Class Action Listings

theater and performing arts

If you long to have a better excuse to wear taffeta and flesh-colored lace or to respond more empathetically to the action on Dancing With the Stars, you might consider ballroom-dancing instruction at DanceSport, a sizable studio in the shadow of the Empire State Building. Students can aspire to excellence in such courses as Swing/Lindy Hop, Mambo/Salsa, Samba, Waltz, Foxtrot, and International Cha Cha.

If beautiful surroundings can influence aesthetic skill, then students at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music should have a distinct advantage. The school is housed in a gorgeous corner mansion—russet and stately. Inside, there's private and group instruction in voice and all manner of instruments. Adults can continue their musical education with courses in ear training, theory, and classical and jazz forms.

"Acting," said Lee Strasberg, "is the most personal of our crafts. The makeup of a human being—his physical, mental, and emotional habits—influences his acting." If you'd like to start getting personal, you might enroll in a four-day intensive workshop in "The Method" at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, where you'll learn Strasberg's acting theories, while using such exercises as "relaxation, sense memory, emotional memory, [and] overall sensations." Robert Hallak, who studied under Strasberg, leads the intensives.


Lycanthropes need not apply, but those of us with nothing to fear from a little lunar action should head to the Universal Force Healing Center for their Full Moon Rituals: "Join us as we let go of negative patterns, send healing to places in need, and open ourselves to receive Divine Love." This winter's rituals include Ritual for Divine Communication, Love Relationships Ritual, Divine Illumination Ritual, and Ritual for Wisdom and Mastering the Mind.

New York's largest yoga studio—and possibly its prettiest—Hong Kong import Pure Yoga boasts 19 types of yoga (as well as classes in strength training and Bollywood-style dance) in its 20,000 square feet on the Upper East Side. A tea lounge and a boutique are also featured. In addition to 85 weekly classes, special programs this winter include Be Free, Flow + Fly Weekend, Kundalini Workshops, and Tending the Fire: The Art of Living Yoga Sadhana.

Perhaps you're an accomplished aesthetician who would like to add some Eastern arts to your beauty arsenal, or a DIY spa girl who wants a complexion as glowing as a Hindi film star's. You might consider the spa training at the Bioticare Holistic Center in Greenwich Village. The center offers training in ayurvedic skincare (including Basic Ayurvedic Facial, Collagen Facial, and Detox Facial) and ayurvedic bodycare (including Shirodhara, Abhayanga, Ayurvedic clay/mud therapy, and Potli Swedhan).


Recessionistas, unite! If you're afraid you may no longer have the bank account to splurge on gorgeous knitwear, you might consider making your own. The teachers at Gotta Knit suggest that they can "turn your scarf, mitten, hat, poncho, sweater fantasy into a reality!" (We don't know if we've ever had a poncho fantasy, but that's another story.) On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, this store offers classes in knitting and crocheting.

Elissa K. Meyrich is not trying to string you along. The teacher, designer, and author of Sewing Secrets From the Fashion Industry and Sew Fast, So Easy: All You Need to Know When You Start to Sew promises that she can teach you to make your own tote bag, leather clutch, girlfriend skirt, and even lacy intimates in 10 sessions or fewer. Sew Fast Sew Easy supplies the sewing machines; you supply the flair. Their Beginning Sewing class, now in its 15th year, is considered the best in the city.


Apparently, there are eight million stories in the Naked City. Perhaps you'd like to tell some of them. Cooper Union, which runs the oldest adult-education program in the country, offers a weekly writing workshop called Writing New York Stories. Led by Steve Zeitlin, who runs the City Lore project, students "write about their favorite urban legends, local characters, subway stories, childhood games, vanishing occupations or endangered spaces," moving from class exercises to finished stories and essays.

Writers who already have a novel—or several—moldering in a desk drawer or on a hard drive may want to attend NYC Pitch and Shop, running December 11 through 14. A collaboration between the New York Writers Workshop and Algonkian Writer Conferences, Pitch and Shop sends writers to workshops to polish and package their manuscripts, then introduces them to acquisitions editors from major publishers. The organizers estimate that one out of three attendees sparks some interest from editors.


Perhaps you don't have the genius—or the psychosis—to become the next Henry Darger, Adolf Wölfi, or Martin Ramírez. But you can get the inside track on outsider art, and folk art generally, with courses at the American Folk Art Museum. Winter courses include studies in 20th-Century Art, Religious Folk Art, and special topics in the Painted Surface, Latin American Folk Art, and European Expression: Folk, Naïve, Art Brut, Outsider.

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