16 Unexpected Local Classes To Enroll In Now!

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Trapper Keepers and study hall may be a thing of the past, but back-to-school excitement is never out of style around this time of year. Sure, we may have traded our three-ring binders for MacBooks, but that doesn't mean we don't still geek out over shiny, new backpacks and No. 2's as summer comes to a close. (Don't be shy, raise your hand if you're with us!)

While we won't be enrolling in Mol Bio or Intro to Calculus anytime soon, we'll be first in line to register for these L.A. courses that are anything but by the book. From preparing the perfect pizza to mastering synchro-swimming moves, R29 is about to drop some knowledge on the best local workshops and how-tos outside the classroom. Grab a pen — because you'll want to take notes!

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Work It Out

Synchronized Swimming Classes with the Aqualillies
We certainly hope you didn't toss that swim cap from your days learning the backstroke! While doing laps is indeed impressive, the grueling exercises from the Aqualillies will drown any doubts that water ballet is for wussies. Oh, and our tip — don't forget your nose plug! You'll thank us later.
Annenberg Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Highway (near Montana Avenue); 310-458-4904.

Fight Gravity Series at Rockreation
When a flight of stairs has you short of breath, you know you're in need of a serious workout revamp. Ditch the treadmill and head on over to this indoor rock-climbing gym with over 9,000-square-feet of floor-to-ceiling excitement. For $99, rookies should hit up the intro courses, which include six hours of training and a free one-month membership. Experienced climbers, we'll meet you at the top!
Rockreation, 11866 La Grange Avenue (at Armacost Avenue); 310-207-7199.

EQ 360 Training: FIRE (Fast Integrated Reactive Exercise)
Before you roll your eyes at yet another fitness class, take a peek at this 30-minute, all-in-one routine. The new course promises to challenge your balance and agility using a Step360 (like a regular step, but on steroids!) and weights. A serious workout in a short amount of time, it's perfect for anyone looking for a tight bod on an even tighter schedule.
Equinox, 1835 Sepulveda Boulevard (near Santa Monica Boulevard); 310-473-1447.

Salsa Lessons at 3rd Street Dance
This dance company's popular salsa class is a must for any Angeleno looking to master the hip-shaking steps. Since the beginner workshop is offered every Wednesday and Thursday evening, we recommend you brush-up before a big weekend of busting moves.
3rd Street Dance, 8558 West Third Street (near South Holt Avenue); 310-275-4683.

Photos (clockwise from left): Via Facebook/Aqualillies; Facebook/Rockreation; Facebook/Aqualillies
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Food For Thought

Cooking With The Pros at Sur La Table
Please put down the frozen Trader Joe's taquitos or bland bowls of cereal — neither of those dishes are dinner-worthy. Take a peek at this kitchen-supply store's stacked schedule of cooking and baking classes that will have dinner guests itching for your secret paella recipe. No need to reveal you traveled to The Grove, not Spain, to learn from the pros.
Sur La Table, 6333 West Third Street (at Fairfax Avenue), Suite P-10; 323-954-0121.

Veggie Gardening at the Natural History Museum
Taught by master gardener Florence Nishida at the museum's Butterfly Pavilion, this tutorial will show you how to create and care for a new veggie garden. With lessons on finding good soil, proper planting, and feeding, it doesn't get more locally grown than this program!
Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Boulevard (between South Vermont Avenue and South Figueroa Street); 213-763-3388.

EATZ's Extremely Personal Cooking Classes
Sometimes, the best notes are the ones you can taste. Enter EATZ and the cooking school's dinner-party approach to making a meal. Rather than just watching the chef, students actually partake in the process, enjoying the fruits of their labor as they go. And the drinks don't go unnoticed — wine and cocktail pairings are always included in the lesson.
EATZ LA, 612 North La Brea Avenue (at Melrose Avenue); 310-824-3586.

