President/Co-founder of Funfit® Family Fitness
Celia Kibler has offered the Funfit® Tots program at MCC for more than 20 years. Funfit® is a full-of-fun fitness class for children with music, active games and play that keeps toddlers engaged. It enhances cognitive and physical developmental skills that toddlers need to grow healthy and strong.
Kibler said her passion has always been children and their need for happy, fun and empowering childhoods. After enduring a childhood physical ailment, she said, “I decided my journey would be one of teaching and helping kids.” She earned a B.S. degree in Human Ecology and Education from the University of Maryland and holds certifications in nutrition, personal training and yoga instruction.
In 1987, when she and her sister, Maddi Cheers, decided to start Funfit®, their goal was to create a program where all children could participate regardless of their gender, skill level or abilities, have fun and gain a love for physical fitness. Partnering with the expertise of a pediatric cardiologist, an orthopedic surgeon, a childhood education specialist and a speech pathologist, they created the program and it has now been offered all around the metro area for more than 30 years.
A mother of five and grandmother of seven, Kibler says her family “fills my life with daily joy and happiness.” Not surprisingly then, she has recently become a Parenting/Family Empowerment Coach and offers coaching to help parent/caregiver/child relationships. She also continues to teach Funfit® classes. “Honestly, there is nothing better than walking into a Funfit class and having a group of toddlers just run up to you and smother you with hugs and kisses,” she said. “There is no more rewarding job out there.”
Body/Moves Fitness, LLC
Students who sign up for MCC’s Yoga Sculpt & Strength or Yoga + Pilates classes are often seeking ways to improve their health and fitness. Years ago, while dealing with serious health issues, class instructor Heidi Himmelberg was seeking the same for herself, and as a result, discovered a new focus and career.
“For people who don’t know me well, it might not be apparent what it took to get me here. I have come from a place of severe physical limitations, which required serious treatments over many years,” said Himmelberg. While dealing with her illness, she discovered mind/body protocols and used them to improve her well-being and quality of life. “To me, this reflects the profound power of self-care through Pilates and Yoga and gives extra meaning to my work.”
In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in English from the Universi-ty of Mary Washington and a master’s degree in Communication from George Mason University, Himmelberg is a Yoga Education Institute Certified Instructor, with more than 300 hours of training in Pranashama Vinyasa Yoga and Core Strength Vinyasa. She’s also completed course-work in Anatomy, Meditation and Myofascial Self Care. An animal enthusiast, she and her husband are the proud parents of a Chow Chow named Teddy Bear and they’ve “adopted” two orangutans.
For more than two years, Himmelberg has served as the Lead Instructor for BodyMoves Fitness at MCC. “We have received tremendous posi-tive support from students, who take time to write glowing evaluations, and it really makes our instructors feel great knowing we are truly helping students feel better in their bodies,” she said.
Joy of Dance
Instructor Allie O’Hare, or “Miss Allie” as she is known, brings dedication, energy and enthusiasm to her work with young dancers-in-training at MCC. Joy of Dance director Marilyn Baird, parents, students and Center staff have all been delighted to work with O’Hare for the last seven years
O’Hare earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007. After performing professionally, including with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, she decided to try teaching. “I had no idea how much I would fall in love with it,” she said. “I get to share my love for the art with all of my students and at the same time, I learn so much from them.”
At MCC, she teaches a wide array of classes, including Pre-Primary I and II, Combination I, II and IV, Junior Company, Senior Company, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Contemporary. “I love the sense of community, the staff and the atmosphere at MCC. All the families I work with are amazing and make me feel appreciated and loved. There is never a dull moment when I’m at work. My students never fail to make me laugh and touch my heart with their sweet little souls every day," she said.
In her free time, O’Hare enjoys spending time with her family. She describes her mother and father as her biggest supporters and her brother and sister have provided her with her favorite “role” thus far --- that of doting aunt to several nieces and nephews.
Our youngest and most precious patrons need no introduction to “Ms. Patti,” as Patti Papworth has been teaching Music Together at MCC since 2003.
A native of Salem, Ore., Papworth is one of seven children. She has been performing since she was eight years old and holds a B.A. degree in Vocal Performance from Utah State University.
Says Papworth, “I think the most powerful thing about teaching is seeing how kids learn and grow. I have always had music in my life and I also have a deep love for children, so when I came across this program, I knew it was a perfect fit for me. It’s amazing anytime I run into parents who give an update on their children—that they are now playing instruments or are involved in music programs—those are happy moments.”
Her involvement in music is not limited to teaching at MCC. She has a private piano studio and directs a regional, 60-member church choir. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, playing piano, cooking and helping people with interior design and staging.
Papworth says MCC is a wonderful gathering place that fosters friendships and understanding. “I love how it brings all cultures and lifestyles together. I have classes where every child or adult is from a different area of the world. It adds so much to our experience to be able to enjoy and learn from each other.”
Learning how to express oneself in writing has proven to be an isolated quest for many a would-be novelist. Thanks to MCC Writing Instructor D.A. Spruzen (aka Dorothy Hassan), these writers can now have the support of an experienced companion and coach to help them on their journey to publication.
A native of London, U.K., Spruzen graduated from the London College of Dance and Drama Education, and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. Author of a historical novel, "The Blitz Business," a poetry collection, "Long in the Tooth," and "Crossroads: Two Novellas," as well as two novels in the Flower Ladies Trilogy - "Not One of Us" and "Lily Takes the Field," Spruzen knows firsthand the myriad issues facing writers.
For five years, she has taught courses to help grow fledgling writers: Getting Started (on the basics of creative writing), Word Portraits (on deepening character and setting) and Fine Tuning (a critique workshop). "I have always loved teaching and very much enjoy seeing my students' growth and their satisfaction in making progress," she said. "At MCC, the environment is collegial and the facilities are well-maintained and conducive to learning."
In her spare time, Spruzen says she enjoys spending time with her family, taking art classes, cuddling with her King Charles spaniel, Sam, and working on her flower garden. "I love flowers! I keep orchids, African violets and other plants in my family room, and the vase always has cut flowers whether from my garden or from the store."