Using the experiences gained during years as a professional racecar driver and builder, Competition101 Racing School founder Stuart Lycett trains the next generation of podium finishers during one-on-one racing lessons. Whether behind the wheel of stock cars, Trans Am T2 sports cars, sprint cars, or open-wheel cars, pupils soak in on-track experience on dirt tracks, short ovals, speedways, or road circuits while radios and on-board video cameras record every turn for scrutiny during future feedback sessions.
In addition to their introductory class, instructors also offer one-, two-, and three-day school programs. After the three-day program, studious speedsters may complete their training by competing in a sanctioned race event in front of paying spectators and a real checkered flag. Stuart and his crew also welcome interns willing to work for six months in exchange for a free three-day racing school program.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
Whether wielding a high-powered DSLR or craftily snapping shots with a smartphone, the student-tourists of InFocus Tampa Photo Tours learn how to make the most of their cameras while visiting iconic locales around the city. Groups trek across Tampa on foot, listening to guides share historical facts about sites including the Tampa Theatre, Plant Hall, and the Riverwalk. Along the way, the guide-instructor will touch on such shot-snapping topics as depth of field and the Rules of Thirds, which states that the subject of a picture should be evenly chopped into three pieces for maximum effect. Students can try out their new knowledge as they walk; eye-catching architecture, public artwork, and verdant greenery becomes the subject and backdrop of memorable photos.
Party Artsy specializes in two media: paint and wine. Participants in their casual art events come to local restaurants for pop-up classes or privately scheduled parties, receiving discounted appetizers and a complimentary glass of wine to fuel their creativity. Party Artsy provides all the equipment—including brushes, easels, paints, and Picasso's flashcards from his finger-painting class—as well as an instructor who helps students adorn canvases with one of dozens of available images.
The instructors at Casino Salsa Tampa specialize in Cuban salsa, a style of salsa dancing that traces its roots to 1950s Havana. In the dance, participants express passion and explore different rhythms while moving to up-tempo salsa songs. Classes at Casino Salsa Tampa begin with the basics and work up to more intricate turning patterns.
At The Soap Factory, enthusiastic soap makers transform a handful of natural ingredients into more than 70 varieties of soap, each laced with skin-friendly ingredients and decorated with colorful stamps or elaborate carvings. During soap-making workshops, enthused, skilled instructors lead students through the essentials of crafting sudsers, including selecting a base such as natural goat's milk or glycerin. Then novices can belly up to the soap bar to mix and match a huge variety of dirt-baiting fragrances, such as plumeria, lavender, lime, or patchouli. Shop owner Dina Good creates her soaps with myriad patterns and themes, such as Berry Berry Swirl’s pastry-like flourishes or the Tie Dye bar’s whimsical splashes of color, and invites burgeoning designers to craft their own bars with their choice of embellishment, such as bright flowers, colorful polka dots, or detailed replicas of the Sistine Chapel. After class, duos can browse the massive array of intricately designed, handcrafted block soaps displayed on sawhorse tables, and pick a slice for each to take home for soothing sudsings. The shop balances utilitarian workshop décor with chic touches, such as a gray sofa atop a bright rug, potted orchids, and a bold-pink accent wall.