Hands-On Cocktail Classes at Greenbar Collective
Every month at their downtown distillery, husband-and-wife team Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Mathew instruct students on how to master the art of cocktail creation. Even slackers can still get a taste of the beverages made with organically grown produce by purchasing the spirits on their site. Drink up, because Greenbar plants a tree for every bottle of booze sold. Cheers to that!
Greenbar Collective, 2358 East 8th Street (near South Santa Fe Avenue); no phone.

Photos (clockwise from top left): Via Sur La Table; Natural History Museum; EATZ
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Get Out More

Horseback Riding Lessons
Sure, this spot offers trail rides, trotting tutorials, and the like, but what makes this school stand out is its required horsemanship class, which teaches riders of all levels how to stay safe in and out of the saddle. Oh, and the fact that each horse is named after a different state — California's a blonde, of course!
Traditional Equitation School, 480 Riverside Drive (near South Main Street); 818-569-3666.

K-9 Loft Pet CPR Course
Sometimes man's best friend needs more than just a scoop of Purina and regular walks. This course will educate dog-lovers on the necessary steps for pooch-specific first aid including CPR and how to treat Fido for poisoning, injury, or bleeding.
K-9 Loft, 2170 West Sunset Boulevard (near North Alvarado Street); 213-484-6006.

Westside Motorcycle Academy
You've already got yourself a badass leather jacket, why not complete the package with a license to ride? This course focuses on safety and equips future bikers with the proper tools to navigate the streets of L.A. PCH is the first spot we want to hit, as soon as we master clutch control!
Westside Motorcycle Academy, 310-395-0695.

Malibu Longboards Surf School
The L.A. Times dubbed surf instructor Matt Rosas of Malibu Longboards "the coolest guy ever," and it's pretty apparent upon meeting him that he won that title fair and square. His year-round lessons are great for beginners and experienced surfers because he always manages to stay level-headed and teach students everything they need to know. Now, where's our wet suit?
Malibu Longboards Surf School, 2030 Ocean Avenue (near Bay Street); 310-467-6898.

Photos (clockwise from left): Via Facebook/Traditional Equitation School; Facebook/K-9 Loft; Facebook/Westside Motorcycle Academy
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Meeting of the Minds

"Drawing from Antiquity" at The Getty Villa
If you can spare some time from your busy schedule, visit the Getty Villa for one of its free drawing classes. The picturesque setting acts as your inspiration and Elmira Adamian will guide you as you sketch works of art, architecture, and the gardens of the Villa. We're pretty sure your inbox won't be offended if you ignore it for just one hour!
The Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway (near Coastline Drive); 310-440-7300.

"Creating & Selling Your Work in the Nonfiction Market" at UCLA Extension Writers' Program
Do you believe your stories are bound for Barnes & Noble? Well, enroll in this nonfiction course, stat! Not only will you hone your craft, but you'll learn the ins and outs of selling your work with a little help from Yona McDonough.
UCLA Extension Writers' Program 10995 Le Conte Avenue (at Gayley Avenue), Suite 440; 310-825-9415.

Introduction to Belly Dance at L.A. Belly Dance Academy
Most readers would expect us to include these sessions as a fitness activity, but the ongoing workshops at this academy are just as much of a workout for our minds as our muscles. Learn thorough, step-by-step breakdowns of different bellydancing techniques while absorbing the cultural lessons instilled by these professional performers.
L.A. Belly Dance Academy, 8503 Pickford Street (near West Pico Boulevard); 310-854-3500.

"Making the Tumbler" at Revolution Glass Studio
With nearly 20 years of glassblowing under his belt, Revolution's owner Josh Gelfand is seriously skilled when it comes to crafting. After participating in the beginner's course, make sure to check out the intermediate-level offerings — you'll learn how to create practical kitchen items like tumblers! We bet your folks will appreciate this much more than that ceramic mug from camp.
Revolution Glass Studio, 108 Arena Street (near East El Segundo Boulevard); 310-615-0340.

Photos (clockwise from top left): The Getty Museum; Facebook/L.A. Belly Dance Academy; Facebook/UCLA Extension Writers' Program