Steve Daniels has been crafting beautiful pottery in his cozy home studio for more than 18 years. A master of the irregular, smoky hues of shino glaze, Daniels' cups were most recently featured in a juried exhibition at the University of Missouri's Bingham Gallery. During wheel throwing classes and intensive workshops, he imparts that mastery to aspiring potters, helping with technique and glazing finished pieces in his studio. His signature glazes can come out a variety of colors, from a smoky purple to a rusty orange. Daniels' wife, Leonie, also nurtures artistry with handbuilding classes and parties, exposing students to innovative sculpting ideas such as textured tiles, chess pieces, and beautiful but impractical bowling pins.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use gym-goers' own body weights, fitness levels, and aerodynamic water bottles to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Early Ears owner and professional musician Anahid Bertrand teaches children the magic of musical expression through a variety of kid-friendly instruction techniques. MusiKids classes (a $50 value) provide an outlet for newborn to 4-year-old mini maestros to express their inner boogie-woogie by introducing them to a rotating number of fun, approachable instruments, including drums, violins, triangles, and teeny, tiny 18th-century cathedral organs. Pintsize musicians age 4–7 can get their virtuoso on by participating with peers in group piano, violin, or voice classes (a $48 value), and musicians of all ages can benefit from private music tutoring (a $50 value for two lessons). Aside from excelling in the universal language of song, Bertrand is fluent in six spoken languages, ranging from Spanish to Bulgarian, and Groupon holders are welcome to use the value of today's deal toward language classes as well. The class schedule lists dates throughout the week, including convenient Saturday times to accommodate busy families or superhero parents.
An accomplished performer and member of the Music Teachers National Association and the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers, instructional maestro Michael Wheeler uses his professional experience and a collaborative spirit to create individually tailored, one-on-one music lessons for students of all skill levels. Upon arriving for their first foray into song, each student will have their skills, goals, and ability to correctly pronounce "glockenspiel" evaluated, and Wheeler will use the half hour to develop a lesson plan. Lesson number two welcomes fingers to flutter across keys during piano and keyboard lessons, or unlock the traditional sounds of North India and delve into the fundamentals of sitar, dilruba, or harmonium. Together, pupil and teacher select lyrical material that's both personally exciting and age appropriate, saving teenagers from crooning "Moon River" and grandparents from an embarrassing round of "I Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
As the founder and creative director of the Avalon Acting & Modeling Center, instructor Jon Sharpy understands that, while all the world may be a stage, most people don’t seem to know their lines yet. With that in mind, he assembled a team of fellow teachers who get aspiring thespians up to speed with lessons in acting, improv, and voice-over skills. Wielding PhDs and professorial experience, this small fleet of instructors administers eight- and nine-week classes that shepherd students onto the stage once a week. Curricula for adults and young folks focus on topics such as auditioning, cold reading, and even film creation.
At Eugene Piano Academy, students from preschool age to adulthood learn new musical abilities or polish rusty skills with one-on-one guidance, group lessons, and summer camps led by university-trained instructors. Director Susane Reis and a staff of eminently qualified music teachers draw from years of performance, academic study, and teaching to help students harness their creative energies and build strong musical reading fundamentals and playing techniques.