After school just got more interesting: try these unusual courses to give you a new skill!

After school just got more interesting: try these unusual courses to give you a new skill!

If you were never good at sports, or hated all those hours of violin practice, don't worry! Here are some fresh ideas

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you should be different, right? While your classmates spend hours practising piano or ballet, here are five alternative courses you might want to try, and some of them also double as great party tricks!

1 Making fake teeth

There's plenty of ways to be artistic, and making fake teeth is a fun branch of special effects make-up that's relatively quick to pick up.

"You can make anything you can think of. Teeth for zombies, sharks, spiders, crooked teeth, even three rows of teeth," says special effects make-up artist Marco To, who heads Marcotomato FX Studio.

To make fake teeth, you work on a plaster version of your own teeth cast from moulds. "It's not really hard because you have your basic set of teeth, and you make carvings from that, or add stuff on," says To. You need things you would find in a dentist's office like plaster powder and silicone. Master the skill, and you're sure to be dressed to the teeth for Halloween.

2 Making drones

Drones are becoming increasingly popular, and if you love wiring gadgets and building models, why not make your own? You can (literally) up your game in video making and photography, like Team BlackSheep, who flew their drone into the fireworks that announced the arrival of the new year. Hong Kong is a paradise for drone-lovers, because air navigation regulations are not strict for hobbyists. Courses will teach you how to fly a drone safely, assemble and connect the parts, as well as aerial photography and filming skills.

3 Hypnotism

Hypnotism has been used for thousands of years to help people deal with stress, pain, phobias, insomnia and addictions.

By learning hypnotism, you can help people relax to enter the alpha state of mind where the brain is less active - like when you are about to fall asleep or wake up. "In this state, people are less defensive and you can find out the root of their problems by communicating with their subconscious," says Denise Wah, founder and trainer at Life Enrich Training and Consulting Centre. She says people are more defensive when they are fully awake, and are inclined to deny or ignore their problems.

Wah teaches hypnotism through demonstration and theory, and says it's important for students to be attentive to emotional changes. It's also crucial to have good motivation, because as Wah warns, hypnotism is a tool that can cut both ways.

4 Bollywood dancing

If you loved The Three Idiots, you may want to try out Bollywood dancing. It fuses choreography from Indian classical and folk dance with Western and Middle-Eastern styles such as hip hop, Latin and Arabic dance, so you get to learn lots of different moves along the way.

"People familiar with Bollywood cinema are attracted to the fusion-style dancing and the unique Bollywood tunes," says Soni Punjabi, who teaches the dance at Trio Spin Studio.

Besides a good sense of rhythm and graceful movements, facial expressions are also very important. Bollywood films incorporate a lot of close-up shots as the actors dance to show off their personality. Both boys and girls are welcome.

5 Animal communication

Have you ever wished your pet could speak? While your dog might not be learning English anytime soon, you could give telepathy a try.

According to animal communicator Rosina Maria Arquati, this is the way to understand an animal's thoughts. "It's like Skype. We turn it on, we are able to communicate," she says.

Arquati teaches students to relax and conducts exercises for them to "connect" with their pets, like looking at their picture.

Animal communication is useful to help with animal stress, behavioural problems and diagnosis of illnesses.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
After school just got better

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