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The coolest classes in NYC

Sign up for these thrilling, unusual classes that prove New York really does have something for everybody

Photograph: Julia Berke
New York Jedi

Ready to get schooled? New York City offers classes in every topic that you can think of—and a few you can't. Fitness fanatics can get their fix with our NYC fitness guide, while arty types can check out hybrid classes for eating, drinking and learning. But for the adventurous student—that's you—we've uncovered 15 awesome, out-of-the-box classes in NYC. Whether you've always wanted to learn how to use a lightsaber or you're an aspiring reality-TV star, we have the course for you. Read on and uncover your hidden skills!

Classes in NYC

Aerial Trapeze

Glide through the air with the greatest of ease while saddled into an aerial trapeze. Hey, that rhymes! The instructors at Trapeze School New York (212-242-8769, newyork.trapezeschool.com; $50-70, depending on day of the week) will not only equip you with the skills to do death-defying stunts, but they’ll do it in novel outdoor locales like South Street Seaport and Pier 40 off the West Side Highway. Daily trapeze sessions are available for all four skill levels—but note that you must have taken three intro courses and been signed off by a teacher before moving on to a more advanced class where you can learn cool moves like how to flip mid-air.

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Classes and courses aren’t just for nerds—New York sex-store mainstay Babeland (babeland.com; free-$30) offers funny, entertaining and super informative workshops on such topics as “Beyond the Blow Job” and “The Art of Great Sex,” and you can choose from one of three locations.

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Banana Skirt Productions

There's something for everyone who wants to "Run the World" or get "Drunk in Love" at Banana Skirt Productions, where you can break a sweat while learning some of your favorite moves from popular music videos—like Beyoncé in “7/11,” Jessie J in “Bang Bang” and even ’N Sync in “Bye Bye Bye.” For $20, you get an hour of heart-pumping dance and learn a routine you can take with you to the club (or your bedroom mirror). You can sign up for Ratchet ZooBa, where you’ll be twerking in a dark room with neon lights, or Drop It Low, an African dance fusion class with reggae music. 

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Thu Mar 26–Fri Apr 3

Bartending 201: Techniques & Tips for the Creative Process

If your last mixology class got you thinking about trying to go pro, Bartending 201: Techniques & Tips for the Creative Process at Astor Center (212-674-7501, astorcenternyc.com; $79) will bring you a step closer to Sasha Petraske–protégé material. Taught by mixology veteran April Wachtel, the lesson imparts techniques in speed, multitasking and service. Participants get behind a bar to practice making various drinks simultaneously, upping their efficiency while sipping some of the cocktails they’ve made.

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Bitter & Esters

Bitters & Esters (917-596-7261, bitterandesters.com; $55) is not only a place where hops-heads can load up on malts, grains and equipment; it also doubles as a classroom, offering weekly instruction on DIY suds. Learn the basics of at-home brewing at one of three hands-on courses. The courses are taught in a concentrated two- to three-hour workshop format, categorized according to skill-level—"Introductory Classes," "Advanced Classes," and "Brew Like a Pro."

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Brooklyn Brainery

The Brainery (347-292-7246, brooklynbrainery.com; $10-100, depending on class) leads the field in eccentric but enticing classes. Choose from courses in Japanese kokedama (“make your own living moss balls”), demystifying Tex-Mex and an introduction to tapestry weaving. Or pick from more practical options, like working out your retirement plan (hey, it’s never too soon), identifying spring trees and learning to knit (specifically, a slouchy hat).

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Fashion Styling

If you’ve ever watched an episode of The Rachel Zoe Project and thought, I want to do that, Fashion Styling at the Fashion Institute of Technology (212-217-7999, fitnyc.edu; $185-340, depending on number of sessions and skill level) is a well-heeled step in the right direction. Let the fashion-minded faculty turn your eye for color into styling know-how through a combination of lectures, demonstrations and studio projects, including assignments in set and prop styling, location scouting, and styling for fashion shows, video productions and celebrities.

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NYC’s food freeloaders combine hard-core postcapitalist theory with a daring willingness to eat whatever they can find by foraging. (For instance, “Weeds rule!”—or so the website freegan.info claims.) You too can become an urban hunter-gatherer by attending free biweekly “Freeganism 101 & Trash Tour” meet-ups, which take you to the best grocery-store-and-restaurant Dumpsters of a particular ’hood and explain why that edible grub is wasted, along with various other seminars by seasoned stealers and food shares.

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Lightsaber Fighting

New York Jedi founder Flynn Michael and his fellow instructors, who have backgrounds in martial arts and film-fight choreography, impart the ways of the Force at two-hour electro-sword classes every Thursday night at 7pm at Ripley-Grier Studios (212-643-9985, newyorkjedi.com; $10). Flynn's “tribe of storytellers and dreamers” (read: students) can participate in an annual battle as part of the Village Halloween Parade. Grown-ups playing with illuminated toys in the name of honor? Rad.

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Madagascar Institute

An art project in Gowanus, Brooklyn, Madagascar Institute (madagascarinstitute.com; $30-120, depending on length of class and membership) swears by the motto “fear is never boring,” and offers live performances, guerrilla art events and, yes, classes. This spring you can learn about MIG welding (like in Flashdance!). The website advises: “Dress warm and leave dirty.”

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Classes in NYC, from language lessons and computer courses to continuing studies and photography classes, are available year-round

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John M
John M

Check out City SpeakEZ for "Experience-Based" Foreign Language classes in NYC for adults.  Think wine tastings while learning french or cooking classes while learning Spanish, dancing, dining out, happy hours and more!  It's a total blast and you experience a system that really anchors the knowledge!

classes are 10 weeks and meet once a week for 2 hours from 7-9pm.  Make NYC your classroom!


Keo D
Keo D

abunDANCE is a fun, liberating and outrageous workout dance class! Created to include everyone in spite of dance training. Be prepared to sweat and to leave empowered with a smile on your face. Class is a mixture of Hip-hop, Salsa, African and Twerk.

Location: Dancewave - 45 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Every Monday, 8:30-9:30pm

Price: $7-$12

Website: http://www.keomitarver.com/page-ab/

Keomi Tarver- keodances@gmail.com