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.
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.
Machines and hybrids line the room. Their creator, the mad scientist of fitness Amy (Sowers) Jordan, has transformed her passion for Pilates and a flair for engineering into the newest incarnation of the Pilates reformer, called the WundaFormer. The patented design combines a Pilates reformer, Wunda Chair, jump board, and ballet barre into a muscle-toning juggernaut that Amy uses in her intense, fast-paced workouts. Obsessed with efficiency, Amy designed the sessions to target as many muscles as possible in the shortest amount of time.
After creating the innovative machine, she took her show on the road, opening studios to showcase what the muscle-sculpting apparatus could do. She now helms a passionate group of certified instructors who lead small groups of 10 guests at a time through the routine.
The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.
A winner of dance competitions around the world, LA Dance Dream's founder, Daniela Agostini, knows the importance of perfecting one’s dance technique. Through intensive dance workshops, she and her team of experienced professional dancers and choreographers help students do just that. They inspire dancers to improve their technique and improvisation skills and develop their own personal style, while motivating them to build their strength, endurance, and self-confidence along the way. Students can groove in a wide selection of classes, including hip-hop, break dance, ballet, and African dance. Students can pose for professional headshots to pass out at auditions, and some programs culminate in a real-life experience in a music video, sans animated cat MCs.
Back in 1997, Yoga House was a rarity?the full-time, dedicated Hatha yoga studio was then the only one in Pasadena, and was run by two enthusiastic yoga students. But as yoga has grown in popularity, Yoga House has also matured to become the spacious and beautiful studio it is today, a place where students come to heal, grow, and become more in tune with their minds and bodies. Inside the sunlit studio, certified yoga instructors teach classes in everything from Ashtanga and Vinyasa-style yoga, to prenatal yoga, yoga for those living with MS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What's more, the studio also hosts frequent workshops with topics that focus on everything from meditation to therapeutic yoga training for nurses, physical therapists, and DMV employees.