Linda Wehrli has raw talent. Since age 5, she has re-created her world through drawings and paintings and has channeled her sense of self-expression through playing the piano, abilities that led her to study formally with instructors from Juliard and Cal State Northridge. Now, with her works hanging in private collections, Linda passes on her knowledge to students at Pastimes for a Lifetime.
She teaches students of all skill levels and ages—6-year-olds to seniors—to hone their creativity into life-like or abstract drawings and paintings. Her classes aim to build a foundation of aptitude in one particular medium, such as drawing with pen or charcoal or painting with oils or acrylics—and the necessary supplies can all be purchased at the on-site art shop.
Tapping into her musical talents, she also helms piano lessons, teaching students to read and play music. Her confidence-building approach helps beginners and advanced players alike become better musicians, and inspires those once spurned by a piano that wouldn't settle down to become reacquainted with their abilities. To further their studies, pianists can go home with a book she co-published with her husband.
Flashback to the 1990s, and there’s a good chance of finding one of two items in nearly any household: a Furby and a Billy Blanks Tae Bo tape. While the talking pet’s popularity may have diminished before the new millennium, Tae Bo still holds a predominant market in the fitness world. Inside group-fitness mecca Its All U Fitness, Kanika Brock—once an apprentice of Billy Blanks—pumps up heart rates with the fast-paced martial-arts-inspired cardio workout. And she’s not the only Tae Bo expert calling the kicks and punches; the founding father himself stops in on the occasional Sunday to lead classes and demonstrate how he can open a pickle jar with his fist.
Of course, uppercuts and jabs aren’t for everyone, so Its All U offers a few other group classes, including Zumba—led by native Cuban Danny—and Barre Control—which evokes raw athleticism with challenging ballet-inspired moves—taught by Michelle. Perhaps the most unique instructor is Maxi B. When she isn’t cooking healthful meals as a professional chef, the Workout Naughty Style enthusiast is showing pupils how to combine classic jazz with sultry burlesque and tactics for sneaking in past curfew.
As a practitioner of the Aveda arts, Kriza Aveda Salon Spa stocks its shelves, cosmetic counters, and salon stations with natural, botanical serums and salves. To pamper clients, the staff peppers each service with luxurious flair—stylists treat guests to a head, neck, shoulder, and hand massage with every haircut, before touching up makeup for ladies. Between appointments, they’ll even trim up bangs to keep cuts stylish or keep head hair from weaving itself into eyelashes. In addition to applying makeup for brides or for special occasions, makeup artists also consult with clients to teach them how to enhance their features and pick the shades that suit their particular skin tone during lessons. Plant-based facials leave skin radiant, diminish wrinkles, or address acne. In every location, the decor mirrors the commitment to naturalism with a light, airy feel, characterized by mostly white walls and plenty of mirrors and glass.
At Drybar, a pair of scissors or hair-coloring foil is nowhere to be found. That’s because the business’s founder, Alli Webb, opened the shop strictly for blowouts after her in-home business skyrocketed. Featured extensively in the media, each of the more than 25 white-hued, airy shops revolves around a center bar where customers sit for around 45 minutes as stylists blow-dry, straighten, and curl their hair. From a menu booklet, clients select a cocktail-themed hairstyle, such as The Mai Tai, which imparts beachy waves, and The Manhattan, which streamlines locks with a sleek finish that mimics the straight lines of downtown New York and can be outfitted with a tiny doorman who hails cabs for you. The staff at Drybar also crafts updos, travels on location for an additional fee, offers high-end products and tools available for purchase, and tallies bar tabs so that customers can pay for multiple blowouts at once.
Balanced Bodyworks LA caters to active clients of all types—yogis, runners, cyclists, dancers—but they have one singular goal: to increase performance. Whether clients are recovering from an injury, prepping for a marathon, or learning how to buckle a heavyweight championship belt, the staff here uses sports and medical massage to instill in their clients the physical aptitude necessary to compete and succeed.
The certified therapists target pain and spur injury recovery with orthopedic sports massages, which use techniques such as manipulation and soft tissue movement to improves range of motion and overall performance. They also perform medical and therapeutic massage, each one its own unique brand of restorative bodywork. Balanced Bodyworks LA is also affiliated with acupuncturists, fitness instructors, and healing practitioners, all qualified and intent on further helping athletes prepare for their passions.
A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.