Class Action Listings – 7/28/2009



What do Sting, Donna Karan, Russell Simmons, and Christy Turlington have in common? Pots of money. But they’re also all fans of the Jivamukti Yoga School. The Union Square center offers Hatha yoga classes that cover “Sanskrit chanting, readings, references to scriptural texts, music, spoken word, asana sequencing, and yogic breathing practices.” Late summer and fall’s special workshops include “The Art of Physical Adjustments” and a retreat to the school’s Catskills ashram.

“Is sex dirty?” mused Woody Allen. “Only if it’s done right.” The founders of One Taste would beg to differ. At their very clean facilities, they promulgate the belief that “through mindful sexuality, our lives are grounded in meaning, fullness, and happiness.” Their New York branch offers introductory discussions and practice forums at which you can apply what you’ve learned about “orgasmic meditation.”

Theater and Performing Arts

If you think your key to personal fulfillment might actually involve 88 of them, consider piano classes at the Mannes School of Music. Whether you’re a rank beginner or a virtuoso, the school offers instruction in a wide range of classical instruments for students of all ages, as well as the opportunity to perform with the Mannes Community Orchestra. More dedicated students may consider the three-year Extension Diploma Program.

While Manhattan theater spaces continue to disappear at an alarming rate, East 4th Street remains home to a remarkable number of playhouses. Among them is Teatro IATI, a performing arts organization that serves both Spanish- and English-speaking audiences. Beginners and professionals can attend workshops in such subjects as “Stage Combat,” “The Conscious Unconscious of the Actor,” “Voice and Breathing Techniques,” and “Latin Dance.”

The Argentine tango was developed in the late 19th century at dance venues in the slaughterhouse district of Buenos Aires. An amalgam of African dance and Argentine milonga, it has since birthed offshoots like ballroom tango, tango canyengue, and Uruguayan and Finnish tango—none of which you’ll learn at Anton Gazenbeek and Sergio Segura’s School of Traditional Argentine Tango, which offers solely that particular strain of dance. Interested students can select from beginner, intermediate, or advanced classes in “Strictly Traditional Tango,” as well as cocktail and lunch-hour courses.


“If you are not in fashion,” said the British diplomat Lord Chesterfield, “you are nobody.” If this seems far too dire a fate, the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising‘s Fashion Merchandising classes are designed to help you break into the business. Offerings include “Fashion Magazines,” “Fashion Styling,” “Fashion Writing,” “Fashion Show Production,” and “Introduction to Cosmetics and the Fragrance Industry.”

You can make a splash—as well as a bag, a skirt, or a dress—at Make Workshop‘s new Fashion Lab, a three-part course that takes a hands-on approach to sewing instruction. You’ll soon be mastering techniques like how to read patterns, stitch layouts, cut fabrics, and develop good sewing machine skills. And you’ll soon have a new outfit to show for your efforts!

If you can truly never be too rich, too thin, or possessed of too many shoes, there’s clearly a lucrative career in designing them. You can kick up your heels at the accessories division of the Fashion Institute of Technology, which offers courses like “Athletic Footwear Design,” Character and Theatrical Footwear,” “Boot Patternmaking and Construction,” and “Leather and Materials Technology.”


A recent New Yorker article questioned whether creative writing can or should be taught in universities. The New School of General Studies would probably answer in the affirmative, as it has offered creative writing workshops for nearly 80 years. Continuing education students can choose from course offerings covering the techniques of poetry, the short story, and the novel. Special workshops may discuss dramatic writing, children’s literature, or the memoir.

The New York Public Library boasts some 50 million items, ranging from books, videos, CDs, and DVDs to clippings, posters, maps, and materials in Braille. The library also offers help for adults who wish to use these resources, but may not have the appropriate literacy skills. At the seven Centers for Reading and Writing—located in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island—students can receive free instruction from qualified tutors. Classes feature small groups, computer assistance, and opportunities to contribute to the student-published Writer’s Voices.


