To say that Laura Milham knows how to make a drink would be a vast understatement. The CEO of The Southern California Bartending School has been bartending for more than a decade, whipping up cocktails at bustling bars, private parties, and fine-dining establishments. She was even flown to Las Vegas to bartend at a club along the Strip. Now, the beverage expert heads up a staff of professionals who teach hands-on classes that focus on popular drink recipes, bar etiquette, and customer service. As students practice their skills behind a real bar with real bottles of fake liquor, they gain confidence in pouring, mixing, and interacting with patrons.
The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.
The talent behind Eat Street Culinary starts with founder Chef Katie Averill, an experienced culinary artist in her own right, and an instructor of executive chefs in hot line, pastries, and other areas of cuisine. After graduating from the California Culinary Academy, Chef Averill worked in upscale restaurants under several celebrity chefs such as Charlie Palmer, Gary Danko, and Todd English.
Eat Street Culinary's cooking classes cover topics from French cuisine to fresh-baked breads. The pasta-making class shares the secrets to making pasta from scratch by using homemade dough and sweet-based classes cover everything from chocolate making to cake decorating. A selection of international classes such as Night in Spain and Night in Paris teach students the art of crafting unique dishes from around the world. Each class provides a fulfilling experience for students, regardless of their skill level.
The trainers at Precision Fitness believe that achieving wellbeing is a deeply individual process. For this reason, they work only with small groups of students, avoiding the intimidating bustle that’s common at most gyms and instead facilitating focused, nonjudgmental sessions. The intimate setting allows them to create exercise regimens for patrons of all walks of life, from those with little gym experience to seasoned athletes or brides-to-be. Their programs typically involve a mix of cardiovascular and weight training, as well as nutrition tips for healthier long-term diets that don't just advise patrons to eat two apples a day. Though they embrace a private atmosphere during lessons, group activities outside of the gym, such as bowling outings and dinner parties, encourage a sense of community among their clients.
At Anaheim CrossFit West, co-owners Stephanie and Al Amato and their team of experienced coaches lead small groups through the ever-changing and intense workout of the day in their recently expanded studio. The workouts?which are designed for all fitness levels, including Little Mario, Bigger Mario, and Fire Mario?require exercisers to complete a daily sequence of functional exercises such as squatting, deadlifting, rowing, and jumping with purpose. To help replenish exercisers' bodies following the grueling sessions, Stephanie, whose nickname is Primal Mama and whose background includes nutrition counseling, posts protein-packed recipes on her blog.
Shawn Crawford has been climbing for more than 40 years, working with wilderness search and rescue at age 13 and later serving as a park ranger. Today, he’s the owner and head instructor at Rock City Climbing, where he puts his American Mountaineering and Guiding Association certification to use as he teaches climbers of all experience levels techniques of top-rope climbing, belaying, rappelling, and bouldering.
Inside a gym equipped with more than 10,000 feet of climbing walls, as well as top-rope and bouldering areas, students learn basic and advanced climbing techniques in a range of classes. As they climb, instructors introduce techniques such as hand and foot placement and what to do if gravity starts working in reverse. Visitors can leave the main floor to explore a tunnel maze behind the climbing walls, filled with trap doors, narrow passageways, and drops of up to 11 feet.
When not overseeing his gym, Shawn leads outdoor climbing excursions to challenging locales such as Joshua Tree, Riverside Quarry, and the Statue of Liberty. He also oversees a nearby ropes course, where staffers help groups and individuals navigate two ziplines, as well as more than 20 aerial challenges at heights of up to 60 feet.