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Reach Heavenly Heights With Cloud 9 Art School!

Owner and Art Instructor Charlene Collins Freeman Tells Her Entrepreneurship Story

Dreams do come true…

But you have to push them uphill first!

Facebook recently showed me a memory from about seven years ago. In that post I announced that I was teaching my first art classes. I was so nervous!

It was at a consignment store in Kenmore full of used furniture and bric-a-brac. They were closed on Sundays and were therefore willing to let me teach in the shop. I had three people sign up. I had no idea of how to develop this into my dream career, a full time teaching artist.

Wow, that was just 7 years ago. Seems like a life time ago. Since that time, I began teaching at many community colleges and several art schools, I’ve had literally hundreds of students, the majority of which have become dear friends. I’ve take students to Italy, France and England every year for sketchbook travel adventures.

And now I have opened my own school. Wow. Just wow!

The school is Cloud 9 Art School, located in a lovely house at 18414 103rd Ave NE in Bothell.

I have a line up of excellent teachers, all professional artists, who bring their passion, encouragement, and expertise to their students at Cloud 9.

We offer classes for kids, teens and adults in drawing, painting, sketching, jewelry, meditation, mindfulness, and even knitting. Parents can drop kids off on Friday night for art classes instead of hiring a babysitter. We offer workshops for Girl Scouts to earn badges and we create travel adventures to inspire joy and creativity.

We will continue to add new classes and workshops for a variety of media so stay tuned!

We are a joyful community focused on creativity and discovering our world. Cloud 9 Art School is committed to being a place where children, teens and adults find inspiration, learn, and have fun in a relaxed, professional studio environment.

I’m thrilled! You could say, I’m on Cloud 9!

Charlene Collins Freeman
Owner & Art Instructor

Upcoming Classes From Cloud 9 Art School:

About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and San Francisco!

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Fountain of youth? It lives within your community.

Fountain of Youth lives within your community

Edmonds Community College and Edmonds Arts Festival partnership creates opportunities for students

We’d like to feel younger, right? If you’ve been following the hot new Younger Next Year movement, you know that one of the six ways to stop much of the decay of aging is to get out into your community and join the activity. Studies have shown that people who are engaged in their communities live years (sometimes many years) longer than those who stay isolated at home.

As one Community Education program discovered, that principle is true at the institutional level as well. “We applied the Younger Next Year concept to our entire program,” says Marianne Legg, Program Coordinator for the Community Education classes at Edmonds Community College.

“We used to have our community education offices in the center of Edmonds and were a part of many community events. Eighteen months ago, our building was sold and we moved away from downtown. We felt so isolated,” states Marianne. “We began looking for ways to put the community back into our community education program.”

As the program discovered, seeking relationships in the community rejuvenated their class offerings and they were able to give their students some unique opportunities. And students, who might not have known about the school before, discovered it through a community partner.

As bonus, the community as a whole has benefited from partnerships with the school. Take this spring’s Creating Public Art class, for example, which partners the college’s community education program with the Edmonds Arts Festival to make 4-by-8-foot banners to hang at the festival this summer.

“We were blown away that the Edmonds Arts Festival wanted to work with us,” Marianne enthuses. Every June, this world-class Festival draws around 50,000 visitors to buy art and enjoy free entertainment and great food. “Hanging your banner at this festival is major exposure for anyone interested in a career in the visual arts,” she says.

Students will be able to create their own designs under the tutelage of a nationally-recognized illustrator. They’ll produce six banners which the festival can use for years to come; so, the Festival benefits as well.

“Yes, win-win-win is our goal with these partnerships,” Marianne says. “We feel everyone comes out ahead when we all work together on mutual goals. And our students get opportunities they wouldn’t have without taking advantage of the partnership.”

The Certificate in Event Planning is being offered in conjunction with the Edmonds Arts Festival which offers on-the-job training in organizing a major community event. “This is a fun way to learn the intricate details of community event planning from people with thousands of hours of events experience,” says Marianne.

