Yoga Desha's founder, Rebecca Bergstrom, is no stranger to struggle, and has long turned to yoga whenever she finds herself in need of physical and spiritual uplifting. Her interest in the mind-body connection began when she was just a teen and fueled her studies in human biology and psychology at Stanford University, as well as her time spent dancing at the Martha Graham School. Her search for spiritual healing took an entirely new direction, however, when she suddenly lost her young husband while expecting their first child. Finding her prenatal yoga practice to play an integral part in healing her emotional ails, she soon decided to become a yoga teacher herself and dedicate her life to helping people from all walks of life heal from their own mental, physical, or spiritual traumas.
She has since earned the 500-hour teaching certification from the Yoga Alliance––the highest possible certification from the program––and compiled a team of instructors that leads classes seven days a week. Classes range from pre- or postnatal yoga and beginner's Vinyasa to sessions that emphasize alignment and focus.
Knife Skills 101 is taught by Cuisine Inspirations owner, Scott Savokinas, a seasoned chef who relishes every aspect of the culinary craft. He'll teach you the safest and deftest ways to dice, slice, mince, and chop, putting meats and veggies in the savoriest shapes while shaving time and awkwardness off kitchen routines. While you learn to cut an onion without making it cry and grate garlic without triggering its earsplitting burglar alarm, the chef's friendly banter and helpful hints foster a comfortable, entertaining atmosphere. At the end of the class, students and chef partake in whichever dish was prepared during the demonstration.
Tia Harris, a mother and a Montclair resident since 2008, couldn't have predicted that an activity she enjoyed as a relaxing hobby would later become her full-time career. She was laid off from her previous job in 2011 and found herself turning to beading as a stress-reducing creative outlet. Embracing her entrepreneurial spirit, Harris decided in 2012 to open TiaMarie Beading Studio, where she shares her passion with other jewelry enthusiasts. She told Barista Kids that "We are striving to create a sense of community and a fun place for creative ideas to come together."
To accomplish the studio’s goal, Harris handpicked her team of multitalented instructors, which includes a former interior designer, a certified fine-arts teacher and writer, and a graphic-design expert. In addition to teaching classes, the friendly crew regularly hosts birthday parties and girls' nights out, where ladies can learn the art of wire wrapping—one of the oldest known jewelry-making methods next to training cobras to coil around your wrist.
If you want to become a successful actor, you could watch your favorite stars in movies or read up on various techniques. Or you could study under Luigina Vecchione Curran, the Artistic Director at DennyLoo Studios. The actress, director, and acting coach brings her on-camera and on-stage experiences—as well as her stint at Playhouse West with Jeff Goldblum, Robert Carnegie, and Bill Esper of Esper Studios —to her students during interactive classes and workshops. Once here, she delves into scene studies, improv, and monologues about monologues to help her students boost confidence and build a wide range of skills that will assist them in getting auditions and landing acting jobs.
Bar Academy 101’s co-owners Robert and Nicki have more than 15 years of experience in the bartending business between them. They emphasize hands-on learning during courses at a 24/7 model bar, where students can spend unlimited hours practicing the two main skills of bartending: mixing drinks and pouring them into patrons’ outstretched hands. Robert and Nicki share the skills they’ve learned in the field at the school’s glossy wooden bar stations, which feature tools and bottles much like those found in typical watering holes. This hands-on learning ensures that pupils are prepared for job placement at the end of courses. The dedicated team meets one-on-one with graduates, matching them with openings in local bars and restaurants.
For Jagadisha Peter Petrovic, yoga lessons came early and often. What began with a simple stretching exercise on a family vacation blossomed into a lifetime of yogic learning, including stints at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and certifications from global masters including Dr. Jeff Migdow and Bikram Choudhury. Now, he puts those experiences to use as the founder and head instructor at Be Evolution Hot Yoga, where his team of experienced yoga instructors flush away toxins and increase muscle flexibility for deeper stretches during targeted stretch sessions. The center operates two studios side-by-side: one heated to a steamy 106 degrees for traditional hot yoga, and one warmed to a balmy-yet-manageable 78 degrees for less strenuous sessions. After class ends, students can also pop into the center's brand new boutique, where racks of new gear and practice materials await.