5 Classes That Will Make You a Real Chicagoan

July 28, 2016

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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    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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    Photo Essentials

    (3)
    Even with iPhoneography and Instagram, there's a renewed interest in DSLR photography. While most people remain snap-happy photographers stuck on automatic setting, during this Photo Essentials class, you will eliminate the snaps from your diet and learn how to work the manual settings of your camera: white balance, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Once you've mastered these settings, you'll dive into a world of RAW vs. JPG images, Adobe Lightroom, and even the importance of Photoshop. Finally, learn how to use your camera and capture those precious Kodak moments. All you need now is trip to the Eiffel Tower...
    Photo Essentials

    1101 Perimeter Dr, Schaumburg

    • Master your camera's manual settings
    • Learn fundamental functions, concepts and settings such as white balance, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO
    • Uncover the uses of RAW and JPG images, Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Photoshop
    • No experience necessary
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    3 positive reviews
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    Expert Level Muay Thai

    (3)
    Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand -- the art form is so old it was developed as a means to fight the invading Burmese warriors. The "Art of Eight Limbs," incorporates devastating kicks, punches, knees, and elbows. You'll find that this style is much like cardio kickboxing, but you'll learn how to realistically fight and defend yourself in the process. Whether you're learning for self-defense purposes or you're just looking for a toned body, Muay Thai will kick you into shape and keep your guard up and ready.
    Expert Level Muay Thai

    520 Madison Ave, Chicago

    • Learn the devastating kicks, punches, knees, and elbows used in Muay Thai
    • Fight your way to proper self-defense
    • Tone and shape your body in this high-intensity martial arts class
    • No experience necessary
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    3 positive reviews
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    Beginner West Coast Swing

    (1)
    West Coast Swing, the improvisational swing dance, is great for dancers interested in dancing to moderate tempos and contemporary music. In this highly versatile dance form, dancers improvise their steps and dance patterns to match the tempo and beat of the music. Here, you'll learn one of the more-sexy forms of swing dance, which allows for an interesting and creative way of expressing the body. It's also a smoother type of dance style that provides dance partners with more room for themselves on the dance floor. Give West Coast Swing a try, and watch this awesome and legendary dance style make you feel great, fit, and ready to keep the good times rolling!
    Beginner West Coast Swing

    12045 Roosevelt Rd, New York

    • Learn the basics of the improvisational West Coast Swing dance
    • Enjoy learning the dance patterns of this famous partner-dance style
    • Great for exercise and staying active
    • No experience necessary
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    1 positive reviews
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    Seafood 101 (Lincoln Square)

    (24)
    From the sea to your plate, learn the skills necessary to make seafood a safe and satisfying addition to your dinner menu. A professional chef will teach you the tricks of the trade as you prepare delicious dishes like sautéed salmon with sesame asparagus and saffron hollandaise, Spanish braised cod with chorizo, and grilled shrimp with fregola, peas, and chili gremolata. As you cook alongside classmates, you'll practice essential skills such as proper selection and handling of fish and shellfish, grilling and braising, blanching and sautéing green vegetables, and preparing warm emulsion sauces. When you've finished cooking, you'll take a seat at the table for a satisfying sampling of your handiwork.
    Seafood 101 (Lincoln Square)

    4747 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago

    • Learn the art of selecting and preparing seafood from a professional chef
    • Master techniques such as grilling and braising fish
    • Cook up delectable dishes like sautéed salmon with sesame asparagus and saffron hollandaise
    • Gain new culinary skills as you learn exciting new ways to prepare classic fish dishes
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    24 positive reviews
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    Beginning Hip Hop Dance

    (20)
    Live out your fantasy of being the next hip hop star by taking a fun dance class. You will learn the basics of hip hop from professionals. As you listen to some hot music, you can polish your technique and come up with your own moves. Test your creativity and show off your unique style at the same time. This class will not only teach you the basics, it will give you the confidence to try new choreography that rivals your favorite YouTube video.
    Beginning Hip Hop Dance

