It’s been said many times: the United States is the proverbial “melting pot” of the world. Fortunately for us, there’s a hearty spoonful of global potluck at home in the Upstate. While March is Upstate International’s month-long celebration of all things diverse, there’s plenty of ways to enrich your life the other 11 months of the year.
Cooking Classes at Charleston Cooks!
Proving that not all kitchen endeavors need to end up like an episode of the Three Stopoges, Charleston Cooks! Serves up a variety of internationally-themed, hands-on cooking lessons throughout the month. If you’ve ever dreamed of crafting your own pasta, sign up for the Saturday workshop, where you can stretch your noodle and a simmer the perfect sauce to go with it. Or dust off your beret for the Tres Chic participation class, where Monday night’s grilled chicken transforms from blah to ooh la lathanks to this French-inspired menu.
Charleston Cooks!, 200 N Main St #101, Greenville. $60. (864) 335-2000, mavericksouthernkitchens.com/charlestoncooks/Greenville
Middle Eastern Belly Dance Classes
While the Middle Eastern art of belly dancing is far more seductive and sexy than, say, line-dancing, it’s also steeped in cultural significance and sophistication. Used as both performance art and social activity, belly dancing tells different stories and helps build confidence through the exploration of inner beauty. Instructor Layali Layla hosts both group and private classes, using a combination of ancient and modern techniques set to Middle Eastern music. You’ll get in a great workout while still having fun and will learn about the rich history of the dance. Classes range from beginner to intermediate and advanced, and all women are welcome.
Belly Dance with Layla, Mauldin Sports Center, 101 E Butler Rd, Mauldin. 5 courses, $50; drop-in, $15; private lessons, $45-$75 per session. (864) 502-8080, greenvillebellydance.com
Foreign Language Classes at the International Center of the Upstate
Polish up those rusty high school language skills with the help of the International Center. For business or pleasure, beginner or advanced, classes are tailored to fit every level of proficiency. There’s also a wide selection to choose from. Not only can you learn to speak the language of love or order mas cervezas on spring break, there’s also course offerings in Japanese, Russian, German, and even Arabic. Conversational classes can help sharpen communication techniques, or choose a regular or intensive class for eight-to-ten-week spans.
The International Center of the Upstate, 9 S Memminger St, Greenville. $60-$350. (864) 631-2188, internationalupstate.org
Spending an afternoon creating your own traditional Hindu symbol of wholeness seems like the perfect way to get in touch with your spiritual center. The mandala represents balance of self and takes many forms in the realms of spirituality, politics, and religion. This soothing workshop is designed to draw each individual back to a positive aura, and all materials will be provided.
Chapman Cultural Center, 200 E St John St, Spartanburg. Sat, Feb 22, 10am-2pm. $60. (864) 583-2776, chapmanculturalcenter.org