Chi Chi Randolph has choreographed routines for hip-hop artists including Nelly and the Black Eyed Peas. Kari Lehman has 15 years of ballet training experience. Viviane Bressan turned her love of belly dance into a career, traversing the globe while teaching and performing the ancient art. At Dance Austin Studio, these three number among more than a dozen dance instructors whose dazzlingly diverse backgrounds enable an array of classes for everyone from preschoolers to grownups and fitness buffs to serious students of dance.
Zumba combines fast-paced cardio choreography with dynamic Latin rhythms, and the 18-and-older Sexy Stiletto Fit class uses high heels to tone calves and build confidence. Students can choose to learn fundamental positions, steps, and vocabulary during structured ballet, lyrical, and jazz programs, or they can develop video-ready swagger during hip-hop classes. The studio’s sense of fun occasionally spills out into the community—it recently teamed up with the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to spark a flash mob at city hall, held to raise awareness of emergency preparedness and help officials practice what to do if invaded by dancing aliens.
Isla Studio's professional photographers expresses the world and its people through richly colored fine-art images. Whether dealing with landscapes, buildings, portraits, or UFOs, the team waits for a moment to reveal itself, combining the timing of photojournalism with a carefully considered emotional resonance. They also expand the shutter-snapping community with small classes that explore the ins and outs of digital photography.
The bright California sun suffuses the pictures in Hayley Williams's portfolio, showcasing the photographer's knack for harnessing natural light to make her pictures pop. Amid this sun-drenched background, her clients—whether celebrating a wedding, posing for a family portrait, or commemorating a recent engagement—take on a sprightly air, adding vivaciousness to their poses. To make sure her clients receive the keepsakes they desire, Hayley collaborates with them before their session to talk potential photo opportunities.
Anthem Music Lessons is the brainchild of two passionate rockers: Phil Ernst, a Musicians Institute of Technology grad and professional guitarist, and his protégé, Jared Canchola. Along with a staff of other touring and professional musicians, they lead lessons for students of all abilities in a variety of instruments, including guitar, bass, voice, piano, drums, strings, brass, and music theory. They tailor each lesson to the individual’s skill level, emphasizing proper musicianship and music creation. For more advanced students, they conduct band programs that involve weekly rehearsals with an instructor and provided music charts.
After first discovering photography in Manhattan, Xenia Berg globe trots to where the work takes her, currently residing in Germany. Her work and travels occasionally take her back to LA, to collaborate with her friend and active commercial photographer Bryan Alano. Bryan takes time away from clients such as Citibank, Roxy, and Lifestyle Magazine to share insights into lifestyle and wedding photography. Students benefit from Xenia and Bryan's wealth of commercial experience, learning how to navigate lighting instruments, digitally touch-up documents, and reward well-behaved models with caviar-flavored dog biscuits.
Linda Wehrli has raw talent. Since age 5, she has re-created her world through drawings and paintings and has channeled her sense of self-expression through playing the piano, abilities that led her to study formally with instructors from Juliard and Cal State Northridge. Now, with her works hanging in private collections, Linda passes on her knowledge to students at Pastimes for a Lifetime.
She teaches students of all skill levels and ages—6-year-olds to seniors—to hone their creativity into life-like or abstract drawings and paintings. Her classes aim to build a foundation of aptitude in one particular medium, such as drawing with pen or charcoal or painting with oils or acrylics—and the necessary supplies can all be purchased at the on-site art shop.
Tapping into her musical talents, she also helms piano lessons, teaching students to read and play music. Her confidence-building approach helps beginners and advanced players alike become better musicians, and inspires those once spurned by a piano that wouldn't settle down to become reacquainted with their abilities. To further their studies, pianists can go home with a book she co-published with her husband.