At Lynda Orescanin’s lampwork studio, she melts rods and tubes of glass into silver-studded spheres and delicate aquamarine swirls. Intricately detailed and no bigger than an eraser tip, the glass beads resemble paperweights for a doll’s desk. “I love the way the glass flows,” says Ms. Orescanin. “I love that you can’t rush it.”
Ms. Orescanin brings that same passion and expertise to her shop’s jewelry-making classes. She seeks out striking materials for her students, from Czech pressed-glass beads and Afghan lapis to metal charms cut from recycled filing cabinets. Inside her intimate studio, she strives to create a nurturing, friendly environment that encourages experimentation. Classes allow up to six students to sidle up to the well-lit worktable and try their hand at making jewelry. Ms. Orescanin walks them through the basics of jewelry making, from tool use to beading technique. “People say, ‘Oh, I’m not creative, I don’t know anything about color,’" she says. "But when they finish something, I’m like, ‘Wow, it's magnificent. I would have never thought to put those together in that particular way.”
Rather than allowing its students to learn photography in the comfort of an air-conditioned classroom, Misty Mountain Photo Tours coaxes them out into the wilderness. Serving a dual function as guides and instructors, professional photographers illuminate the technical basics and creative applications of DSLR cameras in an outdoor setting. Then, during hands-on tours to locations such as Saguaro Lake, they show students how to apply what they've learned to snap photos of wildlife and majestic desert landscapes.
Brimming with cardio equipment, free weights, and professional trainers, Freedom Fitness helps people achieve virtually any fitness goal. Clients can maintain a healthy weight with routine exercise or get stronger in the 1,500-square-foot performance center. Here, trainers focus on sport-specific workouts that employ TRX suspension, battling ropes, and punching bags to help athletes jump higher and run faster.
While both the Cave Creek and Troon locations offer fitness classes, equipment, and personal training services, some of the amenities differ. The Cave Creek location has a childcare center, and the Troon location stays open 24 hours a day.
The mobile instructors of Vino & Canvas eschew a traditional studio and instead set up shop in a variety of local venues. There, students of all skill levels follow the instructions of local artists in two-hour painting workshops as they order food and beverages for enjoyment while they craft their masterpieces. Vino & Canvas also books private events for occasions such as birthday parties, bridal showers, or family reunions.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Village Health Clubs & Spas are one-stop shops for fitness training, spa services, and amenity-stuffed facilities. One month of access to their four locations allows visitors to use the Village fitness equipment, clean up in the available locker rooms, shoot hoops on basketball courts, swim in lap pools, and much more. The two-week guided fitness program kick-starts fitness routines long stymied by malaise, time constraints, and road-blocking donut holes; with the aid of a helpful Village staff member, you'll get started by figuring out precisely where your goals and interests lie on the muscle map. A nutrition warm-up will educate you in the ways of healthy food choices, and a 60-minute fitness intro with a certified personal trainer will get hearts pumping and tendons quivering. You'll also be introduced to the vast panoply of available cardio equipment and group yoga and Pilates classes. Finally, "adventure time" commences with a workout, hike, bike ride, or round of tennis, the sport most avidly followed by excitable canines.
At Art Revolution Tonight, instructors help groups create colorful paintings of subjects ranging from the Eiffel Tower to a close-up view of a Koi fish. Students are given access to professional acrylic paints and easels, and each class focuses on a different technique including mixed media. Step-by-step instructions are available for all experience levels. Thanks to a partnership with Tavern Americana, groups can enjoy wood-fired pizza, gourmet salads, wine, and other treats while wielding paintbrushes. Check out the calendar for upcoming classes.