Experienced photo gurus Doug Box and Randy Kerr impart practical photo skills to curious shutterbugs during engaging seminars that have appeared across the States and in eight countries abroad. Doug Box, author of myriad photography-technique books, is one of 13 Kodak mentors and is the Executive Director of the Texas Professional Photographers Association. His co-teacher, Randy Kerr, heads World Photographic, which uses photography as a vehicle for illuminating humanitarian and environmental topics. Both men have been teaching photography classes for years and help amateurs take photos that capture piercing looks, toothy smiles, and elusive dodo sightings.
At Work/Shop, art and commerce hold hands and skip across a sunny, flower-filled meadow. Work/Shop's local and national instructors labor with love, offering classes to students of all skill levels that cover how to draw from live models, pen one's thoughts, and throw clay pots through windows with gusto. Art aficionados can sharpen their scrutiny with critique nights, art-appreciation classes, and quarterly exhibitions. Members renew their creative vigor with seven-day access to the studio, discounts on materials, and ample storage space. On the shop side of the studio, artists and guests can browse through work created on-site and support Work/Shop's endeavors by purchasing a piece.
Staying busy is a way of life for Joel Willson. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, his specialties include piano, violin, guitar, and mandolin. As a teacher, he's instructed high-school master classes and served as an elementary school artist-in-residence. He channels these dual passions at Baton Rouge Music Lessons, where he teaches keys and strings while his wife, Amy, handles flute. The pair's studio accommodates private and group lessons, which enrich each student's musical knowledge by dabbling in a variety of styles, including classical, country, and jazz.
Foxy's Fitness Center encompasses a trio of workout facilities?including a women's-only club on Old Hammond Highway?where trainees sweat through group, semiprivate, and private sessions. With cardio and strength machines for self-guided reps, as well as DotFit nutrition guidance for all ages, the centers cater to guests of every fitness background. Exercise classes entail engaging actions, from cycling in studios to calisthenics to otter-cuddling contests in the indoor pools.
Strangely enough, it was Maria Prochaska Boudreaux's baby daughter who first spread the word about her art. When her daughter was born, Maria painted a mural in her room. Friends who stopped by to see the newborn became entranced by the piece, and soon they were requesting murals in their homes, too. Maria did them one better: she opened up her own art business, where she sells her work and hosts art classes for all ages.
During these classes, she teaches students how to make textured paintings with layers of color that create 3-D ridges on the canvas. One of her more popular classes is the Women, Wine, & Whatever series, a three-hour session complete with a BYOB policy. Guests paint whatever they desire on an 11"x14" canvas while Maria provides basic instruction on brushstroke techniques and how to keep hungry raccoons away from your still-life portraits. She also hosts children's birthday parties and painting classes with set subjects, which range from stylized fleurs-de-lis to flowers, butterflies, and even crawfish.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.