After learning to knit at her grandmother's feet in Romania, owner and clothes designer Mihaela Manitiu now marshals her crafting acumen to lead classes where, according to Splash, "students learn to understand the essence of their creations and are not only instructed, but inspired." Picking up pointers in the art of European-style knitting, visitors craft elegant woolly compositions such as scarves and other cozy accouterments while getting acquainted with the materials and techniques needed to knit their very own memoirs.
In 1995, Michigan Classic Ballet Company achieved honor status–the highest distinction granted–from Regional Dance America, a national association. The recognition was notable enough, but even more remarkably, the company was only six years old at the time. They took their newfound title to heart–since then, under the leadership of founder and artistic director Mary C. Geiger, Michigan Classic Ballet Company has produced lauded performances including The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf, and Swan Lake. From welcoming acclaimed choreographers who produce original works to founding outreach programs for youth, the company lives out its mission to promote an appreciation of ballet in the community.
With more than a dozen years of pottery under her belt, Jamie Moorehead has squished her fair share of clay. She draws on this experience at her own studio, Super Awesome Cool Pottery, where she teaches kids to form shapes, mold, and paint decorative objects. Likewise, couples can drop in during date night to learn the art of wheel-throwing and how to recreate scenes from Ghost. The studio is also open to visitors after school or on weekends, when they can pick out pre-made ceramic bisques to glaze and decorate with provided brushes.
Serenity Now Yoga centers anxious minds and forges substantial mind-body connections for students of all skill levels during yoga classes in a variety of modalities. Sprinkled throughout the studio's weekly schedule, gentle beginners sessions banish stressful thoughts and recurring nightmares by giving patient instructors the opportunity to introduce fundamental poses at a slower pace while imparting invaluable deep-breathing techniques. The Vinyasa Flow class challenges experienced students with sequences of vigorously transitioning poses that occasionally incorporate headstands, handstands, and kickstands, honing the unwavering focus needed to maintain balance during a staring competition. To ease withheld tension in the body's canvas of connective tissues, the Yin Yoga class loosens tightly spooled muscles and opens inflexible joints with deep stretches and mindful breathing.
Born deaf and three months premature, Jordan Levin didn't hit the ground running. He had to work at it. After teaching himself to talk and read lips, he knew he could scamper toward any goal he chose. Now, this certified personal trainer and his wife, Hillary, propel others toward pride and achievement at their gym, CrossFit Bloomfield. During group workouts filled with weightlifting drills and gymnastics moves, clients morph into teammates who cheer one another toward personal bests. Cardio challenges such as rowing and running raise heart rates to increase endurance, and bodyweight exercises such as burpees and pull-ups build cores as stable as a barium isotope after years of psychotherapy. In addition to scaling the workouts to a variety of fitness levels, the Levins tailor programs to the needs of kids, first responders, and exercisers who are overweight or disabled. Clients can zero in on their goals in personal training sessions, in which a certified coach helps them hone their form and hurdle any obstacles hindering their success.
In the 1965, Dr. Harold Furlong approached the town of Pontiac about creating a space where children could see, make, and learn about art. Nearly 50 years later, the Pontiac Creative Arts Center has stayed true to this original mission. Behind the Creative Arts Center's stone archway lies a variety of classrooms where seasoned faculty members create a relaxed environment that encourages free expression during classes in topics as diverse as ceramics, glass-blowing, and acting. Exhibition galleries feature year-round and rotating exhibits by local and national artists. In the past, these have highlighted quilts and paintings, vintage photographs, and exhibits highlighting art by African American or Latino artists. In addition to holding on-site arts education programs and special events, the non-profit organization also sends its instructors to local schools to teach classes and give performances.