There’s no water underneath Napoli School of Music and Dance’s floating dance floor. Instead, there’s high-density foam, which absorbs precise steps, occasional stumbles, and the dog pile that ends every classical ballet. Atop the foam lies marley, the same vinyl composite surface used in Riverdance. Within this professionally equipped studio, Napoli’s experienced dance faculty teaches small groups of aspiring dancers, starting with three- to five-year-olds in creative movement sessions. For older students, instructors focus on an array of dance styles, from the axel turns of jazz to the heel clicks of tap.
Similarly proficient teachers – including graduates of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music—staff Napoli’s music faculty. During one-on-one sessions, they focus on each student’s specific musical goals and interests, always drawing examples from pupils’ favorite musical styles. While instructors of guitar, bass, and drums train the next generation of arena rockers, woodwind and brass teachers guide players through classical clarinet melodies or jazzy trumpet solos.
A pencil peeks out of hole in the lid of a shiny red apple, bits of yellow and black fleck a butterfly's wings, and blue and green glass curves to catch the light from the candle it holds. These are just a few of the projects invented at Busy Bees Pottery and Arts Studio, where visitors can paint bisqueware, sculpt clay, or fuse glass to make homes or city-bus windows more beautiful.
Long tables sprawl across the studio's checkered floor, and plates bearing pastel treats and serene landscapes polka-dot the walls for inspiration. A paint bar arrays samples of tiles painted in each color so artists can preview their ceramic's finished looks.
Instructor Owen Biddle shares his passion for shutterbugging during small, personalized classes at his eponymous photography school. A photo artist himself, Owen doesn't separate composition from technical instruction; instead, he invites students to see the artistic possibilities in everything they do with their cameras. Besides photography classes for all levels, from beginner to advanced, he also leads photo salons and field trips to help his pupils hone their skills.