5 Classes That Will Make You a Real Chicagoan

July 28, 2018

Michael Douglas said, “I’m impressed with the people from Chicago. Hollywood is hype, New York is talk, Chicago is work.” And work hard, you Chicagoans do. But you also know how to play. And learn. And create. And expand your amazingness. Heck, you do it all.

Those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to hail from the Windy City are left to wonder, “What does it take to pass as a native of this state?" Have you heard the phrase, “It’s never too late to learn”? Well, that phrase isn’t true. Not always at least. But lucky you! In this case, it is.

Check out these 5 classes that can put a non-native on the path towards blending in with the vibrant, electic group of people from this city.

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    Soap Making

    These days, there's no telling what's in the soap you buy in stores. In some cases, you might not want to know. DIY soap is the best way to eliminate that mystery. During this introductory soapmaking class, you'll be using goat's milk as the base to make a natural, gentle soap. A veteran soaper will first give you an introduction into the world of soap making techniques, then you'll be immersed in hands-on exercises that will lead to you producing your very own soap. At the end of the class, you'll even get to take two bars home with you. Of course, you might be too busy showing them off to friends to ever use them.
    Soap Making

    1547 Rockton Rd, Caledonia

    • Learn to make homemade soap on an organic farm
    • Get tips and tricks from a veteran soaper
    • Bring home two bars of soap that you made yourself
    • Delight in the simple pleasure of being able to make an everyday product yourself
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    Blackjack

    (5)
    Walking into the casino, even though the slots shine of gaudy glamour, Blackjack actually holds some of the best odds of winning at nearly fifty-fifty. Now, the game's not as simple as scoring twenty-one or slapping a jack. There are nuances, rules, and a book that needs to be followed. Do you know whether to hit on a sixteen or even double down? In this beginner class, let an experienced Blackjack player guide you through the game, learning strategy, some card counting, and table etiquette. Play a few hands, and once your bearings are straight, take to the table! To hit, or not to hit... that is the question.
    Blackjack

    4318 N Elston Ave, Chicago

    • Learn the essential rules and tips for Blackjack, a casino favorite
    • Test Blackjack strategies, card counting, and table etiquette
    • Play a few hands and experience the thrill of this high-stakes card game
    • No experience necessary
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    4 positive reviews
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    Beginner Hula

    E makaukau? Ready? You'll learn to tell a beautiful story through graceful hula performance during this beginner class. Focus on footwork and hip motions first before integrating hand gestures into a simple hula. Your previous dance experience doesn't matter -- you'll start from the ground up. Grow as a dancer as you improve your ability to intuitively style your movements in accordance with the spoken words of a story. Work on your sense of rhythm and grace as you sway and step to the music. By the end of the class, you'll have developed a whole new appreciation for the art of hula!
    Beginner Hula

    163 N Humphrey Ave, Oak Park

    • Learn the fundamentals of hula, a form of storytelling through dance
    • Focus on footwork and hip motions before integrating hand gestures
    • Grow as a dancer and improve your sense of rhythm
    • Execute graceful moves that perform a beautiful story
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    Kickboxing Class

    (1)
    With TITLE Boxing Club's Kickboxing Class, you'll actually enjoy yourself while you sweat off the pounds and firm up those muscles. Their kickboxing workouts combine a mix of dynamic exercises with kickboxing basics to form an intense routine. Kickboxing is one of the most effective and efficient total-body workouts. You'll not only get in a great cardio workout, you'll also improve strength and muscle tone, and make gains in stamina, endurance, and and energy-level. Hit it hard for an hour...then hit the showers feeling great.
    Kickboxing Class

    1212 S Naper Blvd, Naperville

    • Kick, punch, and block for an intense one-hour that will leave you feeling more fit than ever before
    • Receive instruction and motivation from an expert professional trainer who knows how to get the best out of every student
    • Achieve gains in your overall health and fitness, including improved strength, muscle-tone, stamina, and endurance
    • Burn up to 1,000 calories every class and watch your body transform
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    1 positive reviews
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    Zumba Fitness

    (20)
    If you had the opportunity to party any morning, afternoon, or evening of the week, would you? Would you like to integrate your Friday night dancing into a mid-week workout? Of course! As upbeat, international beats radiate through the classroom, you'll learn easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired dance moves to join this aerobic dance party. What dances will you learn? You'll master steps from salsa, samba, club dance, reggae, and even belly dance. From there, work your hips, wind your waist, and grapevine those legs into tip-top shape. Can your workout get any more fun than this?
    Zumba Fitness

    5965 N Clark St, Chicago

    • Blend hot international music with contagious dance latin-inspired dance steps
    • Learn easy-to-follow, calorie-burning dance moves to thin your waist and tone your muscles
    • Embrace an infectious, exhilirating workout
    • No experience necessary
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    20 positive reviews
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    Flamenco Dance Fundamentals