The building itself is a work of art: an 1853 Fifth Avenue mansion, designated a National Historic Landmark. But the Salmagundi Art Club won’t rest on its architectural laurels or storied history (past members include Louis Comfort Tiffany, Stanford White, and Frederick Stuart Church). Dedicated to living artists, the club seeks to create more of them with weekly classes on beginning and advanced painting, as well as a class on sketching.

Leonardo da Vinci used pastels, those crafty sticks of chalky pigment—so did Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and James McNeill Whistler. If you would care to join their estimable ranks, consider a class in pastels courtesy of the Pastel Society of America at the National Arts Club. Ongoing courses include “Floral Still & Still Life,” “Composition & Color,” and “Birds & Flowers,” as well as open studios with live models.

For Children

Educators and pediatricians often lament how much time kids spend watching videos or playing computer games. So why not encourage them to make some instead? The Museum of the Moving Image holds workshops to encourage budding auteurs: The “Motion Workshop,” for grades 4 through 6, “explores the science that underlies the perception of moving images,” and in the “Video Game Programming Workshop,” for grades 7 through 12, students can design their own games.

All right-thinking children like to play dress-up, transforming Dad’s shirts, Mom’s pearls, and the occasional household item into enviable couture. But if the appeal of familial wardrobes and linen cupboards has begun to pale, you might sign your tween up for “Wearable Art” at the Brooklyn Museum, in which “students will combine fabrics, beads, buttons, feathers, and more to create one-of-a-kind masks, totes, trinkets, and tops.”


Cinephiles, movieholics, film obsessives, and video compulsives can all seek help at the School of Visual Arts‘ continuing education division. The Film and Video program offers courses in pre-production, production, post-production, writing, and acting. Recent curricula include “Becoming an Internet Radio Star,” “Creating a Documentary Film,” “Commercial Voice-Over Workshop,” “Special Effects Makeup,” “Writing the Animated TV Script,” and all manner of instruction in the vagaries of Final Cut Pro and Avid.

The transition to the 21st century has come and gone, but perhaps Millennium Film Workshop is merely gearing up for Y3K. An East Village habitué since 1966, this studio hosts screenings, sponsors equipment rentals, and also features occasional classes. These have changed with the times as well, and now include such topics as “Digital Filmmaking” and “Final Cut Pro Editing.”

Food and Drink

Sicily may be known for its volcano, its ruins, and its occasional outbreaks of mob violence—but the island has a sweet side as well. Certified Master Baker Biagio Settepani, owner of Staten Island’s Pasticceria Bruno, will teach a class on September 13 in Sicilian specialties. Students will learn to bake delicacies such as the cassata, bianco mangiare, and the pastry that inspired that immortal Godfather  line: “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

Many of us swear by our morning caffeine jolt, but Counter Culture takes coffee seriously. Really seriously. Deathly seriously. Since they opened their New York training center in June, they’ve made it their mission to educate Gothamites about the bean. Their classes, seminars, and labs—often seven-hour affairs that entail prerequisites—offer cutting-edge instruction in “Milk Chemistry,” “Origin, History, and Trade,” and even a “Barista Competitor Workshop.”

New York is a cook’s heaven: the farmers’ markets, the ethnic groceries, the importers, the specialty stores. But all that bounty is useless if you don’t know how to prepare it. Enter Camaje. Since 2000, this Greenwich Village bistro has offered cooking instruction relying on local ingredients. Late summer offerings include “Eat Your Fish and Veggies,” “Grilling Menu,” “Shop and Cook: Union Square Farmer’s Market,” and “Shop and Cook: Chinatown.”


Scientifically minded, naturally intelligent students might want to consider a course in “Artificial Intelligence,” one of the many lectures and seminars in computing open to students of Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education. Other tech-heavy options for the fall include “Advanced Machine Learning/Perception,” “Security Architecture and Engineering,” and “Programming Languages.”

If you’ve mastered Web surfing, but find Web design a much stickier proposition, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies

is the place to improve your skills. Their fall course offerings include tutorials in Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, and Photoshop, as well as the theory and techniques of website usability and information architecture.


