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.

Some scholars date the art of engraving to the prehistoric period, pointing to marks made by cavemen. But printmaking’s come a long way since rocks and sticks were the tools in the artist’s arsenal. The National Academy Museum and School, New York’s oldest art school, offers several courses in printmaking, making use of materials and methods such as drypoint, etching, woodcut, monotype, plastic media, and collage.

Brooklyn’s got a brand-new BAG: The Brooklyn Artists Gym is a shared studio space and gallery space in Gowanus offering some of the most affordable art classes in the city. Every Monday, BAG offers a three-hour figure-drawing class and every Saturday, a long-pose figure-drawing and painting class.

for children

Apparently it’s never too early to start learning your asanas. Parents eager to rid their kids of all that nasty Cartesian dualism can enroll them in classes at Karma Kids Yoga (slogan: “Mind, Body, Fun!”). In addition to making children flex-y, Karma promises that yoga will “teach kids how to focus, relax, and develop self-control”—which might help parents do the same.

With children between the ages of two and five, most parents are focused on childproofing their kitchens, not inviting the kiddies to get their toque on. But Mimi’s Soup Spoon disagrees. This Brooklyn-based program offers parent-child classes that include “cooking experience, a safety tip, table manners, clean-up, and story time.” This winter, Mimi’s tempts tots with several holiday-themed courses.

Give those infants a hand. Some early childhood experts believe that teaching babies American Sign Language can boost their language skills and help them to communicate even before they’re ready for speech. Either way, watching them attempt sign language is pretty adorable. Motivated progenitors can enroll their babes (and themselves) at Baby Fingers, which offers classes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.


If you’re the sort who had a picture of Tom Brokaw above your bed or who writes mash notes to Brian Williams, you can stop dreaming and start training for a career in newscasting at the New York Film Academy. They’ve partnered with NBC News to offer four- and eight-week courses in broadcast journalism. Through instruction in interview, camera work, and field reporting, “Each student produces two news projects, shot with single-camera set-ups and edited on Final Cut Pro.”

Long to acquaint audiences with inconvenient truths or bundle them into taxis to the dark side, but don’t have all the necessary training? Consider a course in documentary film at New York University‘s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. NYU hosts classes in assembling and editing a documentary film.

food and drink

In the Middle Ages, people eagerly devoured such delicacies as roe deer in broth, frumenty, parsnip fritters, elderflower cheesecake, and mead. Yum? Dark Age gourmands can learn about these olden tidbits at The Cloisters‘ celebration of medieval food on December 27 and 28. Through demonstrations and exhibits, attendees will discover the ways and means of historical cooking and eating, while kids design their own medieval tableware.

If you’re getting ready to host your first Thanksgiving dinner but are nervous your attempts might be something of a turkey, consider signing up for Thanksgiving Dress Rehearsal at the Culinary Center at Whole Foods Market on the Bowery on November 8. It won’t teach a traditional Thanksgiving (no venison or jellied eels, thankfully), but will cover turkey, gravy, stuffing, and pie, among other dishes.

Amateur mixologists can receive a master class courtesy of Paul Zablocki and Steve Schul, who run the popular Cocktail Buzz website. Classes for individuals, couples, and small groups meet in their colorful Prospect Heights apartment, which teems with more than 150 bottles, including obscurities (Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine, Dumante Pistachio Liqueur) and a dozen varieties of homemade vodka. Students sample endless cocktails and develop their own signature concoction.


The Fashion Institute of Technology may sport a wonderfully fanciful name, but its school of continuing and professional studies offers a number of faultlessly practical classes in computing. In addition to classes useful to aspiring designers—such as training in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Colour Matters, and Kaledo—FIT offers introductions to basics such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and even Computers Made Easy.

