It's Wednesday night. As workers across the city face the prospect of another hum-drum commute, a select few make their way to corner of Allen and Casa Grande. There, instead of enduring the scenes of gridlock, these students of movement immerse themselves in the sounds and steps of Latin America. They're met by Lumina Academy's seasoned instructors, who've created a salsa curriculum that leads small groups through basic steps to advanced, performance-ready moves, all with an emphasis on salsa as a social dance.
Whether they come with or without a partner, students of all experience levels gain familiarity and skill during small group sessions before showing off their newly acquired moves at parties. Classes emphasize lead-and-follow techniques, with instructors encouraging students to rotate partners so they can practice with various statures, skill levels, and numbers of feet.
In addition to salsa, the school specializes in other dance styles ranging from stately flamenco to hypnotic belly-dancing. To complement the grace and rhythm of their dance classes, instructors also offer exercise-based classes such as yoga and hip-hop boot camp, which combines sweat-inducing moves with invigorating music.
French-born writer and school director Caroline fills teaching positions at La Petite Ecole Française with only native French speakers. That way, students will be guided through grammar, vocabulary, and conversational styles as they're currently used in Francophone countries, rather than relying on the potentially outdated info available from textbooks or someone who's just watched Children of Paradise several times. A wide range of programs helps bilingual students stay in touch with their French side and introduces adult learners to solid fundamentals. Special events deepen cultural awareness with movie screenings and art-exhibit visits.
Classes at Creative World Art School don't simply teach the skills of painting, sketching, and sculpting. Instead, the non-profit's instructors encourage children and teens to view each project as an exercise in critical thinking and self-expression. This emphasis on enrichment above all else helps students develop a sense of curiosity and creativity that can help kids succeed outside of the studio as well. To accomplish this, the teachers lead age-appropriate programs that utilize both traditional and contemporary media—everything from drawing and book-binding to digital computer animation and e-book-binding.
Every child is different, and requires different approaches and techniques to help them learn most effectively. Instead of jumping into the curriculum with a predetermined syllabus—an approach that may not have been working in the classroom—Arcadia Education Center evaluates each student and tailors tutoring techniques to make sure each youngster reaches his or her academic potential. With time and effort, the tutors can help children catch up with or even surpass their classmates in subjects such as math, reading, art, and even writing the all-important college-admission essays.
Break Into TV equips aspiring television personalities, including news anchors, meteorologists, and television hosts, with the skills necessary to become top-notch broadcast talent. During the weekend or month-long course, students can hone their on-screen personas under the attentive tutelage of AMS-sealed meteorologist, TV host, and news reporter Jonathan Novack. Intensive weekend courses pack two days chock-full of training in teleprompter reading, voice delivery, live reporting, and interviewing skills, imparting essential skills such as which questions not to ask during color pieces featuring water-skiing squirrels. During the two-day course, students also work under the watchful eye of the pros to construct a submission-quality 60-second demo reel.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning’s numerous centers design personalized programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. Afterschool or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students wow college-admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.