Photography Classes

Photo
WHEN: Thursdays at 7:00p.m. and Saturdays at 2:00p.m.
WHERE: RCC Our Texas (2337 Bissonnet Houston, TX 77005)
  •   Classes for all levels;
  •   Digital and analog photography;
  •   All genres: street, portrait, landscape and social photography;
  •   Plein-air classes at the little-known places of Houston and Galveston.

Group and Private Classes are available.
The study program is tailored to the students’ requests.

Instructor:  well known Houston photographer Vladimir Frumin, continuous partcipant at the FOTOFEST,  winner of Carol Craw Fellowship Award ( 2015) and Sony Photography Award nominee. The photos by Vladimir has been exhibited multiple times and published in the prestigious magazines Black and White and Easy Rider.

Cost:
$30 – group class or
$50 – individual class

Duration: 1.5 hour

For more information please call 713.395.3301 or e-mail OurTexasInc@gmail.com

Sponsors:

City of Houston logo HAATCA art works
This project is funded in part by a grant of the City of Houston through the Houston Art Alliance
frost Prince and Princess Piotr Galitzine TMK Russian General Store

 

Qi Gong Classes

Qu Gong
WHEN: Mondays  7:00p.m. – 8:00p.m.
WHERE: RCC Our Texas (2337 Bissonnet Houston, TX 77005)

Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention.

Instructor: Larisa Ermishina

  • Certified instructor of Qi Gong
  • Trained for 2 years as Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist and studied Qi Gong in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
  • Learned from internationally recognized teachers: Mirzakarim Norbekov, Ged Summer, Lee Holden
  • Practices hand-on therapies for over 3 years in USA

Cost:
$40 for 4 classes ( $10 per class) or
$15 – individual class

Duration: 1 hour

You need comfortable clothes and shoes.

For more information please call 713.395.3301 or e-mail OurTexasInc@gmail.com

Sponsors:

City of Houston logo HAATCA art works
This project is funded in part by a grant of the City of Houston through the Houston Art Alliance
frost Prince and Princess Piotr Galitzine TMK Russian General Store

 

SOCIAL ARGENTINE TANGO CLASSES AT THE RUSSIAN CULTURAL CENTER

WHEN: Thursdays, 7:00 p.m.- 8.00 p.m.

WHERE: RCC Our Texas (2337 Bissonnet Houston, TX 77005)

Tango

Want to dance like Porteño (native of Buenos Aires)?

Argentine Tango in “Milongero” Style  at the Russian Cultural Center!

Tango your life!

  • Classes for EVERYBODY, for all levels.
  • Foundations: balance, connection, posture, embrace, rhythmical patterns.
  • The dialogue between our bodies is instinctive.
  • Energy and fluidity versus strength and control.
  • How to have fun and dance till 100 years old.

No partner required

Instructors: Lola Vayner and Srini Vishnubhotla

The duration of class: 1 hour

Single class – $10

For more information please call 713.395.3301 or e-mail OurTexasInc@gmail.com

Sponsors:

City of Houston logo HAATCA art works singaporeair
This project is funded in part by a grant of the City of Houston through the Houston Art Alliance
 Prince and Princess Piotr Galitzine TMK

 

THE GREAT AND MIGHTY RUSSIAN LANGUAGE…

as described by the Poet Alexander Pushkin

Some consider the Russian language to be complex because they feel mystified by its alphabet but, undaunted by the task; many people decide to study it anyway. Some need to learn Russian for professional reasons; some plan to travel to Russia; some seek a Russian bride because of the famous beauty of Russian women; and some are simply attracted by the beauty of the sound of Russian heard in songs or opera performances.

In his treatise on Russian grammar, the nineteenth century Russian poet Mikhail Lomonosov praised the beauty of the Russian language: “The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, used to say that you spoke in Spanish to God, in French with friends, in German with acquaintances and in Italian with the ladies. But, I believe, if a person had a fine command of the Russian language, he would find it has the splendor of Spanish, the vivacity of French, the strength of German, Italian tenderness as well as the powerful laconic imagery of Greek and Latin.”

THE RUSSIAN LANGUAGE WILL TAKE YOU ALL THE WAY TO MOSCOW!

Russian Proverb

Much like the American saying, “Go west, young man, go west”, the proverb above stressed that knowing Russian well was the way to success for the peoples of all the many nationalities that composed the Russian Empire.

But for the students attending classes at the Russian Cultural Center (RCC), the attraction is less to the beauty of the Russian language than their interest in Russia. “I am awed by my students,” says Tatiana Mechtchanskaia, their instructor. “They do not want to rely entirely on guides when they travel to Russia. So, in the evening, after a full work day, they come to class to learn the language, dedicating time to homework assignments, as well. Frequently, they delay their trips until they feel able to explain themselves adequately. They are amazing people. They love Russia and are interested in our history, museums, theaters, and our history with its unique culture and customs.”

Tatiana gives an example of one of her students:  A 60-year-old Houston man studied Russian for two years at RCC, taking additional private classes and watching Russian films at home. After a three month trip to Russia, he came home and continued his Russian classes. He then went on further trips back to Russia, to the Ukraine and Siberia and to the Turkic-language speaking Central Asian Republics of the former Soviet Union. He has now taken a break from Russian classes and is learning Turkish. He plans to be off again soon, this time … to Turkey!

