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Channel Your Inner Artist with 10 Beginner Classes in the DMV

From dancing in heels to acting classes to writing workshops, the District has no shortage of artistic learning opportunities.

We all need a creative outlet from time to time — a way to express ourselves and embrace play outside our regular routines. It can be tough to know where to start, though, especially as a beginner artiste. This fall, we invite you to get artsy with us with these 10 beginner arts classes in D.C. From free improv workshops to ceramics and pole dancing, the DMV is full of creative experiences for you to enjoy. Check out our picks below for ways to get into the arts this fall — and have while fun doing it.


Express Yourself with Pole Dancing at Pole Pressure
Pole dancing can be artistic, too. In this sexy-chic fitness class, learn to express yourself and build confidence through movement. You’ll study spins, floor work and transitions while strengthening your core and experimenting with moves that best complement your unique body type. Date and times vary. $10+. 1322 14th St. NW, DC; // @polepressure

Pair Painting with Happy Hour at Muse Paint Bar
Sip, snack and paint at one of Muse Paint Bar Ballston’s classic canvas events. Artist-instructors will guide you through painting a themed masterpiece, offering options like Van Gogh’s starry night (but in downtown D.C.), forest magic, paint your pet and, of course, Barbie. Classes offered Monday-Sunday. Times vary. $35+. 4328 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; // @muse_paintbar


Learn Acting Essentials at Little Theatre of Alexandria
Hone the skills you need to deliver a gripping on-stage performance. You’ll learn the basics of stage acting, including how to approach a script, work in an ensemble and conduct a successful audition. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of how to embody a character to inspire their audience — and themselves. Wednesdays at 7 p.m. $180. 600 Wolfe St. Alexandria, VA; // @littletheatrealex

9.10, 9.20 + 9.24

Practice the Art of Photography at Capitol Photography Center
Unlock your camera’s creative potential with one of Capitol Photography Center’s Photo Basics Workshops. In these single-session, four-hour classes, you’ll learn the fundamentals of exposure control, depth of field, lens choices, composition and more. This class offers hands-on practice needed to transform your photos into memorable visual art. Wednesdays + Sundays at 9:30 a.m. $99. 8130 Porter Rd. Falls Church, VA; // @capitalphotographycenter


Enroll in Private Music Lessons at Potomac Arts Academy
An arm of George Mason University, this community arts space offers private and group lessons in piano, violin, voice and more. Try a one-on-one session or check out the academy’s lineup of adult group classes in guitar or piano. Various days and times offered. Group classes start at $325 and private lessons start at $39. 4260 Chain Bridge Rd. Fairfax, VA; // @masonartsacademy


Experiment With Dance Styles at Dance Place
This D.C. nonprofit dance hub offers a plethora of dance classes every day of the week at three different Northeast D.C. locations. Classes include Cuban dance, Black fusion, classical ballet and party grooves. Looking for an active and out-of-the-box yet classy Friday night pregame? Try out their Friday night Heels class 7 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Times and prices vary. 3225 8th St. NE, DC; // @danceplacedc 


Embrace Creative Play with Washington Improv Theatre’s Free Intro to Improv Workshops
During these 90-minutes sessions, you’ll practice and perform off-the-cuff theater games with WIT staff and fellow improv-curious participants. Expect to leave with a solid understanding of the foundational elements of improv — and a reignited sense of play. If you’re hooked, keep the fun going with one of WIT’s eight-week improv class series. Times and locations vary. $325. // @washingtonimprovtheater


Try Ceramics, Drawing + Collage at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW)
CHAW offers a slew of visual arts courses for beginners and more seasoned artists alike. Try ceramics with a wheel and hand-building course (all materials provided) or go for something classic with a figure drawing class. More into contemporary art? Consider collage fundamentals to experiment with different shapes, colors and textures across mediums. Dates and times vary. $125+. 545 7th St. SE, DC; // @chawindc


Showcase Your Story with Story District’s Storytelling 101 at Mindspace
Check out Story District’s Storytelling 101, a multi-week course that takes you through the messy and magnificent process of crafting an unforgettable story. Participate in group classes, receive a one-on-one coaching session and embark on a field trip to a live Story District show. The course culminates in a final performance to showcase your new storytelling techniques onstage. Sundays at 3 p.m. $575. 1301 K St. NW, DC; // @storydistrict


Study the Craft of Fiction with Creative Writing at the Writer’s Center
Sharpen your creative writing skills with this four-session beginner’s course at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. In this small group class, you’ll learn how to generate story ideas, create characters, and construct a story arc through expressive writing exercises and readings. Not ready for the full commitment? Check out this month’s Intro to Fiction workshop slated for the morning of September 16. Mondays. $215. 4508 Walsh St. Bethesda, MD; // @thewriterscenter

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