September 5, 2013

Adult ed: 10 new tricks you might teach yourself

Fall is time to embrace your brain's natural desire to learn.

By Shannon Bryan
Staff Writer

This is the time of year when the dreams start up again. You know the ones: You're in gym class without pants, or at your hallway locker and you can't remember your combination. And you're not wearing pants.

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Options include synchronized swimming classes ...

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... dance lessons from the instructors at Red Hot & Ladylike ...

Courtesy of Red Hot & Ladylike

Additional Photos Below

ONLINE: For even more fun adult education options, visit

It doesn't matter how many years you've been out of school -- fall still puts our brains into learning mode. We could ignore it. We could snuff out the sensation with large quantities of bologna sandwiches and wine. Or we could embrace our brain's natural desire to LEARN STUFF.

And remember, we didn't say you had to learn advanced calculus (not that there's anything wrong with that). You could learn something drinkable. Or involving a trapeze.

Or, dare we say, kind of naughty. You're a grown-up now. You can do that.


There was a time, long ago, when you were a master of the monkey bars. You could dangle upside-down for the entire hour slated for recess (remember recess?! Why don't adults have that?). These days, you only defy gravity for the fraction of a second it takes to jump up and smash a spider on the kitchen wall. Maybe it's time to take the gravity-defying back with an aerial skills class. Think trapezes, silks and hoops. And a whole world of weeeeee!

Beginner aerial skills classes by Apparatus Dance Theater run 9 to 10 a.m. this Saturday through Oct. 12 at Breakwater School in Portland. Cost is $120.



Intended for the complete novice (i.e., those of us who aren't already masters of classic burlesque and whose "sultry walk" looks more like we're recovering from a recent spinal surgery), a Red Hot & Ladylike class will teach you how to "let loose and shake it with confidence." And by "it," they mean your bod.

Fall sessions begin Friday at the Red Hot & Ladylike Dance Studio in Portland, and classes are drop-in. For more info, including prices, go to


You've probably been to a wine tasting in the past. Wine tastings are great. But this is different. This is a 10-week course that includes classes on growing grapes, wine making, historical events, and of course how to really taste and assess a glass of wine. The session costs $325, and is slated to begin in mid-September (they're still finalizing the details) at One City Center on Wednesday nights.

For more information or to sign up, email Mark Ohlson, owner of MJ's Wine Bar in Portland, at 


Seriously. Synchronized swimming. I don't know whose idea it was to offer such a class through Portland Recreation, but bless them! Because now we all have the chance to attain a dream! A nose-plugged, breath-holding, vertical and upside-down-in-the-water dream!

Also, it's an Olympic sport, so if you plan to be ready for the 2016 games, you best start now. Classes are 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at Reiche School in Portland. Prices are $50.75 and $54.25. Info:


Maybe you wanted to be a ballerina when you were little and never got the chance. (In which case, it's never too late. Sign up for a ballet class and go get that ballerina dream!) Maybe you were forced into ballet classes and still shudder at the sight of a full-length mirror and/or tutus. In that case, go for beginner hip-hop. Or Latin jazz. Or tappity-tap-tap.

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Additional Photos

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... and classes in the aerial arts.

Press Herald file

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Instruction in shooting – both bullets and arrows – is part of the curriculum at L.L. Bean’s Discovery School in Freeport.

Shannon Bryan photo


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