Instructors from The Enrichment Academy meet potential new crop of students

The Enrichment Academy held an open house and registration for spring classes Saturday at Lake Miona Recreation Center.  Villagers lounged around the sitting areas and visited with instructors at the open house while waiting for their number to be called.

A new class being offered at The Enrichment Academy this time is Country dancing. Village of Pennecamp resident Andrea Thorne will be teaching The Texas Two-Step and the Waltz. Assisting her will be her sister Judith Wilsher, also a Pennecamp resident.  Thorne discovered country dancing while in Fort Lauderdale and was hooked. First a student then a teacher, Thorne became part of the award-winning Grand National Championship team. She encourages people to give it a try. She runs a Country Dancing group in The Villages and says the advantage to taking it as a class is that you can move forward with the steps each week. In the group a lot of time is spent going back to basics for the newcomers. One of her regular group dancers Andi Flanagan readily agreed and had already signed up for the class.

Judith Wilsher and Andrea Thorne

“Plus you know you are going to have a spot. The dance group is so popular you don’t always get in, you have to go really early to get a spot.”

Thorne said besides dancing, people enjoy getting to know each other.

“We’ve had a few marriages come out of our dance group,” she said.

Bicycle Safety and Skills is another fairly new class being offered by The Enrichment Academy. Offered every month this class is for avid riders and people who may just be starting to ride again since moving to The Villages.

Panthers Tandem Club members and Enrichment Academy instructors Rose and Bob Jordan and Diana Mirkin.

“We want to make sure all the riders know the rules and regulations,” said one of the course instructors, Diana Mirkin. This class was started by members of the Panthers Tandem Club. “We have seen some riders do some crazy things and we want to make people aware. Florida has some unique bike laws and there are some customs that are unique to the Villages,” said Mirkin. 

Returning this spring with his always popular class on the U.S. Constitution is Doug Hughes. He has been teaching this class in The Villages since 2013 and it always fills up fast. One of his former students stopped by and gave Hughes a rave review.

Enrichment Academy instructor Doug Hughes with former student Larry Jepsen.

“He really does a wonderful job with his presentation,” said Larry Jepsen. “He gives you everything in a binder to keep. It is really well organized.” Having finished with the Constitution class, Jepsen was waiting to sign up for the class on how to use Alexa.

If you missed Saturday’s open house you can still sign up on line by going to www.districtgov.org/departments/Recreation/enrichment-academy/.