Though we’ll confess an undying love for claymation (too many viewings of the Rudolph Christmas special as an impressionable youth and quite a bit of Wallace and Gromit since), computer animation is undoubtedly the stuff of cartoons’ future. The School of Visual Arts‘ Continuing Education program offers numerous courses in this field, designed to allow you to tell your own toy story. Classes cover stop-motion, digital compositing, Final Cut, and other assorted tools.


During the Olympics, newspapers reported that restaurants in China had renamed dishes like “Husband and wife’s lung slice” or “Chicken without sexual life” to make them more palatable to foreigners. If you’d like to read those amusing menus in the original, you might consider a class in Mandarin at the ABC Language Exchange in Chelsea, which features both beginners classes and boot camps for more experienced students. Xing nan!

As troubles in the Middle East may not cease anytime soon, it might behoove interested persons (and those angling for those insanely lucrative defense contract jobs) to study up on the vagaries of the Arabic language. The Network of Arab-American Professionals offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses in spoken and standard written Arabic.


Now that we have Ikea, New York has a new source for attractive and innovative vases. But why put money in the pockets of friendly Swedish industrialists when you can craft your own flowerpots? La Mano Pottery, a 10-year-old studio in Chelsea, offers small classes—and private lessons—in both hand-built and wheel methods. You can get your hands dirty in a series of six-week classes, while keeping yourself clean with the plentiful towels and aprons that the studio provides.

Like many a chocolate bar, we New Yorkers have a hard coating and an intensely gooey center. How else to explain the success of Etsy, a highly successful website for adorable handmade goods, founded in downtown Brooklyn? If you’d like to be not only a consumer but also a producer of the endearing items, you might head over to company headquarters and take some of their classes in printing, dyeing, embroidery, soap making, and bookbinding.

New York City is not a small town, but parts of Staten Island can suggest a very reasonable facsimile thereof. The latest evidence: The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting an event in Historic Richmond Town that looks very much like a quilting bee. Beginners and more advanced quilters can sign up for this eight-week course, resulting in a nine-piece patch baby quilt.


New York isn’t exactly an equestrian’s paradise—all those buildings get in the way of happy trails. And the Claremont Riding Academy, Manhattan’s only stable and the oldest operating school in the country, recently closed its barn doors. But would-be riders can still pony up in Brooklyn at Kensington Stables. Founded in 1930, Kensington offers lessons outdoors and in an indoor ring, as well as guided trail rides and pony parties.

Well, shoot. Robin Hood devotees can add another arrow to their hobby quiver with classes at Queens Archery Supplies and Range in Flushing. Boasting eminently reasonable rates (you get one free lesson with your first equipment rental or bow purchase), its coaches will instruct students in the sport of archery for “recreation, competition, or hunting.” Look out, rats and squirrels.

Attention, swingers: Baseball enthusiasts looking to improve their stats can sign up for instruction at the Upper West Side’s Baseball Center NYC. Children and adults can benefit from a curriculum that includes video analysis, conditioning classes, and the mysterious “Mental Tools training.” Be sure to wear a helmet: Their ProBatter machine can pitch up to 100 miles per hour.


In winter, even the most avid and well-clad gardeners have to admit there isn’t much they can encourage to grow, out of doors, at least. But those who are twiddling their green thumbs might consider classes at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. In “All About Orchids,” an expert orchid curator will lecture on indoor orchid gardening. Each participant will take home an orchid on which to practice.

Always wanted to join a scientific expedition? Members of the American Museum of Natural History have the opportunity for exploration with a series of guided field studies. This winter’s trips—Mystic, Connecticut, and Philadelphia—may not sound particularly intrepid, but they will introduce participants to, respectively, the history and culture of the Pequot Nations and Philly’s Academy of Natural Sciences and its marvelously creepy Mutter Museum.


The Educational Alliance on the Lower East Side has been operating for more than 119 years and has some extraordinary photographs to prove it. Its art classes continue to teach photography, including one of its earliest manifestations, the pinhole camera. Students will “convert existing cameras to pinhole cameras, create images, and learn darkroom procedures for printing their black and white photographs.”