exercise of the will

“Michael makes everyone feel accepted and able to progress. These are the characteristics of good teaching…First and foremost is a sense of humor and a relaxed attitude…another quality is the enjoyment of and warmth with people. There is always a feeling that Michael cares because he listens to students and is interested in them.”

- Bernice Goldmark, Professor Emeritus, School of Education, Sonoma State University



Like artists collaborating on a canvass, we select exercises using a broad palette of equipment. Each workout will be tuned to your goals, concerns and mood, from music to lighting. Together we shall craft a program that works best for your body in the life that you lead today.

 Mind/Body Muscle Building Weight Loss Postural/Balance


Single Session     $95
Five Pack             $450
Ten Pack              $850
Buddy Workout    $60 per person

Getting Started    $150 for 3 sessions (1st time clients only)





Ballet 1

Mondays 9:15-10:30 AM

San Francisco Bay Club

One Lombard Street

Ballet Class

Saturdays 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Jewish Community Center

3200 California Street

 San Francisco



Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:45 - 11:45 AM

Harbor Point Club

475 E. Strawberry Drive, Mill Valley




DEFINING WOMEN - Women's Circuit Training Class

Tuesday evenings 5:30 - 6:30 PM


Lady's Night at Volition Studio is attended by a supportive but very focused group of four to ten women. Friendships are forged between efforts, but there's not a lot of chit-chat. Participants generally range in age from mid-thirties to mid-fifties. A great variety of exercise stations: dumb bells, cable machine, Pilates table, cardio step-ups make for an intense hour of two-minute sets. The cost is $20 per session or a 5-class card for $90 (with 10 week expiration).




MAN UP! - Men's Circuit Training Class

Monday evenings 6:00 - 7:00 PM

The guys are more talkative when they sweat than the women at Volition Studio. Ribald humor and snappy come backs punctuate the sound of weights clanking. The jokes lessen by the second half as the men catch their breath. Balance exercises and yoga postures stretch skill and limbs between muscular demands. The cost is $20 per session or a 5-class card for $90 (with 10 week expiration)




WORKSHOP - The Beauty in the Mirror

My first opportunity to teach cancer survivors came in 1999 from the founder of The Breast Cancer Fund, Andrea Martin, when she invited me to be a featured presenter at The Fund’s conferences. I was then the Artistic Director of the NOMAD Dance Company; and I discovered that the strength of my teaching ability and my knack for inspiring others exceeded the scope of the stage. I initially had doubts about how effective I could be in motivating a group of women fighting a disease that I would never experience; but my decision to participate was affirmed when I got a phone call from my mother who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Both The Fund’s conference and my workshop were a great success. Andrea invited me to join the Steering Committee for future conferences; and in 2004 the city of Mill Valley awarded me a “Milly” — Outstanding Community Artistic Achievement, for my Beauty in the Mirror program and others like it. Since then, Mom has recovered beautifully and I myself was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010.

Sometimes in response to great challenges we become very small. I think it is a most powerful thing to be comfortable with being witnessed. One of my main objectives for The Beauty in the Mirror is to advocate cancer survivors as vibrant, beautiful and fully engaged with life, since the physical trauma of cancer as well as its treatments can decrease confidence in body image.


Workshop Description -

The 90-minute class includes a meditative warm-up, barre, jazz dance combinations and creative movement. To encourage a rising sense of empowerment, each person is given the chance to lead an exercise. They also have the opportunity to move across the floor one at a time, giving them a chance to be “seen”. It’s like claiming our space in the world. In addition, there is time for participants to receive peer support and share information. They’re able to describe their happiness “just to be alive” or their fears about the future, knowing that the others in class have the same understanding.

Acknowledging that cancer patients have different energy levels and abilities than students in a typical dance class, my instruction emphasizes the importance of not placing demands or expectations on anyone, to accept what they can do today rather than push themselves to frustration.

Workshop Format -

Standing in a circle holding hands, balance and breathing focus, unison movements that literally use others for support, done to
ambient music without meter

Up & down from the floor, exploring various ways of lowering to and
rising from the floor, initially without meter and then adding music with
a beat to vary speed and increase heart rates

Stretch & chat, seated on the floor repeating a series of progressive stretches

Barre, a time for turning inward, initially facing the wall, then progressing to alternate side facings, simple steps/stretches/strengthening exercises that
gradually increase demands on stamina and memorization skills

Across the floor but not facing the mirror, group unison movement, simple walking pattern moving parallel to the mirror

Facing each other but still not the mirror, the class is split into two groups walking toward each other, repeating the previous step pattern

Face the mirror, same step in unison

Follow the leader, improvisation in which individual participants assume the lead

Dance combination, simple but facing the mirror and done to music

Reverence, slow bows to each other and to the mirror as an imaginary audience, an extended adage expressing gratitude



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