Embrace Your Inner Renaissance Self With Classes for the New Year

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From top: Linda Wehrli teaches an art student at Pastimes for a Lifetime; make jewelry at The Bead Lounge; learn to craft pottery at Berman Ceramics; cook at CookLA; take up archery at Woodley Park.

It’s the beginning of the new year and the perfect time to learn something new.  Of course there’s yoga, pilates and fitness studios galore at every corner, but here’s a handful of alternate ideas for classes located in the 818 that you may not have thought about.


West Valley Occupational Center (and adult schools):  It’s never too late to learn something new that’s just for fun or a possible career change.  Check out the classes at this center that’s part of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Division of Adult and Career Education schools. There’s three main campuses: West Valley Occupational Center (WVOC) in Woodland Hills, Reseda Adult School and Van Nuys Adult School.  Classes run the gamut.  While Reseda and Van Nuys focus more on academics, the WVOC focuses more on career tech with classes ranging from computers, fashion, culinary arts, design, real estate, finance, cosmetology, landscaping, electronics, automotive and more.   Registration starts today. Class fees vary.


Pastimes for a Lifetime Fine Art and Piano Studio: Owner Linda Werlhi teaches art and piano lessons in her Valley Glen studio which she modeled after Ansel Adams’ photography studio.  Children’s art classes start at age 6 while piano lessons begin at age 7.  But it’s not for kids and teens only, Wehrli  also teaches adults of all ages. Drawing and painting classes are taught as individual lessons in a small group setting. Piano lessons are taught privately—for the recreational or serious student.  Rather than just learning songs, students develop musicianship, technical and sight-reading skills.   Plus, it’s a great place to buy a gift or supplies — there’s a student store on the premises with good prices. To read more, check out this My Daily Find article from 2009!  Get 10% discount on classes with MY DAILY FIND!


Berman Ceramic Arts: This studio was founded by Harry Berman almost 40 years ago in North Hollywood and is the most highly recognized school for pottery instruction in the Los Angeles area. Learn throwing, handbuilding, sculpting, pottery, and raku. Work with potters’ wheels, gas and electric kilns, a Raku kiln, slab rollers, spray equipment and more.  Choose from a large variety of clays and fire glazes. The diverse and thorough courses range from the beginners “Introduction to Ceramics” to intermediate and advanced classes where hand-built and wheel thrown pottery, abstract and figurative sculpture are created.  The weekly demonstrations, small class-sizes (8 to 16 students), 9-week semesters with open studio time, and the ever-changing curriculum create an exciting learning environment. Read more about it here.


CookLA: This “hands on” Studio City cooking school for all ages has a great deal of delicious fun happening all year long. Upcoming classes and workshops include French cuisine, Spanish Tapas, Bollywood, Farmer’s Market, Cajun/Creole, vegetable cookery, pizza making, teen classes, basics and more.   CookLA is also a great place for parties for all ages and for company team building.  Check out the article we first ran on this unique cooking school nearly two years ago! 


Karina Smirnoff’s Dance Studio: So you think you want to “dance like the stars.”  Well, you can give it your best fox trot try at this “Dancing With the Stars” Woodland Hills studio.  Smirnoff and her instructors teach a variety of styles, including samba, cha cha, rumba, waltz, tango, mamba, merengue, east and west coast swing, and more.  Social dance classes are also available.  Private and group lessons.  A salsa class taught by Ms. Smirnoff herself starts tonight! All levels are welcome.


The  Bead Lounge, located south of Ventura on Topanga in Woodland Hills,  is a boutique where you can do your own beading from an extensive inventory and/or take classes to learn techniques such as wire wrapping, macrame, leather knotting, earring making and more. Materials available include  a choice collection of semi precious stones, swarovski crystals, gold filled, sterling silver and glass beads, as well as our large selection of charms. Gather a small group for a party.  Both adults and children are welcome.


Channel your inner Robin Hood  or William Tell with free archery classes at the Woodley Park Archers.  Students must be at least 9 years old.  Every Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and every Wednesday 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., except during rain. All necessary equipment is given out during the first 30 minutes followed by complete instructions.


Refine your palate and learn about wine, beer and spirits at one-time classes for $15-$25 (includes tasting) at all Total Wine & More stores.   There’s also wine tastings for a nominal fee.

GOT NEWS? TIPS? Email: karen@mydailyfind.com












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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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