Donna Shari started out as an early childhood teacher whose hobby was painting pottery. At first, she was a familiar face at a paint-your-own-pottery studio. Then she started attending seminars on pouring molds and glazing bisque, until she’d been to more than 250. After an injury cut her teaching career short and the owner of the pottery studio announced his plans to close the place, Donna jumped at the chance to “make my hobby, my passion, into my business,” and took over the studio.
Donna’s new career taps into her talents as both a teacher and an artist as she helps painters of all ages choose plates, figurines, and mugs to personalize with paint, glaze, and territorial tongue licks. After artists perfect their creations, they leave the masterpieces for Donna to fire in a kiln and pick them about up a week later. Donna also teaches students to manipulate clay as it whirls atop a potter’s wheel or a pirouetting ballerina’s head.
A class at Josie?s International School of Dance is like a passport to the pulsating rhythms of the world. You can groove to the sultry beats of Latin music, sway through a traditional belly-dance routine, or slow-dance with a saxophone during a jazz class. Youth and adult classes explore these and other disciplines in depth with teachers who have studied everywhere from the Joffrey Ballet School in New York to private dance schools in Egypt.
Inside Addie-Tude Dance Studio, lessons don’t just end at technical instruction and rhythm. The performing-arts center is dedicated to exposing people of all ages to the art of movement. Budding artists are encouraged to experiment and build on their ideas though theatrical work as well as with dance, in styles from cha-cha to hip-hop and African dancing.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.