Led by veteran fine-art photographer and instructor Mary Gulino, My Artist Loft's photography, painting, and Photoshop workshops guide aspiring artists through the intricacies of camera operation and the art of composition. Photography classes cover concepts ranging from basic camera function to advanced operational settings as Mary draws on her expansive technical knowledge. In addition to photographic pursuits, My Artist Loft also encourages expression through its painting classes, where novice and experienced artists alike pursue projects from landscapes to abstracts aided by one-on-one instructor attention. My Artist Loft’s art shop keeps home studios stocked with canvases, paints, cameras, and tripods and designs websites for businesses.
The adage that "there are no small parts, just small actors" rings truest at The Center Stage Studio, where budding thespians of all ages get their share of the spotlight. Under the experienced wand of director Tracey DiMiceli, a seasoned performer and theater instructor who also helmed Malibu's prestigious "Fitness by the Sea" summer camp, young actors develop the skills to sing, dance, and deliver heartfelt Tony Award acceptance speeches in a wealth of classes and camps.
In the family-tailored musical theater camps, which feature themes reflecting popular musicals and children's shows, lil' thespians learn the fundamentals of theater technique—including blocking, projecting, and stage direction—and cultivate skills that boost self-esteem and critical thinking. Camps end with a public performance where every child gets a spot in a major musical number and receives a speaking role, curbing the theatrical tradition of jealous prepubescent understudies.
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, 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. This deal also includes unlimited attendance at Gymboree's open gym sessions (contact location for schedule).
NAUI instructor trainer Becky Anderson has explored the ocean blue from the lingering surf of Southern California to the crystalline fresh water-caves in the Yucatan. Becky and Private Scuba's NAUI pro-platinum aquatic faculty share essential safety and technical skills with listening ears through NAUI courses and nitrox-based instruction for divers who want to explore deeper waters or move to Atlantis. The diving team builds foundations in beginning students and heightens skills for advanced students in hands-on classes. Private scuba instructors maintain a perfect safety record, tailoring programs to meet each participant's individual goals. After mastering the basics, students can achieve certification in dive classes, making use of the facilities at Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, or learn the intricacies of rescue scuba diving to retrieve lost kittens stuck atop exposed coral reefs.
A clear, confident speaking voice is often the key to success, whether in business or personal relationships. Elocution founder Dyane Filip learned that first-hand as a child actress, when she garnered roles in commercials, films, and theater productions thanks to her flair for communication. Now, she and her team of vocal coaches help others gain respect and success through clear speaking. During in-person meetings and Skype sessions, they familiarize clients with the sounds, rhythm, and intonation patterns of American English. They also work with clients to reduce foreign accents.
For more than a decade, physical therapist Amy Fischer helped clients recover from a range of orthopedic and sport injuries. These days, she blends her knowledge of the body with her passion for Pilates at her two Pure Pilates studios—one in Laguna Niguel and the other in Ladera Ranch—each of which host regular classes alongside specialized sessions for golfers, breast cancer survivors, and moms-to-be.
Surrounded by tranquil Asian-inspired décor, Amy and her team of instructors guide students of all levels through private and group Pilates classes, which aim to strengthen core muscles while improving flexibility and posture. After being divvied up into Level 1 or Level 2–3 sections, students learn a variety of exercises on a reformer machine built from adjustable ropes, pulleys, and springboards reclaimed from the days of vaudeville. Amy and her team also offer slower-paced courses for seniors as well as physical therapy sessions that speed healing with modified Pilates exercises paired with a personalized at-home exercise program.