Dave Ambrose: Contra Dance

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Dave Ambrose has been an avid contra dancer for 20 years and through his time on the dance floor has become an accomplished dance caller and teacher. He has a lot of experience working with beginners and can get them up to speed and enjoying contra dancing in an easy half-hour lesson. 

Contra Dancing is a couple’s dance enjoyed in America since the 1800s when it arrived from Europe. Anyone familiar with American square dance will recognize many of the figures and moves of contra dancing. It is danced to traditional fiddle tunes organized in two melody sections. One time through the music brings the dancers back to the beginning of the dance once again. Couples form in a long line with two couples facing each other. As the dance progresses each couple finds itself dancing with a new couple after every round of the music. The caller calls out each new figure before it is to be executed so that the dancers have a cue for what comes next. Before the start of each dance, the caller will walk the dancers through the sequence of figures. All figures are done to a count of eight and a typical dance will have eight figures. So after 64 beats or steps, the dancers find themselves with a new couple to dance with and the music starting again from the beginning of the tune.

Contra dancing is the perfect way for people of all ages and skill levels to participate. There's no fancy footwork involved- a simple walk step is all that's needed. 

Contact: 503-741-8412  dwampb@charter.net 

Kelli Daffron: Yin Yoga, Yoga Workout, Vinyasa Yoga

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You can make anything into yoga by acting with intention; learning to observe yourself in all that you do. My practice aims to work this muscle of awareness, focusing on one’s breath, posture, and movements. I completed my teacher training in Sivananda yoga in the Bahamas in 2014, and since have taught in Mexico, Guatemala, New Orleans, Malawi, and now here in Astoria. My classes are influenced by different desires for stretching/ movement/strength and are very much inspired by instructors I’ve practiced with over the years. Living on a permaculture farm in San Jose del Cabo circa 2012-‘13 I got to learn how to take care of plants and goats, cook vegan meals over a fire, speak Spanish, and practice yoga with real intention—were it not for the yoga community there, I would not have become an instructor.

​North Carolina is my home state. I earned my bachelors in Psychology and Anthropology at UNC Chapel Hill in 2010, and spent the time between then and 2016 teaching school children and farming all over the world. AcroYoga has been an interest of mine since 2012, where I began practicing with circus folks in Mexico and Colombia. While living in New Orleans in 2015 I continued to practice AcroYoga and danced with an Afro-Brazilian group. My recent interests have led me to intern at Lewis & Clark National Historical Park where I’ve learned a great bit about the biology of the Lower Columbia. Ask me about plants! 

Contact: kdaffron@gmail.com  757-348-5314 

Marco Davis: Tap, Modern, Odd Fellows Dance Collective

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Marco has an MFA in dance from the University of Oregon 2007. He enjoys teaching, especially for adult beginners. While earning his degree he was awarded a teaching fellowship at UO & taught jazz, tap, modern, improvisation & ballroom for three years. During that time he also worked at several area high schools, choreographing musicals & teaching dance classes. He also taught dance at the Shedd Institute & for the Summer Musical Theater Camp, as well as choreographing for Lane Summer Musical Theater & the UO theater department. He was also an outreach educator for ArtsBridge America & the UO Repertory Dance Company. Most recently, he's been teaching at CCC & choreographing for Coaster Theater & the Opry Company. He is excited to be given the opportunity to be teaching at the AAMC!

Contact: 541-654-2412  marcogerarddavis@gmail.com

Daylight Cums: Dragalution Choreography

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Daylight Cums is the physical form of Marco Davis' performance art. She had her debut on the streets of New Orleans Halloween of 2012. In 2013 she presented the world with her DRAGALUTION in Astoria!!! She loves to dance and loves teaching at the AAMC!

