Fun, mind-broadening classes to upskill your life in New York

April 30, 2014 at 12:55 am


You’re motivated, like knowing it all, aren’t averse to going back to school and love learning new skills to impress your friends? Then this is the list of kick-ass classes for you! Tess Cameron names the best classes on offer in New York – from languages to painting, cooking to sewing and dance to ice skating.

Language classes

First up is languages. It seems every second person you meet is on a quest to learn another language whether it’s because they’re going overseas, looking to impress a future lover, or just want to seem like a smarty-pants. The New York Language Center is the city’s premier school for those hoping to turn multi-lingual.

Cooking classes

Without fail you know at least one person who puts ‘learn to cook’ on their list of resolutions every January 1. It’s  admirable, but few reach their goal of culinary perfection. Cooking is a skill everyone should own – it’s not that hard! New York has both The Brooklyn Kitchen and The Institute of Culinary Education to get you on your merry way.

Painting classes

I’d like to master painting by the time I retire – then I’ll be 100% ready to set up my easel and chair every day and paint away. Whatever I fancy I’ll be then able to get onto paper in watercolour, acrylic or oil. My grandchildren will be oh so appreciative of their presents I’m sure. Right now however, I’m a long way from producing anything that’s not ‘abstract’. Luckily, the Painting Lounge offers exactly what I need – a class to teach me the right way to direct my paint strokes.

Dance classes

You may have missed your calling as a ballet dancer, but it’s not too late to become a master of the dance. Dance Manhattan offers so much variety in their class options you could do a different class a day for a week and still have more to try. It’s never too late to dust off those dancing shoes/dreams.

Ice skating classes

Ice skating is a very seasonal inclusion in this list, but hey, when are you ever going to ice skate if not in Fall? Some of us mastered this skill in childhood, but most of us didn’t. However if you’d like to successful complete an entire circle around the Rockefeller Center this Christmas head directly to the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers. Offering classes for all skill levels (and all ages), you’ll be spinning around in no time.

Computer classes

Computers can be a real pain in the ass. Sometimes they’ll just stop working, sometimes an upgrade will change everything completely, and sometimes you just want to find out what that mysterious button on the desk top does. Whether you’re a complete newbie to computers, or just looking to work on the skills you already have, The New York Public Library offers classes to assist you. Best of all – they’re free!

Photography classes

Trigger happy? To ensure you’re not ending up with blurry, badly lit photos head to the International Center of Photography. They have classes for people of all skill levels and will be happy to show you the basics.

Sewing classes

Turns out when you no longer live with a mother/ aunt/ grandmother handy with a needle and thread, getting clothes fixed is EXPENSIVE. Learn some excellent haberdashery skills for yourself at Brooklyn General. They also offer classes for those who are already quite adept, and keen to take their sewing capabilities to the next level.

Coffee classes

Ah, sweet sweet caffeine. That beautiful creation that gets you out of bed, into the shower and on your way to work. It’s versatile, it’s delicious, and every cup is like your very own pep talk. Those daily Starbucks runs can get expensive however, so why not save some $$$$ and learn how to brew from the very best – The American Barista and Coffee School. You’ll be richer, you’ll get your coffee in the morning sooner AND you’ll have a fancy new skill to show off.