Gurney Bolster


I began my practice of Tai Chi, Yang style 108 forms, in 1977 in Montreal with Master Lee Shiu Pak. My fascination with movement drew me into a career in contemporary dance with a focus on Western approaches to mind-body integration. I first studied with Irmgard Bartenieff at the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York City learning how fundamental principles of movement support all human activity: body alignment, breath support, weight sensing, three dimensionality, intention, initiation and sequencing, and dynamic phrasing. I then pursued a Masters degree Dance/Movement Therapy, a branch of Creative Arts Therapy: using movement and dance to further emotional, cognitive, physical and social well-being. Concurrently I studied with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, completing a practitioner certification in Body-Mind Centering, to further my understanding of motor development and sensory integration.

After 30 years in Montreal, teaching somatic education and movement fundamentals at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, I moved to Pittsburgh where I began to teach very basic tai chi classes to seniors. In 2010 I discovered Dr. Lam's work through the local library and was thrilled to discover that he had already done what I was trying to do on my own -- modify traditional tai chi forms to better serve the needs of seniors, beginners, and people with health concerns. I completed my first certification in Tai Chi for Arthritis (TCA) in March, 2011. I immediately restructured the content of my classes to focus on TCA. Opportunities kept opening up, and in no time my 6 weekly tai chi classes grew to 16. In October, 2011 the Arthritis Foundation of Western Pennsylvania awarded me as Volunteer of the Year for my work introducing TCA in the Pittsburgh area.

I have enjoyed training with Dr. Lam and many Tai Chi for Health Institute Master Trainers. I became Senior Trainer for the Institute in 2013 to help build a strong community of instructors in my region. It was an honor and a joy to bring Dr. Lam to Pittsburgh in 2014 to offer advanced training in Tai Chi for Arthritis. I hosted him again in 2017 to teach his certification program in Tai Chi for Rehabilitation as well as Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis. I continue to bring Master Trainers to Pittsburgh to offer instructor trainings.

I frequently give lectures and demonstrations at libraries, health fairs and conferences, to educate health care professionals and the general public about the benefits of tai chi as a complement to Western practices of exercise and medicine. I am grateful to now be able to offer a variety of tai chi programs and levels to my students, and to give the Tai Chi for Health Institute programs visibility in Pittsburgh. I eagerly contribute my passion and expertise to the Tai Chi for Health Institutes mission of promoting health, harmony, and community.


Email [email protected]
Phone 412 480 4492
Country United States
State / Province / Region PA
City Pittsburgh
Available to Teach Online No

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  • Certified Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructor
  • Senior Trainer
  • Certified Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention Instructor
  • Certified Tai Chi for Rehabilitation Instructor
  • Certified Tai Chi for Arthritis 2 Instructor
  • Premier Instructor


Class Information

Introductory and continuing practice classes in Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Rehabilitation. Introductory and continuing practice levels of the Sun 73 Forms and Spiraling Water Dragon fan Forms. Qigong.


Mt Lebanon: Bower Hill Community Church.
Bethel Park: Hamilton Presbyterian Church.
Strabane/Canonsburg: Visions reine & Soul Spa.
Bellevue: Allegheny Health Network\\\\\\\'s Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at AGH Suburban Campus.

Upcoming Workshops

No upcoming workshops.