- Council on Aging
- COA Programs
- Meet Our Program Instructors!
Meet Our Program Instructors!
Helen Theodosiou, Certified Yoga Therapist, MA, E-RYT500, C-IAYT. She studied and worked as a social worker and then studied further as an Expressive Arts therapist. She taught as an adjunct professor at Lesley University for many years. While still working at Lesley she became certified as a yoga instructor and began to teach yoga classes. She found this to be rewarding and important work and she has now been teaching for almost 20 years. Her specialty is Yoga for Osteoporosis and Bone Health. She has been teaching at the Bedford Council on Aging since 2007 and has come to know many wonderful people - students and staff during this time. She continues to teach here through this challenging time and looks forward to when we are able to meet again and hold classes in person.
Leslie Avis Gabriele founded With Love and Gratitude in 2002 to manifest her intention and desire to share love and gratitude. As a past successful business owner, Leslie is able to "give back" by making With Love and Gratitude completely not-for-profit. With Love and Gratitude has evolved to become a team of like-minded people acting in unison for the sole purpose of uplifting the spirit. The team's mission is to heal and bring peace, harmony and joy to all they encounter. Over the years Leslie has been certified in multiple healing modalities and has studied numerous metaphysical topics. Her work is guided in the moment, done without attachment. She has been given the title of an "energetic catalyst" because she often helps people realize more of themselves.
Mara Briere, the facilitator, holds a Master's degree in Family Life Education as well as numerous other credentials and is the founder of a nonprofit organization here in Bedford called, "Grow a Strong Family", which supports families uprooted by mental illness/brain disorders and loss. Mara (and her dog Max) have been involved with the COA for 4 or 5 years, and moderating the Rebuilding Lives group for almost 2 years. She likes to create and play games as part of her approach to serious topics and cultivates an atmosphere of support in overcoming adversity.
This is Vera Kochs, and she lives in Chelmsford, MA. She's been a ZIN™ Member since February 2009 and she absolutely loves teaching Zumba classes. For the Love of Dancing, music and staying fit, thus her Zumba passion! An excellent exercise in disguise. The reason is simple: Every class feels like a party! She is currently licensed to teach Zumba, Zumba® Toning, Aqua Zumba®, Zumba Sentao®, Zumba Gold®, Zumba Gold® Toning, Zumba® Kids and Kids Jr. Come join her, we guarantee you will have a blast!
Eugene has life-long experience in the study of Oriental history, culture, philosophy, as well as martial arts. From 1988 through 1998, he traveled extensively in China, studying with Shaolin priests in Guangzhou, with Doctor Shi, Head of Acupuncture for Shanxi Province, and Yang Zhen-duo, the son of Yang-Chenfu, the most famous practitioner of Classical Yang Style Tai Chi. He is licensed to practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In addition to maintaining a private practice in TCM, he teaches Tai Chi at the Oriental Culture Institute.
James Winner, OHAA Chief Instructor. Jim started his personal Tai Chi practice in 1997 and continues as a student and teacher. In 1998, he traveled to Nepal, Tibet, and China for three weeks to study healing practices and Tai Chi. He started teaching in 2005 after retiring from the corporate world. He has been teaching at senior centers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His goal is to share this knowledge with others and have them feel the same benefits that he has received from Tai Chi and Yoga. He is also a certified instructor of Integral Yoga® and has a black belt in the first degree in Shaolin Kenpo.
Katrina has over twenty years of dance experience in Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Modern, Lyrical, and Musical Theater. She is also certified in Zumba and Zumba Gold. Katrina has been teaching at "Gotta Dance" for over fifteen years. Katrina also teaches Cardio, Fitness, Line Dance, Tap, and Zumba at several senior centers and recreations. She has a Bachelor's degree in Theater arts with a concentration in Dance from Franklin Pierce College. Katrina's other accomplishments include an on-stage appearance in the Concord Player's production of "West Side Story" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels". She has also choreographed for the Carlisle Middle School and the Lexington Players. When she isn't dancing (which is hardly ever) Katrina enjoys further educating herself by taking dance and fitness classes. She also enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and her husky, Duncan.