Chief Instructor Pam Boyde
Helene Dobrowolsky

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.


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 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 in 2015, a trip to China, and attending International Tai Chi Symposiums in Nashville, Tennessee and Selvino, Italy. In 2020, she was certified as a trainer for three forms through the Yang Family Teacher Academy 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. 

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.

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.

Laura Beattie

Laura has been a tai chi player since 1997, when she first studied the Cheng Man-Ching abbreviated Yang style form in Victoria B.C.  She has also briefly studied Chen Style and Hsing-I. 

Laura began teaching in 2002 and currently teaches Yang style tai chi here in Whitehorse.  Her work frequently takes her away from the community, allowing her to teach intermittently but without a regularly scheduled class.

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: Traditional Hand Form (103), Tai Chi Kung (10), Essential Form (22), Sword Form, Sabre Form, Push Hands, and the new Seniors Hand Form. Fan form is also in the mix!


In January 2019 Alison began teaching classes with Tai Chi Yukon.  Her goal of teacher certification led her 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 Copper Eagle ranking in Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan – the first step to certification!


In January 2021 Alison was certified as a trainer for Section 1 of the Traditional Hand Form (103) through the Yang Family Teacher Academy program.  She continues to actively pursue furthering her knowledge and understanding of tai chi chuan and is grateful to all of her teachers and for the support provided by Tai Chi Yukon Association.


Previous teaching experience was as a Level 2 middle eastern dance instructor.

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Tai Chi Yukon Board, 2020-21

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:

   Monique Girard

   Charlotte Hrenchuk

   Marianne Douglas

   Helene Dobrowolsky