At Danzon! School of Dance, professional dancer and dance instructor L. Perez gets toes tapping for beginners and advanced students with his expertise in more than 20 different styles of partner dances, including ballroom, Latin, swing, and salsa. Single dancers or dancing pairs claim the entire studio space during private lessons, twirling and gliding across the floating Brazilian-cherry-wood floor uninhibited by other dancers or rogue leg warmers.
With more than 30 years of artistic experience and 23 years of teaching experience, Mariah Clearwater brings plenty of knowledge to her pottery-making classes at Clearwater Creations. She keeps class sizes small so that she can provide participants the individual attention they need to create a tangible piece of art they’re proud of. Artists of all skill levels practice hand-building techniques before putting the finishing touch on their pieces with a glaze. Some of Mariah’s own creations, such as handcrafted cremation urns, stoneware pottery, and oil paintings, can be purchased from the artist herself.
The atmosphere at Brush & Bottle is calm and relaxing: music drifts through the air, and friends chat, sip wine, and nibble the snacks that they've brought along. In this comfortable setting, groups tap into their own creative reserves as local artists guide them, step by step, through the process of creating works of art. Subject matter ranges from still-life paintings of tulips to renderings of a Dia de los Muertos skull. Paint, canvas, brushes, and aprons are provided, as are wine openers and cups. In addition to group classes, the studio hosts girls'-night-out events and private parties.
Built to replicate the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, the 1,264-meter track at Musselman Honda Circuit challenges roadsters of all sorts to master its 13 turns. Whether drivers jump behind the wheel of a 9-horsepower P1 fast kart or behind the wicker picnic basket attached to the front of a motorcycle, the dirt track cushions tires during competitive pursuits and practice sessions alike. The multifaceted track accommodates a wide range of driving pursuits throughout the week, including driving education classes, cycling, and handicapped-accessible adaptive karting.
Drum & Drummer instructor Erik Truelove knows how to improvise. When the country-rocker and four-time winner of the National Association of Music Merchants' World's Most Accurate Drummer title found himself at a TV gig with no cymbals, he simply pulled the license plates off his car and attached them to his kit, he reported to the Tucson Citizen in 2009. This spirit of flexibility and quick thinking is something he passes along to his students in both group and private lessons. Other instructors—all working musicians—join in that goal backed by expertise in hand drumming, R&B grooves, jazz improvisation, and competitive marching percussion.
To mark progress and keep motivation levels kicking, the school uses a program of Truelove's own devising. Modeled on karate's belt system, sets of colored drumsticks provide a vivid reminder of the skills students have conquered. To advance in rank, they must master their level's set of grooves, fills, and concepts, then perform a predetermined song at the school's performance center. Class sizes are typically capped at 10 students to ensure lots of one-on-one assistance and keep the downstairs neighbors from constantly calling the cops with noise complaints.
Stitching costumes, choreographing dance routines, composing scores, painting backdrops, channeling inner thespians: in the theater, there's a job for everyone. The staff of theater, music, and dance aficionados at Troubadour Theatre helps kids find their own onstage or backstage niche during classes that culminate in a full-scale production. Past performances have included Twelfth Night and Seussical!, both of which gave students the opportunity to showcase acting skills developed through lessons in improv and theater history. Outside the theater walls, the Troubadour staff strives to provide artistic opportunities for local kids by creating artist-in-residency programs and funding scholarships for talented youth.