Dirk Dahl discovered the joy of ceramics in high school when his artistic nature immediately took to the elegant accidents and random, dramatic shapes even a beginner could coax from clay. Ceramics became the bread and butter of his long artistic career, but—like many artists—he found his studio confining, and sought a way to interact with more people. That's when he decided to start teaching, an exercise that compelled him to create Dahl Arts Ceramic Studio as a way to introduce people to his beloved ceramic arts.
"Every time I teach a class or workshop, I learn something," remarks Dirk. Watching his students experiment for the first time or hundredth time in one of his many classes or workshops inspires the sculptor to experiment in his own work, from sculpting faces into pottery to reassembling the broken shards of old pieces into Frankenstein's flatware. The results have landed his work in international juried and invitation exhibitions and even allowed him to open his own personal gallery in Santa Monica, California.
One has been a martial artist for more than 35 years; the other has been a bus driver for almost as long. Instructors at Lakeview Yoga and Wellness Center, Vidal Bitton and Joyce MacFarlane know what it's like to balance a busy schedule with the demands of staying healthy. Vidal's approach to yoga incorporates his knowledge of tae kwon do, hapkido, and tai chi, especially as to how physical exertion can lead to painful injury. Joyce also practices yoga with a mind toward healing—her years behind the wheel of a school bus have resulted in several spinal injuries. By juggling a demanding job that can take physical tolls, Joyce's empathy and spirit shine through in each class she teaches.
Along with the other instructors, Vidal and Joyce bring their distinct backgrounds to hot and power yoga classes that strengthen muscles and boost flexibility. The mind and spirit are considered just as vital; on-staff wellness practitioners augment the effects of yoga with services such as massage, acupuncture, personal training, and therapy.
The fast-paced steps of mambo, the seamless grace of waltzes, the improvisational stylings of west coast swing?American Ballroom Dance Institute embraces dance styles from across the world and helps students of all ages master the footwork and the showmanship of each one. The instructors break these styles into five basic categories: ballroom, latin, swing, social, and fitness. For each style, the institute offers separate classes specifically tailored to beginners as well as more experienced students. Private lessons and group classes build upon a particular style's fundamentals while helping attendees learn anything from the cha cha to the country-western two step with confidence. Additionally, the institute's Zumba sessions can provide an invigorating aerobic workout by setting basic, easy-to-follow choreography to energetic latin rhythms and engaging public-service announcements.
Though Fusion Hot Yoga's philosophy emphasizes the release of the ego, it's hard not to feel special in Fusion’s heated studio. The instructors—each of whom brings a different teaching style to classes—dole out personalized tips during Hatha and power Vinyasa sessions. They also remain after class, answering students’ questions while they extinguish the coals within the walls. By helping every visitor to discover the mental and physical benefits of hot yoga, the staff recalls their own journeys from such backgrounds as competitive gymnastics and service in the Navy Reserve.
In addition to the quality of its teachers, the studio's setting also probably contributed to its ranking on KING5’s Best of Western Washington list, where it was voted second of 96 nominees for the area's Best Yoga Studio. The space's antibacterial, Tatami-textured floor cushions feet to counteract slipping, and dressing rooms with showers permit guests to rinse off after lessons. At the onsite boutique, shoppers can purchase mats, healthy refreshments, and baking thermometers that tell them when their partner is ready to cool.