On the morning of September 11, 2001, Robert Herzog dropped off his laundry, picked up his mail, and took the local C train to work instead of the express A train. When he arrived for work at the north World Trade Center tower that morning, nearly 300 of his coworkers were dead. Stunned by his inexplicable escape from death, Herzog battled through his trauma by focusing on the good things in his life. Earlier that year, he met his wife-to-be playing coed softball. He had enjoyed the league but felt he could do better. Tempered by the sense of charity and community that was so ubiquitous after September 11, he opened ZogSports—a sports league that donates 10% of its profits to charity—in 2002.
Since then, leagues have spread from New York and the northeast out to Atlanta and the Twin Cities. Casual competitors in their 20s and 30s team up in touch-football leagues and indoor-volleyball leagues, making new friends on the field, at postgame happy hours, and at preseason press conferences.
When teams sign up for ZogSports's leagues, they choose a charity to represent. From there, teams compete to win the league championship, come up with the funniest team name, or order the most drinks at the bar after the game, all of which earn them money for their charity of choice. To date, the company has donated more than $1.5 million to various charities.
As may be apparent by her name, studio director Ursula Undress is a student of both classical burlesque and its neoburlesque modern revival. At her studio, she puts together a curriculum that pays tribute to the history of sultry dance while also integrating its modern trends. Among the goals of the classes is for all women to learn to confidently swing their hips and master the subtle art of the tease—while striking up a renewed relationship with their inner temptress. Ursula and her fellow instructors also add variety to classes by integrating sexy hoop dancing, graceful ballet moves, or Latin-inspired dance forms, including salsa, cha-cha, and mambo. Students looking for a more intense workout can tone up through the studio’s go-go fitness classes that are aided by an upbeat pace and hefty gold-plated feather boas.
"The Tease." It's more than a series of scintillating maneuvers. It's a release. It's eye-popping, orchestrated doffing as an art form, and it's just a taste of the empowering and vociferous avenues chartered at The Atlanta School of Burlesque. Operated by a team of burlesque professionals who've mastered the craft of unleashing steam, the combination dance, fitness, and rehearsal studio acts as a magnet for women of all shapes, sizes, and demeanor hoping to unveil their inner starlet. Students not only explore their sexy side, they also gain physical fitness in the process, and encounter an entire community of encouraging, like-minded performers. Along the way, students learn the history of the burlesque art form and the bells and whistles of its theatrics, master the art of seduction while learning how to bump n' grind, and become experts in boa safety and proper fan-dance velocity.
The rich aromas of hops and malts mingle with the fresh air during the first annual Summer Brewfest in Atlanta. Staff members pour sample after sample of the restaurant and brewery's diverse line-up of craft beer alongside other brews. Meanwhile, local food trucks sling simple food to complement each pour. A VIP lounge area and specialty cask tastings lend the festivities an exclusive atmosphere without having bouncers wear opera masks and cloaks. The whole event is set to a soundtrack of upbeat live music from Yacht Rock Schooner and Members Only, a tribute band dedicated to tunes from the 80s. A portion of all event proceeds to go benefit the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild.
The sounds of jazz, hip hop, and other contemporary genres fill the four large studios at Gotta Dance Atlanta's 9,000-square-foot facility. Instructors describe the dance and fitness center as a "home away from home" for dancers of all abilities, and it's not hard to see why. Beginners can learn how to cut a rug or mow a hardwood floor in "Explore" classes that require no prior knowledge of dance terminology. Even dancers who have already worked up to the professional level can find a class to match their style, be it salsa or ballet. Students of all abilities benefit from classes such as Awesome Abs and Cardio Hip-Hop, which use dance as a jumping-off point for fitness workouts that tone and shape the body.
Project 9-6-1 celebrates five years of rocking Atlanta's airwaves with the Filthy Fifth Anniversary concert, a bass-heavy evening of raucous metal, hip-hop, and dub-step headlined by world-famous band Korn. Since 1994, the group has gripped music fans with its raw energy and signature nu-metal sound, which fuses aggressive riffs and cathartic caterwauling with thesaurus-shredding hip-hop. With more than 30 million records sold and two Grammys on the mantel, vocalist Jonathan Davis and his band of sonic swashbucklers execute an athletic set that mixes classic tracks with new thrashers from the band’s latest album, The Path of Totality. Joining the sonic mélange, dub-step DJ Datsik blows up the dance floor with helium tanks of hip-hop, Netherland rappers Dope D.O.D. drop hardcore rhymes about wooden shoes, and Canadian bass-master Downlink puts treble knobs in their place with telltale beats that haunt guilty floorboards.