Of course, for students moving to Russia for business, the RCC classes provide not only language skills but also a survival course for living in Russia. “I remember when I came to America fifteen years ago, everything was unknown, everything was done differently from what I knew. It was difficult to adjust,” says Tatyana. This is why it is important to the instructor that students know basic skills, what to do if luggage is lost at the airport, how to describe their suitcases, how to catch a taxi (and how to avoid taking the wrong taxi!), how to buy a subway ticket, which can be confusing even for a Russian-speaking foreigner, how to stay safe and navigate their way around skillfully. There are role-playing classes for every possible situation – from airport arrival to ordering meals in a restaurant to mapping the way to museums and theaters, and what to do when you get there. In one situation, students are lost travelers and learn the most important words to say including “Please,” “Thank you,” “I need…” Even though the latter phrase would sound too demanding from a Russian, foreigners would be allowed to ask for help in that way. The instructor also teaches students how to behave if they are invited to a Russian home, such as removing their hat and shoes and, oh heavens, never take a peek into the refrigerator!”

Tatiana Mechtchanskaia has considerable experience teaching foreign languages. For many years, she taught English to students of the Electro-Technical Communications Institute in Moscow, including many exchange students from Europe and Africa. Since coming to the U.S, she teaches at the University of Houston Clear Lake (UHCL) as well as to employees of NASA and Boeing Corporation.

Tatyana considers the curriculum at the RCC better tailored to student needs than elsewhere. “At other language schools, there are usually only two levels, beginners and advanced. This means that a student who has already learned the alphabet and can speak a little could be sitting next to someone who has no knowledge at all. At RCC, we have three separate beginners’ classes! That permits the instructor to give individualized help to each student at their specific level, thus maximizing the learning experience. And the lessons are per class, not the whole semester ahead of time. This is also more convenient”.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

Some of the students studying Russian are American parents and…bridegrooms!

“Parents who have adopted children from Russia often want to learn the language, even when their adopted sons and daughters, many for obvious reasons, do not want anything to do with their native country and its language”, says Tatyana. “It is the parents who are thinking of the child’s future. They understand that when the children grow up, they might change their minds about Russia. The parents try to know more about the Russian heritage of their children so that they can impart it to them as they grow up”.

Tatyana speaks with no less warmth about her students who have found the love of their lives in Russia – one is now married to a Russian, two others are awaiting the arrival of their Russian brides. In contrast to their less empathetic American brothers who believe that a wife should adapt herself to life here and learn English, these men are concerned about how their beloveds will feel when they arrive in a foreign land without knowing the language. These men study Russian diligently and intend to bring their brides to the Russian Cultural Center to enjoy the activities and meet with fellow Russians. In return, the Russian ladies can be of great help to their husbands in their mastery of the language, helping them with homework and learning famous poems by heart.

As their command of Russian improves, the lessons themselves become more interesting. “I am absolutely convinced that lessons that consist of grammar and exercises are totally boring. So I have the students read poetry, as well. They write their own short stories, on any topic, even about having gone to a movie. The students were not receptive to writing stories, at first. But now everybody writes them and we enjoy the stories, some of which can be quite amusing. In this way, everyone can feel that they are living the Russian language, not just studying it. That’s the main thing,” says Tatyana.

The Russian Cultural Center maintains fond ties with the students, even after they finish their course of studies. For example, a fifteen-year-old girl completed three years of Russian at RCC before becoming an undergraduate at Rice University. She placed directly into advanced level Russian courses. Tatyana also maintains contact with a military man, now stationed in the Middle East, who previously studied at RCC. He traveled worldwide but when he would come back to the U.S. for three months each year, he always came to class. “In general, I would say I have wonderful students,” says Tatyana. “They are special people. They’re not only the highly educated professional types, but they are all the kind of people who are interested in things, in expanding their horizons. Great students!”

STUDENT FEEDBACK

Josh Scoggin

I enrolled in the classes in late January of 2013.  I began learning Russian while in college in 2004.  I studied the language for 2 years and then quit.  I’ve rededicated myself to learning Russian and am loving every session with Tatiana. The classes are fun, very learner friendly, and we even get tidbits of Russian culture throughout the lesson. I look forward to continuing on with this journey.

Julio Montano

I started Russian classes at RCC about 5 years ago, going on Saturday mornings, and taking extra lessons for a month or two before trips to Russia. I travelled to Moscow for work in 2006, and was fascinated by the city, and the people. I wanted to return on a private trip to explore and having knowledge of the language adds to  the enjoyment of the visits. You know being able to read signs, and do some basics without having to depend on an interpreter all the time.  I also thought that having the language would help build friendships with a couple of the people that I met and wanted to form stronger bonds with.  I have found the classes at RCC great and Tatiana to be a wonderful teacher. I like having the ability to set my own pace for learning and having the small group allows Tatiana to be flexible on what is learnt. I have found the classes very helpful, as we take things slow, are able to practce and ask questions. The big plus is that beyond the grammar/vocabulary our teacher freely shares Russian culture and I believe truly enjoys giving the students that want it, an understanding of history and customs as they pertain to our lessons. I find it to be an exploration, where there is always something new to understand. The Russian language is full of idiosyncracies, and Russian culture filled with contradictions.

Dinara Gutarova.
Photo by Olga Vayner

Russian School for Kids

WHENThe classes meet on Sundays and Saturdays

WHERE: RCC Our Texas (2337 Bissonnet Houston, TX 77005)

Individual lessons are possible
Download the application

Russian School for kids

Small-size classes for children 2.5-8 years old.

The groups are organized according to kids’ age and their fluency in Russian.

Curriculum includes:

  • Language development
  • Russian alphabet and grammar
  • Writing and reading skills
  • Mathematics and logics
  • School preparation
  • Preparation to magnet program tests

The duration of class: 1 hour

The cost: $25

For more information please call 713.395.3301 & e-mail rcc@ourtx.com or russianculturalcenter@gmail.com.