Theater and Performing Arts

If you're hoping to make a theatrical splash but aren't sure how to get your feet wet, consider the two-day intensive workshop, "Starting a Theater Company: The Basics," offered by the Off-Broadway company Primary Stages. On April 14 and 15, artistic director Casey Childs will instruct students in matters such as "defining a mission, creating a budget, building a staff and board, committing to a space, establishing 501(c)(3) status." primarystages.org

Flat abs are all well and good, but there are times when a rounded tummy can come in handy. You can put your stomach to good use at the Anahid Sofian Studio. Established 40 years ago, this center in the Flatiron district offers instruction in Turkish, traditional Arabic, and North African styles of belly dance. Once you've learned the seductive moves, the studio also trains you in the use of finger cymbals, veil work, and costume making. So go with your gut. anahidsofianstudio.com

Writing

Does your dream of a successful literary career include sojourns at fabled writers' retreats like MacDowell and Yaddo? You can prepare for those coming stints closer to home, via the Summer Writers' Colony at the New School. The three-week program, which begins in June, offers demanding workshops in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Teaching these eight-hour-per-day classes are such celebrated faculty as Jeffrey Eugenides, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Tracy K. Smith. newschool.edu

You might think an art form that rewards offerings such as "goo goo g'joob," "sha na na," and "fa fa fa fa fa" wouldn't be too difficult to master. But if you're struggling with putting words to music, Hunter College can help you get your groove back with a master class in "Writing Lyrics That Succeed and Endure." Disney songwriter Marty Panzer covers topics that include "What we value in a lyric," "Using different vocabularies," and "Developing a personal style." hunter.cuny.edu/ce/the-writing-center

Art

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do," said Edgar Degas. And yet you might still wish to learn. If so, the Flatiron district's Paint Along NYC is here, promising to accomplish the task quickly, guaranteeing even an absolute beginner "a display-worthy, 16-by-20-inch canvas of color and wonder in one two-hour session." Classes are organized not by method or technique, but rather by subject. April and May offerings include birds, trees, and flowers, as well as "By the Glass" and "Wine Grapes and Cheese." paintalongnyc.com

For Children and Teens

Has your kid taken to dusting the cutlery with a fingerprinting kit or spraying the odd room with luminal to check for blood stains? Once you've considered limiting TV time and consulting a reputable therapist, you might also enroll your budding forensic scientist in CSI Saturdays, a program for teens at the John Jay Crime Scene Academy, funded in part by novelist Patricia Cornwell. Students will learn "how biology and chemistry play a critical role in the criminal-investigation process." jjay.cuny.edu

Film/Video

Perhaps you already possess the clever pets, the precocious children, the unfortunate covers of pop songs. But these alone will not guarantee you stardom. You'll need to make those pets worldwide sensations, and you can't do that until you learn how to shoot and upload digital videos. Happily, the Fashion Institute of Technology offers a summer intensive in "Video Production for the Web," covering such topics as shooting, editing, and developing a creative process. fitnyc.edu

Sometimes your giant gorillas, your sinister hobbits, and your tall, wispy blue creatures just won't take direction. So what's a budding filmmaker to do? Well, if your ape won't respond to method-acting prompts, you could just copy Peter Jackson and James Cameron and hire a human and film him or her using motion capture. You can learn the basics of that technology at Pratt's School of Continuing Education this spring with "Introduction to Motion Capture" for films and video games. pratt.edu

Food and Drink

Are you still choosing bottles of wine based on the attractiveness of the label? There are worse ways to make a selection, but if you're looking for a better one, sign up for classes at Corkbuzz Wine Studio, a new restaurant/wine bar/school near Union Square, courtesy of master sommelier Laura Maniec. Classes focus on wine basics, a particular region (Argentina, California, Italy), blind tasting, and food and wine pairings. Special for New Yorkers: "Takeout Pairings." corkbuzz.com

Considering the phenomenal success of Le Pain Quotidien in Manhattan—they seem to be rivaling Starbucks for sheer ubiquity—those Belgians must know something about baking. And they're willing to share. Le Pain Quotidien now offers affordable bread-baking classes at their Bleecker Street location. A standard three-hour class shows students how a single dough applies to baguettes, rolls, loaves, and pizza crust. Specialty courses take on such topics as scones and brioche. lepainquotidien.us

Health/Body/Wellness

Feeling sluggish? Nabi Su Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and Wellness Center wants to help you become a more dynamic creature. In addition to offering martial arts classes at various locations in lower Manhattan, Nabi Su, which means "butterfly" in Korean, aims to train your insides, too. Students can enroll for instruction in zazen, a form of silent meditation, or for something just a little more talkative, consider reiki, a Japanese healing method. nabisu.ypguides.net

At Namaste Yoga and Tranquility Center in Williamsburg, tranquility doesn't end with the class's final corpse pose. In addition to classes in loving yoga, you can prolong your relaxation with cups of tea in the studio's garden. Students eager for even more repose might sign up for some of the center's healing workshops. In the "Beginner's Total Package Series," a six-week course, in addition to learning about alignment, nutrition, meditation, and reiki healing, you will participate in New Moon and Full Moon ceremonies. namastewilliamsburg.com

