Flashes flicker from coast to coast in StacksPhoto's classes. Photographers of all experience levels learn fundamental lessons on evocative composition, balancing light and dark, and capturing memorable shots without photographing National Geographic covers. Other lessons include how to make the most of a camera’s manual mode, understanding basic optics, and how lens choice can affect an image. Besides in-person classes, StacksPhoto also offers a DVD filled with such tips.
Chef and instructor Kelly Viall returned to her hometown of Birmingham after 15 years of whipping up fresh-fish dishes in Seattle and along the Gulf Coast. Now hundreds of miles from a coast, she still clings to her passion for ocean-fresh seafood and teaches students to master a variety of culinary techniques. She also offers catering options, giving food art lovers a chance to have a marine Louvre brought to them.
Alabama-born Cynthia Massey Parsons, who will be featured in the 32nd anniversary edition of Who’s Who in American Art, has built her artistic reputation on works in watercolor, acrylic, and graphite. During Paint-A-Long sessions, she leads budding artists through the brushwork of a single painting, helping students pick up sound technique without worrying about inventing a subject or baiting a muse. Her original designs range from modified classics—such as the sky in Van Gogh’s Starry Night transposed over a local skyline—to classic floral still lifes.
Dance—the marriage of melody, mirth, and floorboard massaging—is majestically personified by Alabama Ballet’s dexterous cabal of dancers. Watch them harness heels and tame toes during a gripping rendition of a classic Halloween tale on two available dates. The production features pulchritudinous pirouettes and immaculately produced choreography by Roger Van Fleteren and Wes Chapman and the haunting live organ music of Thomas Helms. Dracula showcases a flurry of deft rollicking and memorable movements that helped put the Alabama Ballet on the footmap—and become one of only six ballet companies in the world to be permitted by the Balanchine Trust to perform Balanchine’s Nutcracker. Marvel at the graceful ballerinas and ballerinos before tossing a flurry of tutus on stage after a beautifully executed grand jeté, soutenu en tormant, or electric slide with today’s spookily refined Groupon.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.