The O Gallery’s owner Kristen Olsen—an accomplished artist in her own right, who’s shown work as far away as Rome—has made her business into a showcase for more than a dozen of Cleveland’s most talented artists. Come evening, the chic space transforms into a classroom for adults interested in making something beautiful while sipping something delicious during Artful Expeditions: Uncorked classes.
Musically speaking, Cleveland is most famous for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But the city’s melodic legacy also has humbler roots, with Club Rock, a kid-centric music school that fosters lessons, workshops, and live performances by burgeoning young musicians. During classes, the staff of performing artists teaches a variety of instruments and vocal techniques to students, such as pitch control and proper breathing when singing about lost love or lost lunch money.
Although professional instructors oversee every class at Art with a Twist, students have ample room to be spontaneous, creative, and unrestricted. The staff of seasoned artists guides pupils of all abilities through canvas paintings, ceramics, and collages, inviting participants to socialize and sip on their own drinks during sessions. During holiday seasons, special themed classes include designing Christmas stockings or carving Halloween pumpkins. During Bark Art classes, the staff stocks the studio with biscuits, and allows students to bring in and paint pictures of their own dogs or roommates they've convinced to dress in dog suits.
The staff at New Balance isn't concerned with simply selling shoes—their mission is to pair customers with the footwear that will carry them comfortably through life’s arduous steps. Understanding that an ill-fitting pair of athletic shoes can cause pain to joints and potentially damage knees, hips, and the back, associates measure the length and width of each client's foot and conduct a gait analysis to chart the trajectory of their stride when walking normally or running through ball pits. The data are collected to help the staff match clients with their ideal shoe, keeping them running longer and looking good while doing so.
The instructors at Dance 2 Shine Studio know that ballroom is a broad category. That heading can include Latin dances such as salsa and tango, as well as the more classical steps of the waltz and fox trot. Their curriculum even includes Detroit-style ballroom, a blend of cha-cha and slow-dancing that showcases spins to the tunes of jazz and soul music.
Outside of ballroom choreography, the studio's classes remain eclectic. Some focus on conditioning the body with rhythm-based workouts—pole fitness, for example, builds strength and poise in students as they master sensual twirls, and cardio hip-hop routines keep heart rates up and legs moving. The schedule includes lessons for all ages, and the staff eagerly hosts private classes to plan dances for weddings and other special events.
Behind a real bar, the instructors at Toledo Bartending School mix cocktails with finesse and expertise, running through barroom staples and cutting-edge recipes as students look on in bewildered anticipation. After the lectures and demonstrations, the metaphorical table turns, and students man the bar to master the skills necessary to serve drinks professionally. This is the regular scene during the school's 32-hour bartending course, a professional-caliber program that covers everything potential mixologists will need to know to sling drinks in the wild.
The course breaks down the ingredients of 75 specialty drinks and cocktails—including manhattans and martinis—as well as beer and wine information, customer-service techniques, and responsible alcohol service. The school also adheres to the Anheuser-Busch Beertender and Guinness Perfect Pour training programs. The program can be completed in four weeks, with weekend classes to accommodate schedules that are busier than a fireworks salesman on Woodrow Wilson’s birthday. Upon completion of the course, students can take advantage of Toledo Bartending School's job-placement program, which has landed students employment at venues such as Ritz Carlton hotels and resorts, McCormick & Schmick's, and Embassy Suites.