Instructors

Meet our team!

Kathryn Gustin
Co-Owner, Oula, Nia
Kathryn Gustin

Co-Owner, Oula, Nia

Kathryn was born and raised in Helena, MT. After graduating, she spent time in Washington and Oregon, but eventually moved back to her hometown, Helena. Kathryn discovered the Dancing Lotus Center shortly after returning to Helena, where she took her first Nia class. It was a breath of fresh air in the fitness world. Having grown up with dance, primarily classical ballet and jazz, she knew it was something that needed to be in her life on a regular basis and that she needed to share it with others. Kathryn completed her Nia white belt in 2010, and her OULA training in 2011. She has also completed her Nia Green Belt (October 2011) and Nia Blue Belt (April 2013). She teaches both Nia and OULA classes weekly. “I love to move! Dance is a total mind-body-spirit conditioning, which keeps us whole and in the present.”

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406-459-2113
Jamie Anesi
Co-Owner, Movement Therapy, Oula
Jamie Anesi

Co-Owner, Movement Therapy, Oula

Jamie received her MA in Transpersonal Counseling with a Concentration in Grief, Loss and Trauma from Southwestern College in Santa Fe New Mexico. Jamie has worked as an outpatient therapist at community mental health centers in Bozeman and Helena for over 5 years and has been in private practice as a LCPC for 10 years. Jamie rediscovered her love of dance while in Santa Fe and has been teaching dance and movement therapy for over 10 years. Prior to getting her master’s degree, Jamie taught Creative Writing, English and Film to at-risk kids. Jamie is currently in private practice at DLC and teaches OULA Classes and Movement Therapy. “I have always been a dreamer, a dancer, a poet. My journey has been about remembering the symbolic language of old, the language of the psyche, the spirit, the soul. I have noticed that no matter what our circumstances are in the... Read More

Caitlin McWilliams
Yoga
Caitlin McWilliams

Yoga

Through physical movement and awareness of breath, we can heal, break unhealthy habits and bring balance to our asymmetrical lives, bodies and minds. Caitlin’s classes are rooted in this deep-hearted belief with a touch of lila (lightness) to complement the deeper inquiry. Out of the studio, Caitlin is currently pursuing Yoga Therapy and also provides Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Yoga for Anxiety and Yoga for Depression as group series. Caitlin has practiced yoga for over ten years and is a RYT with a 200 hour certification from Flow Yoga Center. She completed the Street Yoga teaching certification in 2009, Yin Yoga certification in 2010, Thai Yoga Therapy certification in 2011, Reiki I and II, Restorative and Yoga Nidra trainings in 2013. She continues to happily follow her path of discovering yoga for mental health well-being.

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Karen Jakovac
Nia
Karen Jakovac

Nia

Karen discovered Nia in 2006 when a serendipitous occurrence brought a Nia class to the studio next door to her daughter’s ballet class.  She heard the joyful noises and knew she needed to be part of the fun.  She has been moving, dancing, laughing, learning, and spreading the Joy of Movement ever since.  In September 2015, Karen completed training to become a Nia Black Belt instructor.  Karen’s passion is to help others fall in love with themselves through the gifts of the Nia Technique.

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Bruce Day
Nia
Bruce Day

Nia

Bruce Day is a licensed Nia Black Belt and Nia Move IT Instructor.  After stepping into his first class at Dancing Lotus Center in 2009, he embraced a regular Nia practice.  Bruce completed his Nia White Belt training in September 2010 and began teaching at Dancing Lotus Center the same year.  He has taught regularly at DLC and Carroll College. Bruce says, “Nia changed the way I think about fitness and opened me to new ways of moving and body-mind awareness.  Bruce enjoys teaching both classic Nia and Nia Move IT and giving others the chance to connect with the many healthful benefits of movement.

