Is anyone else besides me totally obsessed with the Circus show on PBS? Sophia Isadora Academy of Circus Arts (4241 Park Blvd., University Heights, sdcircus.com) has classes in both aerial work and contortionism (that word does makes me giggle.) Private classes are $60 an hour, but most group classes run for three months, and you can purchase one, two or more days a week for those three months for between $140 and $380.
I know not one, not two, but three people who've expressed an interest in learning calligraphy. Dancing Brush in Cardiff (1770 Rubenstein Drive, dancingbrush.com) has a class that combines the Asian art with lessons in Tai Chi. They do private classes, as well as workshops in Giant Brush methods, too, starting at $65. They also “face read”—if you're into that sort of thing.
Silk-screening classes are hard to come by in San Diego, but UCSD Extension (9600 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, extension.ucsd.edu) has one that starts in January and runs six weeks. The cost is $195 plus $50 for materials. Part of the photography department, it focuses on photographic images, and students create a number of prints on paper and textiles. As part of this gift, I recommend demanding an original first edition.
UCSD also has an incredible Crafts Center (crafts.ucsd.edu), where you or a loved one can be schooled in the ways of neon—like, how to actually make it. Plus, there's flameworking, weaving, metal work, intricate jewelry classes, glass blowing and more. The list of classes starting in January will be online soon.
Not to be left out, SDSU Extended Studies (ed2go.com/cessdsu) has an array of online classes, like “Writing Your Life Story,” “Photographing People with a Digital Camera” and “Enjoying European Art.” Pretty much all are a standard $129.
I never thought I'd write this sentence, but here goes: There are at least four pole-dancing “schools” in San Diego: Fun Pole Fitness (2828 University Ave., Suite 105, North Park, funpolefitness.com), Sexy Silhouettes by Sara (6904 Miramar Road, Suite 102, sexysilhouettesbysara.com), Pole Sinsations (1965 Fifth Ave., Banker's Hill, polesinsations.com) and E by Resa (ebyresa.com). Can't comment on this personally.
Perhaps more traditional than dancing with poles, but no less sexy (just ask Demi Moore), there are a wealth of classes offered at San Diego Ceramic Connection (3216 thorn St., South Park, sdceramic.com).
Prices run roughly $200 for three hours a week, over eight weeks. Next block over, at Home Brews & Gardens (3176 thorn St., North Park, homebrewsandgardens.com), you can give the gift of making beer— they offer a class once a month.
Maybe your friends and relatives would like a more classic class. How about knitting? Try The Grove (3010 Juniper St., South Park, thegrovesandiego.com) or Two Sisters and Ewe (8874 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, twosistersandewe.com). Art? Try San Diego Art Department (3830 Ray St., North Park, sdartdept.com) for fine art or Rare Hare (3316 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, eco9.com/rareharestudio) for kid art. Salsa dancing? Try Champion Ballroom Academy (3580 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest, championballroom.com), home of the screaming lady from So You Think You Can Dance. Cake decorating? My most-favorite-named store in all of San Diego, Do it With Icing (7240 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Clairemont, doitwithicing.com), has classes with titles like “Hands On Marshmallow Fondant” and “Hand-Dipping Schweady Balls.” (OK, not really that second one, but you kind of expect that sort of thing here.)
Alright. I'm off to my fiddle lesson (Old Time Music, 2852 University Ave., North Park, sdoldtimemusic.com), which happens to be located across the street from one of those pole-dancing places. Coincidence?
Up next: Gifts for guys and girls. Write to email@example.com.