Chaska, Minnesota | 17 June, 2019 | (952) 448-2650
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Off the wall is off the charts
by Mollee Francisco
Feb 24, 2012 | 1345 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Luanne Englehardt (far left), of Chaska, Ann O'Neill, of Victoria, and Ann Kasid, of Chaska were among the lucky ones to get into the Thriller Line Dance class. They came decked out in their finest Michael Jackson gear. (File photo by Unsie Zuege)
Luanne Englehardt (far left), of Chaska, Ann O'Neill, of Victoria, and Ann Kasid, of Chaska were among the lucky ones to get into the Thriller Line Dance class. They came decked out in their finest Michael Jackson gear. (File photo by Unsie Zuege)
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Nestled among the standard computer, cooking and fitness class listings, the Eastern Carver County Community Education catalog harbors some eye-catching entries.

Dance the Argentine Tango, create Viking weave jewelry, build a personal solar station – these are just a few of the unique things locals can try their hand at this year through the adult education program.

And as it turns out, residents seem drawn to the off-the-beaten path selections in the semi-annual catalog.

“History has proven that the more off-beat the topic, the better,” said Nicolette Abel, specialist with the Adult Education pro-gram.

Abel chuckles over some of the ideas that have been proposed and yet notes that those tend to be the classes that people sign up for. “It sounds crazy and we think it will never go and then it does.”

For the last two Octobers, community ed has offered a Thriller Line Dance class that gives students the opportunity to perfect the moves to Michael Jackson’s signature song. “It is so popular we had to start a waiting list,” said Abel.

Locals that were lucky enough to secure a spot in the class came dressed for the occasion, complete with Thriller jackets and even sparkly white gloves.

PREPARED

Those are the kind of students Carol Schaub loves to have in class. The best students come “prepared to be a participant, ask questions and interact with instructor and other class participants,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Schaub teaches two classes for community ed – “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” and “Jams, Jellies, Butters and Marmalades.” Abel said that niche classes like Schaub’s have struck a chord with area residents.

“Hobbies and special interest classes that really appeal to a niche have had the greatest success,” said Abel.

That doesn’t mean that community ed will stop offering the basics, however.

“Our main goal is to provide something for everyone,” said Abel. “That’s why you see classes from one end of the spectrum to the other.”

“I believe it is important that the class be relevant to the student,” wrote Schaub. “People have busy lives and they look for sub-jects that can streamline their lives and add value to their home/family.”

LOW COST, COMMITMENT

Abel said that community education classes offer a lot of positives, including low commitment (most classes last just one session) and low cost (many classes run from $25 to $35).

“It really is entertainment and education at a bargain price,” she said.

“We provide a safe environment to try something new,” Abel continued. “And it can spark new hobbies and friendships.”

Students can learn the art of sushi, hula hoop their way to better health and even how to represent themselves in divorce proceedings.

“I love to see the variety,” said Abel. “There’s that old community education joke about offering underwater basket weaving – I like that stereotype. That class would probably be a go.”

Sampling of upcoming classes

* Go Solar! Build a Personal Solar Station - March 7

* Argentine Tango Workshop - March 9

* Viking Weave Jewelry - April 11

* Artisan Bread - April 11

* Grocery Savings 102 - April 12

* West Coast Swing Workshop - April 18

* The Art of Sushi - May 1

More info and full selection of classes:(952)556-6228; ce4all.org



 
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