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Micah Fiske
OULA
Micah Fiske

OULA

Micah was raised in Townsend, MT and after studying at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA decided to move back home to Helena and start her family. Micah is a stay at home mom and started taking OULA in January of 2015 after having her first son. Although new to OULA it was a calling right from the start. Having danced from a young age and being a cheerleader all through high school, finding a group fitness format that fed her passion for dance was truly heaven sent. After taking OULA classes for only a few months she became a certified OULA instructor in September of 2015. “After giving birth to my first child I felt completely disconnected from my body. I was sick throughout the pregnancy and felt weak and drained afterword. It took me a year to find OULA but when I did it completely changed my world. I... Read More

Tyler Setlock
Yoga
Tyler Setlock

Yoga

Tyler Setlock, RD made the journey from Colorado to Montana a little over two years ago and has been a Helenian ever since. He holds a 200-hour certification in power yoga which he attained in while pursuing education in the field of nutrition. He presently practices in the field of health as both a Registered Dietitian and a yogi. Though spreading knowledge of good health and wellbeing is no small task, teaching yoga to all those willing has been a joy. It is his goal to continue to foster and share a sense of balance and contentment both on and off the mat.

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(720) 938-9902
Tracy Joy Maphies
Nia
Tracy Joy Maphies

Nia

Tracy has been in love with dancing all her life.  Naturally, when she found Nia, she was hooked.  Tracy took her White Belt in 2010 and her Blue Belt in 2013. She started teaching kids Nia in 2011 and classic Nia in 2012.  "I love Nia and want to share it with everybody!!" Tracy grew up in Helena and graduated from the University of Montana in 1996.  She taught pre-school at Helena Community School for three years.  It was during her time at HCS that she discovered her love of teaching.Tracy is thrilled to be teaching Nia and excited to share the joy of movement with you.

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Barbara Denowh
Yoga
Barbara Denowh

Yoga

Barbara has been an active practitioner of asana and meditation for 16 years. She has been teaching yoga in Helena for 9 years and owned a popular $5 studio. Barbara loves to play with functional and natural movement within the framework of a flow yoga practice. Using biomechanic principles to challenge the traditional yoga “script”, she aims to create a sustainable, life long practice for herself and her students. Classes include gentle movement, flow, supported poses, and meditation. Be prepared for a challenging class, in body and mind, to uncover your movement behaviors.

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LuAnn Whale
Meditation
LuAnn Whale

Meditation

Deb O’Neill
Oula
Deb O’Neill

Oula

Deb moved to Helena in October 2010 and discovered Dancing Lotus Center and Oula in January 2013. She hasn’t looked back. Never one for indoor activities, Deb couldn’t believe how hard she fell for Oula. While it’s an amazing workout, it was the people that kept her coming back. She soon found she wanted to deepen her connection with Oula and the Tribe, so she became a certified instructor in November 2016.

Deb is a fierce advocate for women’s and LGBTQ issues. She is on the board of The Friendship Center and volunteers many hours each year supporting causes she cares about.

When not volunteering or Oulaing, Deb spends her time hiking, camping, backpacking, or snowshoeing with her four-legged kids and her fabulous husband (who has often called himself an “Oula widow”). You can also find her enjoying a local beer at the Blackfoot or a glass of wine at The Hawthorn.... Read More

Sue Dostal
Yoga
Sue Dostal

Yoga

Sue Dostal is a new 200 hour RYT. She began her yoga practice 19 years ago to learn how to breathe, find peace, and enjoy the physical practice.  Finally, teacher training called her heart and has exposed her to the many facets and benefits of yoga that she would love to share with you, through breath, meditation, philosophy, and asana.

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Megan Helton
Yoga
Megan Helton

Yoga

Megan finished her 200 hour teacher training in 2017. After over a decade of dedicated practice, she found herself turning frequently towards yoga as a mode of healing, exploration, and insight which lead her to the teachers seat. With a geographically varied background in conservation, youth development, and emergency response, she enjoys working with diverse populations and learning from life experiences. Her classes focus on linking mindful movement with breath and provide space for students to build their own practice based on self reflection and discovery, utilizing the mat as a life laboratory. As an avid climber, runner and writer, she loves the offerings of the Helena area and is excited play an active role in the yoga community.

