OUR INSTRUCTORS

Chief Instructor Pam Boyde

Pam Boyde has studied tai chi chuan for over 30 years.  She is a founding member of Tai Chi Yukon (TCY) and has served on TCY’s Board of Directors in various capacities from Director-At-Large to President. She currently is Tai Chi Yukon's head instructor, having started teaching in 1990.

 

Pam is also a member of the International Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Association (Yang Family Tai Chi) and holds Silver Tiger (5th) level rank and Academy Instructor certification with the association.  She currently serves as the Yang Family Tai Chi Vice President of Operations and Executive Manager and has been the Head of the Ranking Department for close to 5 years.  In July 2014, Pam was accepted by Grandmaster Yang Jun as his disciple.  Her disciple name is Yang Yazhu.

 

Although Pam’s tai chi chuan studies have primarily been in Yang Family style, she has also taken class in the other five major tai chi styles, baguaquan and various qigong forms and played with Tai Chi Kungfu Fan Form and Tai Chi Hockey Stick form.

PB_biopic2019.jpeg
Jo-Ann Gates

Tai chi became Jo-Ann’s life-long endeavour in 2002. Two years later, she met Master Yang Jun for the first time while attending a Traditional Hand Form seminar here in Whitehorse. Since then, she has practiced Yang Family Tai Chi. A 2007 trip to China was her introduction to the history and vision of the Yang Family.  She attended two International Symposiums – Kentucky in 2014 and Italy in 2019.  These experiences deepened her understanding of and appreciation for the extensive study of this martial art. Over the years, seminars conducted by the Grandmaster and other Instructors reinforced the need and desire to continually improve her practice. 

 

Jo-Ann achieved the Gold Eagle rank and Associate Instructor certification, with gratitude to all her teachers. Their passion has inspired her to share what she has learned with others.  Teaching since 2006 has been most rewarding when students realize the benefits and beauty of tai chi.  Locally and globally, the tai chi community enriches her life.

Jo-Ann_biopic.JPG
Marina McCready

Marina has enthusiastically practiced tai chi since 2016 and started teaching in September 2019.  Previous experience includes teaching alpine skiing, and coaching dragon boat and outrigger canoe teams.  She has also participated in multiple sports over the years and has a master’s degree in human kinetics.

Marina2-cropB.JPG
Helene Dobrowolsky

Helene began learning tai chi from Cheryl Buchan in 1989. For over 25 years she has studied with Chief Instructor Pam Boyde as well as various guest teachers. Since attending a 2003 seminar in Seattle with Grandmaster Yang Jun, Helene has focussed her practice on Yang style taijiquan as transmitted by the Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan association. This led to helping organize a Yang Jun seminar in Whitehorse in 2004, more studies in Seattle – where she earned a Gold Eagle ranking, a trip to China, and attending International Tai Chi Symposiums in Nashville, Tennessee and Selvino, Italy. In 2020, Helene was certified as a trainer for three forms through the Yang Family Teacher Academy program. In 2021, she took the next step, becoming an Associate Instructor. She is most grateful to the Yang Family organization for making this possible through their excellent distance education program. 

Helene has been teaching since 1995. Her classes have included various hand forms and, for ten years, she led a class for people with health issues which included standing and seated qigong. In 2019, she began teaching sabre, a new challenge – using a weapon to extend chi. She is a long-time TCY board member.

HD_biopic_crop-scaled.jpg
Alison Conant

Alison Conant began her tai chi journey in earnest in 2014, having participated in workplace lunch sessions many years before.  Her studies in tai chi have been primarily in the Yang Family style.


Alison began teaching classes with Tai Chi Yukon in January 2019.  With the goal of proving her worth, she traveled to Selvino, Italy that spring to attend the International Tai Chi Chuan Symposium.  She participated in workshops led by the Grandmasters of Chen, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu, and Sun styles, and attended academic research sessions linking Tai Chi Chuan with health and wellness.  Here she tested for and attained the rank of Copper Eagle (1st level) in Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan.

Through continued studies, practice and teaching, Alison was approved in January 2021 as a trainer of the Traditional Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan method, and as a member of the Yang Family Teacher Academy.  In the summer of 2022, she went on to obtain the rank of Silver Eagle (2nd level).

 

Alison’s love of teaching and sharing the rewards of practicing this martial art, inspires her to pursue a deeper understanding of its principles.  Much gratitude to all her teachers past and present, and for the support provided by Tai Chi Yukon Association.

Horses Main_Bio.jpg

Tai Chi Yukon Board, 2021-22

President: Alison Conant

Vice President: Heather Boardman

Secretary: Jo-Ann Gates

Treasurer: Marina McCready

Communications Director: Judy Forrest

Chief Instructor:  Pam Boyde

Directors at Large:

   Jill Johnstone

   Charlotte Hrenchuk

   Marianne Douglas

   Helene Dobrowolsky