Class is in Session

Spring is all about new beginnings, a fresh start and growth. Frisco is home to a plethora of unique, specialized classes that range anywhere from perfecting your cookie decorating skills and flying through the air in aerial yoga to channeling your inner Van Gogh, learning about delicious libations and broadening your cigar knowledge. Intrigued yet?

Comfort zones are so 2018, and the opportunities in our community for some seriously good times are popping up on every corner for a promising date night, family night, girls’ night, teambuilding or even just some “me” time. Regardless of your reasoning for getting out there and trying your hand at a new hobby, just go! 

Altitude Aerial Arts & Fitness 

Anyone looking to fly completely out of their comfort zone should head over to Altitude Aerial Arts & Fitness where class participants can soar through an aerial yoga class. 

Altitude Fitness is a premier aerial arts and pole fitness studio here in Frisco. It offers members and class participants the highest quality aerial fitness classes around, and their studio is the only provider of aerial “flying” yoga in the North Dallas area. In addition to aerial yoga, they offer small group classes in silks, hammock, lyra hoop and pole fitness, and their Kids Circus Academy introduces kids ages 5-12 to the world of aerial arts. 

Aerial arts is a uniquely well-balanced, low-impact activity that is really a one-of-a-kind experience – one that is an amazing opportunity to flex, float and fly! 

I have had my eye on aerial yoga for some time, and, luckily, two of my brave friends were as excited to try it as I was and accompanied me to a Monday morning class. Our instructor for aerial yoga was incredibly warm, welcoming and reassuring as we, admittedly, had some nerves, given that we had never tried it! We had all taken yoga classes before, so we were excited to see how aerial yoga compared and the type of workout it would be. 

Our class was full of experienced members and first-timers, like us, and we all took our spots at our respective fabrics that hung securely from the ceiling in a “u” shape. The instructor began the class by walking us through stretches (with feet still on the ground) that allowed us to become familiar with our fabrics and gave us time to work on mobility and getting warmed up for the “flying” fun to come. While we further incorporated work with the fabrics, we worked through a few yoga poses and more stretches, while the instructor’s playlist encouraged us to both be ourselves and reminded us to have fun. We loved that it was serious in the sense that we needed to ensure we were doing movements properly, but at the same time, we were able to talk, work through questions and receive assistance when needed. This helped make the class feel both challenging and light-hearted. 

After we were warm, comfortable and familiar with both the movements and our fabrics, we really began to “fly,” doing poses that brought our feet of the ground! The instructor was there to help each of us into each position, and once we mastered a concept, she let us fly on our own and work through the movements. We loved that she was able to tell us with each movement how we literally could not fall out of the fabric on heads, as that assurance gave us confidence. We worked through poses that had us hanging from our hips, upside down with our heads inches from the floor, sitting like Buddha in the air, doing backbends hanging over the fabrics and stretching into positions we did not know were possible. We ended hanging by laying fully-engulfed in our fabrics like cocoons for a few minutes of utter relaxation. 

The instructor was wonderfully supportive, explanatory and helpful throughout the entire class, which helped us feel safe and confident. It was an amazing experience, and one your body will thank you for after! 

To check out the different offerings or to schedule a class at Altitude Aerial Arts & Fitness, go to altitudefitnessfrisco.com. 

Premier Grilling 

Frisco STYLE staff members were able to attend a Premier Grilling class with renowned chef Kent Rathbun in January. The class took place on a Saturday and focused on preparing various types of meats. 

Once the class got started, everything Chef Rathbun was doing to prep the meat was displayed on a large television, allowing attendees and chefs-in-training to see exactly what he was doing and what technique he was using.

On this particular day, Chef Rathbun was cooking country-style ribs and took time to explain what kind of cut the meat was and where it came from. He also described how to adjust your cooking style to match what cut of meat you are cooking. 

Throughout the class, Chef Rathbun gave pointers and suggestions. He talked about the importance of seasoning, not overdoing it and not seasoning too early (or else it will start to dry it out). Minimal salt in a rub is preferred, unless you are trying to cure the meat. He was willing to take questions at any time and talked about the best places to find good meat in the area. He covered the three different heat settings (600+, 400-600 and 300-400) and which cuts/meats thrive in those heat zones, the importance of resting the meat (the time after you have taken it off the grill) and how important that is to taste and tenderness.

Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner just trying to pick up on some basic skills needed to be a master on the grill or in the kitchen, Premier Grilling classes are a great place to cook up some fun. With a variety of class focuses throughout the year, you are sure to find something to fit your interests.

Classes for the next few months focus on everything from cast iron grilling and Asian barbecue to cooking on the Big Green Egg. Check out premiergrilling.com to research and register for a class.

