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INSTRUCTORS

At Confederation Park 55+ Activity Centre, we are as proud of our instructors as they are passionate about the classes they teach!  Reflecting the diversity of our members and participants, our instructors bring a range of experience and are dedicated to provide a wonderful experience for all.  Learn more about our instructors by reading their bios below.  

List of Instructors

... more bios to come!

Belly Dance

ARIELLAH

Arlene Vandenberg, aka Ariellah, is founder and artistic director of Lotus BellyDance Studio established in 2001. Ariellah’s love of Middle-Eastern Dance started in 1976 when she discovered Sahbra’s Dance Into Fitness Classes.

Sahbra was very influential in Ariellah’s dance style and became her mentor. Ariellah has been a respected and professional performer of Danse Orientale since 1980. Other styles include varied and authentic folkloric repertoire, fusion chique and Greek Styles. Ariellah’s other leading instructors and influences have been Meryl Aydin from Turkey, Lana Miller from California and master teachers & dancers Hadia from Canada, Beata & Horacio Cifuentes from German, Sahra Saeeda from California, Nourhan & Yousry Sharif from New York, Yasmina Ramzy from Canada, Denise Enan from CANADA and Sabura from Seattle. Of which, Ariellah has developed and maintains a high standard for her students as well as her own dance discipline and styles. 

Ariellah continues to research and share of love of Middle-Eastern dance with audiences and her students.  Contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about Ariellah's Belly Dance class.

Zumba Gold

PAULA BICKFORD

Paula’s dance career started at the age of 5 when she started Highland Dancing under the direction of Dawn Tronnes. Paula Highland danced for a total of 15 years and spent many of those years as a competitive dancer winning many titles including an Alberta Championship.

In 1996, Paula moved to Edmonton where she started dancing with the Strathcona School of Dance with a Canadian Step-Dancing Group. She was hooked instantly and continued her studies in Step-Dancing.

In 2000 Paula decided to start teaching Step-Dancing to adults and her passion for dance has lead her to a dream come true. Paula has been teaching Canadian Step Dancing every since and offers classes for brand new beginners to Advanced. Paula was certified in May 2009 as a Zumba Instructor and is certified in Zumba Gold and Zumba Toning. Paula’s love for dance and performing has brought her to continue her studies in Ukrainian Dancing, Bellydance, Burlesque and Country Line Dancing.  Paula feels it is never too late to start dancing!

Her students love Paula as she enthusiastically leads them in Zumba Gold here at our Centre. Contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about Paula's Zumba Gold class.

Alcohol Inks,
Drawing &
Watercolours

Alesha Buczny

Alesha was born in Lethbridge Alberta and grew up in British Columbia. Her path within her Art Education started in the basement of the Vancouver Community College where she took the Jewelry and Metals Diploma Program. Bring her back to Alberta to further study at ACAD, the Alberta Collage of Art and Design where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree with a Major in Jewellery and Metals.

Alesha is an Airdrie based Mixed Media Artist; she is best known for her Jewellery, Watercolour, Acrylics and Mixed Media paintings. She currently pursues her love with the Arts by Instructing and continuously working on her own pieces. She has been Instructing for the last seven years at Alikis Art House and Confederation Park 55+ Activity Center in Calgary. She continues providing guidance and encouragement in numerous areas of the Arts, she teaches Drawing, Watercolour, Acrylic Painting, Alcohol Inks and Mixed Media to Children and Adults.

Alesha is always exploring and learning new mediums for her own art as well as for her students. Alesha feels very strongly that anyone and everyone should find the Artist within, all you need to do is start with the basics and not be afraid to try and try again.

When Alesha is not Instructing, she is very busy with her family, her Husband and her three wonderful children. In Alesha’s spare time she likes to wind down with painting, drawing, baking, cooking, reading, camping, knitting, and gardening.

“Every Piece of Art I make is the creative process of self fulfillment. From the cool touch of the precious metals, tearing of paper, the wet paint, to the soft fibers that flow together in my hands. The energy it creates feeds my soul.”

Perfectly Imperfects

ALISON DEMETER

After specializing in therapeutic music programs with older adults both in care and in the community for 20 years, Alison began teaching voice in community settings in 2000. As the instructor of the Perfectly Imperfects, she draws on the accumulation of many years of training in modalities that seek to support people to not only sing, but to work as a group toward a common goal in positive and meaningful ways. Her studies include Core Energetics (certified), Music (diploma), Numa Breathwork (certified), Recreation Therapy (certified), and the Shalom Process (certified).

