Take a Class

Balinese Textiles. Jean Ingram and her husband founded Threads of Life to support hand-woven, natural-dyed textiles made by weavers in Indonesia. Their gallery is near Ubud’s main temple, and offers $20 textile appreciation classes about the motifs and uses of this beautiful cloth. Website: http://www.threadsoflife.com

Brazilian Dancing. Want to study Brazilian dancing in Salvador Bahia Brazil? Tania Santiago teaches workshops there periodically and wonderfully. Tania danced with Olodum for six years and teaches in Northern California when she’s not on her home turf. Outings will include Candomblé ceremonies, dance performances, capoeira rodas, and the island of Itaparica. Tania Santiago’s Brazilian dance and drum workshops; Workshop website: www.aguasdabahia.com

Semester at Sea. If you have a semester of time and can afford the tuition, travel to the corners of the world on a ship whose faculty is committed to education and cross cultural understanding. Semester at Sea offers undergraduate, graduate and continuing education courses in social sciences and humanities; all earn credit from the University of Pittsburg. The ship has classrooms, a library, computer lab, lecture hall, student union, and campus store. Seventy courses are offered in the fall and spring; 30 in the summer semester. Courses set for 2005 include Women in Politics and Women and Literature. Semester at Sea, Institute for Shipbaord Education, Website: www.semesteratsea.com

Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) is a nonprofit that leads Lifelong Learning trips for people over 55 years of age: no tests, no academic credit, but lots of experiential learning and a chance to learn about peoples, culture, environment and history via lectures, course-related field trips and cultural excursions. They offer 10,000 programs a year in about 100 countries. Website: www.roadscholar.org

Turkish Ceramics. You can learn traditional ceramics from one of the best-known Turkish women ceramicists, Gunhan Dayioglu. Anatolian Artisan’s 15-day courses in Istanbul include moulding, pattern design, painting, glazing and firing. Ms. Dayioglu’s work is exhibited and collected internationally. Website: www.anatolianartisans.org;

Rhythm & Motion in San Francisco offers a wide spectrum of 7-10 week dance workshops taught by women from all over the world. Sample classes include:

  1. Misao Mizuno: the ancient (non-Western influenced) hula from Hawaii.
  2. Liping Julie Zhu, gold medalist in international martial arts and Qigong instructor from China: Taiyi Swimming Dragon Chuan.
  3. Amanda Grady: Odissi, the sacred Indian classical dance developed in temples in Orissa.
  4. Marlene Garcia-King: Capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian art form that combines dance, martial arts and acrobatics.
  5. Yvette Mercer and Tanja Odzak: belly dancing (and the 8 week workshop will lead up to a performance with Ultra Gypsy).
  6. Isaura de Oliveira: dances of the Orixas who are worshipped in Brazil.
Rhythm & Motion Website: www.rhythmandmotion.com

Italian Language School. Seventy percent of the students are women at the Centro Culturale Giacomo Puccini in Viareggo, Italy. The school, located just a block from the Mediterranean Sea in Tuscany, starts new sessions every two weeks and offers five levels of classes taught in Italian. A German who speaks perfect English, Steffanie Leistner ("Everybody calls me Steffi") manages this Italian language school for foreigners. Leisure activities enhance learning and range from spaghetti suppers on the beach to art history expeditions and Italian films. Website: www.centropuccini.it.