The instructors of Minnesota Music Factory promise they don't want any of their students to spend hours just practicing boring, monotonous chords. Instead, they want to make music engaging and fun—while fully acknowledging that no beginner is going to pick up a guitar and instantly transform into rockstar, which, everyone knows takes at least two private lessons to accomplish. Specializing in lessons for beginners, the music instructors help students learn a simplified version of their favorite song on their very first lesson, a technique that helps students get excited about playing and realize the possibilities if they just apply patience and practice.
It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. No one knows this better than the DeSchane sisters, whose hobby of making over old furniture eventually became a thriving business. They started their company in 2010, and since then, they've breathed new life into countless cabinets, bookcases, credenzas, vanities, and of course, tables.
The sisters' painting techniques are about as wide-ranging as the color spectrum—they can do an all-over coat of bold color on a bookshelf, apply a distressed finish to an antique desk, or revitalize dated kitchen cabinets with a fresh color. And they're willing the share the tricks of their trade—the sisters lead two-hour group classes that cover all the furniture-painting basics, including how to wield a paintbrush with your toes.
Basketball may be a team sport, but the coaches at Minnesota Developmental Basketball know that mastering the game takes individual attention. Since 1993, they've shaped more than 35,000 athletes—including players who’ve gone on to play on Division I teams and even professionally in the NBA D-League. Led by Kevin Kelley, who served as assistant men’s basketball coach at Winona State University, the staff imparts their wisdom to young players of all experience levels. They help them with everything from developing fundamentals to boosting their vertical leap without the aid of jet-pack shoes. Here are a few of the services they offer:
Private lessons for individuals, groups of up to four, or even entire teams
Strength, speed, and vertical-training workouts to boost athletic performance, reduce injury, and increase confidence
Summer mini-camps, in which they help athletes perfect specific skills, such as sinking shots, handling the ball, or mastering point-guard tactics.
Along one wall at Kiln Kreations are floor to ceiling shelves filled with over 1,000 pieces of ceramic bisque ready to paint. Painters are able to customize their pieces
by choosing from the rainbow of available colors and various tools, such as brushes, sponges, and other equipment for daubing before sending their masterpiece to be glazed and fired. In addition to pottery painting, the studio also offers canvas-painting, mosaic-making, glass-fusing, and parties for all ages and occasions.
Artist Mai O'Brion often greets visitors to her gallery with a mug of tea—and then immediately engages them in conversation. Over intermittent sips, she tells them that she and a few fellow artists once dreamed of a different, welcoming kind of gallery and artist collective. They soon banded together to found Chaos Art Gallery & Studio, reaffirming their commitment to showcasing accessible exhibits from local and international artists and mentoring members and students alike.
Inside the studio, Mai and other artists teach several painting classes for groups and individuals. Their most popular offerings are the two-hour BYOB Creative Painting Classes, which invite groups of students to paint one of several chosen subjects, or inspire them to create their own works. Over BYOB classes, students soak in direction as instructors share tips to the group and give one-on-one attention to individuals. Instructors also lead a five-week Art Intensive course, which starts students off with a black-and-white composition drawing and builds their technique until they can complete a painting from a live model.
More than 25 years ago, Marcy McHenry founded the Dancers Studio to put her 30 years of dance experience to good use. The studio’s three ballrooms spread out over 6,500 square feet of arm-flinging, leg-kicking room. Upon the shiny, lacquered hardwood, a staff of trained instructors guides students of all skill levels through ballroom, Latin, social, and special-event dance routines. During group lessons, the instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where their pupils can thrive in styles such as the tango and west coast swing. In private lessons students can fine-tune techniques or learn extra-challenging new steps during one-on-one time with an instructor. Those looking to show off their new moves can get down on Thursday evenings when the studio's DJ Topher spins a variety of tunes for pupils to kick their heels up to for an hour.
The studio also encourages dancers to maintain healthy physiques in Pilates, Zumba, and yoga classes. Clients can sculpt long, lean muscles and strong cores in a Pilates session, or get heart rates thumping in Zumba classes that play energetic Latin tunes.