A team of professors, photojournalists, and professional photographers are the driving force of Ambiance Digital Photography School, teaching the fundamentals of DSLR photography via step-by-step instructional videos. Besides the online database of videos, the pros put together downloadable and printable tutorials to accompany photo examples. Any member of the school gets lifetime access to the school’s library, which includes an in-depth course on Photoshop. Some of the continually updated video classes focus on topics such as black-and-white photography, taking group or self portraits, and mastering different sources of light rather than always carrying around the same lava lamp.
The masterminds behind Authentic Bartending School of Maryland dedicate their resources to creating a new generation of mixologists by offering comprehensive training programs and job-placement services. Emphasizing background knowledge and practical skills, the instructors who lead he hands-on courses aim to teach attendees a slew of drink-slinging techniques, including how to mix basic cocktails, craft fruit garnishes, and make a cash register spell "hello" when turned upside down. During the nationally recognized TIPS training, they'll show students how to responsibly serve patrons and defuse risky situations with intoxicated customers. The folks in job-placement services then help graduates seek out potential openings by networking with alumni and bribing senators to keep prohibition off the books.
The Washington Glass School’s straightforward progression of classes helps crafters of all experience levels become accomplished glass-artists, demystifying the only art form that combines the chromatic range of oil painting, the practical aesthetics of ceramics, and the high temperatures of burnt-toast-portraiture. The illustrious staff includes Fulbright Scholars, eco-creators, and artists with permanent exhibits at the Smithsonian and the Art Institute of Chicago. The studio also serves as a resource facility for other artists: the Artist Incubator program provides seasoned crafters with studio space for new independent and collaborative works.
High-energy beats from artists such as Flo Rida, B.o.B., and the Black Eyed Peas bounce forth from the spinning studio at Rock Creek Sports Club, where nationally certified trainers lead stationary cyclists through challenging routes. In addition to these pop-powered workouts, the studio hosts more than 50 other fitness classes, an array of options that prompted the editors of Bethesda Magazine to name the studio 2012’s Best Neighborhood Gym. Zumba classes encourage students to boogie away calories to latin beats, and boxing clinics incorporate one-on-one attention from Golden Glove winner Russell Davis. The team of trainers can also coach visitors through the weight-loss process, or helm small group workout sessions capped at eight participants. The gym also welcomes independent workouts, with equipment such as treadmills, benches, and weights awaiting a few breathless reps of their own.
The team at Pottery n More eschews cookie-cutter designs in favor of rampant creativity. They help guests select plaster items including tableware and holiday-, garden-, or pet-themed figurines to be covered with a choice of 15 different glitters and easy-to-use acrylic paints. The studio hosts parties for kids and adults, and programs such as summer camps, parents' nights out, and home makeovers for bottled genies. In the new game room, children bounce on inflatables or play board games while watching cartoons.
Pyramid Atlantic is a non-profit contemporary arts center that promotes artistic excellence in the fields of hand-papermaking, printmaking, digital media, and bookmaking. Among impressive facilities and tools are an antique letterpress, materials for hand-binding books, and the art gallery, which has a new solo show each month and is DC’s source for fine art prints and artistic activities. Members enjoy once-a-month, hands-on tutorials (such as screen-printing, bookmaking, and paper UFO folding), once-a-month tours of the new exhibits with the director of the Washington Printmaker’s Gallery (which curates Pyramid Atlantic’s exhibits), 10% off at the community arts store in Silver Spring, and 10% off live music and theater events.