The Cookie Rack

The Cookie Rack is one of Frisco’s newest obsessions for foodies or bakers. Not only does The Cookie Rack offer amazing cookies to be purchased and ordered, they offer cookie making classes regularly! 

The owner, a long-time baker, set out to make her dream of owning a bakery a reality, and while her bakery is now here in Frisco, her cookies are simply out of a dream. The team specializes in gorgeous gourmet sugar cookies with a variety of buttercream garnishes and additional flavors like old-fashioned sugar, s’mores, SNICKERS®, red velvet, birthday cake, cookie dough and Reese’s®, just to name a few. 

As soon as you walk in, you are enveloped into a bright, modern and welcoming space with cases full of mouth-watering cookies standing center stage. The back of the shop is a delightful little space where Cookie School is in session a few nights of the week. 

The Cookie Rack’s Cookie School classes are “sip and decorate,” so participants can bring the beverage of their choice along with a group of friends for a fantastic little night out. The team provides all the ingredients and instruction, and participants take home their decorated cookies. No matter whether attendees are beginners having never picked up a piping bag or experts at royal icing and decorating, there is so much to learn and try. In addition to cookies, students are provided with a sugar cookie and royal icing recipe to take home, should they decide to put their skills to the test. 

My best friend and I were able to snag a spot in a Friday night class and learned so much, while having a fabulous time. When we arrived, the owner greeted us with a warm smile and so much excitement! After we met our fellow students and found our spots, she went through a couple of baking tips and how-tos and familiarized us with the cookies we would decorate that night. She had a picture of the fully-decorated cookies for reference, which was really helpful. She walked us through how to hold the piping bags, how to cut the tips off to make the type and width of icing line we wanted and gave us a few minutes to practice on patterns printed on paper. She was amazing, patient, helpful and informative, and it is easy to see how much she loves what she does by sharing it with others. 

The Cookie Rack offers Cookie School on Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as Junior Cookie School for kids ages 5-13. For more details on events, flavors and all things sweet, visit thecookierack.com.

Industrial Cigar Co.

While cigars might be a bit of a niche hobby and interest, there is so much to learn about them and experience. Industrial Cigar Co.’s Cigar 101 classes, Cigars and Cars and Saturdays at the Shop are event opportunities the Frisco location offers for patrons to learn and familiarize themselves with cigars and good company. 

The Frakes family brought Industrial Cigar Co. to the area after spending more than six years of research in and around the cigar industry. Ultimately, they created a hospitality-driven, incredibly unique location that offers public and private lounge spaces, two full walk-in humidors, retail space and a convenient location with a state-of-the-art air purification system. The team has done an amazing job making customers and members feel welcome in their sophisticated, modern space that has a bit of an industrial feel and offers comfy leather arm chairs and high-top tables where patrons can work or have a drink (the lounge is BYOB). 

Industrial Cigar Co.’s Cigar 101 monthly classes are unique and offer different topics of discussion. Most recently, they held Cigar 101 – Spotting Fake Cubans, a class that taught attendees to examine the packaging of cigars and how to inspect them carefully. Cigars 101 – Tobacco Regions and Geography covered the basics of where tobacco comes from and how regions affect it differently. 

The March 19 class will feature a Chocolate and Cigars Pairing, and April’s class will help those new to cigars with the Understand the Basics of Cigar Smoking course. All Cigar 101 classes are open to the public. Industrial Cigar Co. also offers a free monthly event called Cars and Cigars, held in their parking lot, providing cigar and car lovers an opportunity to admire others’ cars while sharing a conversation and cigars over coffee. In addition, they offer Saturdays at the Shop every Saturday morning at 10 a.m., where they go live on Facebook and Instagram to chat about happenings, events, favorite cigars and products. 

One employee explains, “We have a lot of fun and really enjoy getting to know new people, while spending quality time with the ones we know over good cigars. Our classes give us the opportunity to share our love for cigars with others, and we love being able to help both members and non-members pick out cigars of their liking.” 

Fun fact: Industrial Cigar Co. has the same air purification system that is utilized by nuclear submarines and purifies 100 percent of the air once every six minutes, so you do not smell like a walking cigar when you leave!

Get additional information about Industrial Cigar Co. and classes at
industrialcigars.com.

Painting with a Twist

Painting With a Twist® classes allow participants to channel their inner Van Gogh … with a little help from artists or instructors! The team invites participants to BYOB while painting alongside others to create artwork (that looks professional) to take home. 

