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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda is a Washington native, born and raised in Port Orchard, WA. For Amanda, ecstatic dance is an opportunity to still the mind and allow the body to move in whatever way it wants to. Amanda was immediately drawn to the liberating and transformative power of ecstatic dance after her first class in 2021. As a breathwork practitioner and registered nurse, Amanda's passion lies in assisting others in healing and integrating through self-expression and embodiment.
Contact: 360-850-8494 email@example.com
Chicago Native, the PNW became Nat’s second home in 2016 when she moved to Seattle. Recently settling in Astoria, her dream was to get back into the dance realm and share her love for it in the community.
Nat has been dancing pretty much since she could walk and professionally danced from the age of 6 to 19, as well as taught hip- hop, ballet and contemporary. Nat has experience in contemporary modern, ballet, pointe, jazz, hip-hop, and strength conditioning. She has danced for renowned studios in Chicago such as Joel Hall, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Visceral Dance Center, Gus Giordano Dance School, and Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Nat wants to create a safe space for all individuals where anyone can express themselves freely. Dance is her outlet to do so, and she wants to spread that amongst others too.
Contact: 630.492.9550 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 founder of two former non-profit dance companies; 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.
Please note Julia is currently on break.
Contact: 503-502-3118 email@example.com
Erin Carlsen has loved moving her body for as long as she can remember. In her early years she trained at Leisure Quest Dance Studio here on the Oregon coast. She fell in love with the game of soccer around that same time and went on to play in college. The foot movement, grace, and stamina required for soccer felt similar to that of dance.
In 2013, Erin became a certified Zumba instructor. After running her own small dance fitness business for a couple of years in Seaside, she moved over to Encore Dance Studio where she has been teaching for the last three years. After a short stint of performance dance with a local Burlesque group, Erin decided that dancing for fitness and freedom was her chosen form.
Erin has worked on creating original choreography and a class style reflective of who she is. She combines hip-hop, reggaeton, and Latin rhythms to create a high energy, body toning class that leaves her students feeling empowered and strong. Her mantra is “no mistakes.” She believes, “You win the moment you decide to act on becoming a more empowered you.”
When she is not dancing or chasing her kids around, Erin teaches Sociology, Women’s Studies, and Lives in Transition courses at Clatsop Community College. She is also the Director of a local grassroots non- profit organization that offers advocacy and hot meals to those sufferings from homelessness and poverty.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 503-741-1661
Benedetto [they/he] of Benergy Healing, is here [and queer] and ready to serve with love. As a certified intuitive energy worker, transformational coach, and instructor, Benedetto holds gentle, yet powerful space through various modalities- including Reiki, Sound Healing, Tarot, Qigong, Yoga, and Mentorship- to support clients who seek clarity and guidance through major life transitions and transformations. Benedetto has been rippling out energy waves for the greatest good since 2016 by working with clients 1:1, teaching classes, and hosting workshops. They have co-created numerous transformational events around the country, and soon around the world!
Since moving to Astoria in 2020, you can also find Benedetto serving the community as the Program Coordinator for the Lower Columbia Q Center; DSART for The Harbor; and support staff at the Astoria Warming Center.
Contact: email@example.com 847-323-4555
Belle Devereux (they, them) is a native to the PNW, raised in the PDX area, dancing from one stage to the next in musical theater productions. Eventually teaching theater, they went on to continue pursuing dance and studied ballet, tap, swing, and contemporary before enrolling at a ballroom dance studio—they were offered a job teaching there on their second lesson.
Continuing to teach, perform, and compete, they fell in love with Latin styles, particularly Latin club styles. Moving on to teach independently and study dance in South America, they offer private lessons in salsa and bachata in Portland in addition to the Saturday Beginner Bachata class here at AAMC. Their dance specialty is sensual bachata and their teaching specialty involves students who are new to the dance style or new to dance in general, using a holistic approach to demystify the music, steps, and history.
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 movement and the body 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, is the Executive director for the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association and is proud to have recently served as Astoria City Councilor for Ward 4.
