Harnessing yourself to a rope and rappelling into a canyon is challenging enough--but what if on the way down, you run into a waterfall? Since 1999, ATS AdventureWorks has prepared students for exactly this type of outdoor challenge, with courses in canyoneering, mountaineering, and rock climbing. Adventurers can also try their hand at these vertical sports on the company's indoor ropes courses, or on guided trips to rock formations and climbable celebrity homes throughout Southern California. The company's veteran team oversees every outing and class, keeping novices safe and sharing tips on gear and safety. And even when they're not working with students, they're navigating rough terrain and setting up specialty TV rigging for shows such The Amazing Race, The Bachelor, and The Biggest Loser.
For more than 15 years, Marshall Canyon Equestrian Center has welcomed horse enthusiasts for riding lessons and gallops across its sylvan expanse. Guided trail rides require no previous horseback experience, leading as many as 10 riders to witness area wildlife, rumble past clear babbling streams, and admire flowers left by spurned centaur lovers. The center’s instructors, Jennifer and Donna, lead lessons in the riding disciplines of Western and English, specializing in teaching new riders proper horsemanship essentials in the well-lit arena. Marshall Canyon also boards horses in fully covered 16’x16’ stalls, where they enjoy daily cleaning and healthy portions of alfalfa.
A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
After a course at Village Kitchen, accomplished chefs will inch closer to pro status, while those who've chopped more fingers than potatoes will have their clumsiness exorcised thanks to patient instruction from Village's enlightened gurus of all things edible. Classes are held every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (the classes are also offered one Wednesday a month at 6 p.m.), while the theme varies from week to week. On April 10, learn to master the pressure cooker to easily turn out incredible delights like coq au vin with button mushrooms, or discover the joys of the spring harvest on April 24 with a complete tutorial in a four-course seasonal feast with salmon medallions, baked gnocchi, and cherry-chocolate gelato. On May 8, harness the subtle power of Indian spices to create tandoori shrimp, curried salmon with cinnamon rice and golden raisins, and warm rice pudding; or craft the perfect wine appetizers (you'll make five), like scallop ceviche with melon and red-onion asparagus quesadillas, on May 22. You'll eat everything you make and get a beverage, so no one escapes hungry. Classes are limited to 18 people, so when you find the apple class of your human eye, call to schedule before it fills up.
La Sole's International Performing Arts Academy's instructors educate graceful gallopers and ham-footed hoofers alike in the Spanish and Middle Eastern dance traditions. Owner Yvetta Garcia "La Sole," an award-winning dancer, instructor, and choreographer hailing from Andalusía, Spain, oversees a plethora of paw-popping classes. Fine-tune rhythmic hand-clapping, dramatic skirt-twirling, and non-lewd shadow-puppeteering with a flamenco class or brush up on posture, technique, and castanet skills in the Castanets & Classical class, which combines instrumental instruction with classic Spanish choreography. Check La Sole's schedule for a current list of classes.