Andy Chidester has been running youth sports programs in the La Canada and Pasadena areas for over a decade. After graduating from the University of Michigan in '98 (Sports Management) he moved to Southern California and began training elementary age kids. He started his own company, Assist Athletics in 2004. Since then "Coach Andy" has been trying to put the "fun" in fundamental skill development while emphasizing the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship, and hustle in team sports.
Barbara Dempsey has performed regularly at such venues as Don the Beachcombers, Tropicana Hotel-Las Vegas & The Harrah’s Marina Hotel-Atlantic City, with the Okalani Polynesian Revue, eventually branching off, along with her sister Kathy and formed “Mainland Paradise” and Kon Tiki Polynesian Productions.
Bobbi Koonse has been the Karate instructor at the Crescenta-Canada Family YMCA since 2007. She is a Fallproof Balance and Mobility Coach Assistant and has been teaching Tai Chi since 2008. She is certified by the American Red Cross in CPR and First Aid. She has been training in Martial Arts with Sensei Dan Layne at the Kyokushinkai Karate School since 1980.
Before Gabriel became a dance instructor, he was a senior executive for a multinational bank. He began his professional career as a diplomat for the Republic of China (Taiwan), or, as he fondly recounts to others, as a Foreign Agent registered with the United States Department of Justice. Gabriel took up ballroom dancing to relieve the daily stress of managing OPM (Other People’s Money). He danced as a member of the Promotional Dance Team for the TV special Dancing with the Stars. He danced on stage in the theatrical dance drama Astra. He also appeared in an episode of the prime time comedy The Big Bang Theory dancing with the leading lady Kaley Cuoco. In an appearance at Comic-Con 2011, Ms. Cuoco referred to her scene with Gabriel as her favorite moment of the 2011 season.
Jean Taylor was born in Chingford, Essex, England. She went to college in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating with a teaching degree in 1947, L.G.S.M. (ELOC). This led to working as a Studio Manager at the B.B.C. till 1956 when she married a Canadian from Montreal. Living there in January, 1958 she joined a Potter’s Club and discovered clay! The following year her husband, as a Diplomat for the Canadian Government was posted to Johannesburg, South Africa. In the 3 1/2 years spent there she completed her ceramic training with a British potter, John Edwards. A second posting brought them, with their two children to Los Angeles, and Jean continued her studies at Pasadena City College. In 1966, her husband was again reposted, but Jean elected to stay here with her two children. In June 1966 Jean began, what was to become her life’s work, at the Community Center, known in those days as the Youth House. As Director she began to build the Ceramics department teaching all the classes, including also some cooking classes, and in the summer, Archaeology for the Science Camp. She also taught art and clay up at the Community Center’s Preschool. In 2006 after 40 years as Director she resigned, but continues to teach once a week. Her passions? She used to garden, which is of the earth, from whence comes the clay that makes our pots, and into which goes the produce which is required for the recipes which she endlessly researches. A wonderfully creative cycle which we can all embrace (along with our loved ones) together, as a ceramic family.
Holly Dare is a former producer of HGTV's The Carol Duvall Show & the co-author of "Happy Baking and Sweet Stampen", a step by step guide to the art of rubber stamping on cookies, cakes and candy. Holly is also an accomplished glass bead & jewelry artist, and teaches her classes throughout the Southern California area.
Yoga and Pilates Instructor
Jeanne Lavieri first learned to throw on a potter’s wheel when she was in high school in the 1970’s and she has been working with clay ever since. She majored in Studio Art at Bates College in Maine and then later earned a teaching credential and a Master’s Degree in Art Education at California State University at Northridge. Jean has been part of the Ceramics Department at the Community Center since 1992. She has also been teaching art for LAUSD for fourteen years and is currently at North Hollywood High School. She believes that “creative expression and the practice of making beautiful things with our hands are basic human traits that are often forgotten in our industrial, digital culture.”
Joanne Voors was born and raised in Manchester England and was trained with the Royal Academy from an early age. Throughout her training, she received honors and distinction in her examinations and achieved her associates teaching certificate in ballet, tap, modern and international dance with RAD, NATD and ISTD. She also trained in Ballroom and Latin American dance and achieved her gold medal in the Junior division. Voors’ studies of Theater arts took her into the world of theater and she was able to participate in summer workshops in acting, singing and musical theater, through the Royal Academy. In 1981, her dream of living in America came true with her first professional job, working for Don Arden at the MGM in Las Vegas and Reno for the shows - Jubilee and Hello Hollywood Hello. She went on to perform in the Lido de Paris, the Moulin Rouge, Winds of the Gods, Hot Rock and Country and many industrial and promo shows for MGM. During her time in Las Vegas, she was able to perform in the 1988 Bob Hope Olympic show in Seoul Korea, where she performed alongside Bob Hope, Julio Iglesias, Miami Sound Machine, Jermaine Jackson and Dolly Parton. Now, as a teacher, she loves to inspire kids to think out of the box, be creative and have the confidence to communicate and express their thoughts and feelings.
Joe Kenck has been quite active in the art world the last few years. He spent several semesters at P.C.C. in the screen printing and graphic arts department. While he's been establishing his clothing line he's also exploring new methods of fusing art and screen printing. He has been invloved in many art shows all over the Los Angeles area. He loves what he does and looks forward to teaching his craft to others. Check out SideshowBrand.Com for examples of his work.