As the Perfectly Imperfects embark on the journey towards performances of each show they build, Alison is honoured to offer guidance, support, and opportunities that empower participants to explore, to move beyond what they thought was possible, and to celebrate stepping into the spotlight of their accomplishments!

Please contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about the Perfectly Imperfects.

Computer

KALIN DESROCHER

Kalin has many years of practical experience in building, programming and operating computers. Being a proficient public speaker, he is eager to help and teach. Kalin is currently studying for his Bachelor of Commerce at Athabasca University, where he has completed numerous computer science classes. He has also worked in the executive suites at the Scotiabank Saddledome for the past 8 years.


Kalin's goal is to instill usable skills through easy-to-learn methods for proficient use of computers and mobile devices.  Taking his computer class is a great way to learn the basics and become confident operating a computer (Mac or PC), tablet, iPad, and mobile phone.

Some of Kalin's hobbies include audio engineering, processing music, weight lifting, hiking and meeting new people!

Contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about Kalin's Computer class.

Line Dance Beginner & Improver

Lisa Franklin

Lisa has been line dancing in Calgary since 2006, and teaching since 2017.

Line dancing is great physical exercise, a fantastic brain workout, and a superb social activity!

Physically, dancing improves stamina and balance. Lisa also teaches participants dance techniques to be safe and prevent injury.

Mentally, dancing improves memory. Dancers are constantly challenged to remember different steps and patterns!

Socially, we all have a fun time when we dance together! This truly is Lisa’s main priority in her students’ line dance experience.

Contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about Lisa's Line Dancing classes.

The Worx

Pat Harding

Pat is a fully certified AFLCA Fitness Instructor.

She enjoys promoting safe and effective exercises to inspire her class participants to commit to their long term fitness goals. 

In her class, The Worx, Pat Harding brings a fun and self paced total body workout increasing energy, gaining strength, flexibility, balance and encouraging bone and brain health, helping lower the risk of chronic diseases. 

Contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about Pat's The Worx class.

Seated Yoga

Gina Komanac

Gina has a Certificate in Hatha Yoga Teacher Training from Sunshine Yoga May 2011, 200 Hours Meditation, Relaxation and Limbering of the Joints & Glands with the Traditional Hatha Yoga Instruction. Breathing, Mediation and Relaxation along with asana (poses).

Hatha Yoga introducing gentle stretches, deep breathing, relaxation, meditation and limbering of the joints and glands at a variety of Community and Activity Centres including Confederation Park 55+.

Hatha yoga can really help benefit students with all movements including focus on back/core strengthening. The balancing standing poses can help prevent injury. Stretches with ankles, knees, and hips help with mobility and greater flexibility. The standing poses for seniors helps with balance and better mobility. These poses help to prevent injury.

The entire 60 minute class with movements is beneficial to our overall health and well-being. Meditation also helps us to calm our minds, and connect with our own spiritual journey with a beautiful chime bowl ringing sounds.

Please contact Gina Komanac directly at geenyinabottle@shaw.ca or call Gina at 403-462-6004 if you have any questions about her very popular Seated Yoga classes.

Ukulele

Tom LeBlanc

Tom has been teaching guitar in Calgary for over 15 years, and has helped hundreds of students achieve their musical goals. With over two decades of professional guitar playing undr his belt, he offers lessons to students of all ages and skill levels, framed around the student's choice from dozens of genres and styles.

Tom has played in countless local bands over the years, notably playing in tribute bands for Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, a 90s cover band, and dozens of original/indie projects, including lead guitar for Bebe Buckskin. With extensive experience in recording studios, session work and a deep knowledge of gear and equipment, and great expertise with music theory and history, Tom helps students immerse themselves in their instrument and truly enjoy music.

As a teacher, Tom is patient and passionate, consistent and thorough. The focus is always on the student's progress and engagement. Tom seeks to inspire his students to always be excited about practicing and playing their instrument.

Contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about Tom's Ukulele class.

Tai Chi

Peggy Lapaschuk

Sifu Peggy has over 50 years of experience in Chinese martial arts, starting at the age of 9 under her father's guidance,a well- known & respected figure in the Chinese Martial Arts community, Paatje Richard Kudding Sr, who was then the founder and Head Instructor of the Flying Dragon Institute. She pursued her studies in traditional Kung Fu under Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong, who is well known for his teachings in Choy Li Fut Kung Fu and Yang style Tai Chi Chuan.

Sifu Peggy has been teaching for over 35 years and opened her own Martial Arts school in 2010 before moving to Airdrie, Alberta, to be closer to family. She continues to facilitate Tai Chi and Women's Self Defense workshops and seminars for various communities and organizations, encouraging the use of Tai Chi as part of healthy self-care for staff in-service and retreats.

