The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach houses free art exhibitions, lectures, and events for the edification of the local public, and membership in its hallowed halls allows a household reduced prices on classes, retail discounts, and invitations to openings and events. Seven-week classes and one-time workshops for kids (member prices $72–$120) and adults (member prices $65–$260) instruct the artistically inclined in electives such as acrylic and oil painting, watercolor, and digital imaging. For those who prefer to work in a fleshier medium, yoga and dance classes whittle muscles into works of art worthy of permanently encasing in glass or spandex.
Named Best Dance Studio in Jacksonville by CityVoter in 2008, A Social Affair Dance Studios helps rug cutters sharpen skills with expert instruction doled out by seasoned instructors. Beginning dancers can learn the finer points of a diverse assortment of ballroom and Latin styles, including the passionate moves of bolero, the smooth steps of West Coast swing, and pantomimed axe swings of the fox trot. During each one-hour private lesson—offered by appointment Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.—students hone personal development aided by one-on-one attention from an experienced instructor. Developing dancers can then strut freshly acquired skills in a rotating slate of 50-minute drop-in group classes, held Monday–Friday from 7 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. After mastering the art form’s fundamentals and the studio’s secret handshake, students can pop into weekly practice parties on Friday night from 8:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., dipping into a social atmosphere replete with multiple partners to perfect complicated maneuvers in a realistic ballroom scenario.
In 2009, Melissa Garnier opened a small produce co-op, seeking to save money on her grocery bill while providing her five children with healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables. Today, that co-op has grown into The Neighborhood Garden, a company that regularly supplies 200 Jacksonville families with fresh meats, local honey, dairy goods, and certified organic produce from Albert's Organics in Sarasota. Patrons can pick up pre-ordered edibles from 17 locations, or opt for delivery service.
At Art League of Jacksonville, a team of skilled multidisciplinary artists teach courses, deliver speeches at events, and showcase work at special exhibitions. Though it focuses on the visual arts, the league also offers a music-and-acting curriculum, teaching aspiring artists to draw pictures with charcoal, create elegant sculptures from stone, and remove all of Rutherford B. Hayes' facial hair with Photoshop. Classes cater to artists of all ages and abilities, and exhibitions allow students to display their work to the public.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
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