Helmed by a team of local artists, Your Artistic Spirits holds informal visual-arts consortia in local venues such as Bier Brewery, Black Swan Brewpub, and Bodega. At each location, they welcome participants of all skill levels and disciplines to sip wine, beer, or spirits as they make art focused in a range of artistic styles, from neoclassical busts to avant-garde booms. Instructors guide attendees through step-by-step instruction to create original works in one chosen medium, such as acrylics, watercolors, sculpting clay, or papier-mâché. When not conducting public classes and private parties, artistic staffers lead team-building workshops and art-therapy programs for children and adults.
Professional photographer Leslie Wilkes captures important moments in clients' lives, whether snapping shots of a newborn or cataloging a wedding. When shooting for events, he takes pictures prolifically, providing clients with a disk of all the high-resolution photos afterward.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The Salsa Center brings Latin culture stateside with more than 14 styles of latin dances from Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, and beyond. Private or group dance lessons teach guests popular dances such as bachata, merengue, and samba, and dance-fitness classes such as salsa-fitness give visitors a chance to shed pounds to a soundtrack of upbeat rhythms.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.