The planning that goes into putting on an event like this festival includes marketing, artist booths, volunteer management, scheduling, fundraising, a juried art exhibit, a children’s art exhibit, entertainment, catering and more.

Certificate students will be able to pick their areas of interest and work with the directors of those departments. “Because our students are not just volunteering their time but are in an active learning relationship through us, they get an experience that no one else can,” Marianne says, adding, “This really is a great opportunity!”

Marianne notes that while community education “isn’t the literal fountain of youth, it can offer a sense of real community involvement that can help keep our students younger for years to come!”

Register for these classes and more at Connect2Classes.

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Untangle your feet and start dancing!

Dance Classes in Seattle

Many people dream of quitting their day jobs to pursue their passion projects. In 2007, Natasha Maltseva, owner of LaVida Dance Studio in Bellevue, did just that. “I’ve danced all my life and I always dreamed of having my own studio,” she said. “But I never thought it was possible.”

After having children, Maltseva decided it was time for a change. She left corporate America and her job managing a bank branch and then remodeled part of her home into a studio. “I started pretty much out of my basement,” she said. “When the business grew, I partnered up with a friend, and we moved to a bigger location.”

Now a lively studio that caters to all ages, LaVida Dance Studio specializes in Ballroom, Latin and contemporary styles of dances like hip-hop and jazz.

One of Maltseva’s goals has been to build a community of Argentine Tango and Salsa dancers on the Eastside. “We have a great turnout for our monthly social dance nights where you can get an introduction to a new style of dance, or practice one you’re working on. The great thing is partners are not required for social nights. Everyone is welcome to come and dance.” she said. People even come from places as far away as Olympia and Vancouver.”

If you’re a little more serious about dance, LaVida’s team helps dancers at each level shape feasible goals. For kids under six years old, the goals are listening to the teacher, gaining better control of their bodies, and having a great time. “For them, dancing is play,” she said of the youngest dancers. “Our goal for kids is to build their basic abilities and just enjoy dancing.” Adult and youth dancers participate in a high-end stage production where they can showcase their abilities and tell a story.

From first time dancers to reluctant husbands, to champion Tango-ers, she says the benefits of dancing go far beyond building strength and cardio exercise. “Life is full of hardships,” she said. “But dancing prompts uncomplicated happiness, promotes self-confidence, provides a community of people who people who are happy to see you.”

Untangle your feet and start dancing! Choose from Absolute Beginner Salsa, Tango, and Zouk or look at the higher level classes. You’ll find a class that will get you moving today. Visit Connect2Classes to register.

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Learning Experiences Are Gifts to Remember

Learning is Experience


When we give others the gift of experience, especially transformational experiences, we give them so much more than any physical gift.  We give them opportunities to fuel their passions, get inspired and motivated, and we can even set them on a path towards ever greater learning and success in life.

Why do experiences matter?

Our brains are hard-wired for memories that are tied to experiences that stir up our emotions.  The Harvard Business Review’s Elements of Value Pyramid illustrates how people perceive the benefits of products and services that are available to them. There are several elements that demonstrate the allure of novel and life-changing experiences. The emotional and life-changing layers are indicative of personal change associated with experiences that truly resonate. Such resonance is the magnetism that keeps people coming back with the hope of re-creating pleasurable experiences that have stuck in their memories.

We have identified 30 “elements of value”—fundamental attributes in their most essential and discrete forms. These elements fall into four categories: functional, emotional, life changing, and social impact. – Harvard Business Review

Creating Emotional Connections and Lifelong Memories

This sort of emotional engagement works in a variety of ways, and is so powerful when it comes to learning new things!

People don’t actually buy products and services. We buy experiences that leave lasting memories. Exposure to something new and unfamiliar  increases the release of dopamine in the brain. Novelty motivates people to expect pleasure.- Shayla Price

What is delight really about? Surprise. Novelty. Wonder. The unexpected. Deviating from business as usual and injecting awe, a visceral emotion reaction, into the learning journey. Novelty and surprise fuel the pleasure-seeking reward centers of our brain, which is exactly the opposite of evoking a stress response due to poor product or service experience. The brain chemicals matter when it comes to making memories. These are also the sorts of experiences  that people are prone to share, and to ask people to join in on.

