In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
The experienced instructors at Art Starts Here foster artistic abilities in a gamut of mediums, leading classes that teach new techniques and instill confidence in Picassos of all ages. Supervised kids' classes facilitate budding creative expression and help keep paint blobs out of mouths or Roth IRAs and on paper where they belong. Mommy & Me classes enhance bonds between art, tots, and parents, and a preschool art class helps kids grasp the basics of sculpture, drawing, or painting.
Adult and teen classes are more freeform than the classes for younger humans. Nascent Monets work at their own pace to master a variety of techniques, from acrylics to sculpture, drawing, oil painting, and professional-grade forgery. Art gurus proffer individual assistance and advice throughout each class, nudging technical ability higher, teaching new skills, and sparking inspiration in fertile minds. Sessions help students see unintended strokes not as mistakes, but as creative detours that lead to new avenues of thought or abstract impressionistic landscapes of Reno.
Capturing True Emotion is driven by a dynamic band of instructors who rove across the continent with cameras and teaching skills in hand. By fusing their narrative, tech-savvy minds together into one oversize head, the educators provide comprehensive guidance on both camera operation and creative visualization, giving participants complete control over all of their camera settings. During the hours spent in the company of other pupating shutterbugs, students convene at a tantalizing location to practice skills such as controlling depth of field by adjusting the aperture, composing a family portrait so there's not always a burning zeppelin in the background, using alternative angles to avoid red eye, and other techniques.
Tailored toward recreational students, Las Vegas School of Dance offers grown-up sessions to suit every taste. The fleet-footed dance instructors will release the dance-floor master within you through patience, clear instructions, and encouraging personal support. Class size is intimate, allowing ample attention and preventing feelings of embarrassment or inadequacy that can come from overstuffed boxes of flailing limbs. Dancing is a real workout, and even more so, it's a fun way to erase the self-consciousness that holds back the hypnotic moves your world deserves to see and worship.
The minds behind Best Model Talent know how time-consuming it is to break into the entertainment industry, so they gather the latest info on jobs and auditions. That way, the agency's budding models and artists—such as actors, singers, and dancers—have more time to focus on their crafts. Emails and text messages alert talent about upcoming opportunities, and Best Model Talent likewise alerts casting companies, agencies, and producers about their clients via social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. And instead of making soon-to-be stars worry about funds while waiting for their big breaks, the agency helps supplement clients’ incomes with monthly cash-prize contests.