Contact: marcogerarddavis@gmail.com 541-654-2412 

Shanna Gillette: Guided Conscious Movement, Dance Church

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Shanna “Light” began practicing yoga and meditation 17 years ago at the beginning of a long journey back to health and happiness after a serious car accident and as a way to heal childhood abuse. Truly exemplifying her favorite quote from Kahlil Gibran, “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain,’ she adds, “The journey to wellness is a constantly evolving process where we learn to nurture body and mind beginning with the heart; To truly understand that the most important step to long-lasting good health and harmony isn’t necessarily about sweating our way to perfect abs or contorting our bodies into painful positions. It starts within. It’s about self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, and self-love. It’s about learning to accept and respect ourselves wherever we may be. Through the physicality of yoga, we tune into a deeper more expansive space beyond the trivial day to day. We learn that it’s ok to nurture ourselves and to allow our spirits to be happy.” She is a mindfulness coach and certified yoga instructor (former adjunct faculty at Clatsop Community College, RiversZen Ilwaco, and SouWester Lodge Seaview). She holds a B.A. in Consciousness Studies from the the Evergreen State College and is the founder of "Let That Shift Go - The Workshop." She is currently working toward certification as an Open Floor International (movement therapy) facilitator, a doctorate in metaphysics from the University of Sedona, and initiation in Kriya Yoga from Paramahansa Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship. 

Shanna’s classes will help to guide you back to yourself, to tune into your breath and still the mind through gentle stretches, gorgeous soundscapes, and guided meditation. All skill levels are welcome.

Contact: https://www.facebook.com/shanna.gillette 928-699-2270 justbevibration@gmail.com 

Julia Gingerich: Contemporary Modern, Sparrow Dance Company

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Julia attended the University of Arizona and then Western Oregon University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. She received much of her classical training with the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre from 2002-2006 and the Houston Ballet Academy. Julia has taught, choreographed and performed all across Oregon in Eugene, Portland, Corvallis, Hood River and now Astoria. She has taught all ages from tots to elders and in various avenues like dance studios, high schools, conferences and churches. Born to move, Julia has lifelong experience in many different forms of dance: Ballet, African, Modern, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Liturgical, Salsa, Swing, Irish and Baroque to name a few. Julia has traversed the plains of musical theatre and classical music with her experience as an actress and pianist. Recently, Julia has been the Dance Coordinator for a local fundraising event called Dancers Unite. Additionally, Julia is the Artistic Director of two non-profit dance companies located in Astoria; The Spirit Moves Dance Company and Sparrow Dance Company. Julia has a passion for art outreach and she hopes all individuals find their avenues to be able to move. “Everyone can dance!” she says. “Each person has their own dance inside of them, they must only find their own way to express it!” It is with great excitement that she has come to the AAMC to create athletic, yet expressive, contemporary modern movement in the hopes to fill some movers’ souls.  

Contact: Julia Gingerich 503-502-3118 julia.gingerich@gmail.com 

Jessamyn Grace West: Belly Dance, Belly Dance Choreography

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Jessamyn began taking Egyptian Cabaret and Turkish style Belly Dance from Saqra and Aziza in 1994. After moving from a small town in Central Turkey to her hometown of Portland, Jessamyn relocated to Astoria in 2005 and founded the Astoria Arts and Movement Center in 2011. For Jessamyn, Belly Dance is a way of cultivating essence, honouring your passion and practicing self-reverence. Middle Eastern and Northern African music moves her tremendously, and she loves that Belly Dance is improvisational- allowing her to experience everything the music has to offer. 

Jessamyn has also been an Equine Massage Therapist since 2005, has read Tarot since 1994, is certified in MogaDao Morning Medical Qigong and Daoist Sexuality, and has a  radio show on KMUN Coast Community radio. She is also proud to serve as Astoria City Councilor for Ward 4.

Contact: info@astoriaartsandmovement.com 503-791-5657 www.jessamyngrace.com 

Erika Hawkins: Coast Fusion Belly Dance

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Erika began taking Belly Dance classes in 2001 right here on the coast. With roots in Egyptian Cabaret and Yoga, she began teaching in 2005. With her love of traditional movement and rhythms, she has always been drawn to blending different music. Erika began practicing American Tribal Style Belly Dance and ultimately fell in love with Tribal Fusion. She started CoastFusion in 2009 and has taught off and on since.

She focuses on sharp and smooth isolation work with hints of Hip Hop and Contemporary in the mix. Erika is also a local painter and former photographer.

Classes are open to all ages/genders/levels of experience. Coin belts and veils are provided or you can bring your own. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a smile.


