Fine-art photographers Rod and Robin Deutschamnn founded In Focus Learning Center on a simple premise: a photo's quality depends on lighting, focus, and the photographer's vision. At In Focus Learning Center, they emphasize these keys to quality, downplaying high-tech gear and post-shoot editing. In their classes and symposiums, the shutterbugs focus on "manual photography," the art of manipulating a digital camera's settings to suit the desired shot?which could be a landscape, an infrared image, or an action shot of a baby on its first high-speed chase.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
Having first encountered yoga in 1990, Robin Duffy quickly fell in love––a love that culminated in her founding Being Yoga eight years later. Certified to teach both Bikram and Kriya styles, she works alongside instructors, who also teach Yin yoga and meditation classes. These yogis pass on traditions that stretch back for millennia inside their peaceful studio, marked by stenciled drawings of bamboo branches. The facility features locker rooms, a bamboo floor, and a boutique stocked with yoga equipment by Gaiam and Prana. To keep her karma levels on the jubilant end of the spectrum, Robin also aligns her studio with the Green Yoga Association, which encourages eco-friendly practices such as avoiding plastic water bottles and saluting ladybugs.
Springy surfaces of red, blue, green, and purple blanket the floors at Accel Gymnastics' two facilities. These soft mats cushion gymnasts of all ages as they somersault, tumble, and eventually back flip throughout a progressing curricula of gymnastics classes, starting at preschool lessons and heading toward the competitive level. Seasonal camps, too, immerse young ones in the sport. But coaches and staffers also make time for pure fun at birthday parties, where kids perform tricks that make their peers say "Ooooh" and "Ahhh" until all the birthday candles are blown out.