Dawson Hill, the founder of Columbia Area Piano Lessons, honed his musical skills at Emerson College, where he earned a degree in performing arts. Now, he teaches students of all experience levels to coax music from the ivory keys, even composing their own tunes. Students can opt to study classical music, jazz songs, blues, and other genres.
In Brickhouse Gym’s 12,000-square-foot exercise emporium, clients can sweat solo on cardio equipment, hoist barbells in strength-training areas, or hone muscles in more than 30 group fitness sessions each week. Specialized practice domains, focusing on disciplines such as circuit training, agility, and free weights, help muscle masons zero in on particular skills, and a spinning room stocked with stationary bicycles amuses hamsters bored with predictable habitat wheels. Exercisers can also get in touch with nature by working out on a turf floor or can let playful breezes wick away their sweat in the open-air room. Alternatively, spirited instructors help students cultivate flexibility, increase endurance, or prepare for cage matches with stubborn garden weeds with a variety of fitness classes in disciplines such as yoga and mixed martial arts.
Stronghold Gym, a full-service climbing and training facility, helps budding rock-scalers hone their abilities on a 45-foot climbing tower and two onsite bouldering caves. Climbers can scamper up the walls like a man with incredibly long legs and rubber-cement hands with the help of friends or opt to drop by from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends when staff members are present to help with belaying. After ascending to the rocky heights, individuals can hit Stronghold's cardio and weight training equipment to continue their workouts post-climb. Yoga and fitness classes are also offered onsite in its two fitness studios.
Paul Mitchell the School's student stylists beautify patrons with a full array of salon services, all performed under the supervision of experienced instructors. Men and women can bid adieu to split ends and overgrown laurel leaves with a cut and gloss-inducing blow-dry. The Awapuhi Keratriplex treatment cloaks cuticles in nutrient-rich keratin proteins, softening and bolstering locks' shininess. Like storing your head in a breadbox, the strengthening serum may reduce hair breakage by up to 80 percent.
Redbird Studio and Gallery helps fill creative voids with clay- and ceramics-based classes, courses, and afterschool programs. Inside the facility, students of assorted skills, ages, and backgrounds work alongside each other, swirling together ideas and techniques while crafting personalized masterpieces. Dedicated instructors consistently dish out tips and encouragement, and for extra inspiration, visitors may stop by the attached gallery to browse its collection of professional pieces.
Discover World Cuisine promotes local agriculture through a series of community programs that highlight locally sourced ingredients as well as the restaurants and cafeteria food fights that use them. The consortium of chefs, sommeliers, and foodies hosts cooking classes and dinners throughout the summer months that spotlight dishes from Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. Organic food and wine festivals also feature international nibbles as well as live music and giveaways.
Proceeds from the events support Discover World Cuisine’s community outreach program, which partners with area schools to introduce kids to new foods and help them develop healthy eating habits. Classroom sessions balance hands-on instruction with activity sheets to teach students to select and prepare low-cost, nutritious meals.
Students glide slowly across the gleaming wood floors of Columbia Tai Chi Center, their controlled purposeful movements sihouetted in natural light from a window. Wesley Adams, the director and head instructor, leads students through the moving meditation that is Tai Chi, helping students find balance and peace as they learn the ancient discipline. Wesley also offers Q-Ex Mindful Movement classes, a contemporary fitness program that draws on the ancient practices of Tai Chi and Qigong to help build strength and reduce stress. All his classes are small, with a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio to ensure all students can benefit from personal attention and no one student hogs all the relaxation.