Ghanaian cuisine leans heavily on a sauce combining peppers, onions, ginger, oil, tomatoes, and shrimp. The pepper and ginger slice through the gentle acidity of tomatoes and the sweetness of shrimp, complementing both meat and vegetable dishes. The cooks behind Delight of Africa started out making batches as a favor to friends and family. Today, they still follow a recipe for the sauce handed down from their grandparents, using only fresh ingredients and never adding preservatives or food coloring. They also hold cooking lessons, teaching groups to re-create traditional West African recipes and broaden their horizons without the dangers of touching a spinning globe.
Since its inception more than 10 years ago, The Portland Ballet has already sent students off to successful careers at prestigious ballet companies, including American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, and Miami City Ballet. Artistic director Nancy Davis helms an expert staff that follows a specialized curriculum designed to guide students with classes and additional programs with guest instructors that have included Evelyn Cisneros (the former principal ballerina with the San Francisco Ballet) and Marianna Tcherkassky (the former principal ballerina with American Ballet Theatre).
The Portland Ballet accepts students as young as 3 and nurtures their talents through a program that includes creative ballet, curriculum ballet, and a men’s ballet program taught by all-male instructors. Teachers also lead classes for adults and teach alternate dance styles such as jazz and modern. Students get the chance to perform twice a year and can audition for The Portland Ballet’s youth company, which performs repertory pieces and workshops with guest instructors.
ZenSpot’s hot yoga classes are the opposite of cutting edge—instead, they use techniques of enhancing one’s flexibility with heat that draw on a 5,000-year-old art. In a studio heated to slightly above the human body’s typical 98.6 degrees, certified hot yoga teachers lead Vinyasa-style classes, transitioning seamlessly between poses rather than pausing between each one to yell “Yoga!” The yoga classes facilitate holistic wellness.
Outside the yoga studio, the center offers lessons in Feng Shui and human empowerment—a broad title for services that include life coaching, nutrition, and stress management. With the philosophy that all living and non living matter are connected, Feng Shui sessions strive to create a more balanced home by decluttering and organizing living and work areas. Life-coaching sessions aim for balance as well; the studio's coaches encourage clients to take time to examine who they are and what is important to them without the influence of external pressures.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members of all ages and lifestyles to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With convenient 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess, address, and accomplish their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a results-oriented personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
In the evenings, heels click on the hardwood during social- and partner-dance classes. Pupils learn basic and advanced moves in swing, latin, and ballroom, to name a few, switching partners along the way. Before and after both yoga and dance sessions, they can take advantage of an onsite dressing room for changing, showers, and storing their street clothes.
Hardwood floors, full-length mirrors, and high ceilings serve as the border of SwingYogi Studio's spacious facility, whose hanging chandeliers illuminate two distinct forms of exercise, both of which provide more than just physical benefits. Firstly, the staff oversees students setting up their mats for hatha and vinyasa yoga classes. During these sessions, the instructors lead classes through poses that are scalable to accommodate everybody and every body, no matter the age or experience level.
Clifford Koufman?s fascination with drums of all kind has taken him around the world in search of guidance from renowned musicians by the likes of Arabic master drummer Souhail Kaspar, Guinean Grandmaster Famoudou Konate, and American jazz icon Bob Moses. Koufman has used his refined drumming powers and extensive musical experience for good as a therapeutic music specialist who has visited several Portland-area children?s hospitals and as the founder of Sound & Rhythm Drumming Studio. There, since 1999 he has specialized in teaching one-on-one and group West African drum lessons on authentic djembes and dununs, demystifying concepts such as beat displacement and polyrhythms for his hand-drumming prot?g?s. Students can also bring drumsticks and learn to tame a standard drum kit, learning the music theory and time-keeping techniques needed to perfectly execute Rachmaninoff?s little-known triangle solos.