How do memories develop and stick with us? And how does that impact learning? It’s about responding to latent human needs for novelty and surprise, the cornerstones of delight.

The experiences we remember are defined by change. Our stories are made up of experiences that are new, novel and those that have greater significance. We actually don’t choose between experiences, we choose between memories of experiences. And even when we think about the future, we don’t think of our future normally as experiences. We think of our future as anticipated memories. –Daniel Kahneman

Need a last minute holiday gift?  Consider a gift card from Connect2Classes.


Check out thousands of upcoming classes on Connect2Classes.

Enter your interests and receive $10 off your first class!

Gift certificates are available!

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Learning Experiences Are the Very Best Gifts!

Holiday classes

We used to think that human brains are vessels to be filled with things they need to know.  But we all know that lecture-based teaching often puts learners to sleep!  Thankfully, there has been a renaissance in learning in recent years.  For example, project-based learning is now of major interest for both kid and adult learning.  Learning, it turns out, is an individual effort that relies on a person’s passion to learn new things.  Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin

We must be involved and engaged to truly learn, and if you want to learn new things, or want to help a loved one learn, knowing how we learn best will help.  It can also help people discover how much they love to learn and create, which as we know, makes us all happier!

What fuels our passion? 
Learning happens naturally when the subject matter is something we’re intrigued by.  Know someone who loves home improvement shows?  Gift them a woodworking or remodelling class!

How do we learn best? 
Some of us thrive while reading or writing, but many of us are visual or kinesthetic (learning by doing) learners.  Young learners, in particular, can struggle in school where they need to sit still, so show them how much they love to learn with a class or workshop tailored to their interests.

How do we learn tangible skills like cooking, arts, crafts, or DIY?
There has long been a tradition of teaming masters like chefs and artists with apprentices to learn their craft.  Many of us need to watch skilled practitioners and learn skills and tips step-by-step.

How do we remember what we learn? 
While we might immediately forget a chapter we read in a how-to book or even the content of a video, hands-on learning experiences allow us to learn while getting feedback from experts.

What can we learn that will make a difference to our lives?  
Improving career and business skills, as well as life skills like relationships, benefits us enormously.  It’s so important to stay current, even if it involves learning about something we’ve never heard of!

We’d love for you to give the gift of experience this holiday season!  Gift certificates are available!  Great gifts for far-flung loved ones, or even for a class you can take together!  One of our grandmothers decided on sushi-making classes for her 12-year old grandson – what can you choose to wow those you love?

Want to learn how to do something life-changing?

Check out thousands of upcoming classes on Connect2Classes.



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Why Making Things Helps Us Thrive

We can all use more things in our life that make us feel happy and fulfilled.  There has been a cultural renaissance these last few years as we learn more about what really motivates people.  It’s something we nearly lost in our manufacturing-heavy culture: the pleasure associated with making things and sharing one’s creations with others.  This is also a business opportunity, so read on if you are intrigued by the idea of turning your passion into an enterprise.

This is a revolution. If you can imagine it, you can make it. And that’s new to the world. – Mark Hatch, CEO, Maker Media

Your Brain on Creativity


Why does making and sharing things feel so good?  It begins with creativity, one of those things that spurs us on to ever greater accomplishments.  There is nothing quite like creative experiences to throttle our brains into happier brain chemistry by putting us into the flow states associated with positive psychology.  And creative thinking also has benefits in other parts of our lives: it improves problem-solving, big picture and design thinking, as well as collaboration with others.

It doesn’t matter whether you are into art, crafts, DIY, or tinkering, your brain loves to create and rewards you for doing so.  The process of creating and sharing your creations releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant in your brain.  Dopamine is the brain chemical associated with reward and the pleasurable sensations that come from it.  It’s like we are wired to create.  But legions of artists, crafters, do-it-yourselfers and makers could tell you that!

