Gayle is an accountant. Shh – don’t tell. She thinks she’s a writer.
Published February 2nd 2018
Dare to be Different
Fancy a short course but study isn't your thing? Does the usual offering of computer courses and self-help classes leave you uninspired? Step away from the norm. Learn something out of the ordinary. Not only will you have a whole heap of fun doing it but describing it will leave your family and friends hanging on your every word.
This list is just the beginning as a growing number of people share knowledge gained in weird and wonderful pursuits.
The classes mentioned are only a selection on offer. A quick Google search may find something closer to your home. Check out what's available at your local Community Centre, TAFE or Council of Adult Education.
1. Feng Shui is the art of arranging your space for a favourable energy flow. Developed over 3,000 years ago in China and is based on the Taoist view of nature. Feng means wind and Shui means water, both of which are related to good health. Learn how to apply Feng Shui to you own home or learn to be a consultant at the Australian College of the Environment. If it's just for fun hook into one of the courses offered by the Centre of Adult Education or those offered by Sacred Feng Shui Design.
2. Flamenco is a form of Spanish dancing well known for its passion. The dancing is only a third of traditional flamenco which is partnered with guitar playing and singing. Hand clapping or the use of castanets add to the drama and flowing skirts are designed to be flung and swirled. Choose the class nearest you from this directory of Flamenco classes.
3. Beekeeping is not just for the professionals. Have you ever though you might keep bees in your own backyard hive. Imagine drizzling your breakfast toast with honey collected in your own garden. There are a number of courses and training packages run around Melbourne. Learn about beekeeping, get an insight into this rewarding pastime and judge your passion for it.
Learning the basics (Photo by PublicDomainPictures)
4. Furniture Upholstery is something my Mum used to do to give worn out seats an extension of life. It was a time when things were repaired not discarded; refurbished not retired. It is a trade almost lost. Padgham Upholstery run classes in traditional furniture upholstery. In these classes you will learn by upholstering your own chair. Home Upholsterer run courses through TAFE, other education institutes and community centres.
5. Magic captivates young and old alike. If you want to nurture your inner magician and wow friends and family with you mystique help is at hand. The Melbourne Magic Academy offers magic classes for children. In these classes magic is taught alongside self-confidence, anti-bullying and life skills. The Melbourne Magic School offers courses for both children and adults. Adults are also catered for by Card Class which offers small group magic classes.
6. Making Your Own Soap, a necessity in times gone by is now an opportunity to make colourful and aromatic works of art. Pretty up your bathroom or made lovely gifts. Little Green Workshops offers both courses and kits. Black Soda Products offers soap making workshops along with classes in a range of topics.
7. Weaving is not something often seen in the home. Knitting and crochet have long dominated home yarn crafts. Here's your chance to be different. WeTeachMe run weaving classes which see students leave with a completed piece and a weaving kit. Courses are also run by Australian Tapestry Workshop and Art Weaver Saoiri Studio.
8. Origami is the art of folding a square of paper into the most wonderful of objects. Most people have seen the ever popular swan but many animals can be made. Make flowers, boxes, fruit and insects. The designs are almost limitless. Wow your friends with your own paper treasures. RMIT offers short courses in this 300 year old Japanese art form. Some TAFE colleges offer short courses in the art.
9. A Rag Rug is a mat woven or braided from rag. They were common a couple of generations ago when nothing was wasted and the remnants of sheets or clothes worn threadbare were made into floor mats. Visual artist Ilka White sometimes runs classes on rag rug making as well as many other crafts.
A Rag Rug (Photo by PublicDomainPictures)
10. Pole dancing was confined to seedy bars and strip clubs has become a popular medium for everyday women to get fit, build strength and have fun. There is no shortage of places to learn the art. Pole Divas offer a variety of courses from beginner to advanced and everything in between. Pole Princess have classes in a number of suburbs. A Google search for "Pole Dancing Classes Melbourne" will reveal many more.
11. Bonsai is the art of dwarfing trees and shrubs and training them into ornamental shapes. They are nothing short of a living work of art. Work-Shop Melbourne runs a class where students will commence their own bonsai tree.
Creative Bonsai (Photo by Peter Hempel in the Public Domain via Pixabay)
12. Tarot Reading is steeped in mystique but contrary to popular opinion you don't need to be a psychic or a medium as anyone can be taught to read. It's about the interpretation of the cards. Check the Tarot Guild of Australia for details of members offering workshops and courses.
13. Taxidermy is most thought of as stag heads on the walls of English manors. This age old art of stuffing and mounting animals to appear as in life is gaining in popularity. Rest In Pieces offers workshops from beginner to intermediate.