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I grew up in the beautiful heart of the high desert in the city of Barstow, California. I went to Mount St. Joseph Catholic School for elementary school and Barstow High School, where the mascot is a Riffian (nomadic warrior). I then attended Cal State Northridge for architectural engineering. After that, I Received my MBA from the University of La Verne. I am currently working on doctorate from the University of Phoenix.
Currently, I work in gas transmission and distribution, specifically corporate safety for cause evaluations and investigations. I am most passionate about developing strategies and implementing human performance processes while working with people.
Some of my most notable accomplishments include my children (two daughters, one son, and five grandchildren), my work and training for NAMI (the National Alliance for Mental Illness), and my work on my doctorate.
I am very involved in my local community. I train at a national, state, and local affiliates for NAMI (Contra Costa, San Mateo, Sacramento, and San Luis Obispo). I endorse and engage in annual fundraising for breast cancer in Salt Lake City. I also endorse and engage in annual fundraising for Alzheimer’s disease in the Los Angeles area.
My experience with mental illness includes having a son and grandson who have been diagnosed with mental illness. My son continues to work through college, and my grandson just graduated from high school and has also started college.
My hobbies, and interests include travel, primarily to foreign countries such as Germany, Czech Republic, England, Japan, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Mexico, and others, reading hard copy and audio books, motorcycle riding, teaching classes, interacting with others, and now DANCING!
I have very little dance experience, other than attending many weddings and parties. I am dancing because I fully believe in what the Putnam Clubouse does. I believe they are saving one life at a time.
I began seriously studying ballroom dancing in 1995, although I had been studying and dancing social and country dancing for many years prior to 1995. I competed successfully in amateur International standard and American smooth ballroom dancing throughout California for several years, progressing rapidly through Silver, Gold, Novice, and into Pre-Champion levels. Thereafter I decided to devote my skills to teaching and performing ballroom dancing locally, including, at one point, performances at hospitals, nursing homes and retirement centers. I have also used my skills to teach the blind to ballroom dance.
I spent my early years through college learning, doing, competing, coaching, and teaching gymnastics. I began assisting physical education teachers in elementary school and continued after college, both in the U.S. and Germany, so have been teaching essentially all my life. I have also studied ballet, jazz, tap and other forms of theatre dance for over 30 years, competing with an adult jazz and tap company throughout California, as well as Las Vegas and Baja. At one point I owned my own dance studio. I now, however, much prefer focusing on teaching vs the administration of ownership.
I currently teach both group and private lessons in nearly all styles of partner dancing, both International and American style ballroom, Latin, and Night Club dances as well as East and West Coast Swing, weekly, in Orinda, Danville, and Livermore, California. I have also created twice yearly performance/showcase dances, the Gangster Gala and the Nutcracker Ball, at my main studio of Two Left Feet Dance Center in Danville, California.
Ballroom Dance Instructor
Putnam Clubhouse is affiliated with Clubhouse International and follows the Clubhouse Model. Clubhouse program components involve doing the tasks needed to run the Clubhouse (cooking, clerical, fundraising, etc.), structured employment and educational opportunities,social and recreational activities, community support, outreach to other members, and participation in Clubhouse governance. Putnam Clubhouse is the first Clubhouse International-accredited program to open in Northern California.
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National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)