At Ridgewood Culinary Studio, small class sizes and a playful, hands-on approach to cooking empower students of all ages to confidently make meals from scratch. In addition to teaching youngsters basic skills such as kitchen safety and how to get out of dishwashing duty, instructors inspire adult gourmands with classes on grilling, barbecuing, and other types of cuisine. Regardless of the class or age group, instructors emphasize mindful eating habits and nutritious recipes. The commercial kitchen also plays host to summer camps, birthday parties, and business-building classes.
Edie Ollwerther grew up a touring dancer, with television and teaching credits to her name. When she married, she took a break—but it wasn't long before neighborhood parents knew of her history in dance. They encouraged her to begin giving lessons to their children, and Edie obliged by transforming her basement into a studio space.
That was in the 1970s. Today, Edie and her fellow instructors—some of whom are former students, now grown—act as the heads of a continually growing family of dancers. Their curriculum encompasses tap, jazz, ballet, and musical theater, as well as vocal coaching and hip-hop routines. Some of their pupils learn to shimmy as a hobby, and others aim to join the competition team, whose performances have taken them to Disney World and aboard a Carnival Cruise ship.
"We are constantly being told how welcoming our studio is," say instructors at Ho-Ho-Kus Yoga, and their pride in this statement informs their entire approach. All the classes are designed to accommodate all levels. Whether the class is Yoga For Every(body) or Yoga Boot Camp, it's clear the focus is on improving one's own practice, rather than competing with others or lugging a treadmill into the studio from home. There are yoga classes for children, whole families, and expectant moms, as well as specialty classes such as Iyengar and candlelight yoga.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Brimming with colorful bolts of fabric, carefully looped skeins of yarn, and rows of sewing provisions, Save A Thon Stores have been supplying New Yorkers with quality crafting necessities since 1973. With fabrics ranging from basic denim to upscale jacquard upholstery cloth from around the world, the shop showcases a range of patterned designs that can be crafted into cozy quilts or a signal to a passing ship that it would have looked better in plaid. Coils of lace ribbons and tubs of colorful beads add a decorative finishing touch to projects, which can be undertaken at home or under the tutelage of the shop's expert crafters during regular sewing classes, while upholstery classes teach students upholstery basics. The teachers are also experts in the Wilton method of cake decorating and can help students artfully embellish cakes and cupcakes with fondant, tiny decorations, and tiny brides and grooms on a dessert destination wedding.
A nonprofit cultural and educational organization, the Art of Motion teaches and presents dance, theater, and vocal music, a mix of entertainment not seen since Shakespeare’s musical about kings and queens dancing to the death. The roster of instructors includes well-known choreographers and dancers who take a professional approach to classes—whether it’s a drop-in class, summer intensive, or yearlong program. They specialize in technique and training. Along with multiple performances by its repertory dance company during the year, the studio hosts semi-private and private lessons. Their spacious studio, furnished with well-equipped bars and floor space for dance and Pilates, also holds training programs for children and adults.