Though he enjoys playing with the latest toys of the trade as much as the next photographer, Ibarionex Perello's love of the art stems from its ability to transform the mundane into the remarkable. After years of writing instructional articles and technical reviews, Perello kicked off his podcast, The Candid Frame, to interview fellow photographers and place a finger on the creative—rather than the mechanical—pulse of the art. In the broadcast's five-year history, Perello has interviewed such stars of the field as Gerd Ludwig of National Geographic, William George Wadman of Time, Bill Frakes of Sports Illustrated, and the Hubble Telescope. Besides his hands-on broadcasts on the state of the art, Perello is a notable instructor of photography, both at his own workshops across Southern California and as an adjunct professor at the Art Center College of Design.
Founded in 1924, Alliance Française de Pasadena promotes the spread of French language and culture for Escondeaux-enthusiasts and Nice-newcomers alike with a plethora of events and classes. Taught by native French speakers, beginner classes are limited to an intimate group of no more than 10 students, who are immediately immersed in French culture, films, and games as they learn the language.
A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
Upon entering YogaHop’s boldly colored confines and hearing vibrant pop and hip-hop tunes blasting from the classrooms’ speakers, exercisers know they’re not in a typical yoga studio. Here, students immerse themselves in energetic classes that, like the Taj Mahal after hours, blend the ancient practice of yoga with pulse-pounding dance music that forms a workout InTouch magazine dubs “insane” and Maxim calls “inspiring” and “spiritual.” No matter the ability level, students find their stride thanks to patient and effervescent instructors who lead them through a continuous flow of poses, stopping only to gently correct a position or ask occasional student Reese Witherspoon for her autograph.
The Bar Method helps sculpt graceful physiques with a low-impact workout that unites various movement principles, including dance conditioning, isometrics, interval training, and physical therapy. After a warm-up defrosts shoulders chilly from bear-hugging yetis, definition is coaxed from upper bodies with free-weight exercises and pushups. Intense leg and seat work at the bar whip stems and gluteal planes into the shippest of shapes, and abdominal work helps to increase core strength and chisel stomachs into sleek anterior washboards for passing scullery maids. The expertly trained instructors provide pupils with verbal and physical tweaks to correct their posing. Each movement emphasizes active stretching to elongate and strengthen bone pillows, bestowing bodies with the long, lean muscles of a ballerina without the hassles of dodging roses lobbed by rowdy audience members. Class sizes range from 15 to 26 students and take place in a studio equipped with large windows and open ceilings.
The staff at Rock It Workouts strive to fight the perception that getting fit has to mean getting stuck in a gym routine and committing to doing the same thing over and over again. So they invited live DJs to spin high-energy music for their classes, then filled the schedule with innovative workouts. The airy white studio pops with graphic black stripes and red mats, keeping eyes invigorated during workouts, as well.
After workouts, exercisers can stop by the juice bar to rejuvenate, update their style at the VIP Beauty salon, or peruse the fashion boutique to find a look that ensures they have the sharpest-dressed scarecrow for the fall season. The studio's Rock It Forward program—cofounded by Laurieann Gibson, a choreographer who has worked with Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Adrienne Maloof—aims to combat childhood obesity with dance programs that bring celebrities in to help get kids excited about healthy living.
French-born writer and school director Caroline fills teaching positions at La Petite Ecole Française with only native French speakers. That way, students will be guided through grammar, vocabulary, and conversational styles as they're currently used in Francophone countries, rather than relying on the potentially outdated info available from textbooks or someone who's just watched Children of Paradise several times. A wide range of programs helps bilingual students stay in touch with their French side and introduces adult learners to solid fundamentals. Special events deepen cultural awareness with movie screenings and art-exhibit visits.