Orange Coast College’s 13th Annual Pilates Guest Speaker Series set to begin September 10, 2019

The Orange Coast College Dance Department is hosting its 13th annual Pilates Guest Speaker Series for OCC students and the greater community. The series of five lecture-activity workshops is tailored for both teachers and students of Pilates, and will be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of September and October and on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

“These workshops aim to introduce topics of great interest to those in the field of Pilates and dance wellness,” says OCC dance instructor Amelie Hunter. “Lectures address how Pilates and complementary therapies can improve the body’s form and function and can be used for self-care.”

This year will bring a wide range of professionals to OCC to discuss diverse topics from strategies to your progress your clients to screening for prevention of dance injuries. The series begins on Sept. 10 with “Getting the Most Out of Your Pilates Internship,” a lecture and activity class. Dena Lombardo, a former OCC honors graduate and the studio owner of Love Pilates in Huntington Beach will speak about how to turn an internship into a job in the Pilates world. Lombardo is certified by the Pilates Method Alliance, and also certified as a teacher for Pilates for Osteoporosis and Pilates for MS and Neurological Disorders. “Several of our OCC Pilates interns have been skillfully guided by Dena and have gone on to be placed successfully in local Pilates studios,” says Hunter.

On Sept. 24, Sue Okuda Stewart will give a lecture/workshop on how to successfully cue Pilates students. Stewart brings a background of years of teaching in the Ando and Aston Physical
Therapy Clinic and instructing OCC students in Yoga for Dancers and a variety of Pilates classes. She holds degrees in music and law, is certified in the Franklin Method, Yoga Tune-Up and Gyrokinesis, and is currently studying the Sanskrit language, Reiki and energy medicine yoga. “Sue brings her wide range of knowledge and experience to the lecture,” says Hunter.

Third in the series is Leah Stewart on Oct. 8. Leah will lecture on the topic of “Pre and Postnatal Pilates.” Leah Stewart — a senior faculty and lecturer for Body Arts and Science International — has released a two-disc DVD set, “Pilates for New Mothers,” and a pre-natal DVD, “Pilates for Expecting Mothers.” She has traveled across four continents to teach teacher training courses as well as present workshops and conferences on the behalf of BASI Pilates®, and is the owner and founder of LiveLife Pilates studio. “In addition to her many accomplishments, Leah finds time to be a guest instructor for Pilates Anytime and contributes as a freelance writer to fitness and Pilates publications,” says Hunter.

On Oct. 22, Jana Jensen, RN, MSN, will give a lecture titled “Understanding Myofascial Release.” Jensen brings 30 years of experience as a registered nurse, nurse educator, and administrator to her care for patients. “Having worked in high-risk labor and delivery for nearly a decade, she brings an in-depth understanding of the pelvic floor and related concerns in women’s health care,” says Hunter. “Her training as a myofascial release therapist enhances her extensive experience in providing highly skilled and effective patient care.” Jensen also is the owner of Women 2 Women Restorative Therapy.

For the last lecture on Nov. 12, Barbara Nelson comes to OCC to speak about “Pilates for Common Knee Problems.” With years of teaching experience in physical therapy clinics under her belt, Barbara will give students and teachers insight into ways to screen for and deal with common knee problems. “As a certified Stott Pilates instructor, Yamuna and MELT specialist, Barbara brings a highly integrated perspective to her classes,” says Hunter. “The class will work with foam rollers, balls and more, so students are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes that they can easily move in.”

Lectures will be given in small groups and will introduce students and teachers to therapies and exercise techniques that can be used to improve teaching skills, exercise results and injury prevention. The lectures also will give the audience a broader understanding of the many ways that Pilates can be incorporated into a healthy and joyful lifestyle.

All lectures will be on Tuesdays from 11:10 am to 1:15 pm in the Orange Coast College Art Center, rooms 147 and 148. Lectures are free to OCC students/Pilates certificate alums and open to the community for $20 per lecture or five for $80. Tickets may be purchased in advance through the OCC Bursar’s Office at (714) 432-5880 or at

This article was released by Orange Coast College.

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