There’s survey evidence to support crafting’s dopamine effect. In one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling “very happy.”

The positive effect of creative activities is well-documented  in the scientific literature.  Creativity and the novel experiences associated with it keep the brain agile and also motivate us.  Things as simple as coloring or doodling encourage this effect, but the most benefit comes from ongoing creative pursuits:

Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, experts say. It may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging. – CNN

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

The following talk by British educator Sir Ken Robinson is one of the most popular TED Talks of all time.  He argues that creativity is more important than literacy and that traditional schooling kills creativity.  This is especially true now that home economics, woodshop, arts, and music are disappearing from schools.  Less young people are learning how to cook, sew, and build via formal education, although classes, camps and after-school activities are filling the gap.  Robinson says that our innate drive to create and to embrace trial and error are not valued in an educational system that tries to minimize failure.  Creativity also tends to be multi-disciplinary, which is not widely embraced in our siloed educational systems.

DIY & Maker Culture

A major trend the last decade or so has been a shift towards people becoming more and more creative and leveraging that creativity to explore new interests or even launch new businesses.  We’re creating handmade and one-of-a-kind items that stand out in the world of mass manufacturing.  Some of us are launching businesses on sites like Etsy, an extravaganza of novel items launched from creative brains (which boasts 25 million shoppers).  This has been fueled, as well, by the recession economy that has turned so many people into entrepreneurs:

 In a world of mass-produced products, modern technology has made it easier than ever for a single individual to create and distribute items that are customizable and unique without having middlemen like manufacturers. This growing shift will continue to affect the economy and will likely have big implications on large retailers. It is a special time in history that will have a transformative impact on our future. – Huffington Post

You might have heard about the Maker movement, a grassroots movement based on the emergence of consumer-level tools for design and manufacturing.  It’s reported that 135 million Americans are makers, which is nearly half the population. The maker manifesto calls for making, sharing, giving, and learning.  It’s making a difference.  MakerFaires are popping up everywhere, and there are other maker-inspired communities and events, as well:

Craft nights are replacing book clubs. Libraries and museums are being turned into “Makerspaces,” physical locations where people can come together to make. The sale of sewing kits in Walmart stores has recently gone up 30 percent. And just last year, someone created Christmas cookies using a 3D printer. – Huffington Post

This has become a major economic phenomenon because of a perfect storm of conditions:

  • Access to increasingly sophisticated tools to create, like 3-D printers.
  • The ability to find inspiration online.
  • Crowdfunding to make your idea reality.
  • Online marketplaces and social channels to get feedback and distribute creations.
  • Inexpensive and effective tools for branding, marketing, and promotion.
  • Learning opportunities provided by other creators.

Boosting Your Creativity and Learning DIY Skills

Albert Einstein said that creativity is intelligence having fun. At Connect2Classes, we are committed to helping our learners explore their creative potential.  Creative businesses can be some of the most fulfilling, as well as being lucrative in a world of people looking for unique and one-of-a-kind items.  We’d love to hear about how your creative endeavors affect your life – please comment!


Want to learn how to do something life-changing? 
Check out thousands of upcoming classes on Connect2Classes.

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An Artist, a Game Developer and a Restauranteur On the Secret to Productivity

Downing Pottery at Nordstrom

With sunny skies, crowded commutes, and that phantom force we call Vacation Brain, staying productive in the summer can prove difficult. But sometimes, embracing small distractions can help achieve more lofty goals. These tips from a local ceramic artist, a game developer, and a restaurateur will get that lazy brain back on track—and get the creative juices flowing.

Set small, achievable goals.

No stranger to success, Jon Gill is a game developer at Ruddy Games and self-published his first board game, Skulldug! In January 2016. It was a KickStarter staff pick and currently leads the bestseller table at Cafe Mox in Ballard. But Jon knows smash hits don’t happen overnight, and welcomes the minute tasks along the way.

