It’s not too late to make something of your summer. Put down the rosé and pick up some new skills at a wide range of local classes, from improv comedy to vegan cooking to shoemaking (yes, we can!). Because life’s too short to not know how to give a killer toast or arrange those Trader Joe’s flowers into a hostess gift.
Summer School Is in Sesh with These 7 Fun Classes
Want to do stand-up comedy or just loosen up your quick wit for that back-to-school cocktail party you’ve got on the horizon? Sign up for the eight-session beginner’s improv class at the Upright Citizens Brigade, where you’ll learn how to build a funny story with your scene partners on the spot.
Next class: August 21
You know that sport where people are lifted off the water and twirling under big kites? It’s actually not as hard as it looks. (Well, maybe that twirling part is.) In one 90-minute class in Long Beach, SoCal Kitesurfing will teach you how to master a kite and then lead you onto the water with an instructor right beside you.
Learn to Make Shoes
The fashion designer and apparel consultant behind Shoemakers of LA will teach you how to make a pair of shoes from scratch during three weekend classes. Starting from shoe molds that match your feet, you’ll make a pattern, create the upper construction and attach it all together into a work of sartorial art. No prior knowledge required, though knowing your Choos from your Jordans certainly can’t hurt.
Next class: Ongoing
Try Vegan Cooking
Bet you never thought of adding turmeric and pink pitaya powder to jazz up your plant-based sushi rolls…but the friendly vegan sisters who run Spork Foods did, and they’ll show you how. Their one-day classes offer instruction in everything from comfort food to gluten-free Vietnamese spring rolls, all taught in the women’s sunny West Hollywood loft.
Next class: August 11
Finally Master Knife Skills
At Sur La Table, the Knife Skills 101 class teaches sleights of blade we’d never even heard of (turns out brunoise means cutting up veggies into tiny bits) and includes a six-inch Wusthof blade that alone costs more than the $99 class fee. Win-win.
Next class: August 25
Why pay extra for a professionally done bouquet when you can learn to create a killer arrangement on your own? Longtime florist dynamo Michael Gaffney has an international string of schools, including one in the flower district downtown, where you can take a daylong class that includes materials (and teaches you pro flower-extending tips).
Next class: September 17
Master Public Speaking
Tired of blanking out when you have to present a paper in school or watching your colleagues’ eyes glaze over when you’re trying to make a point in a work meeting? This six-week class at Los Angeles Valley College teaches you all the secrets, including vocal delivery, nonverbal communication and how not to stress if your PowerPoint presentation freezes.
Next class: August 15