    (4)
    Learn the dramatic and expressive movements of flamenco dance, which draws its beauty from many cultures, including Andalusian, Moorish, and North Indian. In this class, you'll take the beginning steps to learning braceo (hand and arm movements), cuerpo (body posture and technique), and taconeo (rhythmic heelwork). Build your confidence, and explore the flamenco way of thinking and living. Find your own fire, and stamp out stress!
    Flamenco Dance Fundamentals

    2914 W Belmont Ave, Chicago

    • Learn the basics of flamenco such as braceo, cuerpo, and taconeo
    • Improve your coordination, concentration, and grace while expressing yourself
    • Relieve stress and overcome physical and mental tension
    • Enhance your stamina, energy, and charisma
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    4 positive reviews
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    Meat 101 (Merchandise Mart)

    (9)
    Discover the secrets to cooking up a perfect cut of meat in this all-levels class sure to elevate your culinary game. A professional chef will teach you how to select, handle, and cook meat for mouthwatering results. You'll work alongside classmates to prepare satisfying dishes like sautéed strip steak with miso butter and roasted broccolini, grilled pork tenderloin kebabs with romesco sauce and grilled scallions, and braised lamb and spring vegetable tagine with steamed couscous. As you cook, you'll practice skills such as searing, grilling and braising meat, determining meat doneness, making compound butter, and roasting vegetables. When you've completed your recipes, you'll take a seat and enjoy the tender taste of a perfectly cooked dinner.
    Meat 101 (Merchandise Mart)

    222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago

    • Learn the art to cooking a perfect cut of meat
    • Prepare delicious dishes like grilled pork tenderloin kebabs with romesco sauce and grilled scallions
    • Practice techniques such as searing, grilling, and braising
    • Add a new culinary skill to your kitchen and some new recipes to your cookbook
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    9 positive reviews
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    Mixed Martial Arts Intro

    (1)
    Are you afraid all the time? Does walking down the street make your heart race? Do your co-workers pick on you and borrow your stuff without asking? And then when they do return it, it's broken or has something sticky on it? It sucks, but there's nothing you can do about it, right? Wrong. Learn the grappling techniques used by amateur and professional MMA fighters alike. You'll strengthen your body and hone your combat skills with guidance from your expert instructors. Inject the strength and confidence of a combat expert into your life. And next time someone tries to snag your hole-puncher without permission, you spin around and say, "Go ahead, buddy, make my day".
    Mixed Martial Arts Intro

    644 N Orleans St, Chicago

    • Master the grappling techniques used by mixed martial arts fighters
    • Incorporate a variety of training methods, designed for fighters of all skill levels
    • Hone your combat skills while conditioning your body
    • Boost your stamina, confidence, and preparedness with a comprehensive physical regiment
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    1 positive reviews
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    Sauce Boot Camp

    (25)
    What is the key difference between a bland sauce and mind-blowing one? The chef who created it. Learn to master the art of sauce in this all-levels class focused on bringing out the best of your culinary skills. A professional chef will take you through the process step by step as you practice techniques such as preparing reductions and emulsions, balancing flavors, sauteing pork, and using roux. You'll work in small groups to create various sauces such as bordelaise, béchamel, veloute, hollandaise, mushroom cognac pan sauce, apple cider gastrique, and truffle cream sauce. An assortment of meats, vegetables, and starches will complement your sauces. As you cook, you'll learn all about the mother sauces and practice important skills like making stock, preparing reductions and emulsions, deglazing, and balancing flavors.
    Sauce Boot Camp

    4747 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago

    • Learn the art of creating sweet and savory sauces in this comprehensive class
    • Prepare multiple types of sauces including bordelaise, béchamel, and veloute
    • Practice valuable skills such as making a pan sauce and preparing emulsions
    • Develop new techniques as you meet fellow culinary enthusiasts
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    25 positive reviews
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    Intro to Belly Dance

    The mission of Arabesque is to to give Chicago a choice; to open its doors to uncommon dance forms, and give adults an exquisite place to learn that's a refuge for them alone. Take this class to utilize the art of Oriental Dance to enrich the lives of its studentship and community through local and national dance performances as well as through weekly dance instruction. The goal is to help you find the genuine dancer within you -- with your own natural body movements, as the class embraces all shapes and sizes, any fitness level, age, or race without regard to any preconceived notions. To bridge the gap between dance professionals in an open and friendly atmosphere, Arabesque Chicago promotes a new generation of belly dance with Beauty, Dignity and Grace.
    Intro to Belly Dance

    3120 W Belmont Ave, Chicago

    • Learn basic belly dance movies, like shimmies, isolations, undulations, and snake arms
    • Form the proper footwork, posture, and movements of this popular Middle Eastern dance
    • Boost your self-confidence while you grow to learn how to be comfortable and move in your own body
    • Enjoy the benefits of building muscle in your arms, legs, and abs as you get a fun and unconventional workout
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