The Pleasant Valley Senior Center contracts with trained instructors to bring quality health, fitness and special interest programs to our community members. Please see the classes below for more information and be sure to check out the “Meet our Instructors” page.
After a career as a software developer, Bob Gruber has continued his long-time involvement with Duplicate Bridge. He remains active as an accomplished player (Gold Life Master) and serves on the managing board of the Ventura Unit of the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). Shortly after retirement, Bob studied to become a certified Director with the ACBL. He currently directs ACBL-sanctioned games in Ventura and Camarillo, where he manages the Tuesday Pleasant Valley Bridge Club.
Bob is the webmaster of the Ventura Unit’s site, vcbridge.org, and has written many website articles for both Directors and Players. Bob and Tom Kline jointly teach bridge classes for the PVRPD.
Susan Howery Hart
Sarah Howery Hart is an author and freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Writer Magazine; Horizon Air in-flight magazine; Ojai Quarterly; the Ventura County Star; Recovery Living, and other publications. She was the executive editor of a high-end wedding magazine, and was Senior World Magazine’s correspondent for both Ventura County and Los Angeles. She is also a novelist, working on a sci-fi fantasy series. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom started playing competitive bridge while still in college in the late 1950’s, and was able to continue his involvement throughout his 34 year career with the federal Government before retiring in 1994. Since then, he has increased his involvement, studying and passing the test to become a certified Director in 2006.
He currently directs American Contract Bridge League (ACBL)-sanction games in Ventura and Camarillo, where he also manages the Los Posas Country Club. Tom and Bob Gruber jointly teach bridge classes for the PVRPD
Rona Pualanina`auali`ioha Koe is a hula instructor (kumu hula) for her Hawaiian dance school (halau) called Halau Hula O Pualanina`auali`ioha. She brings over 20 years of dancing, teaching, performing, and competing to the senior center. Her Hawaiian dance training and teaching is from the lineage of Haina Kalehualaha`ole Blaisdell, Kawaikapuokalani K. Hewett, and Sylvia Puanani Edgar. Her mission is to maintain and preserve the foundation of hula and the lineage that has been handed down to her. She includes in her teachings education and perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture and dance in its purest form through dance, music, arts and crafts, and lecture.
Rona danced, taught, did teacher training, and competed in Hula Halau O Puananiha`aheo under Kumu Hula Sylvia Puanani Edgar for 13 years and still continues her studies under this phenomenal teacher. Prior to that, she danced and performed with a group in Oxnard and one in Fremont (Northern California). She has performed in a number of cultural festivals and events all over California with that group as well as a professional performer for Hawaiian recording artists. She has competed in Ia Oe E Ka La Hula Competition in Pleasanton, California and E Hula Mau in Long Beach as a group and soloist.
Pam Taylor has been teaching fitness for over 30 years. She is certified from AFAA, Zumba, Jazzercise, and the Arthritis Foundation. Pam is CPR trained and holds a current First Aid Certificate. She invites you to come join her and her class in experiencing the joy and benefits of exercise. Come choose to live and thrive through fun fitness! Pam teaches Fit For Life, Pilates and Zumba Gold classes for adults.
Camille Torgeson has been teaching classes for older adults and those with special needs for fourteen years. She is a credentialed teacher with VACE and certified with several other organizations including the Arthritis Foundation.
Camille is currently an instructor for three senior classes for PVRPD. She teaches Focus on Balance classes, Parkinson Exercises and Tai Chi Sun lessons.
A Ventura county resident since 1966, Carol has had a love affair with all growing things. Moving to Camarillo in 1972 to a small avocado acre a whole new world opened for this City girl. Learning from the farm advisors about Avocado trees from seedling to market was her initiation into the wonderful world of agriculture in Ventura County. With 2 young children to raise on the small farm, of course the interest to “grow a garden” and enter the County fair became a family ritual each year. Eating what you grew and making good food choices always has been a big part of the end result of the gardening. As the children grew and began lives of their own, Carol longed for more than just “keeping up the yard”. Having attended many of the Master Gardener’s education series in the past, when the opportunity to take the training came along, the timing was just right. Achieving the master gardener status in 2005, Carol has learned more than she ever thought possible, and loves the lifelong learning element of the Master Gardener program where she volunteered for 6 years on the education committee establishing their speaker’s bureau and 5 years leading continuing education opportunities for M.G.s to get updated education. As a member of the State wide initiative Sustainable Landscape Design team, she presented workshops all over the county for 2 years. Her final achievement was establishing a sustainable garden with Tony Hepton and Diane Beeler for the City of Thousand Oaks, funded by Calleguas Water Company.
A true believer in being a good custodian of our land, Carol became interested in growing drought tolerant plants. In addition, she claims to be a “lazy gardener” and seeks out plants that are low maintenance, pest free, beautiful from border to landscape and in addition are able to provide lovely floral arrangements that last a long time. Currently an active member with the Ventura Botanic Garden, The California Native Plant Society, Channel Islands and the Santa Barbara Cactus and Succulent Society she continues to learn and add to her knowledge base.
Tish is a local, award winning watercolor artist, who has displayed her work in Catalina, Malibu and Thousand Oaks. She has taught creative arts for Braille Institute & children's art in the Conejo Valley.
For over 20 years, Mark has volunteered his time and talents teaching Seniors the art of dance with his “Muscle Memory” techniques while giving his students the gifts of confidence and joy in their own abilities to master some favorites – Cha Cha – West Coast Swing – Tango – Waltz – Fox Trot and more.
Mark became a dance instructor at the age of 15 during high school where he began teaching servicemen returning from World War II. He taught numerous soldiers how to dance their way into the hearts of the girls they wanted to ask out on a date. At age 18 Mark accepted a position with the famed Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Chicago. When he moved to sunny California he resumed his passion for dance and managed the Veloz and Yolanda Dance Studio in Beverly Hills. Mark has succeeded in getting literally hundreds and hundreds of men and women – regardless of their chronological age – out of their chairs and out onto the dance floor to amaze themselves with their hidden dance skills. Mark and his wife, Charlene, reside in Camarillo and have been married for 61 years.