Fueled by Passion, both in our Parenting and our Teaching

Our stories intertwine along a common passion for Movement, a deep love for nature, good friends, and of course, our children . Get to know us better through our Bios below, then join us for a class, a cup of tea, or a hike in the wilderness.

Catrina Choate-Heretoiu, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and Dance Educator
Movement has been the one constant driving force in my life. I count myself very lucky to have been born to a mother whose passion was ballet because at an early age, dance became my place of comfort which grew from a private sanctuary into love and liberation. I trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City and danced professionally with Miami City Ballet, Carolina Ballet, and Miami Contemporary Dance Company. I loved dancing and thrived while performing but my life changed drastically when I started taking weekly Feldenkrais lessons.
I was recovering from foot surgery on both of my feet when I began my relationship with Awareness Through Movement.
Diving deeply into me gave me so much more than healthy feet to walk and dance upon. I became more of the human Catrina, not just the dancer Catrina and this completely reset the course of my life. I left my professional dance life to pursue my academic studies and run amuck in every which way, learning everything I could of everything that presented itself!
During this time I earned a B.A. degree in English Literature from Florida International University and an MFA degree in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I also graduated from the Sonoma II Feldenkrais Training Program with Linda and Russell Delman. I then accepted a full-time faculty position with the Dance Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where I taught ballet, modern, Feldenkrais for Performing Artists, and directed the community outreach Lecture Demonstration program. I worked with the head of the department to create a successful injury prevention program for the UIUC dance majors in which Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement was utilized.

Aside from all of my technical dancing and teaching I also have experience in using dance from a therapeutic and nurturing perspective. In Miami, I worked as an ArtSring facilitator and taught expressive movement and Feldenkrais classes for incarcerated women in Broward County. In every class with these women, I was reminded of the healing nature that movement and art provide.

The power of movement to enhance learning and self-development is always alive with me and I love to create a quiet environment in which people can freely explore and create lasting somatic connections.
Bogdan Heretoiu, Filmmaker and Martial Arts Instructor
Friends and students call me Bo. I am a Documentary/Commercial Film Producer and a Martial Arts Instructor. I was born in Romania, and began my Martial Arts training 37 years ago, at the age of 13. For the first two years I trained daily, one-on-one with my first teacher (Sensei) in Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate.
This personal and intense training every night changed the course of my life and made Martial Arts a fundamental part of my learning process. I continued my studies in Goju-Ryu for the next three decades, eventually starting to teach and share my passion for the arts with young students and adults. Two years later after I first began, my second teacher came into my life and became a close mentor and led me to an introspective journey, changing the way I approached training and practice. I remember his mind boggling homework assignments which encompassed cross training in Judo, Tai Chi, Aikido, Tango, and Waltz.
Years later I arrived at the realization that movement was the real assignment - and the process of learning that movement entails.
After reaching second degree Black Belt, my Sensei asked me to give up the pursuit of rank which to this day, I no longer seek. It freed me. It forced me to stay humble in my training and respectful to all - teachers and students alike. Years later, it also revealed what it means to train outside of any particular system and led to wonderful personal development aspects of my Martial Arts practice. Over the last 8 years, I focused more intensely on Aikido and its tremendous conflict management invitation. My three Aikido teachers are as diverse as my first two Karate teachers were. Knut Bauer Sensei (6 Dan) comes from Akira Tohei's school, with a powerful emphasis on tradition and efficient form. Dan Ionescu Sensei (8 Dan) is a dear friend and mentor, his style being incredibly sharp, and in constant adaptation. Although my work with Paul Linden Sensei (6 Dan) was brief, I consider him one of the most outstanding teachers I ever encountered; his path being one of effortless efficiency in resolving conflicts of various natures.
During the last 3-4 years, I produced - through my company Arts4Hope - a series of films and a full length documentary called Living Aikido Life, started an Aikido Homeschooling Youth program in collaboration with Traverse City Area Public Schools in Northern Michigan that had over 50 students enrolled, and taught an Adaptive Martial Arts program in conjunction with Arts-For-All-Northern-Michigan and SOS Learning Lab in Traverse City to kids and youth experiencing physical, developmental, behavioral, and emotional challenges. I led a Martial Arts College for Kids Summer program with Northwestern Michigan College, and offered workshops in Adaptive Martial Arts to Seniors, Stroke Survivors, and the Visually Impaired.

What I do and how I teach is an extension of who I am and what I was fortunate enough to learn as I navigated the river of my life. As a troubled young man, Martial Arts and my mentors helped me stay the course and become the person and father I am today. It is a privilege to continue to explore and share the gift I was given. To me, Martial Arts are a fun and open invitation to learning, and provide the purest path to conflict resolution.
Currently, we have began our new program - "Warriors Within" - an Educational & Mentorship Martial Arts-based exploratory program for Youth. Classes are held in Auburn, CA.
My motto is self explanatory - Attacks Become Conversations - and my practice methodology is built upon the simple idea that movement is a learning playground for the body, mind, and heart. Join in!

Bogdan Heretoiu - Work & Teaching References & Reviews:

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