Contact: ekimaging@hotmail.com 503-440-0205 https://www.facebook.com/CoastFusion.BellyDance/

Melissa Henige: Tri-Dosha Yoga, Wise Women Gatherings

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More info coming soon

Julia Hesse: Living the Tarot

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I have a passion to bring Tarot to life for you in magical, practical, and transformative ways. Your classes with me are conducted in warm, safe environments and are designed to be empowering. You will come away feeling positively inspired by the new archetypes you have activated through this work.

My experience with tarot as a living wisdom system inspired me as the producer and co-creator of the Living Tarot Oracle™, an award-winning event where the major arcana cards come to life to answer your questions. The activities offered at AAMC are from the Living Tarot Oracle (LTO) training and it is my hope that we can eventually offer a full LTO event here at AAMC.

My practice is built on a foundation of a lifetime of the exploration, practice, and teaching of unconventional spiritual paths, including a 6-year apprenticeship in Contemporary Shamanism with the Transformative Arts Institute, an adult lifetime of working with dreams as wisdom messages from myself to myself, and several years with the Naked Voice work of Chloe Goodchild. Included in my training and teaching experience are the Enneagram, Earth-based ceremony and ritual, and Sound Liberation, work that I created to free your authentic voice.

I approach Tarot, and my life, with reverence and respect for the depth they offer and I offer this to you. I have recently relocated to Astoria from the magical lands of southwest Colorado. I am currently teaching and offering individual Tarot consultations, in person, via Skype, email, or phone. 

Contact: www.juliahesse.com or www.livingtarotoracle.com  insight@juliahesse.com or (970)-570-9323

Julie Kovatch: ITS Belly Dance, Poi Spinning

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Julie's passion is in expressive motion with focus in bellydance and poi spinning. She is a certified UNMATA Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS) instructor and teaches this dance style which is a modern, combination-based, group approach to bellydance that is recognized worldwide. This energetic dance is all about teamwork, having fun and being actively engaged in the moment. ITS classes are held Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m.

With poi spinning, Julie loves the balance of mind and body that spinning brings. It's a combination of physics and dance. There is a very technical element to it that requires you to obey Newtons laws of motion, but once you learn to work with momentum and inertia, you get to create beautiful dance within it too. Private lessons and group workshops are available to learn poi spinning.

Contact: juliehrubes@hotmail.com 406-598-2378

Tammy Loughran: Zumba

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Dance has been part of my life since I was a girl.  In middle school, I practiced tap dancing in the garage and at the bus stop, most likely amusing all the cars that passed by on my busy street.  By the time I went to college, aerobics became a consistent form of exercise—good music, dancing and all the while burning calories and taking care of my body—what’s not to love about that!?!   I have gone through every era of aerobics from Jane Fonda videos to Jazzercise to step aerobics finally bringing me to my all-time favorite of ZUMBA!  Its great combination of the Latin music I have always loved, fun dance choreography and great fitness benefits pushed me to get certified as an instructor in 2016.  I also recently received certification in ZUMBA Toning which combines all the great aspects of Zumba with the benefits of weight bearing exercise by incorporating light weights in the dances.  I grew up in Portland, attend Willamette University for my undergraduate degree and Texas A&M for my master’s in communication.  My husband and I own a business in Astoria, and we are happy and busy helping in our community where we can.  I am very involved in my church, St. Mary, Star of the Sea as well as with the Astoria Parks, Recreation & Community Foundation.  I have a great husband, 3 grown children, and one lovable dog.  

Contact:  503-791-6303  theloughrans@charter.net

Jude MatulichHall: Yoga, Pilates, KashmirShavaism Meditation

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Jude MatulichHall is a certified Yoga instructor with 18 years experience in the fitness industry. Originally getting her start in weight lifting, she soon branched out into other fitness practices which included Yoga, aerobics, kick-boxing, Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, & resistance training, just to name a few… 5 years into her fitness journey Yoga and Meditation become her main focus for health and well-being. At the age of 29, Judy realized that her true calling was to teach- she received her Yoga certification and began teaching in February of 2005. 