Discover Sifu Peggy's approach to Tai Chi classes, where each individual or small group receives personalized instruction to suit their levels and abilities. There's no pressure to keep up with the group, as everyone trains at their own pace. The classes are dynamic, fun, and interactive, featuring QiGong warm-up exercises that engage and integrate body and mind. Sifu Peggy specializes in working with individuals rehabbing from MVA's, PTSD, and other disabilities, offering personalized goals and modified training as required.

Contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about Sifu Peggy's Tai Chi class.

Acrylic Painting Workshops

Carol Marasco

Carol began offering acrylic painting classes in late 2015. I am proud and honored to have been very successful in offering her classes since the launch of her company, ColorWorks by Camco.  Her Brand is “Caring and Connecting thru Creativity”.  

Self-taught, Carol has always had a creative spirit and very much enjoyed engaging and encouraging others to explore their uniqueness.  For Carol, art is a way to express oneself through creativity. Personally, she becomse immersed and feels at peace when painting. It has opened her eyes to see the world around her more closely. Noticing all the beauty in the world that surrounds us. she also challenge herself to learn new techniques to share as well as new painting ideas for her guests, as she gets to know them better.

Creative expression is very therapeutic, it is proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and loneliness. The process of engaging in art creates happiness and wellbeing. Creating art can stimulate memories and it promotes engagement and inclusiveness. It fosters fellowship and brings people together and we all benefit from meeting new friends.

Carol is very passionate about the senior community. Her goal is to give back and to offer more options in the creative therapy realm to older adults. Carol's art is personally tailored to suite her clients, and her approach is to provide encouragement with patience and positivity.  

For more information about Carol's art classes and her guest's art projects, visit her on Facebook: ColorWorks By Camco.  Please contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about Carol's Acrylic Painting Workshops.

Zoom Yoga

MELLISA NICHOL

Mellisa was invited to her first yoga class, and the feeling she had at the end of that class was nothing like she had ever experienced. She stuck with it and found profound healing and relief from 15 years of deep depression. She then chose to share her experience of healing through yoga and help others do the same.

Since then, Mellisa has taken over 500 hours of yoga teacher training and is currently enrolled in an additional 300 hour Myofacial Yoga training program. She believes that the practice of yoga has the ability to free us of tension and tightness stored in the body, which allows us to move through life with greater grace, ease and fulfillment. Her greatest inspiration is seeing how the yoga practice transforms the lives of her students. To see all areas of our lives improve, through using what we learn and practice on our mats and out into the world, creating harmony and balance within and expanding it into our outer world is her intention with each class.

Mellisa has been guiding students inward for the past seven years with yoga. Her classes are gentle and intuitively guided to allow each practitioner to tune into their own innate wisdom of the body and spirit.

Contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about Mellisa's Zoom Yoga class.

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, & Energizing Dance

Joyce Reddy

Joyce has been a dance instructor since she was 18 and has performed professionally as a dancer in Europe, the United States and Canada.  She is an accomplished performer on stage, in television and films, and also performed at numerous special events and cabarets. She is acknowledged by several dance associations and continues to work with The Canadian Dance Teachers Association as an Examiner and Dance Educator, and continues to teach adult students. 

Since closing the Joyce Reddy Dance Studio in Calgary and entering semi-retirement, Joyce continues her work with seniors and as an instructor at Confederation Park 55+ Activity Centre.  She also continues to choreograph for various seniors performing groups and running her own adult performing group.  

Joyce shares her passion for dance and endless enthusiam instructing students at our Centre in Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Energizing Dance. Contact programs@yycseniors.com if you have any questions about Joyce's dance classes.

Line Dance Intermediate

Julian So

Julian began teaching Line Dance in 2018.  She has a total of 24 years dance experience, 7 years in Ballroom Dancing and 17 years in Line Dancing.

Besides showing different dance rhythms, Julian also stresses individual growth.  Ie,  Even though her students are in a group environment, she pays close attention to everyone’s favourite dances, music and needs.  By watching and communicating with her students, Julian find ways to help them to learn the harder dances easier and also the ways to dance safely.  

Dancing helps to relieve stress , improve confidence and memory.  Julian's goal is to help her students enjoy the dances, the music and dance safely so that they can have a fun hour of dance/exercise/work out.   

If you have any questions for Julian or would like more information about our Line Dance Intermediate class, contact programs@yycseniors.com.



Confederation Park 55+ Activity Centre | 2244 Chicoutimi Dr. NW Calgary, AB T2L 0W1 | info@yycseniors.com 403-289-4780 | Site Map

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