Joe Steckermeier has worked at the Community Center since 1984. He has taught countless classes – mainly art and tennis. Joe has a teaching credential and works for Glendale Unified School District. He is married and has one son. Joe’s hobbies include record collecting and camping in the Mojave Desert. “The Community Center is a very special place.”
The originator of Dramagination, Laura Walsh was born in New Jersey. Laura’s back yard was a forest with a stream where she would spend time making up stories and imagining that she lived in an enchanted forest. When Laura was 7 years old her family moved to San Diego. Laura Walsh went to California State University Fullerton and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Arts and Theater. After graduating she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. Inspired by her childhood in the backyard of her home in New Jersey, Laura Walsh started her own company called Dramagination. Dramagination is an original Fairy-Tale workshop for young children. It utilizes and enhances the natural gifts for creativity and expressiveness that are so uniquely a part of the early developmental experience. Through dramatic play with costumes, magical wands, and classical music, Dramagination taps into children’s abundant creative impulses and contributes to their progress in becoming imaginative, self-confident individuals. In an interview Laura stated, “I love it when kids tell me that they play as ‘Queen Laura’ at home. They also like to come to class with their own crown and wand to show me”. Over the past eight years Dramagination special events and parties have been featured at Barnes & Noble, Mattel, Gap Kids and The Ritz Carlton. Workshops and ongoing classes have been held at private and public schools, Storyopolis, Dinosaur Farm and at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge. Laura Walsh has plans to start her own Television Series, as well as children books, and start a costume line all inspired by Dramagination! Laura's Fun Fact: She also recently had a baby boy named Seth.
have a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Art Center College of Design. For 20 years I have run a successful business, called Wall Works, painting murals and doing decorative painting. Over the summer I taught some classes at Swains art Store. I had such a great time I want to continue to teach what I know to others. I live in Montrose, 3rd generation to live in the area and I am a mom of two amazing boys .
Malak Peterman is a mother of three and a grandmother of five. She has a degree in Business Administration from the Lebanese University in Beirut. She has been playing bridge since 1992 with ten years experience being an instructor. She started teaching bridge at the Community Center in 2010. She likes to help people, especially seniors. In her free time, Malak loves to golf and travel – she’s been to Europe several times and different counties such as China, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.
Matt Goodlaw has been a ceramics instructor at the Community Center since 2010. He was been doing pottery for 12 years – starting in his backyard with a pottery wheel from the 1950’s and learned techniques from Chris Bates at Santa Barbara City College. Afterwards he studied and worked with Mark Poore and Rob Kibler at Glendale Community College. Matt feels that clay is very motivating. Matt holds a Master of Science focused on Quantitative Methods for Social and Educational Research.
Since Mia Bloom first picked up a crayon, art has been an integral and essential part of her life – from drawing and painting to textile design and fiber art. After studying textile design at Otis College of Art and Design, she worked for many years as a textile designer. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and on her two blogs. She really enjoys marking fabric and would like to share what she knows with others.
Moses Navarro is originally from Spain started his dancing career at age 10 studying flamenco and Classical ballet, he started performing flamenco at age twelve, when he was 14, his family moved to Mexico City and he continued his dance training at the National Institute of Fine Arts, dancing at the Academia Nacional de Ballet, and also joined the Ballet Nacional de Mexico directed by the world known Choreographer Amalia Hernandez, and Jazz at the Emma Pulido Dance Academy. Moses also studied drama and did classical theatre winning a scholarship to study at the CEA (Center of Artistic Education) of Televisa. Through singing, acting and dancing Moses Auditioned and performed professionally for several years in musical theatre with principal roles in major productions of world known musicals such as Joseph and his amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ SuperStar, Cats, and a few others. When Moses moved to Los Angeles, he joined the Los Angeles Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy, and with the company he toured throughout the United States and Japan giving workshops and performances. Moses continues performing classical ballet with the Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre, formerly known as The Media City Ballet, and also continues performing flamenco under the direction of Flamenco Master Roberto Amaral.
Rick Drobner has been a Foothill resident for over 30 years. He is debuting his "Art for Fun" class at the Community Center to teach art to new students of all ages. It's called "Art for Fun" on purpose! After 30 years in the ad business as an art director, Rick has returned to his fine and and ceramic art. Rick will make sure the class offers wonderful stress-free assignments that will tickle your creative muse.
Tom began teaching children’s and adult ceramic classes at CCLCF in 2008. His ceramic journey began at Everywoman’s Village in Van Nuys in the early 1990s, and by 2005, he’d moved on to the ceramics program at Pierce College in Woodland Hills. While volunteering as an assistant in the Art department, he developed his love for firing kilns. Tom’s ceramics have been included in exhibitions at the American Museum of Ceramic Arts in Pomona, and the California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts in Davis. His background is in costume design and construction. He earned his BFA and MA at the University of Arizona, where he was also a teaching assistant while doing his graduate work. For 24 years before he began working with ceramics full-time, he worked in wardrobe on the set of “The Young and the Restless.” Tom says, “I love to help people, both the young and the not-so-young, find their inner potters. Hopefully, I provide some inspiration for their individual creativity.”