More than 10 million gallons of water fill the gigantic exhibits inside Georgia Aquarium, making it the largest in the world when it opened in 2005. Most visitors, of course, will be far more interested in what's gliding and diving inside all those exhibits. Their journey through the world's diverse oceans begins with the Southwest Tropical Diver exhibit, a mesmerizing display of coral reefs and the creatures that wind among them.
Other areas of the aquarium blend education with entertainment. Dolphins leap, swim, and dance in time to music at the AT&T Dolphin Tales show, while Journey with Gentle Giants Immersion Programs let visitors dive with massive whale sharks. There's even a movie theater, although it blows most multiplexes out of the water by adding 3-D imagery and 4-D effects. Special effects built into the seats and the theater's surroundings mean that audiences don't just see ultra-real animals and rippling waters pass before them?they feel them, too.
That's just a sampling of the more than 60 exhibits and activities that fill Georgia Aquarium. But its staff do manage to make it outside of the massive facility. In addition to their exhibits and education initiatives, the aquarium houses the Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health: a 10,000 square-foot facility dedicated to aquatic animal conservation. Its research stretches from the whale sharks of Mexico to the penguins of South Africa to the belugas of Alaska.
No one has ever trained for the lead in Swan Lake just to tighten their abs, but dancers, choreographers, and Atlanta Zumba Dance instructors Faaridah and Nahari both agree that it comes with the territory. That’s why they’ve channeled their experiences in the performing arts into a platform for dance-based fitness instruction. Faaridah was particularly drawn to Zumba because of her Caribbean and Hispanic heritage, and Nahari has been a student of Middle Eastern dances for nearly a decade, so their curriculum of Zumba and belly dancing was a natural fit.
Students can shed pounds and throw on their shiniest layer of sweat during Zumba classes, a 60-minute dance-based aerobic workout with easy-to-follow choreography performed to a soundtrack of Latin rhythms. The dance moves are an amalgam of styles that includes elements of salsa, cha-cha, merengue, flamenco, and tango. Classes at Atlanta Zumba Dance always begin with a warm-up, followed by intervals of faster and slower tempos. Visits conclude with a cool-down and stretch session. In addition to group classes, patrons may rent the studio for a private-lesson Zumba party or to spin around in an office chair without anyone telling them that they’ll get sick.
Visiting The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia isn't just about seeing works that have already been deemed important. It's also about discovering what the future of art may look like. That's because the museum showcases the visual works of not only established artists, but also emerging talent throughout the state. By investing so heavily in Georgia's artistic community and making the museum's collections available to the general public, MOCA GA strives to preserve these artists' legacies for the viewing pleasure of present and future generations. The permanent collection currently features over 920 works by more than 250 different artists, including paintings, sculptures, photography, prints, and digital works from the mid 1940s to the present day.
MOCA GA's staff displays many of the pieces from the permanent collection alongside works by artists from around the world, demonstrating how Georgia's artistic community fits into a larger global context. The museum hosts rotating exhibitions throughout the year, and it encourages community engagement by regularly holding artist talks and other public programs.
With the Atlanta skyline as their backdrop, players at Dosser Works Paintball fire rounds of pigment on four outdoor fields, each covered to keep out inclement weather and the sun’s judgmental glare. Experienced paintball players run these facilities, and they channel their knowledge of the game by supervising safety and regularly changing field layouts and game scenarios. Themed competitions and night games play out on two tournament-size fields, an astroturf-covered speedball field dotted with air bunkers, and a post-apocalyptic warzone where competitors dive and shoot from behind mounds of tires, sandbags, and an authentic burned-out Ford Windstar. A sniper tower between the speedball and dirt fields lets players take aim and give constructive haircut critiques to those below. The play area at Dosser Works Paintball has expanded to include two new fields called "The Back Lands" with two airplanes, a derelict van, two mountains connected by a bridge, topped with flag towers.
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer’s good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.
The FAA-certified pilots at Prestige Helicopters, Inc. fly their passengers over downtown Atlanta, the King and Queen towers, and Turner Field. They helm a fleet of three Robinson R44 helicopters, as well as R22 whirlybirds, each spacious enough for up to three guests. Along the way, skybound guests peep at the area's arterial highways, majestic mountains, and winding Chattahoochee River, intermittently soaring high enough to fly over skyscrapers while avoiding most feral clouds.
Pilots also instill basics of takeoff, steering, and landing during flight-training programs that start students off on the cloud-kicking path to obtaining private, commercial, and flight-instructor licenses. When not leading tours and training programs, the skywaymen shuttle passengers between airports and hotels and take aerial photographers up for photo shoots.