Jude is currently teaching private lessons, for more info please contact her at YogiJudeAmrita@gmail.com  503-298-3874

Kimberly O'Bryant: Ecstatic Dance, Dream Workshops

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As a dreamworker, dancer, teacher and artist, I like to approach wholeness and acceptance of self through states of non-ordinary perception. I believe an amalgamation of wisdom from many sources is much more effective than tightly focusing on one aspect of development, or one right way. There is no right or wrong way in ecstatic dance; your open movements are encouraged!

I first experienced ecstatic dance here in Astoria nearly a decade ago dancing within a lovely group created by Lila Danielle (Beach Dance) and Elia Seely. Additionally, I have apprenticed under Robert Moss, dream-teacher extraordinaire, Toko-pa, Sandra Ingerman, Joy Drake, Yasko Takahashi, Sage Magdalene and Annam (elle) of Heartgate, as well as Animas founder, Bill Plotkin in Soulcentric-Dreamwork & Underworld Journey. I hold a Bachelor’s in Sociology & Gender Studies, a Masters of Art in Teaching and have studied systems counseling at the Leadership Institute of Seattle.

Contact: kimbojets@hotmail.com, 503-791-6087, www.kimberlylane.xyz

Estelle Olivares: Argentine Tango, Ballroom

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Estelle found dance by way of the stage. She started performing at an early age and dance quickly became her muse of choice. Following her passion, she trained and performed in many forms, including ballet, tap, jazz, modern and ballroom dance; Argentine Tango is the dance closest to her heart. She has been studying Argentine Tango in Portland since the late 1990’s and has had the pleasure of working with several local and international tango dancers and performers. 

Estelle is excited to bring her knowledge and passion of tango to Astoria! Her teaching style is fun and inviting, focusing on the concepts and culture of the dance. No experience is necessary for her classes and a partner is not required.

Contact: twins2tango@gmail.com 971-227-4381

Kim Postlewaite: Zumba Dance Fitness

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Kim took her first Zumba class in 2012 and fell in love with the music, the energy, the fun dance combinations… but most of all the smiles of those around her. Zumba has changed her life and she enjoys sharing that joy with others. Kim received her Zumba certification from the lovely and talented, Gina Grant in October 2014 and is currently a member of ZIN. She started teaching in March 2015 and is excited to be a part of Astoria Arts & Movement Center sharing her love of dance and fitness. Kim values trying new things and getting out of her comfort zone as this keeps her happy and healthy; striving to be the best person she can be. The love of dance has been a lifelong passion. Currently Kim studies tap dance at the Maddox Dance Studio and has been performing for many years with the Main Street Tappers in the annual Tap Festival in addition to the Spring Recital. Kim leads a full life enjoying walks on the beach, clam digging, gardening, volunteering, traveling and spending precious time with family and friends. She lives in Gearhart with her husband Heinz; together they have four grown children Jonathon, Natalie, Alexandria and Mariah that all live in Oregon. 

“Dance with your heart and your feet will follow…”  

Contact: 503-440-2153 nccutting@msn.com

Terrie Powers: Meditation, Gentle Yoga

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Terrie Powers, RYT 200 graduated from Ohio State University with a B.S. degree in Occupational Therapy and has worked for the past 20+ years in Home Health. She is certified to teach Yoga in the Shambhava tradition and also has a chair yoga certification. In addition, she has completed 192 hours toward a Yoga Therapist designation. Her passion is to bring the benefits of yoga to anyone with an interest in learning. “I believe that yoga has little to do with what you are able to do and everything to do with how you do it – your intent, your mindfulness and your attention to the coordination of breath, movement and being present in the pose – that is Yoga and it is accessible to everyone.”

Classes are a floor based practice for students of all ages wanting a slower paced, gentle practice of traditional yoga. They use various methods to help increase flexibility, strength, balance and body/mind awareness. Classes may include the use of props, including chairs, bolsters, straps, blocks and blankets to explore traditional poses in a safe mindful practice.

There will be an emphasis on safe alignment, breath awareness and finding your own personal yoga practice in a supportive environment with a like minded community of students. Each class will end in a long savasana to reset the body and integrate the class learning and may include a restorative yoga pose. Students should be able to get up and down from the floor without assist. Classes are all taught barefoot so please let me know if this is an issue for you as there are alternatives out there.

