10 years experience offering programs with various community centres around Vancouver. Once inside the chess club, he calls every student a “Commander” – leader – asserting that a wholesome self-image is the key to a positive and inspired learning experience. A self-professed social thinker, Joe has made it a mission to enlighten fellow educators and parents alike that chess is one of the most effective mind-games that holds key essential virtues in arming a young child critical-thinking , problem-solving and decision-making skills, all so common in everyday practical life situations. Other than chess, Joe enjoys his time with basketball and ‘taichinnis’ fitness regimen.

He can be reached at: jpsmasterworks@gmail.com.

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

EDUCATION

Joseph Young

BIO:

I am an enthusiastic and experienced musician who has been teaching music for nearly twenty years. My father-in-law initially got me interested in the ukulele when we first met and I’ve never looked back! I strive to create a friendly and non-judgmental atmosphere in classes and consider the enjoyment of music-making to be supremely important. In addition to teaching and playing ukulele, I am a father and husband, sing solo and in local choirs and love taking time to learn new things!

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Multiple years teaching ukulele at several community centres across Vancouver
  • Outreach ukulele teacher with the Sarah McLaughlin School of Music
  • Degrees in music and education from UBC • University training and experience as a choral conductor
  • Ten years teaching in the Richmond Secondary School system (music, among other things)
  • In addition to ukulele and singing, I play guitar, saxophone and piano

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

In addition to ukulele and singing, I play guitar, saxophone and piano

Lisa Low

BIO:

Sifu Lisa was trained by world renowned Tai Chi and health Qigong Masters from China. Sifu Lisa participated in International Health Qigong Seminars, Masters’ Training, and World Health Qigong Tournaments globally in the past 10 years. Sifu Lisa won 2 Individual and 1 Team Gold Medals in the 7th World Health Qigong Tournament held in the Netherlands in 2017. Sifu Lisa is the current Canada Health Qigong Association

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Sifu Lisa is certified as a 6th Degree Master Instructor and an International Judge by the International Health Qigong Federation.
  • Sifu Lisa is widely recognized as a Master Instructor of Tai Chi and Health Qigong in Canada.
  • Sifu Lisa has been teaching Tai Chi and Health Qigong in Vancouver City Hall, Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver and Richmond Community Centres since 2012.

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

XHEALTH & WELLNESS, MARTIAL ARTS

Mohammad Reza Atashzad

BIO:

Master Watercolour Artist Mohammad Reza Atashzad, a well-recognized international watercolourist, is also an esteemed Vancouver art instructor that teaches in different communities and art institutes. He has over 35 years experience in teaching drawing, painting and architectural design. He is the founder and director of the Atashzad Art Gallery and Art Academy in Tehran. He has held more than 150 solo and group exhibitions in Esfahan, Tehran, Rome, Florence, Paris, London, Moscow, Vancouver and other major cities around the world. His uniquely-styled creations have a different vision and feeling in their subjects of nature: the beauty of flowers, landscapes, monumental buildings with a pleasing blend of reality and the poetic imagination that bring us peace, love, and happiness. He has published more than 700 paintings such as greeting cards, posters, albums and books. Visit: www.atashzad.com.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE:

  • Nava Art Centre, North Vancouver, BC
  • Britannia Community Centre,Vancouver, BC
  • West Point Grey Community Centre, Vancouver, BC
  • Creekside Community Center, Vancouver, BC
  • West End Community Centre, Vancouver, BC
  • Persian Culture and Art Institute, North Vancouver, BC
  • Barclay Manor, Vancouver, BC
  • Atashzad Academy of Art, Tehran, Iran

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

ARTS

Nevada Banks

BIO:

Nevada grew up dancing and has worked as a fitness professional for the past 16 years. She is passionate about creating movement classes that are fun and inclusive for every kind of body. She is certified with the BCRPA as a group fitness leader with specialties in Pilates Fitness, Pre/Post Natal, and Older Adult Fitness. She is also a certified Barre Fitness instructor since 2010 and has pursued personal exploration in a number of modalities including: Yamuna Body Rolling; The Melt Method; Feldenkris; Alexander Technique; Yoga; Lucid Body; Authentic Movement; Laban and many more. She has taught people young and old and her best moments as a teacher come when she can facilitate her students to achieve their goals and discover physical options they never knew were possible.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Group Fitness
  • Pilates Fitness
  • Older Adult Fitness
  • Barre Fitness
  • Pre/Post Natal Fitness
  • Dance

