Class Action Listings

Theater & Performing Arts
Chicago City Limits, a company located near Manhattan’s Theater District, boasts a continuous run of more than 8,500 improv-comedy shows—and its members occasionally break from the hilarity to transmit their skills to others. The tentative can try out a one-day course, while those eager to extemporize extensively can sign up for eight-week sessions. The group also offers select classes in musical improv, helping you to ad-lib more tunefully.

There is a movement afoot to make pole dancing an Olympic sport. In the meantime, would-be Olympians can hone their skills at SHOCKra Studio in the East 20s, which offers weekly pole-dancing classes. Those looking for a more demure way to pay homage to Terpsichore can enroll in the studio’s offerings in ballet, hip-hop, salsa, flamenco, belly dancing, or the very unusual “yoga pole.”

No one knows exactly when fashion began—maybe a chic cavewoman draped her tiger skin just so or did wonders with a mammoth hide. But in recent decades, new trends have cropped up with astonishing speed. Perhaps a class in “Modern Fashion History” at the New York School of Design (conveniently located in the Fashion District) can help you keep miniskirts, maxi-skirts, pantsuits, skirt suits, jumpsuits, car coats, overcoats, and sports coats straight.

If you’re like many a self-employed New Yorker, you spend all day in your pajamas. But you could feel more cheerful about that outfit if you made it yourself. At “Learn to Sew Like a Pro,” sponsored by the Fashion Institute of Technology, students will “learn how to sew and produce correctly finished, professional-looking pieces.” Your first piece: a stylish pajama-style bottom—long, cropped, or capri.

Drop and give me 20 short stories! Every summer, the New School runs a kind of writers’ boot camp, an intensive three-week program designed to whip your literary skills into shape. In addition to attending regular workshops and salon events, students will also attempt experimental writing, children’s writing, and walking poems. Visiting teachers include such luminaries as Darin Strauss, Jonathan Dee, and Nicole Krauss.

“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say,” observed Anaïs Nin, “but what we are unable to say.” The International Women’s Writing Guild was founded in 1976 to aid women in that process, creating a community for mutual support and empowerment. On April 16, the Guild will offer a workshop at National Arts Club in Gramercy Park entitled “Memoir and Metaphor: Illuminating Your Life Through Writing.”

“A drawing,” said Paul Klee, “is simply a line going for a walk.” Why not take that line for a more proficient stroll with a course in drawing at the Pratt Institute? “Drawing I” assists students in visualization and delineation. More advanced courses explore particular studies and processes, all designed to “nurture the development and articulation of individual constructs and personal expression.” Life drawing, anatomical drawing, and illustration are also offered.

For Children & Teens
Much parenting seems to consist of keeping children away from sharp objects, but maybe you’re longing to push your offspring toward some. If so, your kids can get en garde with fencing lessons at Empire United Fencing in Chelsea. With a Saturday youth foil league and weekly day camps, there are many ways to get weapons into their tiny hands. If this isn’t scary enough, the center also hosts birthday parties.

Some scientists believe there will come a time when robots will acquire self-consciousness and rise against their overlords. While we humans still have the upper hand, you can encourage early mastery over technology with kids’ classes at Robofun in the Flatiron District, in which they can prepare to build their own mini-automata. Upcoming courses include “Robotics,” “Game Design,” and “Pre-Robotics” for the littlest engineers, as well as a weekly summer camp beginning June 13.

Food & Drink
Kale frequently tops lists of superfoods—it’s a mighty antioxidant and possibly an anti-inflammatory. Lately, it has also been the inspiration for one of Brooklyn’s newest culinary schools. Park Slope’s Purple Kale Kitchenworks is designed for the urban home cook who operates “creatively and frugally, and often in challenging spaces.” Workshops include “Especially for Parents,” “The Vegetarian Pantry,” and the signature “(Mise en) Place to Plate: Professional Methods for Meals at Home.”

If you have grape expectations—and ample discretionary income—consider a workshop at Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Winery, which will result in a barrel of your very own vintage. Though Brooklyn doesn’t have much in the way of terroir, the company imports grapes and takes students through every step of the wine-making process, from “Barrel Planning” to “Create Your Own Wine Labels.”

Health, Body & Wellness
A meticulously planned community doesn’t necessarily seem like the most relaxing environment, but the builders of Battery Park City thought otherwise. When revitalizing the area in 1962, they declared that 30 percent of the space should serve as playgrounds, gardens, and parks. To make things even more restful, the Battery City Park Conservancy hosts various classes designed to calm local residents. Spring offerings include nine-session series of “Prenatal and Parent” and “Baby Yoga.”

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