By Alexis Soloski
By Molly Grogan
By R. C. Baker
By Christian Viveros-Fauné
By Alexis Soloski
By Alexis Soloski
By Lilly Lampe
Have rhinoceros hooves but still want to be a ballerina? Zena Rommett Floor-Barre Technique requires no slippersno standing, for that matter. The muscle-lengthening technique is conducted almost entirely on the floor. Rommett teaches classes at all levels at Steps (212-874-2410, stepsnyc.com), Ballet Arts (212-582-3350), and Dance Space (212-625-8369, dancespace.com). For getting a workout while remaining stationary, it's better than Pilates. Rachel Aviv
The Gotham Writers' Workshop (212-974-8377, writing-classes.com) offers a one-day intensive screenwriting workshop that might be the first step to Oscar gold. Even if you're not looking for a Golden Globe, there's always the chance of reliving the Robert McKee scenes from Adaptation. The workshop runs from noon to 7 p.m. on August 8 (a 10-week version is also available). Cost: $125 plus a $25 registration fee.
NYU(212-998-7200, scps.nyu.edu) offers a class for those who would rather write about films than write them, as William Wolf continues his Movie Previews course, with screenings of upcoming releases (last year's slate included Girl With a Pearl Earring and 21 Grams). It meets every Saturday from October 23 through December 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost: $195.
With our attention focused on the Middle East, we forget that there is an entire segment of the world in just as much jeopardy and turmoil as the deserts of Iraq. NYU's (212-998-7200, scps.nyu.edu) fall course entitled "Crises Across Asia" explores the political and economic links that have enabled nuclear proliferation, terrorist activity, and other crises in this region.
The Arab-Israeli conflict: Though we have some of our brightest minds working on the issue, it seems impossible to resolve. Columbia's (212-854-9699, columbia.edu) fall course "From Herzl to Hamas: The Arab-Israeli Conflict in Its Historical Context" takes a look at this divisive topic. Students refer to both primary and secondary source materials, as well as fiction, to help unravel this tangled web.
Money makes the world go roundand you can barely balance your checkbook. You clearly need a crash course in world economics, so turn to NYU's (212-998-7200, scps.nyu.edu) "Introduction to International Business and Finance." In addition to learning about the international monetary system and exchange rates, you'll find out just how those complicated principles affect foreign trade. Remember: If an entire nation can develop a financial plan, so can you. Elizabeth Lawler
We may live in the freedom fries/toast era, but French is still the language of diplomacyit will always be très chic. Baruch College (646-312-5000, caps.baruch.cuny.edu) offers a 14-session immersion course starting August 18, with the stated goal of helping those "travel to a foreign country" (a/k/a those who want to order a café au lait with a minimum of humiliation).
Get back to your linguistic roots with an old-school Latin class at Columbia. The classics department offers elementary Latin for students who don't know their genitive from their accusative. Get up to speed with this intensive study of grammar and reading of simple prose and poetry (212-854-9699, columbia.edu). Classes start September 7 and run through the fall.
Learn a language without saying a word. Baby Fingers (212-874-5978, mybabyfingers.com) seeks to build communication between parents and deaf, hard-of-hearing, and even hearing children by teaching ASL through song. In the "Mommy & Me" sign language and music course, babies, toddlers, and their caregivers will develop their vocabulary and have some tuneful fun along the way. Fall sessions start after September 20. Elizabeth Lawler
Wanna be a jukebox hero? It's going to take more than one guitar . . . lesson, that is. Don't fret: The New York City Guitar School(646-485-7244, nycguitarschool.com) has the remedy. With a variety of instructional courses, NYCGS will have you rocking out. Start looking for that beat-up six string, and you'll be well on your way.
You're not a kid anymore, and maybe it's time to take another crack at those piano lessons that Mom and Dad were always bugging you to practice for. The Piano School of NYC (212-386-2274, pianoschoolofnyc.com) is just the place for you to conjure up all of those memories buried deep within your unconscious.
Dust off your larynx, and get ready to belt out some tunes. The Kaufman Center's Lucy Moses School (212-501-3360, kaufman-center.org) will help you train your voice to be as angelic as it should be. You'll learn proper breathing techniques along with vocal exercises, and discover the inner muse that's been dying to come out all of these years. Jonathan Scott
The Central Park Conservancy (212-772-0210, centralparknyc.org) has a program dedicated to helping New Yorkers learn about the animals and plants cohabiting the island with them. The free, hands-on exhibit is coupled with kits on bird-watching in the Central Park woodlands. The exhibit is open from 10 to 5 at the Belvedere Castle (79th Street Transverse Road).