Contact: trrbaypowers@gmail.com 503-298-0056

Joy Sigler: Zumba

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When you listen to music do you imagine yourself creating beautiful movements to match the rhythm? If you answer yes then you are not alone! I have been doing just that for as long as I can remember! The study and exploration of dance has been a part of my life from age 13 to the present. During regular studies in college I managed to always add Modern, Jazz, Modern Ballet and Dance History to my schedule. Currently I have added the study of Tap to my experiences and my husband and I continue our twenty year enjoyment of Ballroom Dance classes as our schedule allows. I taught Dance fitness from 1988-1992 and started teaching Zumba Fitness in 2013. Zumba Fitness is a safe a creative formula for fitness enthusiasts and lovers of dance! I am passionate about using world rhythms throughout the hour class and encouraging all participants to modify the choreography to fit their individual goals and inspiration.

I have a Bachelors of Science degree from Oregon State University which includes course work in Food Science, Nutrition, Biology, Anatomy/ Physiology and Psychology. I enjoy being available to answer questions and to encourage class participants in pursuing all aspects of healthy living. 

The Love of Movement is a love for life, EMBRACE IT! 

Contact: 503-440-2547 joysiglerzumba@gmail.com 

Rich Small: East and West Coast Swing, Latin, Ballroom

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Rich Small began his dance career in the early 1980’s in the Social Dance Club atmosphere. Rich and his Partner quickly rose to the top and became National Champions.  As a member of the 159th Army Show Band, his music and dance talents were combined to choreograph and perform at USO type shows in San Luis Obispo and the Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium. Recognized as a leader in the dance industry, he was invited to be National Teaching Director for the CWDI Dance Organization, where he held that post for over 10 years. 

Although Rich has focused on teaching social dance, he has taught and choreographed for numerous competition couples and dance teams, as well as his own performing team. Prior to retirement, Rich  conducted dance workshops in New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Washington, Oregon and California. His dance business was centered in the San Francisco Bay area where he worked out of several studios including his own in Walnut Creek and Martinez, California. With an incredible work schedule teaching in and out of town he still found time to choreograph and perform at major dance events and social dance with his friends and students.

Since Retiring to Seaside, Oregon Rich has been teaching part time at the American Legion in Seaside and has volunteered at the Seaside High School teaching several semesters of dance classes and Choreography for the Seaside High School Drama and Choir Departments.

Humbled by the greatness of his mentors, he always quotes Fred Astaire who once said in an interview regarding his dance achievements…”I’m 72 years old and still learning how to dance!”  His classes are designed to help you find the joy in dance!  

Contact: 503-739-5995 or richiesmall@msn.com

Zachar Sollars: Contact Improv

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Zachar (rhymes with “the car”) began dancing in 2004 at the weekly barefoot boogie held in Berkeley, CA and has been engaged in Contact Improv, 5-Rhythms, and Ecstatic Dance religiously ever since then, as well as delving into Argentine Tango, Fusion, and most recently Zouk. New to the Pacific Northwest as a transplant from Chico CA. He is one of the core members of a 5-Rhythms based dance camp, Rhythm Wave, for the last 10 years at the Burning Man festival in Nevada. Contact Improv has become a core aspect of his approach to every dance style and life as it’s main tenant is grounded awareness of the present moment and dance partner(s), even if that partner is the dancefloor itself! 

Zachar is currently living in Long Beach, WA while doing house renovations in Ilwaco, WA. Presently in a Holistic Nutrition, Behavioral Change, and Fitness Nutrition diploma program. He studied Acupressure and Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Acupressure Institute of Berkeley for 2004-2010 and also received certification in NLP based Hypnotherapy through The NLP Institute of California in 2009 with an advanced NLP/Hypnotherapy certification in 2015. In 2016 he attended Cal Earth Institute for a SuperAdobe building and Permaculture Design Certificate. His ultimate goal is an integrated mind/body health and wellness practice, and dancing wherever he goes! 

Contact: 775-790-5245 Zgivesgoodhugs@gmail.com