Computers

You're a complicated, fascinating individual. A Facebook-status update or tweet is far too constraining. If you're seeking a broader digital canvas, consider "Basics of Blogging" at the New York City College of Technology in Downtown Brooklyn. The class familiarizes students with "blogging software, the use of multimedia in blogging, and constituent development." Fundamental computer skills are a requirement, but should you lack those, City Tech offers "Computer Basics" as well. citytech.cuny.edu

Can you hack it? NYC Resistor, a "hackers collective" based in Boerum Hill, certainly can. NYC Resistor offers a variety of computing classes, from basics such as using Adobe Illustrator and HTML, to advanced topics such as building an app, to more esoteric pursuits like soldering your own microcontroller. There are also weekly craft nights, a Web-development study group, and chances to hone in with Resistor's laser cutter. nycresistor.com

Languages

Can you really understand the Arab Spring if you can't even say "spring" in Arabic? Columbia University's School of Continuing Education can help you learn the seasons this summer. The Arabic Summer Program offers rigorous instruction in Modern Standard Arabic "through texts, multimedia materials, and activities." In addition to daily classes, professors and assistants are available for advising and free tutoring. Field trips to cultural sites and a lesson in Arabic cookery are also featured. ce.columbia.edu

Crafts

Do you have a license to kiln? You don't need one to take ceramics classes at Choplet in Williamsburg. In addition to kids' classes and specialty workshops, Choplet offers eight-week sections covering all aspects of pottery: "wheel throwing, hand building, decorating, sculpture, glazing, tile/mosaic." Classes are available every day of the week and include unlimited studio time as well as 25 pounds of clay and glazes. choplet.com

New Yorkers seem to have elevated busy-ness to an art form. We eat while we walk, work while we ride, text our way through leisure activities. Yet a few of us apparently enjoy that strange commodity free time. Why not fill it with many of the crafting classes available at 92Y? The East Side location offers instruction in ceramics, jewelry, and collage, while the Tribeca location boasts courses in flower arranging, calligraphy, and knitting. 92y.org

Sport

Hunting with arrows hasn't been fashionable in the five boroughs for a few centuries now. But you can set yourself all a-quiver with lessons at Pro Line Archery Lanes in Ozone Park. In addition to sponsoring hunting and target leagues, the range offers lessons in Olympic-style archery by experienced professionals. And if you trust your child with weaponry, youth programs are available, too. archeryny.com

With the bridges, tunnels, and varieties of wheeled transport available, it's easy to forget that Manhattan is actually an island. But it is, and it's the natural deepwater port that made it so attractive to early settlers. Offshore Sailing serves to remind us of our watery locale. Centered at Chelsea Piers (with another location a short cruise away in New Jersey), the school offers two-hour sailing lessons, as well as three-day certification courses for those who take their maritime activities seriously. offshoresailing.com

Nature

T.S. Eliot has suggested that April is the cruelest month. Apparently Eliot was not a horticulturalist. Early spring is a delicious time to strap those gardening gloves on, whether at home or via a class at the New York Botanical Garden. New to nature? Not a problem. The NYBG offers numerous courses for novices. April's slate includes "Fundamentals of Gardening," "Gardening for Beginners," "A Garden Design Primer," and "Planning a Kitchen Garden." nybg.org

There are fungi among us. And the New York Mycological Society knows it. The NYMS is devoted to the mushrooms in our midst, though, of course, they can't hold themselves responsible for any students might choose to ingest. In addition to lectures, dinners, and occasional classes in microscopy, the society offers summer walks in all five boroughs and teaches participants to identify species in parks, woods, wetlands, and cemeteries. newyorkmyc.org

Photography

"There are no rules for good photographs. There are only good photographs." That's dandy for Ansel Adams to say, but if you're not as pleased with your pictures as you might be, some rules might be of use. On June 9 and 10, the Nikon School comes to Herald Square to teach two intensives: "Introduction to Digital SLR Photography" and "Next Steps: Color, Light, Technology." (And for those who don't mind traveling in pursuit of knowledge, consider Nikon's week-long seminar in underwater photography, held in the Antilles.) nikonusa.com

Miscellaneous

Likely, you think you've already mastered basic abilities. Not reading, writing, and arithmetic. Think even more basic: seeing, hearing, standing. But the people at Life Labs believe you can perform these simple skills more effectively. Choose from courses such as "Seeing Lab," in which you'll learn to read people's expressions; "The Posture Tune-Up Station"; and "Logic Lab." The more daring can sign up for the "True Grit Adventure," in which a weekly letter sends you on new missions. lifelabsnewyork.com

For Children and Teens

Does your child think the great outdoors aren't really so great? Are grass and trees exotic objects glimpsed only on cartoons? The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation offers plentiful opportunities to get outside and play, all of them free. In addition to basketball leagues, soccer leagues, and flag-football tournaments, the department also inducts kids into the Urban Park Rangers Program, featuring hiking, orienteering, birding, and fishing. Sounds pretty wild. nyc.gov/parks

Fashion

"In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous," said Elsa Schiaparelli. (And as anyone who has glimpsed her lobster dress should know, she wasn't kidding.) Even though the recession hasn't exactly righted itself, what better time to study something as deliciously frivolous as fashion? Parsons, the New School for Design, offers three-week summer intensives in New York, including one in fashion design. In addition to lectures and field trips, students practice "model drawing, design sketching, and exercises in design development." newschool.edu/parsons/continuing-education

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