Wendy O’ Lenic, of Wendy Fit, began her professional dance career in 1979 with a Vegas dance review. Over the years, her passion for movement evolved and found a new life in yoga. Her curriculum covers various disciplines including yoga, Pilates, and meditation. Within the earth-green walls of her studio, Wendy and her staff lead students through group classes, private and semiprivate personal training sessions, and specialty courses such as ballet core and kettlebell. Once annually, the studio co-sponsors a yoga cruise so that students can practice their moves in fresh air and catch views of dolphins doing planks.
The talented instructors at Simply Art Studios guide groups step-by-step through the creation of many types of art projects, including paintings, jewelry, and floral designs. The studio supplies all required items and tools. They also let groups bring along wine and snacks.
Software guru Dave Cross, a 2009 inductee in the Photoshop Hall of Fame, has been sharing his picture-manipulating wisdom with thousands of students since 1987, leading seminars on popular computer programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. In just the past 12 years, Cross has traveled to every state in the United States to teach the ins and outs of Photoshop, and he continues to run digital-photography and image-editing workshops at Studio 3 in Oldsmar. He has taught hundreds of students how to get their cameras out of automatic mode and to take better photographs. A man who wears many hats, Cross is also the lead instructor for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, a co-host of a web-based show called Photoshop User TV, and the voice behind a weekly podcast known as “Ask Dave,” in which he answers user questions about Photoshop and doles out free advice on how to airbrush ghosts out of family portraits.
Perched in wrought-iron chairs at a gleaming marble bar, students and artists sip coffee, sharing inspiration and plans for upcoming projects. Nearby, Tampa Bead Cafe's instructors preside over a range of jewelry-crafting materials, which provide the necessary hardware to follow up on the grand artistic plans under discussion. Beneath the terra cotta–hued walls, shelves brim with beads, metal chains, and wire, as well as less conventional media such as metal clay and polymers.
The staff guides visitors along racks of bracelet and necklace supplies, and exclamations of happiness drift from a classroom, where teachers introduce specific styles, such as kumihimo. Students to use real tools such as pliers, cutters, and magnifiers to intimidate their jewelry into making itself, and most courses end with the creation of piece for pupils to treasure. A roster of guest artists, who have included polymer-clay artist Christi Friesen and Maria Rypan, lead style and material-specific workshops.
Rebecca Wood and Ryan Deichert combine their passions for empowering fitness styles at a studio where students of all skill levels can learn self-defense or relaxation techniques during their workouts. Rebecca began teaching yoga in 1999, creating a signature alignment-based Iyengar-style yoga that she personally teaches to each instructor she employs. Instructors guide students through poses such as bends and inversions, incorporating posture-buoying props and instructional pop-up books when needed to relieve mental and physical tension. Ryan taps into more than 15 years of Brazilian jujitsu training to teach amateur martial artists of all sizes and fitness levels how to safely extricate themselves from dangerous situations or escape from overeager bear hugs.