Marina Bichinsky knows the importance of art education firsthand. She had her first art lesson at age 5, and, though it may have seemed like a childhood hobby at the time, art paved the road for her career path, a road that had perfectly straight yellow lines thanks to her artistic skill. She studied architecture in college, earned her doctorate in visual communications, and, today, funnels these skills into her position as director of Living Art Studio. Here, she teaches students of all ages and skill levels enlisted in the studio’s classes, in which instructors trained by Marina teach realist painting techniques.
The team generally starts first-time artists off with classes that teach gesture and proportion before graduating them to charcoal-drawing classes, color study, and, finally, painting still lifes and figures. For their younger crowd, instructors lead Mommy & Me classes, during which 2.5- to 5-year-olds learn techniques amenable to their age, such as how to turn baby-food splats on highchair trays into impressionist opuses that suggest Monet and Renoir, but with an underlying current of originality in the vein of a Pissarro. The school also offers a specialty curriculum for adults who are seeking further education in areas such as fashion design, photography, and advertising.
The certified instructors from American Swim Academy recognize that, unlike many other mammals, humans aren't born with the ability to swim safely. Their passion for teaching students how to glide through the water without worry propels each class at the academy and inspires students of all ages to silence the mocking comments from their neighbor's dolphin. Each instructor must have obtained both CPR and academy swim training before leading lessons, which are structured to meet students' abilities.
Furthering the tenants of safety and control, all academy classes are hosted inside an indoor facility with pools designed specifically for instruction. Waters are heated to 92 degrees and feature wide steps, teaching stations, and shallow areas for small children. On-deck managers oversee each class to heighten student safety and shout out Olympic swimming records every five minutes for inspiration.
Having shot more than 30,000 subjects throughout his career as a photographer, including many Silicon Valley business figures, Eric Gould understands how to create a good photo in any setting. His adeptness at communicating with subjects carries into his photography workshops, where he conveys difficult concepts clearly and methodically, saving students from such rookie mistakes as shooting with the lens cap on or turning the flash on while taking pictures of your imaginary friend's third grade graduation. In his own photo sessions, he frames professional clients in business portraits and headshots, high-school seniors in youthful poses, athletes in midaction, and a wide spectrum of people and places encountered on international travels.
At Stepz, professional Bollywood dance instructors imbue students of all ages with dance moves inspired by Eastern India. They foster an environment of support and encouragement as dancers soak up fundamental foot positions and learn to express themselves through fluid movements and flowing hand gestures. Students looking to shed excess pounds can speed up routines in one-hour aerobics classes, which lead groups though rigorous dance routines specifically designed to tone muscle.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby-engaging classes, in which parents and wee ones work together to build tots' creativity and encourage development through play. Weekly classes are available for every age from the freshly born sapling to the 5-years-young wise wanderer. This deal includes rhythm-building music classes, sports classes, imagination-expanding art classes, and Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn. The month-long membership allows you to take one class per week, with make-ups available during enrollment if you miss a class.
Flower Addict specializes in decking halls with fragrant flora and blossoming sunshine. In the spirit of a true neighborhood flower shop, the personable florists treat customers with the same care and attention a mother plant gives to a tender baby bulb. They'll lend artistic direction and advice to customers looking to craft an adorable arrangement for themselves or an admired someone. Add a splash of color to the black and gray backdrop of Easter, or make April 21's Administrative Professionals Day a perennial favorite with a variety of the shop's inspired ideas. A professional eye inspects the quality and beauty of every earth-blossom that goes into each delicate display.