Laura Monahan comes from an artistic family, and spent her youth practicing sculpture, oil painting, pottery, and what turned out to be her ultimate passion: photography. Her ability to preserve candid moments has left an indelible impression—she has a published portfolio on three continents and product lines appearing at national retailers such as Hallmark and JCPenney. Laura’s photo shoots always take place outdoors, capturing newborns, older kids, families, and makeshift popsicle-stick families in soft, natural lighting and poses that never appear unnatural. Her settings span the country from San Diego’s foamy beaches to Denver’s red-rock sunsets and into the Midwest’s autumn leaves.
Owner Jennifer Schroeder began crafting her own all-natural products in high school and, one career later, now heads a team of skincare mavens who give kitchen chemists the tools to create their own spa experiences. Demonstration lectures form a compact introduction to a single process and leave students with a product sample to take home and touch up aging portraits of great-great-grandparents, and workshops plunge all hands into the fundamentals of gel-based anti-aging serums, exfoliating sugar scrubs, or herbal soaps. The small-group classes focus on practicable skills and include recipes for home use, enabling perpetual plant-based pampering.
Sgt. Peppers Photography Studio employs the art of portraiture to capture personalities. High-school seniors strike poses in the Littleton location's contemporary indoor area or in the awe-inspiring flora of a private garden. On-location shoots backdrop family portraits—ideal for sending out with annual Groundhog Day cards—with the crystalline waters of Chatfield Lake and the Platte River or rocky faces of Castlewood Canyon. The seasoned snapshot wranglers consult with clients beforehand to hammer out every detail of the shoot, from flattering garb to complementary color schemes. Staffers also channel their expertise into photography classes that build up students' repertoire of info about readying workstations, tweaking preferences, and cropping out blurred high-speed car chases from the backgrounds of engagement photos.
"Psychic abilities are inherent in the essential character of everyone," shares astrologer Nancy Byrne, "yet we seldom pay attention to our inner voice, our hunches, our intuition, or our gut feelings provided by the Divine Spirit." The proprietor of CHOICES wants to change that scenario. That's why she holds classes that tap into each student's innate spiritual abilities. In Spirit Mediumship, she teaches participants how to communicate with the spirit realm, while in Chakra Balancing and Archetypes, she helps students read energy systems that affect one's spirituality and mental acuity. She also leads students through sessions in astrology and meditation.
Language classes at Bella Italia are good for beginners who want to pad their brains for upcoming vacations to Italy as well as for seasoned students wishing to sand the rust off their skills. The instructor, a native of Genoa, teaches hour-long classes once a week for eight weeks. A 200-page vocab and grammar electronic textbook is also included with this Groupon. Learn to order from a restaurant menu, have basic conversations, and make simple queries such as "where is the airport?" "how much does it cost?" and "why am I on fire?" In addition to the basics, you'll learn important cultural and historical information that prevents people from mistaking the ruins of the Colosseum for a pizza franchise.
The Colorado School of Acting's directors, Elizabeth Horne and Troy Horne, combine their dual loves of stage and screen to impart acting chops to students of all ages and experience levels. Elizabeth—who has acted in more than 25 plays and 12 movies—and Troy—a sitcom and film producer who appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award–winning musical _Rent_—staff their team with veteran acting instructors, each of whom have more than 10 years of experience in the biz. During their classes, they teach students to focus and perform under a variety of circumstances, with workshops in subjects ranging from improv and commercial work to audition skills and voiceovers. They welcome kids for acting summer camps, where they introduce fundamentals of memorization, character development, and rehearsal. Instructors also help thespians develop with more advanced training, including filmmaking summer camps for kids, and a certificate program for all age levels that requires students to audition or present a signed permission slip from David Schwimmer.