The YMCA has locations in more than 120 countries worldwide. If you’d like to speak to some of those far-off Young Christian Men in their native tongue, you might consider language classes at your local Y. The New York YMCA offers courses in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese and have just added an English pronunciation class.

If you’d like to discuss the recent happy invention of kimchi quesadillas in their native tongue, you can register at the Korean Language Center of New York. They offer elementary, intermediate, and advanced Korean, business Korean, and a new course designed for students who can already speak the language well, but want to learn to read and write it.


In prehistory, animal skins were apparently all the rage, but eventually, our hominid ancestors developed manmade fabrics. The earliest of them: felt. Some 8,000 years on, felt is still a popular textile, and a late summer workshop at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum entitled “Felt Vignettes” will teach students to fabricate it.

These are rough times for newspapers, but good times for paper itself. In August, The Ink Pad offers a variety of paper-based classes. Among them: marbling on paper, in which students learn techniques such as “feather, French curl, peacock, stone marble, Italian vein, nonpareil, and ripple”; “Chinese Checkers,” a collage class that results in “a one-of-a-kind book with an Asian-themed embellishment”; and instruction in how to make your own medieval manuscript.


New York surfing boasts few waves, fewer surf shops, and the chilly Atlantic. But if you yearn to access your inner Gidget, Long Island’s Long Beach hosts the Surf2Live Surf School and will instruct you in the art and science of hanging 10, brah. They’ve helped New Yorkers brave the waves since 1990, and every summer Friday, they host a singles surf class, so you can meet your own Moon Doggie.

If you long to put more bounce into your workout, the Trapeze School of New York has commenced teaching trampoline courses. They advertise the class as helpful in improving trapeze performance, teaching body awareness, and improving core muscles—but mostly, it just sounds really, really fun. Students will learn techniques like chest drops and back drops, as well as multiple somersaults. Advanced students can master peculiarly named moves such as Fliffis, Triffis, Randis, Rudis, and Adolfs.

That great sage David Lee Roth once opined that while money cannot, alas, buy you happiness, “it can buy you a yacht to pull up right alongside it.” Of course, once you have that yacht, you’ll need to know how to sail it. Happily, there’s Atlantic Yachting. Landlubbers can begin with a program in basic sailing, while more experienced mariners can explore coastal cruising and bareboat cruising.


What’s the zoo like once the sun sets? Do lions lie down? Do lambs? Do nighttime predators stalk their prey between exhibits? If you long for answers to these questions, you might consider an “Overnight Safari” at the Bronx Zoo, offered during two weekends in September. Bring a tent and dinner; the zoo provides snacks, breakfast, and an opportunity to learn about (and meet and greet!) its denizens.

Have you longed for a more bucolic life, but now find yourself stuck in the city for the foreseeable future. If so, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden can teach you how to bring the farm to your home—and your table. In August, the BBG offers two workshops in its Urban Agriculture series: “Chickenomics: The Art of Raising Chickens” and “Beekeeping Basics.” Learn how to turn your rooftop or backyard into a mini apiary and/or henhouse.


Photo Quest Adventures specializes in organizing digital photography workshops “in the world’s most unique places.” Apparently, one of those places is Brooklyn: This fall, PQA will host a flash photography clinic in neighborhoods including Brooklyn Heights and Red Hook. Topics covered include “Flash and Lighting Theory,” “Strobic Flash,” and “Portrait Lighting.”

“Photography is truth,” said Jean-Luc Godard, so if you’ve been looking to get just a little more candid, you might consider attending some of the workshops and events at Calumet Photographic in the Flatiron District. In addition to selling and renting equipment, Calumet offers seminars in lighting, digital photography, flash photography, and photo printing.


As the recession shows few signs of lifting, you might find yourself in search of a low-cost hobby—previous amusements like buying and selling small nations or making bonfires out of $100 bills just doesn’t play like it used to. So, consider chess. Brooklyn’s New York Chess & Game Shop offers exceedingly reasonably priced semi-private lessons designed to acquaint students with this ancient game. The less sociable can opt for online instruction.