While the classes are not serious art lessons, attendees are invited to relax, talk and create beautiful art! Classes are booked based on the attendee’s choice of art. The company’s website shows weekly classes offered based on the paining participants will complete during that class. While the Saturday afternoon class might compose a painting of a serene sunset with landscaping, the Saturday evening class might compose a painting of the Eiffel Tower or an enchanting forest. Many classes are even geared towards kids (think paintings of unicorns, pandas and giraffes) and can be booked for private parties. The studio’s website has a great birds-eye-view of the monthly calendar with pictures of the paintings offered and will let you know when private parties are booked and regular classes are not available. The studio manager and assistant run the painting classes, while effortlessly creating an easy-going, inviting, relaxed and fun atmosphere. 

I attended a full Monday evening class that had a lively birthday group participating, as well as an eager small corporate group, all of whom were excited to dive right in to their paintings. During class, the instructor mainly stays towards the back of the studio on her small, elevated stage from which she instructs the class so students can see her brush and color choices and brush strokes. As students began to paint and follow along, easy conversation and laughter danced throughout the room, which made the atmosphere all the more enchanting. The Painting With a Twist team walked around assisting painters or commenting on how amazing the work throughout the room looked. With each step, they took time to show students which brush to use, how to mix paint colors, how much paint to use and modeled how to make the appropriate brush strokes for parts of the painting they worked on. No one felt left behind, and we were even encouraged to spruce up pieces with our own flair. It was fun to walk around at the end of the class and see all the interpretations of the piece each individual created. 

Experience does not matter at Painting With a Twist, and students are truly encouraged to be themselves as they recreate gorgeous works of art with their very own hands and imaginations. Check out paintingwithatwist.com to choose a class!

Young Chefs Academy

Kids can get in on the local culinary fun at Frisco’s Young Chefs Academy. Here, they can take cooking classes in a safe environment while discovering new talents and learning about a whole new side of expressing their creativity through food preparation. 

During classes, students learn food preparation skills, kitchen safety, etiquette, table setting, menu planning and develop comradery with their fellow chefs. Young Chefs Academy offers opportunities for kids to get in the kitchen, whether through weekly classes, parties or summer camps. 

Weekly classes are uniquely structured around a monthly theme, and kids can sign up for a membership to attend multiple classes or drop in to see if it is something they think they would like to do regularly. January’s theme was Healthy Comfort Cooking, and students were taught various tricks, tweaks and swaps that turned popular comfort food dishes into lighter, more tasty versions of their former selves. February’s class was The Art of The Flavor Palate, which taught students to use their senses for flavor combinations in order to determine those that work well together, as well as how to balance and combine ingredients, a skill that ultimately allows young chefs to inspire creativity and new discoveries with flavors. Camp Can-I-Cook is the academy’s camp program that fully immerses kids in a culinary adventure of the latest trends, as well as new recipes and culinary techniques. In addition to weekly classes and camps, Young Chefs Academy offers Kids’ Night Out classes once a month, allowing parents to drop kids off for a three-hour class of hands-on experience, culinary instruction and fun. If parents are looking for a family date night, the team also offers Families in the Kitchen events, which allow parents and children to experience an afternoon or evening in the kitchen together learning and cooking. 

Instructors want young chefs to be empowered to understand food. They help young chefs take ownership of what they have learned and truly understand what ingredients do for the recipe. They make choices in the kitchen, which means they are learning to understand food, preparation skills, the cooking process and the presentation of their food – skills demonstrating they are reaching beyond the title of the recipe. 

At the beginning of the class I sat in on, students reviewed past skills they had learned with the instructor, and he asked them to describe what they had learned thus far. He encouraged them to do so without using their hands. For example, one young chef explained that a garnish is not simply a decoration like a little drink umbrella, but an edible piece of the puzzle that enhances the overall look of the dish. Throughout the class, students gathered around the instructor while he modeled and talked, and he allowed kids to work as a group and independently, when the recipe allowed, under his watchful eye. Students ultimately made a beautiful dish of spaghetti squash with Italian meatballs. 

At the end of class, parents are invited in and chefs present their dishes detailing both the “why and how” of the recipe, which is another opportunity for them to connect those skills and outcomes. 

Young Chefs Academy is home to many talented young chefs, and they offer amazing opportunities for local youth and families. Keep your eyes peeled for adult classes, coming soon, that will be a fun opportunity to hang with friends and learn some new skills. Go to youngchefsacademy.com to get additional information. 

Frisco has become a destination where you can truly try anything. We have so many open doors to possibilities you might not have known existed! Whether you make it your goal to try something new once a year or once a month, Frisco’s got your schedule filled … and you are guaranteed to have an amazing time!

Allie Spletter
Allie Spletter is a wannabe foodie and lover of all things pink and crafty.