“Busywork, like answering e-mails or doing something in Photoshop can be really good, because they’re not ‘blank page’ problems,” he explains. “There’s a guaranteed result; I can do it, and cross it off my list, and by then I’m excited enough to tackle the blank page.”

These tasks build confidence, Jon says, but they occasionally give him ideas as well. Turns out with a little momentum, the finish line won’t look so distant.

Create a weekly cycle
Walrus and the Carpenter 2 With all the information we consume in a day, face-to-face meetings are becoming more and more important. When they interrupt a task, though, these appointments can throw off focus and halt that productivity. That’s why lauded Seattle restaurateur Renee Erickson sets a weekly schedule for all six of her eateries. “We have our manager meetings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and that leaves the rest of the weekdays free to be in the restaurants or taking on other events.” For a creative who depends heavily on Google Calendar to organize events, schedules, and delegation, meetings can be a blessing and a curse. The cycle keeps her from overbooking herself and allows each manager to compile questions or concerns ahead of time. And whatever’s in-between, she laughs, gets written on her hand!

Prepare your brain
Often, striking a groove is all about creating a conducive workplace. For Downing Pottery artist Sarah Woodson, this means all prep work is done before she leaves her studio at night. With a schedule based around art shows and special orders, “I have to run a pretty tight ship. But clay doesn’t always work at the pace you want it to.” For example, “when it’s raining and there’s a lot of moisture in the air, the process takes longer.” Sarah tackles issues she can’t control by responding to the ones she can.

Likewise, Jon treats his lengthy commute not as a necessary evil, but as prime brainstorming time. “Because it’s such a constrained space, there are no distractions and I can focus,” the dev points out. “When I just get home without priming the pump in that way, it can be much easier to say, ‘oh I’ll just watch TV, or play a game.’” Armed with a quiver of fresh ideas, he can tackle a challenge as soon as he gets home.

Schedule quality time off
Even before A Boat, a Whale, and a Walrus was published, Renee found it difficult to take the kind of time off she wanted. In lavish photos and delectable stories, the book profiles her favorite vendors, friends, and fishing spots, not to mention menus for all kinds of occasions—all without a smartphone in sight. So how does she step away from the cloud? The secret, she admits, is to schedule events six months in advance, rather than a year. “There’s just so much that we could say yes to, the days off would become impossible,” Renee confides, “you never know what happens in your life, whether it’s a wedding or something exciting.” Her restaurants may be on the hot list each season, but one surf and turf weekend that’s utterly off-limits? Her birthday in August.

Keep your brain engaged
Jon’s home plays barracks to an army of figurines. A regular host of movie nights and outings, he mines pop culture for ideas while he spends time with good friends. “Things that work, work for a reason,” he insists, recommending that any creative study products outside his field. “Especially with games, there is a tendency to look towards other games.” The mentality of “‘I’m going to make a shooter game, I’m going to play other shooter games and see what the best shooters are,’ means you’re going to put out a product that’s exactly like everything else.” That’s a huge mistake in the gaming sphere.

Consuming culture can also increase productivity. “I listen to a lot of podcasts,” Sarah tells us, “and have found that certain types of programs help the flow of my work on any given day. It’s the best thing at the wheel to get sucked into a story and not realize that an hour has gone by.” Whether it’s RadioLab or her favorite stand-up comedian, Sarah can craft ideas and let muscle memory take care of the rest.

Ready to take the plunge? Connect2Classes offers a wide array of opportunities, from coding to crafting to cooking. Sign up today for your chance to rock the studio and bring a creative new routine to your daily life.

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Get Dangerously Creative with Hazardfactory’s Welding Classes

Welding classes

At HazardFactory, it’s ok to play with fire– it’s even encouraged.

Whether you’re building a bridge, winning a drag race, or hurling a fireball, it’s the place to sail past boundaries until you hit the next creative shore.

Proprietor and “Chief Executive Lunatic” Rusty Oliver wants to help you get there. For engineering pros and hobbyists he holds Power Tool Drag Racing, where circular saws stand in for box cars and often the simplest machines take home the glory.

