Ballroom dance parties

Ballroom dance parties are offered on the first and third Saturday of every month October to May, and the third Saturday of every month June-September, from 7-10 p.m. in the dance studio.

Tom Larson will offer a dance lesson during the first hour. This is an opportunity to have fun trying out new dance skills in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Dancers of all experience levels are welcome. Admission is $12 per person.

Larson has taught at The Phipps since 2003 and owns the Ballroom and Wedding Dance Studio in Minneapolis. He performed for five seasons with The Continental Ballet Company.

Writing class with Marybeth Lorbiecki

Award-winning author Marybeth Lorbiecki will offer a five-week writing class, "Ready, Set, Write!," on Mondays, Feb. 4 to March 4, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The instructor asks, "Have you ever wanted to write a book about key incidents in your life or capture memories to pass on to your children and grandchildren? Or perhaps you have this idea for a short story, novel, or work of nonfiction? Getting started and staying on task to finish can be excruciating. How can you craft your writing into something someone else might want to read? How do you organize it and make the characters come alive? What do you do once you have some written material? Everyone needs inspiration, mentors, and editors when they are writing. This course will get you started, keep you writing, and provide the strategies, tips, feedback and support system to help you create the work you want and take it as far as you want." Lorbiecki, M.A., is the author of more than 30 books for adults and children, but she never forgets how hard it is to get started and keep going on each project. She has taught memoir writing classes and writing workshops for all ages. She has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, teaching advanced composition and a survey of children's literature. To learn more about Lorbiecki, go to The class fee for "Ready, Set, Write!" is $175. For more information or to register, go to

Art classes for teens and adults

Several classes for teens and adults will begin in February. The classes include Beginning Watercolor (six Wednesdays, Feb. 6 to March 13, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), Fundamentals of Polymer Clay (two Saturdays, Feb. 9 and 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), The Healing Power of Pastel Art Workshop (Saturday, Feb. 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Your Artist Creativity Path (five Tuesdays, Feb. 19 to March 26 with no class March 19, 10 a.m. to noon), and Paint Your Pet (Sunday, Feb. 24, 1-4 p.m.) Students who register with a friend or family member each receive 10 percent off the class fee. This offer includes all classes except Beginning/Intermediate Pottery on the Wheel. To receive this discount, registrations must be made in person or over the phone. If one of the students cancels enrollment, the other student will be charged the 10 percent. For class descriptions, fees, and instructor biographies, go to

'Willy Wonka' features area students

Roald Dahl's "Willy Wonka Jr.," with words and music by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy A. McDonald, based on the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl, will be performed by The Phipps Children's Theater Feb. 15 to March 3. Famed and reclusive chocolate maker Willy Wonka (Isaac Verdoorn, Hudson) holds a worldwide contest in which those lucky enough to find one of five golden tickets in their chocolate bar win a trip to his mysterious factory. Young Charlie Bucket (Jacob Weber, Hudson), his Grandpa Joe (Rex Wenger, Hudson), and four pairs of spoiled children (Emmanuel Hanson, Lakeland; Elliana Naegelen, Dresser; Razik Saifullah and Mackenzie Kroll, Hudson) and their parents (Maggie Smith, Morgan Peters, and Sophia Hawk, Hudson; Samuel Malecek, Hammond) take a wild journey through the incredible factory, guided by the eccentric candy man. The rest of the cast consists of other talented area students in grades 10-12: Audrey Mucahy, Afton; Ethan Lehman, Houlton; Ellie Fraser, Roberts; Jack Walter, New Richmond; Kirsten Amann, Luke Bekemeyer, Maggie Brown, Hannah Burns, Keegan Foster, Benjamin Gagliardi, Jennifer Holt, Ella Kluck, Nicholas Lentz, Samantha Stidham, Daniel Volk, and Samantha Yonan, Hudson. The show features the songs from the classic family film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," starring Gene Wilder. The memorable score includes "The Candy Man," "Pure Imagination," "Oompa Loompa," and "I Want it Now" by Academy and Grammy award-winners Bricusse and Newley. Performances will be given on Feb. 15 to March 3 on Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the main stage. Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, and $13 for students and youth. It is recommended for children age 4 and older.

Private flute and piano lessons

Private flute and piano instruction for ages five through adults is available on Fridays.

Sue Christian, a K-12 music education graduate of Luther College, has taught privately since she was 16. One of her favorite teaching opportunities is that of the Hudson Middle School Band Camp, at which she works with budding young flutists.

