Michelle Buscemi, born in 1981 in Arizona, is a Tucson-based artist working within multiple mediums and disciplines, including painting, ceramic sculpture, poetry, and dance. Utilizing Laser Art Technique (“L.A.T.”), a modality devised for artists with limited mobility, Michelle’s visual works encompass both abstract and realistic paintings. “I love the feeling and look of gel and other acrylic mediums. I am very conceptual and portray my thoughts in symbols. I paint from the heart.” A prolific painter and sculptor, Michelle’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the city. Michelle serves on the Board of Directors at Arts for All, Inc., a nonprofit arts organization that provides art education for adults and children with diverse abilities. She is a choreographer and dancer with the Arts for All Adult Dance Company, a performing group of dancers with diverse abilities that presents original works at multiple venues in Tucson. Michelle also co-facilitates the Youth Strand at AZ TASH’s annual conference. She lives independently and enjoys sharing her experiences and art with the community. www.artsforallinc.org
Rebecca Franks started dancing at age seven and began apprentice teaching when still a teenager. While pursuing her collegiate education, Becca continued to teach jazz, ballet and tap dance classes at various Tucson dance studios and companies. In 2000, she earned her BFA at the University of Arizona, one of the top five dance schools in the country. From 2000 – 2001, she was the Artistic Director for Southern Arizona Dance Theater. Shortly after graduating from the U of A, Becca immersed herself in the study of Pilates and earned her Level II and Qualified Teacher Certification in 2003, enabling her to teach students with special needs as well as advanced athletes. In 2003, after an injury that ended her dance career, Becca turned to her other passion of Pilates and began intensive training of Pilates in New York. She has studied under master teachers Ron Fletcher, Kathy Grant, Diane Severino, Michelle Larson, Kathy Corey, Alan Herdman, and many others. In addition, she is a Yamuna Body Rolling practitioner and a Thai yoga therapist and incorporates these techniques into her unique stretch classes and private sessions. Becca spent ten years teaching Pilates at various locations, including Reebok Sports Club LA in NYC, Miraval and Canyon Ranch. In 2011, she opened Animas Center, a Pilates, Yoga, Dance and Fitness Studio located in the Foothills area of Tucson. Through the blending of the many Pilates lineages into personalized workouts for her clients, Becca ensures that each session incorporates correct body alignment, proper technique, fun and fitness for each individual. www.animascenter.com
Charles Geoffrion has had 35+ years of experience in the academic, corporate and non-profit world, including consultations in several developing nations in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and in Mexico and Australia. Before retiring from his position as Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Arizona he served as a Director of University Relations at the University of Arizona Foundation and from that position taught workshops for and advised numerous not-for-profit organizations in southern Arizona regarding management standards, board development, fund-raising and grant-writing. He currently serves as Vice President of Allied BioScience, Inc., a Dallas-based firm that specializes in new technologies to reduce the impact of surface pathogens in our living and work environments.
Charles enjoyed a twenty year role as advisor to world-renowned dancer and anthropologist, Ms. Katherine Dunham with whom he helped develop programs bringing inspiration through dance to under-served youth.
Charles and Moira Geoffrion served for two years in Sierra Leone, West Africa as Peace Corps volunteers and later worked for a year in Malawi, Central Africa with their young daughter, Sabrina. These years of mostly village life provided them with a profound appreciation for the value and importance of dance as a means of expression, enjoyment, empowerment and creativity.
PJ Overholt, BSRN, HTCP and CHTP, retired from psychiatric nursing after 35 years in California’s San Diego and Oakland areas. She then developed her Healing Touch private practice in Danville and Walnut Creek, CA. Besides utilizing her HT at the locked mental health rehabilitation facility for both staff and clients, she volunteered her HT services at the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church Healing Touch Clinic for 8 years, with the veterans in several Stand Down events, with the Seniors program at Monument Crisis Center in Concord, and in her ministry at her church in Danville. PJ was also involved in the East Bay HT Network of HT students and practitioners. While as the liaison for St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church to the Monument Crisis Center, she was on their Board of Directors for 5 years; and afterwards continues to be on the fundraising committee for the Lasallian Education Center in Oakland, CA. Since moving to Oro Valley, AZ in 2012 PJ has had a private practice at her home studio, and volunteers her HT services at Episcopal Church of the Apostles. Since 2008 PJ has been a certified HT Practitioner with the Healing Touch Program and with Healing Beyond Borders; she is a member of HT Professional Association and of the American Holistic Nurses Association. Since 2015 she is a member of the Grant Review Committee for Healing Touch Worldwide Foundation, Inc. Her Profile book is available for perusal upon request. http://holisticchakrahealing.com/