Adrenaline junkies can test their backhand against a fiery foe in the new sport Flaming Tetherball. Don’t let nerves hold you back, as Oliver has addressed each risk, making safety a priority in every event.

Or if you’d rather create than compete, HazardFactory has a welding class for you. Check out their workshops below, and come ready to get your hands dirty.

A Quick Intro to Welding
Designed to explain the fundamentals and get the equipment in your hands as quickly as possible. We will use machines ranging from a cheap, light duty $300.00 hobbyist’s MIG welder, to a $6000, 350 amp, 3 phase commercial machine capable of welding extremely heavy material. If you think welding heavy steel sounds like fun, we happen to think you are correct!

Quick Intro to Welding
Designed to explain the fundamentals and get the equipment in your hands as quickly as possible. We will use machines ranging from a cheap, light duty $300.00 hobbyist’s MIG welder, to a $6000, 350 amp, 3 phase commercial machine capable of welding extremely heavy material. If you think welding heavy steel sounds like fun, we happen to think you are correct!

Build a Bridge: Welding and Bonding
Finally, Oliver runs a fun and challenging team-building activity where participants design and build a bridge, load-test it and finally crush it. Teams from Google, Microsoft and Adobe have built their bridges, fostering their hard and soft skills in a dynamic environment.

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Your mom is smarter than the average bear

I just spent the weekend with my mom in New York and I am impressed by her generation of women. They are smart, interested in technology, use social media to communicate on a level that is completely new to them, and are fascinated in everything!  This is a generation that is willing and eager to learn new things, or upgrade what they already know.   In one weekend my mom became an Airbnb customer, Uber expert, she navigated the NYC subway, soaked up the benefits of sustainable reuse on the Highline, and laughed her way through the profane, but hilarious Book of Mormon.

The reason I am telling you this is May 10 is Mothers’ Day.  Don’t settle for flowers this year.  Give your mom a new experience; teach her something, take her somewhere or just spend 5 minutes explaining what happens when she comments on Facebook (everybody will appreciate that)!

We suggest taking a class with your mom or sending her and some friends to a class.  Here are some ideas:

Language Classes
Sign language, French for travel or conversation, Spanish, Italian, and English.  Perhaps your mom and her friends have thoughts of a trip in their future.  A little French before setting off to Paris can be very valuable.  But even if they never leave home, a french class is a cultural experience on its own.
Cooking Classes  Yes, your mom has probably spent her fair share of time in the kitchen, but not likely on her terms.  Making family meals is not the same thing as learning to make sushi, or pairing wines with meals and whipping up fabulous and decadent desserts.
Photography and Photo Editing
Your mom is smarter than the average bear, and she can handle Photoshop!  In fact, she may surprise you and edit those awkward Christmas family photos she takes every year. Not only that, studies show that learning something like Photoshop helps to improve your memory.

Dance Classes

Check out any Zumba class and you will see how much fun people have dancing.  But don’t stop there:  Ballroom, hip hop, ballet, and jazz. Dance classes are great places to meet people and enjoy an evening together.  You don’t need a partner, you can always find one there.

So give your mom a break this year.  Take her to brunch (we all love that) and give her a gift that makes her fee young and vibrant.

Find more class options at


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Learn Something Together for Valentines Day

valentines day

Roses die and chocolates, sadly, seem to live forever upon our bodies. So this Valentines Day we have a suggestion. Take your loved one to a class and learn something completely new together. A shared experience is something people remember fondly. Learning something together can bring out a playful competition, or a combined effort. Either way, we’ve selected some classes that would make a perfect date night for you and your partner. And, for each class we have recommended a few movies that could make the experience even sweeter.