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Angie Gifford
Yoga
Angie Gifford

Yoga

Angie Gifford is a Helena native and is proud to be part of the first graduating class of the Lotus’s 200 hour teacher training in 2017. She has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and recently delved deeper into the philosophy of the asanas. Angie loves living in Helena and believes being in nature is just as important as time on the mat. Angie’s goal is to bring yoga to individuals intimidated by the perception of the practice. She teaches a slow-flow class that allows students of all levels to honor their bodies and find the balance between breathe and movement, body and soul.

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Emily Clewis
Yoga
Emily Clewis

Yoga

Emily Clewis began her yoga journey in a tiny Texas studio owned by a friend and was immediately drawn to the practice. After diving a bit deeper and committing to a 200 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), Emily had fallen in love with every aspect of what she’d learned: movement, tradition, philosophy and self-love. She and her family moved from Texas to Montana just one week after completing the training and “there’s no looking back.”

Emily was immediately taken with the beauty and lifestyle of Helena and she and her family knew that this was the place they wanted to plant their roots and grow. They are filled with gratitude here in the heart of Montana. Connecting with The Lotus was like the cherry on top of an already very delicious sundae.

“I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of... Read More

Sarah Halvorson
OULA-power
Sarah Halvorson

OULA-power

I am a Montana girl to the core! Born and raised right here in Helena, outdoors is where I want to be! I love hiking our amazing local trail systems, camping, and most importantly, spending some good quiet time fly fishing during the warm spring and summer months. Winter brings good skiing opportunities with my lovely little family. Other than that, I love to spend time in all of the little local shops throughout downtown Helena.I started dabbling in Oula in October of 2017. The first thing that elicited me into coming back was the “tribe” vibe that everyone in the room put off. It was so welcoming and accepting! But I must say, once I tried Oula Power I was HOOKED! With the tag line “find you inner warrior”, it allows you to do just that. Meeting my body... Read More
Kathy Schiffman
Pilates
Kathy Schiffman

Pilates

Kathy Schiffman has been practicing Pilates since 2002 and received her certification in Mat through Physical Mind Institute in Great Falls MT, and Reformer, Cadillac and Chair in 2004 from Core Dynamics Pilates in Santé Fe, NM. Pilates Mat classes can be tailored to meet each student’s fitness level allowing for progression at your own pace. Small props, such as therabands, small and large fitness balls and weights are often used to enhance the workout. Kathy enjoys helping people set and reach their fitness goals in a fun, challenging and safe way.

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Michelle Craft
OULA
Michelle Craft

OULA

Michelle calls Helena her home.  She is a Montana native moving from Plentywood to Helena at a young age.

Michelle gives Oula a lot of credit for getting her out of her shell she so desperately wanted to break.  She discovered Oula the summer of 2016.  She loved it from the start.  In November Michelle discovered The Lotus.  She ventured in for the first time to participate in another instructor’s certification class.  She instantly fell in love with the tribe and the supportive and nonjudgmental atmosphere.

She had been contemplating on becoming a certified instructor but did not take the leap until her husband had told her he liked to watch her in class.  He said she looked so happy and carefree.  After hearing this, she knew what she needed to do.  She received her certification in May 2017 and cannot wait to share the joyful experience of Oula with you.

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April Lemieux
Oula.One
April Lemieux

Oula.One

April is a Montana native who began her love affair with yoga 6 years ago. What began as a tool for better health and mobility became a practice of the heart. And with this background, she began exploring other movement practices. She was introduced to Oula.One last year and immediately knew she had found something special. The connection between her yoga background and the body/mind/soul choreography of Oula.One was instantaneous. She is currently working on her certification and is thrilled to start sharing heart space on the mat with her students.

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Guest Instructors

Kathy Schiffman

Pilates

Kathy Schiffman has been practicing Pilates since 2002 and received her certification in Mat through Physical Mind Institute in Great Falls MT, and Reformer, Cadillac and Chair in 2004 from Core Dynamics Pilates in Santé Fe, NM. Pilates Mat classes can be tailored to meet each student’s fitness level allowing for progression at your own pace. Small props, such as therabands, small and large fitness balls and weights are often used to enhance the workout. Kathy enjoys helping people set and reach their fitness goals in a fun, challenging and safe way.

