Cindy Ross was an unlikely person to found a scuba-diving school. Told by a commercial diving instructor at 19 that she was too small to scuba, Ross didn?t begin to explore the sport until she was in her 30s. Earning certification was a trial, and she spent her first four dives lugging 80-pound gear in the snow up and down a massive hill?and, adding insult to injury, the men?s equipment didn?t even fit properly. But the fifth dive changed everything. Held in Puget Sound, Ross felt a calling to the location's green waters and white anemones, and since then, the aquanaut has frolicked with such neighbors as a 1,200-pound sea lion, hundreds of Canadian seals, and a giant Pacific octopus.
At Scuba Shoppe, Ross and her team of instructors immerse guests of all ages in the sport of scuba. Try Scuba classes held in the center's 84-degree pool familiarize students with their equipment before they plunge into the water to practice. Alternatively, an open-water certification program from Scuba Schools International expounds on these pool sessions with shore dives in the rolling waters of Puget Sound, which let students hone their skills in a more realistic environment or find a dolphin pod to adopt them. As part of this training, they also have the chance to explore the briny depths aboard underwater scooters. For the more advanced,, Scuba Shoppe provides training for specialty certifications, including rescue diving, night diving, and underwater digital photography. An onsite dive shop outfits customers with all the necessary dive gear and accessories.
In business for 22 years, Cook's World Cooking School infuses aspiring epicureans with cooking expertise in an appetizing assortment of hands-on classes. During each one-night class, a rotating cast of skilled and professionally-trained local chefs guide students through the basics of a specific type of cuisine, cooking skill, or saucepan percussion technique. Go Italian in a doughy pizza-making and throwing class, create sophisticated small plates of flavor-packed treats in the spanish tapas course, or slather on new skills in a barbecue class, in which students learn to tame the wild elemental forces of fire, smoke, and tangy sauce.
Classes run for three hours each with 15 or fewer students, ensuring ample time for participation and one-on-one guidance. All class sessions are held in Cook's World's well-equipped culinary studio, which houses a cornucopia of professional cooking equipment and a carpet woven from retired chefs’ hats.
This Lake City glass art studio school multitasks and then some. Owner Richard Heath, who holds a Tiffany historical restoration certificate, operates The Glassique School of Fine Glass Artistry at the facility. The school has classes on stained, leaded, foiled, mosaic and fused glass art, and attracts nearly 2,000 students a year, each eager to learn interesting and effective techniques inside the workshops and showcase studios that make up Glassique. Interested parties can sign up for glass art birthday and bachelorette parties at the studio, which provide a learning and creative tint to the festive affairs. Mainstay artists at the workshop create fine art glass pieces by custom order, using a variety of classic techniques for stained, beveled, fused, carved and slumped glass. The results are predictably stunning, which helps to spread the word about Glassique and owner Richard Heath.
Since the 1950s, the Seattle University Athletics program has been all over the collegiate athletic landscape, leaving their post as a vaunted member of the NCAA Div. I for the NAIA in the 1970s, where they stayed until the fall of 2002, when they entered the NCAA Div. II. Though the school’s history chronicles periods of turbulence, it also encompasses a laundry list of indelible athletes; basketball Hall of Fame inductee Elgin Baylor led the Redhawks to an NCAA Championship game in 1958, and tennis star Tom Gorman was twice selected as an NCAA All-American, paving the way to a pro career in which he attained a top-10 worldwide ranking. In its relatively brief time in the NCAA Div. II, the Redhawks have won two NCAA titles in men’s swimming and one men’s soccer championship, for which the team was awarded rights to the Seattle Space Needle.
With a mastery of acrylics and a particular passion for both natural and urban settings, Painting on the Vine owner Stani Meredith creates her own inimitable magnum opuses and encourages her students to do the same, regardless of their artistic skills. She strives to establish an atmosphere of fun and relaxation, in which her pupils can unleash their creativity while painting sweeping portraits of multihued birds, lush blooms, or how the boss’s house would look covered in toilet paper and justice. Along with the help of local artists, Stani lends her expertise during corporate events or private parties.
When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.