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Sep 01
11th Annual Pilates Guest Speaker Series to Begin Sept. 5 at Orange Coast College

​The Orange Coast College Dance Department will host its 11th annual Pilates Guest Speaker Series for OCC students and the greater community. The series of five lecture-activity workshops will be held on Tuesdays, Sept. 5, 12, and 19, and Oct. 10 and 17 from 11:10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the College's Art Center, Rooms 147 and 148. 

The workshops, for both teachers and students, aim to introduce topics of great interest to those in the field of Pilates and dance wellness. 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 using balls and rollers to ease muscle aches, how to get a good stretch, a guide to nutrition for dancers, new explorations of the core muscles, and integrating the teachings of Pilates masters into the contemporary world of Pilates.  

"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," said Amelie Hunter, series coordinator and director of OCC's Pilates/Dance Conditioning Program. "The lectures will also give the audience a broader understanding of the many ways that Pilates can be incorporated  for a healthy and joyful lifestyle." 

The series begins on Sept. 5 with "The Melt Method, the Art of Self Care."  Certified Melt Method Instructor Marijane Palchikoff will share techniques for releasing the fascia of the face and whole body in this learn-by-doing workshop. Palchikoff is a graduate of OCC's Pilates/Dance Conditioning Certificate program, who now teaches Pilates and the Melt Method at the Jewish Community Center in Irvine. 

On Sept. 12, Jacob Caldwell, DPT, CFMT, will share the latest theories on how to get a "good" stretch. Caldwell is the owner of Caldwwell Physical Therapy in Orange County and the founder of Bodywork Academy, where he teaches other bodyworkers, movement teachers, and exercise specialists how to work with complex and challenging problems. Caldwell has written several books, including "Images of Vitality: Re-Imagining Eating and Exercising," "What Would Hippocrates Say?" and "Tending the Body." 

Third in the series, on Sept. 19, is Gilda Gilak, DC, MS, presenting "A Dancer's Guide to Nutrition." In addition to her chiropractic practice, Gilak specializes in Active Release Technique, kinesio taping, and Functional Medicine. She graduated from Southern California University of Health and Sciences, where she also has served as adjunct faculty. Always seeking more answers, Gilak has studied Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, which will form the groundwork for her presentation at OCC. 

On Oct. 10, Nicole Quibodeaux will lead everyone in an exploration of the body's core muscles in "Explore Your Core." From a marketing and sales background, Quibodeaux found her talents best expressed through movement studies. She is a certified AFAA personal trainer and 24 Hour Group Fitness Instructor. She also is certified in Stott Pilates Reformer and Power Pilates Comprehensive training. Returning to her roots in yoga, Quibodeaux became a 500-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher, and her studies have culminated in her becoming an Integrated Yoga Tune-Up teacher trainer.  

The last lecture, "Continuing the Legacy: Authentic Pilates," will be given by Diane Diefenderfer.  In this presentation, Diefenderfer will illustrate the Pilates work as taught to her by two Pilates Masters: Ron Fletcher and Romana Krysanowska. In 1987, Diefenderfer founded Studio du Corps/Pilates Center of Orange County. She originated the Pilates program for the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine. Diefenderfer is a much-sought-after speaker and teacher, and has appeared at the Pilates Method Alliance conference, Body Mind Spirit Conference, and Balanced Body: Pilates on Tour events.  

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