Aubrie comes from a musical family and began singing and learning instruments at an early age. She holds her BA in Instrumental Music Education from St. Olaf College graduating in 2003 and began her career as a middle school band director in her hometown of Iowa. Upon moving to Phoenix, AZ a few years later she taught high school music theory and piano. After the birth of her first child in 2013 in Seattle, WA she needed a more flexible schedule and became a traveling music teacher, working with kids in daycares and preschools age birth through five. She also teaches private piano and trumpet lessons.
Aubrie began practicing yoga with her aunt and friends in the 1990’s. In 2006 she attended Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, AZ to become a Registered Yoga Teacher, furthering her studies in Hatha Yoga with Rod Stryker and Yoga Therapy with Christy Burnette accumulating 300 hours. Upon completion of her yoga certification she worked at a group home for teenage girls and an alternative high school teaching both yoga and music as well as teaching adults in various yoga studio settings, including Meta Yoga and SWIHA.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 602-980-9007
I.T.S.- Julie's passion for expressive motion led her to belly dance and poi spinning. She is a certified Sigil School Improvisational Team Sync (I.T.S.) instructor and teaches this dance style which is a modern, team-style approach to belly dance that is recognized worldwide. This energetic dance is all about dancing as a group, having fun and being actively engaged in the moment. Dance together anywhere to any music once you learn this dance language. I.T.S. classes are held Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m.
Poi Spinning- Julie loves the balance of mind and body that spinning brings. It's a combination of physics and dance. Work with the laws of motion and use momentum and inertia to create beautiful movement and dance by spinning weights through the space around you. Private lessons and group workshops are available to learn poi spinning.
Contact: email@example.com 406-598-2378
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jude MatulichHall is a certified Yoga instructor with over 20 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.
Contact: email@example.com 503-298-3874
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 for Osteoporosis, Chair Yoga and Yoga in the Shambhava tradition. 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: email@example.com 503-298-0056
My name is Megan, and I became a certified yoga instructor in 2017 after many years of practicing at my local YMCA in Eugene, Oregon. I didn’t set out to become a yoga teacher. I went to classes because they seemed to help with stress, and I enjoyed them. When one of my instructors suggested I consider teaching, I was surprised. I didn’t think I was spiritual enough! Now I realize you do not have to consider yourself spiritual to practice or teach yoga. If the practice involves your spirituality, that could be interesting, but it is not a prerequisite. At the very least, I have found yoga a fantastic way to take time out of our day to care for ourselves and meet great people. I welcome anyone and everyone interested in trying my classes.
I completed my yoga teacher training in Nicaragua with an instructor who trained in a style of yoga called “Ashtanga.” I was intimidated by the strange name, but I loved the challenging practice, which progressed through a series of the same poses each class. Following my training, I jumped right into teaching Ashtanga in Leon, Nicaragua, at a local studio. I also taught other types of gentle and flow yoga classes at surrounding beach hostels. It was a great privilege to meet and teach students from both Nicaragua and from all over the world.
I am grateful to live on the gorgeous North Coast and aim to offer an accessible and safe Ashtanga-based practice for beginners and advanced yogis. Some experience practicing yoga will be helpful but may not be necessary.
Besides yoga, I enjoy surfing, hiking, writing, and my career as a speech-language pathologist. I look forward to meeting you, and please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or for more details.
Terrie is taking a break from teaching this summer, and when she is ready to return, the Wednesday & Friday 10:00-11:15 time slot will return to her class. In the meantime, I will be teaching an Ashtanga-based flow at this time slot, starting June 21st.
Contact: 971-606-0352 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
Connor Swan was born and raised in Redlands, California, and thanks to the city’s admiration for stage performance, he immediately took to the arts as soon as he could. Dance has been a passion of Connor’s for many years, and he has several areas of expertise in the field, including choreography, drag performances, show choir, and musical theater. He has been a trained vocalist for the last 10 years, with a background in music theory, along with studying choral music and composition.
Contact: 971-286-8345 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tia grew up here in Astoria and has enjoyed teaching many genres of movement to all ages, babies to adults since 2004.
She loves the physical, creative and emotional release that movement provides. Her classes and choreography are intended to facilitate artistic expression and community connection at the same time.
Contact: 503-791-6466 email@example.com