At Jones Dance Ballroom Studios, dancers of all skill levels teach their bodies to spin, shake, and shiver with the self-expressing movements of multiple dance styles, including tango, foxtrot, salsa, samba, West Coast swing, paso doble, merengue, and beyond. Up-and-coming motion maestros can begin their journey to stardom and dancing with a pair of private lessons ($37.50 each). During both of the half-hour twinkle-toe tutorials, a skilled, supportive instructor will work one-on-one with you and carefully teach your feet how to woo the haughty ground with the stately swirls of a Viennese waltz, the dazzling blur of the quickstep, or the swiveling bobble-hips of the cha-cha. Once they've learned how to light up the dance floor with controlled-burn fires, students can showcase their sizzling steps to new dance partners during a 60-minute group class ($15; check the calendar for more information about specific classes and times).
Using the experiences gained during years as a professional racecar driver and builder, Competition 101 Racing School founder Stuart Lycett trains the next generation of podium finishers during one-on-one racing lessons. Whether behind the wheel of stock cars, Trans Am T2 sports cars, sprint cars, or open-wheel cars, pupils soak in on-track experience on dirt tracks, short ovals, speedways, or road circuits while radios and on-board video cameras record every turn for scrutiny during future feedback sessions.
In addition to their introductory class, instructors also offer one-, two-, and three-day school programs. After the three-day program, studious speedsters may complete their training by competing in a sanctioned race event in front of paying spectators and a real checkered flag. Stuart and his crew also welcome interns willing to work for six months in exchange for a free three-day racing school program.
At Canvas Mixers of Braselton, an artist unearths the hidden talent of amateurs in three-hour painting classes. After handing out aprons and 16”x20” canvases or directing patrons to the nearest blank wall, the teacher carefully guides the brushstrokes of students with step-by-step instructions, helping them craft acrylic paintings of mountains at night, ornamental crosses, or glasses of wine. Some nights focus on specific themes, including The Hunger Games on teen night and kissing koi on date night, and every BYOB adult class allows pupils to pop a bottle of their own bubbly and dip into snacks. The studio also hosts classes for kids aged 6 and older or puppies disguised as kindergartners, who create masterpieces that star silly critters, such as a winking owl.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Brianne Gould defies the adage that "those who can't do, teach." Where many acting instructors never make it past summer stock or dinner theater, Gould's résumé of juicy roles is the envy of many an actor. From her recurring role as Brianna Ortiz on Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns to her work in Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son and the Lifetime movie The Wronged Man, Gould knows what it takes to carry a scene, and to get major exposure. Through her acting school, The Monologue Girl, Brianne prepares fledgling thespians for the spotlight. In weekend workshops featuring scene-study exercises that instill students with effective acting, improv, and audition techniques, Brianne enables tomorrow's Poitiers and Streeps with her proven expertise.