    1937 S Archer Ave, Chicago

    • Learn the basics of hip hop dancing in this energetic class
    • Practice pops, locks and in an encouraging environment
    • Get a great workout while having fun
    • Mimic your favorite dance videos
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    20 positive reviews
  • Give the gift of fun with a Vimbly gift card!
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    Cooking with Organic Fenugreek

    Tired of eating things with dubious ingredients? Who really knows what "thiamine mononitrate" is anyway? We've cooked up a solution for you! During this Indian cooking class you'll learn new recipes that use only gluten free and vegan ingredients. You'll discover the tricks of the trade, and leave this hands-on class ready to whip up the dishes on your own! Your experienced instructor will teach you how to make Fenugreek Pancakes, Fenugreek Bread, Fenugreek Pakora, and more, and give you copies of the authentic Indian recipes to take home with you. The wholesome ingredients will put your conscience to rest, and you'll leave the class with a happy stomach and a happy heart! This truly is food for the soul.
    Cooking with Organic Fenugreek

    2508 W Devon Ave, New York

    • Cook traditional Indian foods including Fenugreek Pancakes, Fenugreek Bread, Fenugreek Pakora, and more, with an experienced chef and life-long vegan
    • Enjoy delicious gluten-free, vegan food while knowing that your meal is both scrumptious and ethical!
    • Learn the main health benefits of organic Fenugreek and how to grow it in your home all year long
    • Show off your new recipes at your next dinner party!
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    Hip Hop (All Levels)

    (17)
    Hip hop isn't merely a dance. Hip hop examines how to think about the city and the body. When you dance hip hop, you're not only contorting and popping your body, but you're also expressing your personality and background with each juke and rock. In this class, you'll experience a range of movements including popping, locking, waving, ticking, up rocking, juking, foot working, breaking, Old School house, and jacking. Whew. Needless to say, you're learning all of the moves and how they flow together. Trust your body as an instrument and tune yourself up as you'll finally be able to bust a move!
    Hip Hop (All Levels)

    5965 N Clark St, Chicago

    • Learn the fundamental steps and self-expressive manners of hip hop dance
    • Discover a wide range of basic hip hop movements
    • Learn to trust your body as an instrument and be ready to burn some calories
    • No experience necessary
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    17 positive reviews
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    Beginning Jazz Dance

    (17)
    Would you ever guess that the foundations of hip hop reside in the syncopated, improvised movements of jazz dance? It's true. From Fred Astaire to Michael Jackson, jazz dance has impacted contemporary dance culture since its inception. Modern jazz dance emerged with roots in Caribbean dance and African American vernacular dance. During this class, learn the fundamentals of jazz dance, including isolations, improvisation, keeping a low center of gravity, and jazz hands. Come explore this dance steepled in American tradition.
    Beginning Jazz Dance

    5965 N Clark St, Chicago

    • Learn the fundamentals of jazz dance including isolations, improvisation, and keeping a low center of gravity
    • Receive an introduction to jazz's syncopated rhythms and musicality
    • No experience necessary
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    17 positive reviews
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    Afro-Cuban Dance

    (1)
    What exactly was Barry Manilow doing at the Copacabana, the hottest spot north of Havana? Well, he was probably embracing the Cuban tradition and dancing the night away. Cuba embraces its African folklore through dance. Blending Latin rhythms and African movements, this class will teach you the techniques and terminology behind Afro-Cuban dances, such as swaying and shimmying. Through these hypnotic rhythms, you'll improve your strength, agility, and balance, as these dances are high-energy and intense. Take a trip to Cuba via the dance floor. You may never want to leave.
    Afro-Cuban Dance

    1016 N Dearborn St, Chicago

    • Explore the rhythms, beats, and movements associated with Cuban folklore
    • Gain an understanding of Cuban expressions and culture, infused with rich African heritage
    • No experience necessary
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    1 positive reviews

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