At Applause For Kids, children can cultivate self-confidence and self-awareness through a supportive program that helps them develop singing, dancing, acting, and even costume-creating skills. A talented group of instructors prepares campers for performing in a Broadway-style show over the course of one week, ending with an impressive performance. Several camps are available from June to August, including Willy Wonka and Wonderful Wizards, the jazz- and tap-dance-infused Puttin’ on the Ritz, and the Magical World of Broadway, which showcases characters from Mary Poppins, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. To ensure optimum skill development, children are divided into groups by age. Children will attend camp between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, while Friday camps start at 10 a.m., with a week-ending showcase performance.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in locations around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their child’s development, their child learns to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of preschool knitting circles.
Pret A Papore Productions propels budding talent to star status with the support of its in-house talent agency. Not only will its staff fight to install a client in high-profile ad and media campaigns, but it will also put together upscale bashes, launches, and other events. The showbiz experts also lead classes for up-and-coming talents and develop camera-ready personal images through professional styling.
Informed by an ever-growing body of developmental research, classes at The Music Class introduce tots to tunes and concepts that boost creativity and listening skills. In Music Pups (a $72 value) courses, children under 4 years of age gleefully sing, dance, and bang away on rudimentary instruments such as the drums or theremin. Four and 5-year-olds learn concepts of tone and rhythm in the Music Cats course (a $77 value), which lets kids experiment with keyboards before defending their dissertations on the narrative redundancies of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." Each 45-minute course meets four times in one month-long segment, and includes CDs for parents to play at home to follow up on in-class tutelage. This Groupon may also be used toward The Music Class' ten-week music courses.
Forrest Briggs claims the South as his home, and indeed he grew up and attended college there. As a photography student, he earned admission into several galleries and juried exhibitions, but his post graduate work honed his eye. He travelled the world, learning to speak fluent Vietnamese and becoming trapped in Nepal during the 2006 coup d’état, all the while documenting his journeys through his camera. The temporary expatriation sharpened his skills, helping him excel at photographic composition, natural lighting strategies, and more abstract concepts such as how to make photos “pop.”
Now, as a photographer and teacher, he passes along these lessons to a new generation of shutterbugs, while lending his eye and skill to clients in search of classic portraiture and boudoir shoots. He also has an eye for shooting martial arts action, working behind the scenes at mixed martial arts events and even pulling a stint as the personal photographer of Cheryl Murphy, nine-time US Nationals Karate Champion.
The masterful instructors at the Spruill Center for the Arts soak students’ brain sponges in creative know-how via a diverse selection of 90-minute art classes, ranging from digital photography to blacksmithing. Basic or watercolor painting classes stoke the flames of inner van Goghs, and screenplay-writing lessons provide the trade secrets necessary to write distinguished works such as The Magna Carta: Live. A brief foray into ceramics puts participants on the right path to spun-clay enlightenment, and skills acquired in jewelry crafting and portrait drawing may pay dividends in future romantic courtships. No class will exceed 26 pupils, ensuring that each attendee will receive ample instructor attention to ask questions about postmodern art or create intricate student-teacher secret handshakes.