By Carley Stavis

What do surfing, fairy-tales, musical refugees, classes that teach you to salsa or Zumba and some really big paintings done by one of UCSC’s own have in common? All are in store for the Santa Cruz arts aficionado through the rest of February.

*One Winter Story*: In the male-dominated world of big-wave surfing, Sarah Gerhardt stands out — but it’s not just her gender that sets her apart. Besides being the first woman ever to surf the Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, considered one of the biggest and deadliest breaks in the world, she received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from UC Santa Cruz just a few years ago and now teaches at Cabrillo College. In the documentary “One Winter Story,” Gerhardt’s story of surfing and the roles of faith and fear in her life are exposed before the camera. The film will be shown at the Rio Theatre this Friday, Feb. 15. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the film begins at 7:30, followed by a question-and-answer session with Gerhardt. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

*Hansel and Gretel*: With the spirit of the beloved fairy tale and the aura of the opera, director Brian Staufenbiel brings the Grimm Brothers’ classic story of Hansel and Gretel to UCSC. The hour-long show, this Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 2 p.m., will momentarily put the minds of busy students at ease with a healthy dose of magic and whimsy. The two back-to-back shows, presented by the UCSC Music Department, are free for students and will be performed at the Music Center Recital Hall.

*Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars*: Displaced by civil war in their home country, this diverse group of musicians has forged a union through music and their traumatic past. Firm believers in the healing and transformative power of music, the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars have traveled the world sharing their melodies and will be at the Rio next Tuesday, Feb. 19 to share them with Santa Cruz. Tickets to catch the All-Stars’ upbeat rhythms and joyful harmonies can be purchased by UCSC students with valid ID for $20 through Santa Cruz Arts and Lectures, or online at

*Latin-infused dance classes*: The Cayuga Vault is offering Zumba and salsa dance classes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Zumba classes provide an intense workout that involves unique movements and aerobics against a high-energy, fast-paced musical backdrop. The salsa dancing classes, spanning from beginner to intermediate levels, teach the Rueda style of salsa, which began in 1950s-era Cuba. Zumba classes, at $12 a session, are held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. Salsa classes start between 7 and 9 p.m., depending on skill level, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the price of $5 for students with valid ID.

*11 Big Paintings*: UCSC student Natalie Phillips’ art show reflects a young and modern artistic outlook, with intense color palettes and graphic styling. Phillips drew inspiration from comic books, music, films and animation. The result is a fun and striking set of paintings. The free show, which opened Feb. 1, will run through the end of the month.