A member of the Wisconsin Music Teachers' Association, she is involved locally with the St. Croix Music Teachers Association, offering piano performance opportunities to students of all ages. Also a member of the Upper Midwest Flute Association, Christian has tutored students who have won competitions in both organizations. One of her former flute students, as a sophomore in high school, earned the prestigious opportunity to perform in the top 12 for a national competition to solo with the Air Force Band. This student went on to pursue a career in flute performance at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Christian also has extensive experience in accompanying soloists and ensembles as a collaborating pianist in college-level recitals as well as festivals in area schools. In addition, she accompanied The Phipps Festival Chorus and The Phipps Oratorio Society for numerous years.

Private violin lessons

Private violin lessons for students ages seven through adult are offered throughout the year.

Instructor Sarah N. Bertsch has taught violin and coached ensembles for over 25 years. Previous positions include Northwestern College, Wooddale School of Music, Friendship School of Music, and Minnehaha Academy. She received her M.A. from St. John's University and her B.A. from St. Olaf College.

Bertsch has toured nationally with pianist Don Irwin and artist Fernando Ortega and has played concerts in Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Japan, and Guatemala. She has recorded with Sara Groves and a number of regional church music groups. Bertsch enjoys playing and teaching a variety of musical styles. She plays violin in the Oakdale-based global music group Ensemble Aventura and enjoys collaborating in Hudson with pianist Layton James. Bertsch often performs in weddings as a soloist or in one of her string ensembles.

The instructor states, "My teaching style is somewhat traditional (note reading, counting, intonation) and lessons are tailored to each student's ability and life context. I strive to make every lesson a positive experience, not just with violin, but with music in general, and also self-esteem. Learning violin is a wonderful challenge with rich rewards for students in many stages of life."

For further information on violin lessons, contact Bertsch at 715-381-5735.

Voice lessons

Tony Holt, a former member of the King's Singers, offers private voice lessons for ages 11 through adult on Thursdays at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson.

Holt, a native Londoner, was a boy chorister at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. He was a choir member of Christ Church, Oxford, as well as Chichester Cathedral and St. Paul's Cathedral. Holt was then a soloist and chorus member of the Monteverdi Choir and the BBC Singers. For 18 years he toured and recorded as first baritone with the King's Singers.

His lessons concentrate on singing in a healthy way, and enjoying a repertoire that can range from Bach to Broadway. He encourages singers to perform without tension, to communicate well, and to enjoy their singing.

The fee is $30 per 30-minute lesson.

Tai Chi on Thursday mornings

Tai chi classes will continue on Thursdays, from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Andrew Weil, M.D., often seen on PBS and a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, states, "I view tai chi as an effective form of mental and physical stimulation, and very beneficial for overall health. Like yoga, tai chi is a reliable method of stress reduction and relaxation, and it promotes flexibility, balance, and good body awareness. It is pleasing to watch and perform, and as [a recent] study suggests, it may be the best type of exercise to reduce the risk of injury from falls among seniors."

Meeting the needs of both the beginning and experienced practitioner, this class offers the Yang style long form of tai chi chuan. Certified tai chi instructor Mark Tomlinson, with 14 years of experience, conducts the classes.

Punch-cards may be purchased for $100 per eight classes. Classes are ongoing and may be taken at any time. Students only pay for the classes they attend.

Birthday parties

Parents are encouraged to celebrate their child's birthday at The Phipps.

Your child and guests will work with clay to create bowls, cups, and small sculptures. Children ages 7 and older will have a chance on the pottery wheel, too. The pottery will be ready to pick up within two weeks after the party.

The party fee is $218 for up to 9 participants, $24 for each additional participant. The fee includes all materials and clean-up, one to two hours of working the Ceramics Studio, one hour for snacks and gift opening, plus a behind-the-scenes tour (theater production schedule permitting).

To schedule a Ceramics Studio birthday party, contact Anastasia Shartin, 715-386-2305, ext. 103 or


The Western Wisconsin Photography Club meets the first Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. The club also schedules mid-month meetings to accommodate speaker's schedules and for hands-on learning opportunities. Photographers of all ages and abilities are welcome. For more details about upcoming programs and events visit

Healing Arts at Hudson Hospital and Clinic

Current artists on view are High School Posters Exhibit, Audrey Martin, Gabrielle April Sacha, Bernice Fiecek-Swenson, Thursday Morning Painters, Jill Van Sickle, Ryan Armbruster, Mary Kathleen Scott, Sister Arts Group Exhibit and Paul Winger.

Artwork can be viewed during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Maps are available at both information desks to help find artists' work.

Healing Arts at Westfields Hospital and Clinic

Current artists on view are Cathy Durso, Elynn Lepel, Elliesha Klingberg, Austin Koeckeritz, Healing Through Gratitude Westfields Hospital Staff Photography Exhibit, Joan Solomon, and Jill Van Sickle. Artwork can be viewed during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.