By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
During our student days, there were some classes where it seemed a miracle we passed at all, but the Center for Remembering & Sharing offers a class in miracles themselves. This nondenominational center aims to communicate a "complete self-study spiritual thought system." A sample curriculum: "The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance."
Soho may seem more like the go-to place for shoes than for wellness and insight, but Trimurti, located just above Dean & Deluca, aims to alter that perception. Its weekly Healing Circle, taught by Kay Dougherty and Joseph A. Young each Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m., includes "working with prayer, breath, chanting, sacred sounds, and silent meditations to help open the heart, bring clarity, and promote healing. Once the space has been cleared with the power of love, peace, and light, a shamanic journey will begin." How nice that the neighborhood offers a therapy other than the retail one.
Theater & Performing Arts
What could possibly bring attorneys, advertisers, and salespeople together in the same room? No, not product liability, but rather improv classes of the sort offered by Chicago City Limits. Located in our fair city rather than the windy one, the improv group insists that its acting classes can not only provide onstage fun, but also aid such professionals in their chosen careers by helping develop creativity and quick thinking.
Uta Hagen and her husband Herbert Berghof insisted upon Respect for Acting. While Ms. Hagen and her paramour are no longer around to afford you that respect, the studio that she long served at is. HB Studios, now 63 years old, offers more than 100 courses every term, including tutorials in "acting, voice, musical theater, dance, movement, improv, fencing, writing, and stage combat."
Mama's got a brand-new bag. Or she will after attending the "Build a Bag Workshop" at Flirt Brooklyn in Carroll Gardens. In the course of three hours, even those who have never sewn before will create a cotton tote while learning various stitching skills. Graduates can then work their way up to apron making, hat making, and the creation of the "Flirt Skirt."
If you've cleared off space on your shelf for your National Book Award but don't seem any closer to actually winning it, you might consider classes at the Writers Studio in New York. It boasts among its alumni Jennifer Egan and Martin McPhee, both nominated for the prize, and Walter Mosley, who serves on the studio's board of directors. For the last 21 years, the studio has offered intimate workshops aiding in the development of students' poetry and fiction.
"Poetry," said Shelley, "is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted." But perhaps your mirror could use a bit of polish. You might instill your writing with some rhyme and reason via poetry classes offered at the Gotham Writers' Workshop. The courses concentrate on the creation and development of new poems, while one-day workshops work on particular aspects of the trade, such as imagery, sound, forms, analysis, and that trickiest of skills, getting published.
The Ash Can School of art, with its focus on the gritty and the urban, emerged in the first decade of the 20th century. One hundred years on, the Ashcan Studio in midtown offers courses for the budding artist, helping develop skills in perspective, proportion, composition, and color, and introducing students to media such as oil, acrylic, gouache, charcoal, and those jolly pastel crayons.
Perhaps your flourishing career prevents you from enrolling full-time at the New York Academy of Art, "the first graduate school in the United States devoted exclusively to the study of the human figure." But if you can't bear to leave your acrylics, charcoals, or chisel in your storage unit, you might figure on enrolling in one of the academy's two- to five-day small-group workshops. Recent workshops have included seascape painting, portrait painting, a sculpture marathon, and the anatomy of the horse. Saddle up, hobbyists.
Stop clowning around. Or at least learn how to do it properly. Brooklyn Arts Exchange in Park Slope offers a course in physical comedy for children ages seven to 10. Students will learn how to delight their peers and horrify nearby adults as they show off their newly acquired abilities in miming, pratfalls, and tumbling, "as well as stunts on and around chairs and tables." Let's hope there's sturdy furniture at home. BAX also boasts classes in dance, drama, and music for all kids, from infants to teenagers.
This fall, Billy Elliott, that charming tale of a young lad who escapes his brutal surroundings through the promise of ballet, arrives on Broadway. Likely your boy isn't the son of coal miners suffering in 1980s Britain, but if you nevertheless want him to take up ballet, you might send him to Ballet Academy East. They offer classes for children as young as two years old, progressing to classes for older children and teens. Graduates have danced with a variety of local and national ballet companies.