5 Classes to Take to Meet a Mate

If you've found yourself on a first-name basis with a number of bartenders around town lately, but haven't had a date in who knows how long, maybe it's time to take a break from the watering holes. But where to go?

Of course, people in movies are always meeting their prospective dates in grocery stores, bookshops and coffeehouses. Um, when was the last time that happened?

Instead, aim for a more casual setting where you might actually meet someone with a common interest. Classes are a wonderful way to learn a new skill and meet a variety of people. Just make sure that they last for at least two sessions so you have ample opportunity to approach a cute classmate. Try one of the following:

1. Cooking Class: "You don't have to think up reasons to talk or things to talk about when you're in the throes of putting a recipe together as part of a team," Michael O'Neill, the culinary program coordinator for Sur la Table, has said. "The topics are already there for you." Or, if cooking's really not your thing, try a wine tasting class. Learn all about sweetness, body and legs in a class that will give you a good reason to ask someone if they want to get a drink sometime.

2. Dance Lessons: Mambo, salsa, swing - the words alone are romantic. And at dance class, you don't have to make conversation first before holding someone in your arms. If at first you feel awkward, keep in mind that feeling will pass after a few classes when you get to know the others.

3. Foreign Language: You'll feel terribly smart enrolling in (and actually attending) a language class. Hey, you'll have to practice rolling those Rs with someone sometime.

4. Scuba Diving: Scuba diving - or really any class that gets the adrenaline pumping, like bungee jumping, rock climbing or snorkeling - attracts healthy, adventurous people. Be generous by offering to grip, support or steady a classmate.

5. Acting: Check out local theaters or comedy clubs to see if they offer acting or improv classes. This is a great way to shake off inhibitions.

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