Many people think of learning as something related to their job or school. But we can also learn for fun. Dublin is host to an array of very unusual classes – so whoever says learning is boring is very wrong.

Whether it’s to learn a new party piece or to up-skill in an unusual activity there is loads to do. And with less common activities you might even have the competitive edge!

We’re always trying to get the work/life balance right but with handstand classes in Dublin we’re talking a whole new type of balance. Okay, standing upside down might seem a bit daunting. But why not be inspired by those amazing displays at the Olympics this year and give it a go? It’s certainly more achievable to focus on a handstand than taking up gymnastics and trying to learn a whole bunch of stuff. They also teach different ways to “bail” safely, so don’t worry, we can all save ourselves. Dublin Circus Project offer a course in handstands and also a drop-in class so you can try it out.

It may have been a long time since most of us spun a hoop around our waist but this form of exercise is great craic. Imagine hoops spinning from your arms and legs while balancing one around your waist: now that’s definitely a party piece. Irish Hoopers run a class in Cabra which teaches you the core skills plus new hoop tricks on a continual basis – making this an ever-evolving class. Turns out there’s a whole lot more to Hula Hoops than crisps!

Whether you want to create a brooch bouquet, a floral arch or your very own floristry business, Kay’s Flower school will show you how. Run by sisters Deirdre and Janette O’Rourke, this Rialto-based business is something of an institution in the Irish floral world. If you sign up for one of its hands-on classes (they’ve got a holly wreath workshop coming up in December) you get to take home the fruits of your labours.

Brooch bouquet

Another floristry school that’s right on trend is Austen Flowers. With a name like Camelia and a husband who’s a garden designer, Camelia Austen’s floral expertise doesn’t come as a big surprise. Classes have names like ‘Purple Delight’ and ‘Tropical Red’ – so be prepared to have a colourful time. Austen Flowers is on South Quay in Wicklow town (we know, we know, it’s not Dublin).

Like floristry, aerial aerobics can be a thing of beauty. But what with the swinging off silken ropes and the being suspended from the ceiling, there’s a lot more in the way of physical commitment going on. Never fear, you’ll be in safe hands with Ria Murphy of Aerial Cirque – and there’ll be a nice soft mat underneath you should you need it. It’s a great workout too. Ria’s studio is a beautiful loft space above Dunnes in Exchequer Street.

And then there’s mixology. It’s a makey-up word, isn’t it? A bit like hamburgerology. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a serious academic discipline. Literally, as it happens. At the Dublin youre-learning-wha_0081_325x380Bar Academy on North King Street they don’t let Dublin’s reputation as the home of the pint to plain get in the way of a demon Negroni or world-class Margarita. The academy’s two-day intensive cocktail course – which happens over a weekend and costs €249 – promises to ‘shake up your CV’. Although stirring is presumably taught too.

But if this approach isn’t, well, Tom Cruise enough for you, you may find Cocktail Classes Dublin more to your taste. What’s on offer here is more ‘fun hen party activity’ than studious pursuit. Indeed, your hen could be ideal time to learn all sorts of other skills too. The same concern lists burlesque dancing, pole dancing and,’s favourite, nude painting.

I don’t know about you but I am definitely trying some of these classes out.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

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