At Couples Massage Class, couples follow the expert direction of instructors Ken and Michael, both of whom began their massage careers in the early 1990s. Through hands-on practice, Ken and Michael share with kneading protégés simple, yet effective techniques for satisfying their partners. Similarly, a newly added couples pregnancy class teaches expectant partners how to comfort and ease the stress of moms-in-the-making.
Chi Chi Randolph has choreographed routines for hip-hop artists including Nelly and the Black Eyed Peas. Kari Lehman has 15 years of ballet training experience. Viviane Bressan turned her love of belly dance into a career, traversing the globe while teaching and performing the ancient art. At Dance Austin Studio, these three number among more than a dozen dance instructors whose dazzlingly diverse backgrounds enable an array of classes for everyone from preschoolers to grownups and fitness buffs to serious students of dance.
Zumba combines fast-paced cardio choreography with dynamic Latin rhythms, and the 18-and-older Sexy Stiletto Fit class uses high heels to tone calves and build confidence. Students can choose to learn fundamental positions, steps, and vocabulary during structured ballet, lyrical, and jazz programs, or they can develop video-ready swagger during hip-hop classes. The studio’s sense of fun occasionally spills out into the community—it recently teamed up with the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to spark a flash mob at city hall, held to raise awareness of emergency preparedness and help officials practice what to do if invaded by dancing aliens.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
National Bartenders School bestows budding cocktail crafters with serving savvy, a rarefied repertoire of potables, and industry connections for future employment. The 40-hour-equivalent libation lesson encompasses each essential element of beverage management—from money handling to mixology—and teaches beginner bartenders more than 200 saucy cocktails and advanced barfly-swatting techniques. Amateur amaretto slingers can complete the bartending course in one week (eight-hour classes Monday–Friday), two weeks (four-hour classes Monday–Friday), or during multiple Saturday sessions (at the Hollywood location only, if students are unable to attend weekday classes).
Geared toward kids aged 10 and under, the Z Arts & Music Festival gets creative juices pumping, and like Christmas, birthdays, and agreements between siblings, it only happens once a year. During a full day of fun and games, families and children of the Z Generation uncork their talents during activities designed to inspire well-rounded development of the world's future leaders.
In one area, miniature musicians spin records like a DJ and belt out notes during karaoke. Nearby, sharp-eyed shutterbugs make flashbulbs pop while learning all about photography. Further exploration of artistic flair unfolds at drawing stations, and balloon creations and face paintings send youngsters home with more than just a bolstered resumé to show for their day's work.
Kids Artistic Sense cultivates tykes’ creative confidence and cognitive development with kid-friendly forays into clay molding, painting, and other arts and crafts. Parent and child can tap into their inner Michelangelos together in mom- or dad-accompanied classes for fledgling tots, while older kids can mold and paint pinch pots, vases, and other clay creations in kids-only sessions. Instructors keep enthusiasm high by focusing on the fun of the creative process—rather than stressing the need for a finished product—and blending arts and crafts with open play time in the gym.