It's easy to think of artists as solitary people locked away in their studios—Mark Rothko withdrawing to obsess over the interplay between his blockish swaths of color or Jackson Pollock dangling a dripping brush over a canvas on the floor of an empty room. This is the exact opposite experience Michele Foshee wants people to have at artventureUs! An accomplished designer with clients including National Geographic and the White House, Michele sees painting as an engaging social experience where friends and complete strangers can share an adventure as they paint both original pieces and re-creations of famous works, such as Gustav Klimt's The Kiss.
Some classes include wine, and students don’t need experience, since Michele and her instructors take a step-by-step approach to teaching the basics of working with acrylic paints. They also furnish participants with every supply they'll need from a closet full of aprons, canvases, Greek muses, and paintbrushes. In addition to leading public classes, the team at artventureUs! organizes private painting parties.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level?starting as young as 6 months?and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6 to 9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity, and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Atlantic Edge Dive Center's dive-masters might technically be classified as land mammals, but they spend enough time under water to earn the honorary title of amphibian. They spend days and nights teaching and leading dives, whether they're arming curious beginners with basic skills in one of their on-site swimming pools, or conducting open water certification tests off the coast. They go beyond simply certifying students for adventure: they provide rescue diving, dive master, and instructor training as well.
Their passion for the aquatic pastime draws them to all kinds of watery outposts. They lead excursions to the Florida keys to help rehabilitate the coral reefs surrounding the islands, and dive into the relatively calm waters of the tanks in the Baltimore National Aquarium, where they have a chance to see 53 species of fish feed in the secret underwater cafeteria.
Since its founding in a small Gaithersburg, MD warehouse, Amazing Art Studio has taught others the basics of visual art and empowered them to explore various art forms on their own. The studio hosts open sessions that allow burgeoning artists to freely explore different creative and hands-on mediums. During pottery painting sessions, participant can explore techniques for decorating bisque with glaze, while painting classes transform blank canvases into still-lifes and landscapes. Glass-fusing and mosaic sessions, meanwhile, let students freely combine pieces of colored glass into wild geometric and organic designs. The studio also organizes camps and programs for children, and after-hours adult workshops that encourage pairing art with beverages. Throughout the day, books and pictures are always on-hand to jump-start creative thinking.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
Since opening its doors in 1998, Language Stars has introduced more than 30,000 children to foreign languages with small-group classes and full-immersion activities. Through a selective process, Language Stars recruits ambitious teachers from more than 20 countries who share a common goal of revolutionizing how and when American children learn foreign languages. Parents and Tots Classes are available for children between 1–3 years old, and Kids Only classes are available for children 3–5, 5–8 and 8–10 years old. Absorbent little minds soak up Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, or Arabic with the help of their FunImmersion approach, learning naturally through games, songs, activities and art projects to help kids finally understand their foreign-exchange imaginary friends.