Feed your mind – Part 1

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Feed your mind and learn something new today!

With Summer almost here now well under way and set to be a massive year for gay rights in the UK with the legalisation of gay marriage, New Year’s resolutions are probably a dim and distant memory. So what about learning something new instead? Steve Bustin takes a look at some of the courses on offer for LGBT and the gay community.

As Gay people we look to make changes to our lives and tend to focus on our gay lifestyle and our love lives. Why not focus on your mind instead and make this the year your learn something new?

There are hundreds of workshops and classes, courses and online learning tools to give you access to new skills and hobbies, from learning a new language to dancing, or from more self-awareness to stand-up comedy. Here are some suggestions for things you could be learning in 2014.

Learn to… Dance

Fancy shaking your booty and getting cheek to cheek with a partner (whether that’s your own partner or not)? Salsa Rosada is one of the longest running gay community dance classes, shimmying since 1994. Open to men and women, no experience or special clothing needed, and you can join and start learning any time. Classes take place at the London Welsh Centre with beginners doing their stuff at 7pm and intermediates showing us how it’s done at 8pm. See salsa-rosada.co.uk. Manchester is also up and dancing, from gay-gordons-manchester.co.uk to manchesterprairiedogs.co.uk.

Learn to… Be better at relationships

Learn to love someone and form meaningful relationships, with these online short courses aimed at gay men. Adam Clark and Tony Dines, a couple for more than 20 years, are both life coaches specialising in helping gay men boost self esteem, build relationships, and lead more fulfilled lives. Online courses cost £2.99 or download their iPhone app, GayLife, for 69p. gaylifecoach.co.uk/self-coaching.php for details. Also check out courses on self-development offered by thequestawaitsyou.com, and more spiritually focused courses from the Findhorn Foundation in far north Scotland, findhorn.org.

Learn to… Be funny

Are you always the one making your mates laugh down the local gay bar? Or have you watched Alan Carr doing stand-up and thought, “I could do that!”? Jill Edwards is one of the UK’s top comedy coaches and helped launch the careers of comics including Jimmy Carr, Sean Walsh and Shazia Mirza. She runs weekend, week-long and 10-week courses in Brighton but people travel from around the country to work with her. Learn to write and perform comedy – and maybe even make your stand-up debut in her end-of-course show. The 10-week course takes place on Saturday afternoons, costs £255 (£195 concs). Go to: jill-edwards.co.uk