The goals of the instructors at Intensity Dancers' Studio go far beyond dance—the team aspires to help their students become well-rounded individuals as they grow. That can even be seen by the number of students using their talents outside the studio, with some competing on teams at the national level. Children can participate in lessons that cover classic or modern dance styles at the school, where ballet gets equal billing with hip-hop and acrobatics options. As dancers progress, they not only learn proper technique and execution, but how to cultivate discipline and self-confidence, tools intended to help them success off the dance floor too.
In 1989, Young At Art began as a small, 3,200-square-foot children’s museum dedicated to shaping young minds and enriching the community through the transformative power of art. Since then, the tiny workshop has grown into a 55,000-square-foot collection of activities celebrating the diverse influences of art on our lives and imaginations, garnering a rare accreditation by the American Association of Museums for its efforts. At ArtScapes—one of the four main exhibits—kids and their parents travel through The Cave, a frantic slideshow of images conveying 5,000 years of human history, step into a replica of a New York City subway car, and view examples of graffiti as a means of creative expression against the oppressive forces of aluminum spray cans.
Elsewhere, WonderScapes transports children up to 4 years old to a world inspired by the illustrations of DeLoss McGraw, whose version of Alice in Wonderland won the Society of Illustrators Book of the Year award in 2002, and GreenScapes demonstrates the immutable intersection of art and the environment as visitors build sculptures from natural materials. Never ones to ignore their creativity, teenagers can find refuge in the Teen Center, where a graphic design lab with Mac computers and a recording studio let them convert their pre-calc homework into digital form before it’s too late.
Using a colorful and sculptable palette of clay, Clay World instills aspiring artists with technical skills and helps cultivate creativity in young crafters. Graduates of Play-Doh's abstract expressionist school, age 4 and up, can enroll in one of claymaster Jorge Cruz's 90-minute sculpting sessions, offered after school on weekdays and during mornings and afternoons on Saturdays. Students will fashion playful figurines from colorful globs of synthetic polymer clay, honing motor skills while tickling imaginations with creative sculptures of dinosaurs, monsters, and their favorite secretaries of the interior. Jorge patiently leads youngsters and nascent crafters through clay-shaping basics, and molding maestros explore finger-twisting techniques such as pointillism and clay animation.
Miami Design Preservation League stokes all sectors of the cerebrum with nonprofit cultural and educational programs, each designed to preserve, protect, and promote Miami's rich environmental and architectural integrity. During the 90-minute Art Deco District walking tour, local historians and architects will introduce artistically inclined walkers and lapsed ergonomists to the many structural styles found within the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District.
At Artists at the Falls Studio, Talia Rodriguez's artistic voice and guidance helps to breathe life into the up-and-coming Falls Art District and imbue kids and adults with aesthetic judgment. Within a former industrial warehouse, Talia leads classes in acrylic and oil painting, lending advice or letting students freely explore portraits, still lifes, and abstract representations of their school's mystery meat. The fun of classes can be extended to day camps and birthday parties, which branch away from canvases to explore clay and international art projects. Talia also hosts BYOB classes during evening hours, allowing adults to find their inner Monet or O'Keeffe with the help of liquid inspiration.
Praised by the Miami New Times as 2010's Best One-Stop Art Depot, Jerry's Artarama is a sprawling 20,000-square-foot artists' oasis with a bounteous inventory of creative supplies. Aisles teem with the store's own proprietary product lines such as SoHo and Creative Mark, alongside imported products from around the world acquired through Jerry's relationships with international manufacturers. The store also stocks specialty and hard-to-find items that are rarely carried by large chain stores, such as specialty brushes for portraitists and extra-wide forks for professional mashed-potato sculptors.