Anna Bradley

Yoga

Anna is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). In addition to her 200-hour certification, she has trained with the Veterans Yoga Project, the Baptiste Institute, Yoga Activist, and JoAnn Lyons with the Piedmont Yoga Community to expand her knowledge. She is currently working on becoming certified at the 500-hour level.

Anna is passionate about both the physical and mental aspects of yoga, and how we can take our practice with us when we leave our mats. She hopes to offer students a practice that helps them live more authentically as themselves.

Claire Bachofner

Contributing Writer

Claire Bachofner

Contributing Writer

Claire Bachofner is a writer and witness. She loves wordsmithing, walking barefoot in her neighborhood, feeling the elements on her skin, practicing yoga and other soulful movement, reading, traveling, and authentically connecting with others, especially her two girls. Claire lives in Helena, Montana and swears by espresso, lipstick, self-care, hearty laughter and keeping it real.

Jay Dufrechou

J.D., PH.D

Jay Dufrechou

J.D., PH.D

Jay Dufrechou is a certified facilitator of Holotropic Breathwork and has been on facilitation teams in the United States, United Kingdom, India and China. With a doctoral degree in transpersonal psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University), Jay has worked as adjunct faculty at ITP/Sofia and the California Institute of Integral Studies. Jay is the author of Moving through Grief, Reconnecting with Nature, which includes stories from people around the world who experience grief, weeping or other deep emotions in response to intimate connection with the natural world. Jay lives in Helena, where he works statewide as an attorney-mediator in addition to facilitating transpersonal workshops in a variety of settings.

Lynn Hailey

Yoga

Lynn is a student of yoga, martial arts and philosophy of mind. She is interested in exploring yoga with anyone who seeks to expand their understanding of life by looking within. She seeks to create the condition for yoga (a natural state) to emerge: body with mind, heart with action and breath with movement. Lynn has been in public service since her first job (30 years ago!), is currently enjoying a career as a dog and domestic care professional and ceaselessly strives to expand her personal capacity and value to this planet and all its’ inhabitants. She would be honored if you would join her for some rousing motion and deep relaxation.

Marilyn Bennett

Nia

Marilyn is a licensed Nia teacher, published author, documentarian, writing coach, national activist, and recent cancer survivor. Her business, Life Stories, helps families and individuals record their stories on video, in a unique keepsake book, or as a written memoir. She is the director of the documentary film, “From Selma to Stonewall: Are we there yet?” She has a BBA and a Master of Divinity. She completed her White Belt in 2007 about a year after she was first introduced to Nia. “I never thought I would be taking a dance class let alone teaching one, but Nia was the first fitness class in which I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. There is also a depth to Nia that has taught me how to embody physical sensations and translate them into emotional and spiritual awareness. During my bout with cancer, I drew on these lessons of flexibility, agility, mobility, stability,

Sheri Walker

Sheri Walker

Doula & Childbirth Educator

Sheri Walker

Sheri Walker

Doula & Childbirth Educator

Sheri is a former nurse with over 20 years experience including obstetrics. After being a stay at home mom for a few years until her children were in school, she certified as a birth doula through Doulas of North America (DONA) in 2013. She has been working as a birth doula, childbirth educator and birth/newborn photographer since then. Her passion is informed and empowering choices in childbirth with the understanding that pregnancy and birth being a normal physiological process are unique to each individual and each birth. Recently, Sheri completed a lactation course which now allows her to provide breastfeeding support. Sheri's objective in providing these services is to minimize the fear in childbirth so that birth memories will be precious. Along with her husband and two children, Sheri moved to Helena from Alaska in 2016. When she is not witnessing the miracle of birth, Sheri can be found gardening,