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Registered Music Together Teacher

BIO:

All of our teachers complete the live interactive Music Together Teacher Training provided by Music Together LLC as well as 10 week in-class apprenticeship offered by West Side Music Together. Teachers receive training in early childhood music development, lesson planning, song development, parent education, and developmentally appropriate practice.

See all our Teacher Bios at: https://www.westsidemusictogether.ca/teachers.aspx

QUALIFICATIONS:

Our teachers have various backgrounds that include some of the following:

  • Degree in Music
  • Degree in Music Therapy
  • Actively Performing Musicians
  • Early Childhood Educators
  • Performing Arts Degree

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

MUSIC

Richard Pelcz

BIO:

Started with judo at 10. Moved to taekwondo at 12 got a black belt. Ran dojo for 5years. Move to weight lifting trainer & aerobics instructor and selling gym memberships. Started boxing at 23, won gold gloves in Oregon 1993. Got 3rd degree black belt at 25. Weight trainer and aerobics instructor since 1996. Founded boxing gym in 2004 downtown till COVID and sold in 2020. Now aerobics instructor and boxing trainer, weight trainer & personal trainer at various locations.

QUALIFICATIONS:

ISSA

  • Personal Trainer
  • DNA Based Coach
  • Senior Fitness Specialist
  • Exercise Rehab Trainer

BCRPA

  • Group Fitness Instructor
  • Seniors Fitness Specialist
  • Level 2 Boxing Coach

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

HEALTH & WELLNESS, MARTIAL ARTS

Susan Johnston

BIO:

Susan has been the Nurse Educator for OASIS, a regional VCH program since 2015. Prior to that she was the Clinical Nurse Educator for the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC for 6 years and had been a bedside nurse with that program since 1991. Her particular interests are in preventative approaches to health management that include alternative medicines like Cannabis and alternative modalities like meditation.

QUALIFICATIONS:

RN with 37 years of experience in prevention, cancer care, rural nursing, women’s health and elder care.

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

EDUCATION

Tanya Hillson

BIO:

Tanya Hillson has been offering high-energy Zumba (dance fitness) classes at Kerrisdale Community Centre since 2011. Her favourite part of teach at Kerrisdale is seeing people of all ages and fitness abilities dancing and having fun together. Tanya’s Latin dance background combined with her Caribbean heritage and fifteen plus years of fitness experience and general zest for life make this class uniquely her own

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • BCRPA registered fitness leader since 2003
  • Certified Zumba fitness and Circl Mobility instructor
  • Certified Holistic Health Coach and EFT practitioner

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Yuan Ji Dance Instructors

BIO:

We are a group of volunteers who enjoy Yuan Ji dance. We are hoping to share this wonderful exercise with others. Yuan Ji dance is a fusion of physical exercise, qi gong, martial arts, Tai Chi etc. which acts in concert with the melodious Yuan Ji music and many of us have been involved in this activity for more than 10 years. We believe it is suitable for people of all ages, particularly seniors. Yuan Ji dance will help participants to stay young, healthy, happy and energetic. This dance routine is low to moderate impact exercise which promotes health and wellness and is good therapy for physical and mental well-being.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Experience related to Yuan Ji Dance:

  • Each member of this group of volunteer instructors has 5 to 16 years’ experience in leading Yuan Ji dance.
  • Members of this group periodically provide instructions to participants in classes.
  • Members have been involved in the organization of this activity for several years.

Experience related to other dancing and exercises:

  • Some instructors have participated, and are still involved, in Line Dancing, Traditional Chinese Dance, Ball Room Dancing, and Tai Chi.

PROGRAM CATEGORY:

HEALTH & WELLNESS