MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS

 
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GABRIELA (GABI) MILLER

Gabriela Miller is a nonprofit professional with over 10 years of experience in the Chicago community. She received her Bachelor of Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago and has experience as a mental health professional conducting Therapeutic Crisis Intervention counseling models. She's received additional training in Trauma for Yoga from Catherine Ashton and is currently pursuing her Psychologically Sensitive Yoga Certification from Room to Breathe. After experiencing a traumatic birth with her first child, Gabriela experienced the wonderful healing modality of yoga and the importance of mind, body, breath, and community connection. She is grateful to share this beautiful practice with others.

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VANESSA (NESSA) DE LEON

Vanessa De Leon is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Dance Movement Therapist, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology. Throughout all of her clinical experiences, Vanessa had always empowered the people she worked with through a model of survivorship rather than prey victim to circumstance. Through a strengths-based approach with an emphasis on the body-mind connection and the power of community, Vanessa firmly believes that healing is not only generated but sustained for a long period of time.

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TRACEY WONG

Tracey Wong (she/her) is a Chinese-American (Gaginang) dancer, educator, MC, and community event curator. Born and raised in Seattle, Tracey takes pride in representing her city and wishes to inspire and cultivate community spaces that empower many, especially Womxn and POCs.

She is the Director of Malicious Vixens, an all-Asian American womxn performance collective who showcase not only locally in Seattle, but also nationally and internationally.

Tracey has founded many community arts organizing events such as Queen of the Hill, an all-ladies dance event series, and Punk N Funk, Seattle's largest Waacking battle. For the past 3 years, she has also been a co-organizer and host for Sweet 16, an annual international open-styles dance jam that happens in her favorite neighborhood, Seattle's Chinatown-ID.

Tracey is grateful for all of her opportunities to be able to travel and share her movement/ stories with others. She hopes to be able to continue to create spaces that empower others and to inspire others to discover their unique voice and power through movement.

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JULIE BRANNEN

Dancing through life, Julie's experiences are abundant in creativity, community, education, health, + healing. Some of her roles include artist, director, healer, teacher, mover; she follows the path of heart + soul. Her greatest joy comes from guiding folks into an organic + compassionate practice of fiercely approaching vulnerability + embodying whole-hearted living.  Her goal is to create brave, inclusive spaces in order to allow for radiant expression, courageous liberation, + uplifting connection.


She is the Founder + Executive Artistic Director of SheWolf Sacred, a community organization on a mission to create movements that embody + energize intersectional feminism for marginalized people through healing arts rituals. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Registered Dance/Movement Therapist, with a Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling, and Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis from Columbia College Chicago. 

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ANTHONY OLA

Anthony's motivation in self-defense/protective awareness initiatives are deeply rooted in his beliefs; one example is every person has the right to learn how to defend their freedoms of life, family, and friends. 

The elements of the class curriculum are composed of his life experiences including

  • 20 years training Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

  • Former police officer and instructor of Close Quarter Combat to US military

  • 12 years of teaching self-defense seminars

  • 31 years as an older brother to 3 sisters

 

KAREN LUM

Karen’s passion lies in being the best version of herself and inspiring others to bring positive change to their own lives.  Teaching yoga has gifted her the opportunity to connect with the community but most importantly hold space for people to connect with themselves. “Something beautiful happens when we all practice together. What is created is an environment for growth, healing, exploration, and discovery.” 

 

After working an office job for a while, Karen found herself stressed, burnt out, and had low back pain from sitting long hours. She discovered yoga after trying something new with a friend.  Slowly her love for yoga began to grow and she found herself at the yoga studio more and more. Yoga has taught her to put her mental and physical health as a priority.  After practicing for several years, Karen felt called to become a teacher of yoga in order to share this form of self-love with others.  In addition to yoga, Karen is a Thai bodywork practitioner, a reiki healer, and a dancer, and she practices Tai Chi.