Barb Barnes

Spiritual Life Coach

Barb Barnes

Spiritual Life Coach

Barb’s passion is mercy. Helping people apply a merciful framework as they learn more about themselves is one of her strengths. She’s raised a daughter as a single Mom, experienced trauma, surgeries, life threatening illnesses, stressful jobs in private and public sectors and even understands groups that have possible cult like systems. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Relations from Westminster College and moved to the Bay Area of California for 10 years where she studied breath and body work, while working in the private sector managing construction. She’s also worked in adult probation and parole and intensive case management for people with severe mental illnesses. Barb’s lived in Helena for 22 years with an interruption to live in Boulder Colorado for a year, studying meditation. She also has trained in “Hakomi”, an approach emphasizing mindfulness during sessions and includes the body as well as the unconscious systems during

Tracey Riley

Barre, OULA

Tracey Riley

Barre, OULA

Tracey Riley has been dancing since the age of six, studying classical ballet, contemporary, and jazz. Tracey has been teaching dance since 2003. She became a certified OULA instructor in March of 2013 and a while later received certification as an OULA-power instructor teaching classes at The Lotus, as well as Queen City Ballet. Tracey enjoys the variety of styles offered in OULA and the community feeling which OULA inspires. Through OULA Tracey hopes to provide all her students with the same passion and beauty that dance has given her.

Dr. Liz Cavin

Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Liz Cavin

Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Liz Cavin is a naturopath who listens and specializes in women’s healthcare. You can expect exceptional help with hormonal issues, thyroid imbalances, insomnia, hypertension, digestive issues, anxiety and conditions unique to being a woman. Dr. Liz uses a multi layered approach employing herbal medicine, vitamins, labs and dietary advice to treat ailments and help you achieve balanced health.  She loves assisting you with managing stress and creating a lifestyle that promotes health for you and your family. Prior to becoming a doctor, Liz Cavin studied clinical botanical medicine and practiced massage therapy for many years. She takes her naturopathic oath, "doctor as teacher" to heart and really enjoys teaching a variety of classes.

Jen Hill-Hart

Yoga

Jen is a recent graduate of the 2017 Lotus Yoga Teacher Training. Jen started practicing yoga as a tool to become a better runner and roller derby player. She quickly learned how yoga offers a means of empowerment and greater self-awareness, as well as a path to change the ways in which we are habituated. She plans to teach yoga classes that are welcoming, accessible, and fun, but also build heat and strength.

Terri Barclay

Yoga

Terri is a native Montanan who loves sharing her grateful heart with those around her. She resides in Helena with her husband, Eric and black lab, Cabbi. Terri loves to be active in the outdoors, running, hiking, biking, and paddle boarding. As a recent graduate of the Lotus 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training, she is thrilled to begin the journey of taking her practice to the studio to share with others.

Scott Gittens

Yoga

Scott returned to Helena just in time to join the initial Lotus Teacher Training. He utilizes the lessons from this class to reach out to traumatized youth from around the state. He's also busy getting outdoors no matter the season. As his teaching grows, he hopes to help more yogis reach a deeper connection with themselves and their yoga practice.

Lisa Fairman

Certified Advanced Rolfer™ and Educator

Lisa Fairman

Certified Advanced Rolfer™ and Educator

Lisa received her Rolfing® Structural Integration training at the Rolf Institute and has been in practice in Helena since 1998. Lisa draws from her studies, teachings, and practices of Rolfing® Structural Integration, Rolf® Movement Integration, Iyengar yoga, dance, and mindfulness to create her classes and her workshop series “Movement Intelligence”. Lisa is a guest instructor at the Rolf Institute in Boulder Colorado and is a substitute teacher for local yoga classes. She’s very excited to be part of the Dancing Lotus Tribe and to share with you her latest explorations and interests in the world of movement, wellness and vitality.

Justin Whitaker

Certified Meditation Teacher

Justin Whitaker

Certified Meditation Teacher

Justin Whitaker, Ph.D. is a Certified Meditation Teacher with a doctorate in Buddhist Ethics from the University of London. He is a Helena native who has lived and taught in Missoula, England, India, and China. Dr. Whitaker first discovered meditation in 2000, when he was studying philosophy and religions at the University of Montana-Missoula. He has taught meditation in various contexts since 2003 and has been offering mindfulness courses in Helena since the spring of 2016.