Teaching Artists

Aaron Kierbel

Rhythm & Movement Instructor

Aaron is teaching artist, performer and “Rhythmologist” who has lived in the Bay since 2002. He has travelled the world as drummer for the genre defying group Rupa and the April Fishes since 2006, sharing bills with Manu Chao, The Coup, and Michael Franti.

In 2015, he joined the San Francisco Mime Troup for their “Freedomland” summer tour addressing police violence in African American communities, and also currently plays with the Jazz Mafia, Mercury Falls and several local singers such as Emily Afton and Naima Shalhoub, with who he recorded a live album with in San Francisco County Jail in 2015.

As a teaching artist, Aaron works with several other organizations such as Performing Arts Workshop and LEAP in addition to his own rhythm event organization called RhythmALLogy. In his work he particularly focuses on working with marginalized communities to empower themselves by using group rhythm and movement practices.

Since 2014, he has volunteered monthly drum workshops for Bread and Roses, a 100 year old organization dedicated to uplifting the human spirit by providing free live quality entertainment to people who live in institutions or are otherwise isolated from society. His dedication to youth empowerment has also manifested in an ongoing mentorship relationship with a 13 year boy in East Oakland through the East Bay Agency For Children (EBAC).

Afia Thompson

West African Dance Instructor

Afia-Fareeda Thompson received her acclaim 20 years ago in West African Dance and has since performed nationally and internationally in other genres such as jazz, hip-hop, lindy hop, freestyle, and modern dance. She is constantly refining her skills and versatility as a performer, through yearly conferences, workshops and performances.  Ms. Thompson has been exposed to dance, drama, and musical theatre, adding a more finished touch to her skill level.  She has taught classes in the Oakland community for 10 years, to professional dancers and dance enthusiast ranging from 5 to 65 years of age.  Afia and her daughter Nafi Watson-Thompson founded Bahiya Movement in 2011.  As directors, the dynamic mother/daughter duo fuse hip-hop, jazz, modern, and African dance to create an electrifying, energetic movement. Afia & Nafi’s vision for Bahiya Movement is to cross and break all barrier lines regarding body image and self-esteem through the art of dance.  Their goal is to show the world that it’s not about your body size or type that defines you as a dancer, but rather the skill, technical training, creativity and love of the art that does.

Amber Julian

Hip Hop Dance Instructor

Amber has always had a strong artistic and musical influence. She’s been involved in Musical Theatre, various dance crews, and has performed all over California. She is eager to witness other young folks pursue their passions and interests in the arts and believes that art is very influential on the development and growth of children and adults.

Amber grew up in the South Bay, but once she discovered the beauty and art of the East Bay she quickly developed a strong and deep connection with the community. She has over 9 years of experience working with a non-profit organization that advocated violence prevention and positive recreational activities, and has served as an event coordinator, mentor to the youth and facilitator. She is also a dancer in Mix’d Ingrdnts, an all female collective dance company that stands for empowering women and kids to express themselves through art and dance.

Alonzo Zochi Young

Martial Arts Instructor

Instructor Alonzo Zochi Young: Martial Artist, Dancer and Media Architect, began his somatic training early as a youth in dance (later becoming a professional dancer with the Clifford Fears Dance Company) and as a martial artist in Kenpo and White Crane Styles while living in Detroit, MI. While living in Detroit Alonzo became a member of the Golden Fist (an international martial arts association) where he studied with a various martial artist and styles under the umbrella of brotherhood and friendship. From these humble beginnings Alonzo Young has studied, practiced and taught the martial arts now for over 35 years throughout Asia and the United States. He has received various accolades and recognitions. Mr. Young has Black Belts and instructor certifications in Aikido, Tai Chi, Kenpo and White Lotus Gung Fu. In addition to his martial arts training, he is a certified IMPACT Bay Area (personal self defense) instructor, leadership/management development trainer, as well as, a Non-Violent Communication (NVC) and Conscious EmbodimentLeadership coach.

Anthony Daniels

Head Martial Arts Instructor/Co-Founder

Sifu Anthony is one of Destiny’s founding members, and has taught martial arts, youth leadership, self-defense and conflict resolution to youth of all ages for over 20 years at Destiny and in many other after-school programs in the Bay Area, including the California School for the Blind, Job Corps, the Chestnut Court Housing Projects, and Parks and Recreation programs. Sifu Anthony holds a first-degree black belt in Judo and a fifth degree black belt in Wu Chien Pai Kung Fu. Sifu Daniels has taught martial arts at Destiny since 1988. He started studying at age 13 and received his Black Belt in Kung Fu in 1982 and in Judo in 1988. He has over 20 years experience teaching youth and adults throughout the US, in Switzerland and Mexico.

Daniel Mattar

Capoeira Instructor

Daniel Mattar is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he was introduced to capoeira in 1994. In 1999 he began to train intensively with Mestre Marrom. In 2002, Daniel moved to California and joined the International Capoeira Angola Foundation (ICAF). Together with Contra Mestre Rogerio, Daniel helped to build the two spaces for capoeira angola in West Oakland. In 2007 Daniel received the title of Treinel in Rio de Janeiro, during the annual ICAF conference. Daniel is the leader of the ICAF Oakland group under the guidance of Mestre Jurandir.

Soon after I started participating in Destiny programs, things rapidly started to turn around for me.

Daudi Manent’o
Destiny Alum 1990-1997, College graduate, Scientist