Gourmet Hamburger Night
Take the time to cook together and make the experience better by grabbing a glass of wine, turning up the tunes for an impromptu dance party, and putting your skills to good use. Make the most of your time in the kitchen and date night will never feel the same!
Gourmet Hamburger Night is a spectacular class on how to properly grind, assemble, form, grill and eat up the most wonderful gourmet hamburgers that you have ever created… and yes.. it will be you.. the students… that do the creating! And because we know this is not enough, you will also learn how to properly prepare some of the best French fries you have ever had to go along with your wonderful burgers!
Movies to watch while eating your burgers and fries:

  • Chef (2014)
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • Chocolat (2000)

Level 1 Adult Fencing
It is said that couple that plays together stays together. It follows that taking part in sports with your significant other is a good way to spend time together. Not only will you bond over a shared activity or learn something new, you’ll stay fit.
Fencing might not be the first sport that comes to mind when thinking of a romantic outing, but the truth is Fencing is a dance, a duel and a sparring match all rolled into one.
Fencing is romantic, quick and exciting.

A one-month introduction to the Olympic sport of fencing for ages 14 and up. Students learn basic techniques, weapon safety, tactics, and strategy. All equipment is provided.

My favorite movies that include some sword fighting or fencing are:

  • The Princess Bride (1987)
  • Three Musketeers (1973)
  • A Knights Tale (2001)

Introduction to Street photography

Street photography is photography that features the usual everyday scenes of life around us, but with a fresh eye. The reflection in a shop window, the colors in a crowd, strange lighting on a car.
With advances in electronic imaging, it seems the responsibility for authenticity falls more than ever to the conscious photographer. No other backdrop offers itself as honestly to this idea than the street.

Movies that feature Photographers include:

  • Annie Liebowitz, Life through a Lens (2008)
  • Rear Window (1954)
  • The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

Flameworking 101
Danger, creativity and heat – that sounds like a romantic evening for couple. You can playing with melted glass and create something to keep forever. This class focuses on taking inspiration from the sea.
Students will be guided through the fundamentals of flameworking with borosilicate glass. Basic solid-sculpting techniques will be taught, providing students with a strong foundation for making work– wearable and sculptural. Discussions on finishing and display will provide insight for taking creations to the next level. Students will be encouraged to move beyond technique and find their personal voice and aesthetic.
Being in Seattle we have the great fortune to be near the Chihuly Garden and Glass, which I would recommend to anybody who can get there. If you are far away here are a couple of inspiring films.

  • Pilchuck: A Dance with Fire (2014)
  • Chihuly: River of Glass (1998)

More heat, fire and sparks!
Create a stunning hanging candelabra or chandelier using beginning welding skills. Select a candleabra design from several options or customize your own. Your instructor guides you through the project step-by-step to complete your original piece. And, it’s easier than you think!

Movies that feature welding or blacksmithing:

  • Flashdance (1983)
  • The African Queen (1951)
  • No Country for Old Men (2007)

American Tango
This special, exciting dance features a masculine leader and a sensuous partner. The American style Tango provides dancers freedom to interpret the music. Show off your creative talents and enjoy the Tango.
American style tango’s evolutionary path is derived from Argentina to the United States, when it was popularized by silent film star Rudolph Valentino in 1921, who demonstrated a highly stylized form of Argentine tango in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As a result, the Hollywood style steps mixed in with other social dance steps of the times began this branch away from the Argentine style.
Dance movies you might enjoy include:

  • Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
  • Scent of a Woman (1992)
  • Shall We Dance (2004)

Couples Massage Workshop

A romantic couple’s massage makes a wonderful gift, whether both partners enjoy the same type of massage or each prefers their own favorite.
In this high tech, low touch world we all need to learn how to slow down and really appreciate our life partner or even our best friend. Learn how to give each other an exceptional massage as well as just be able to touch one another in a mutually enjoyable and affirming way.
We promise you that you will have a wonderful time and learn a number of skills and techniques that will keep you both happier and healthier as well as transform your relationship on many different levels or we will refund the tuition we received for your workshop. We believe in the workshop and the power of touch that much.

These movies have nothing to do with massage – I just couldn’t find any that were appropriate for this list. Perhaps that is your task for the evening!

  • Breakfast at tiffany’s (1961)
  • Moulon Rouge (2001)
  • Serendipidy (2001)