What began as a small studio with five enthusiastic dance students has transformed into a full-fledged company that's educated thousands and won multiple awards along the way—including a Certificate of Congressional Recognition. Today, Strictly Street Salsa has a whole team of instructors that has danced its way across the likes of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Spain, and Rome and is ready to introduce students to new cultures through the art of dance. The studio offers classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced dancers in both salsa and tango and hosts dance workshops that blend Latin dance with various cultural elements, including African movement, gypsy music, and good old-fashioned American screaming.
As memory cards replaced film reels, many photographers—both professional and amateur—felt befuddled by the new technology. That's where Digital Photo Academy stepped in. Since 2007, the business has facilitated workshops that explore all aspects of digital imagery, from operating cameras and uploading digital files to editing images and airbrushing realistic mustaches. Seasoned professionals lead the courses, helping understudies hone their use of light, framing, and timing. Students furnish their own cameras, and can tote along any ancillary equipment such as tripods, laptops, and flashes that relate to the course at hand.
Over his 25-year career in snapshottery, Jimmy Loyd has accumulated an impressive list of skills as freelance photojournalist for the Houston Chronicle, portraitist, and studio owner. An early adapter to the digital-camera revolution, he can capture digital or analog family portraits, professional headshots, and in-the-moment sports images with ease. Loyd also employs his expertise in intermittently scheduled classes and photo tours, which might occur on-location at the Houston Zoo or, for more candid shots, out in the wilderness where animals don't have access to stylists.
Referencing his 20 years of experience, skilled shutterbug Richard Maglievaz oversees digital-photography classes for artists of all experience levels. He ensures that whether they teach general classes for beginners or more specialized sessions covering lighting, aperture, or night photography, all instructors are field-tested and capable of being caught on film. Some classes venture out on field trips to such spots as the Houston Zoo, while others stay in the studio for technical lessons.
Preschoolers, professional dancers, and drill teams are rarely found under one roof. However, Karina’s School of Dance caters to all these demographics and more with an eclectic array of dance classes for all ages and skill levels. Instructors teach styles such as pointe, jazz, and hip-hop, focusing on both aesthetics and self-esteem. They also helm Zumba classes, which fuse dancing and calorie burning more effectively than doing the worm on a moving treadmill.
Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge's executive chefs Alain LeNôtre and Kris Jakob, who has been featured in the Houston Chronicle, tap nearby farms and recruit skilled culinary students to cultivate a menu showcasing local ingredients. Artisan breads made in house prime palates for a three-course meal filled with friendly banter before starters roll over tongues as intriguingly as ballads in pig Latin. The grilled-shrimp appetizer binds gulf crustaceans together with vegetables in a decadent shellfish bisque with hints of cognac. The kitchen's sweeping glass walls afford visual contact with three prep areas and let diners watch culinary adventures as closely as an Oompa-Loompa's parole officer.