In 2003, after years spent headlining Portland ballets such as Don Quixote and The Nutcracker, Keith Walls moved to New York City. He continued balletic journey by training under renowned teachers from the Kirov and the Bolshoi, Russia’s most renowned ballet companies besides the Funky Chicken Institute. Outside the studio, Keith flexed his dancing and acting muscles in musicals such as Grease and Once Upon a Mattress.
It’s this well of experience that Keith draws from throughout his recreational and intensive classes at Abernethy Performing Arts Academy. Starting with creative-movement classes for youngsters, Keith instructs his students in the fundamentals of ballet and prepares them for its advanced techniques. In other beginner-oriented dance classes, he teaches the basic steps to styles such as jazz, hip-hop, Irish, and tap. Like his ballet classes, musical-theater courses run from beginner to advanced levels. Both give students opportunities to perform in productions such as an annual Halloween show and classical ballets.
Patrons stroll through the aromatic ranks of Douglas and Great fir trees at Earth & Sky Farm, picking and cutting the perfect pesticide-free tannenbaum. While meandering through the farm’s verdant scenery, guests can enjoy complimentary sips of warm drinks that heat bodies up from the inside out. In addition to choosing an evergreen that will offer enough space to shelter presents without the hassle of renting a North Pole PO Box, tree-hunters get to experience the joy of crafting their own personalized stump. After handsaws are finished slicing, Earth & Sky's staffers bail trees into easily transportable bundles. The farm pairs people and trees every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, closing for the season on December 24 in order to celebrate Santa’s employment party. From the sale of every tree $1 goes to the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the craft-beer movement in memory of a beloved fallen brewer.
Jump for Joy's 27-acre grounds enchant urban farmers, equestrians, and nature lovers alike with a recreational organic farm, stables, and other natural-educational amenities. The full-service equestrian center, in addition to boarding horses, offers riding lessons and horse camps in which riders of all ages can master horse-powered transit and learn the slight dialect differences between speaking Horse and Donkey. Throughout the grounds, visitors can wander through a natural wetlands system, wild-bird habitat, and blueberry orchard in addition to other sustainable-homesteading amenities. Kids delve into the natural world at birthday parties on the farm and themed weeklong summer camps that impart skills on horse riding, organic farming, or ecology.
An avid rider since the age of 11 and instructor since 16, Lynne Hartman is dedicated to passing on her lifetime of experience working with horse to fledgling jockeys at Amethyst Performance Horses. Lynne tailors her lessons to all levels of riders, from those with an eye toward competition—several of her past students have won awards at the local, state, and national levels—to those who just want to ride for fun, to those who believe they can have more fun on a horse than on the neighborhood cats. The lesson program emphasizes equitation and working with the horse as a team, as well as learning how to groom, saddle, and bridle the horse when out of the saddle. Students have their choice of a wide range of riding styles, including Western, English, dressage, reining, and gaming.
The Ingram family has tended the same picturesque plot of land since 1942, when Marvin Ingram first settled on the 35-acre parcel in the Willamette Valley. Before the family started making wine in 2003, it ran as a purebred black Angus farm. Today, second, third, and fourth generation of Ingrams take care of the rolling hills lined with rows of wine grapes, applying environmentally friendly practices just like Grandpa Marvin did when he started. The winemakers transform their harvest into mature and sophisticated wines. Visitors can sip samples of those wines inside a tasting room.
At Natural High Rafting, they lead guided rafting and fishing trips on more than 12 of Oregon?s scenic and coastal rivers, including the Deschutes and Clackamas. The fishing trips also seek out fish by species, often encountering monsters such as steelhead, trout, and coho and chinook salmon.