Francisco Antonio Rodrigues da Silva⎯better known to his students as Mestre Fran⎯began his journey with Caopeira at age 10, studying the ancient dancelike martial art under a seasoned teacher in Sao Paolo. After years of learning the hypnotic rhythmic moves of Capoeira and studying the African dance rhythms of Macuele, Mestre Fran took his art to the streets of Londrina, Brazil, giving impoverished youth a positive outlet for their creative energies with public performances and classes. After developing a successful martial arts organization in his home country, Mestre Fran set out for the United States in 2002, introducing Americans to Caoperia through cultural shows throughout the Atlanta area and instructing newcomers through beginner, children's, and adult classes.
Like punching a portrait of your smug fruit bowl, capoeria combines both art and fighting. The practice develops the mind, body, and spirit by instilling self-confidence, building agility and strength, and teaching students about the vibrant culture of Brazil. Capoeiristas twist and bob to the rhythm of drums as they execute gymnastic kicks and turns, or they show off their newfound knowledge at the studio's Friday-night Samba, Macuele, and Portuguese language classes.
Photographer TooWah Ra'Atum has worked as a magazine staff photographer, been employed by large photography companies, and even brought his cinematography skills to TV production. But as the founder and lead photographer of G.I.G. Photography, TooWah can leave his own artistic fingerprint on every image. He and his team specialize in events and portraits, though G.I.G.'s diverse portfolio also shows off real-estate and fashion photography.
Within the onsite optical lab at each Eyeworks location, opticians perform virtually any act of optical alchemy, whether forging new bifocals, mending bent or broken frames, or glazing lenses in protective coatings that cut down on glare and scratches. Armed with a knack for style, opticians cull from the stores' collection of designer frames?including popular models from Dakota Smith and Lafont and exclusive lines from Soho and Okki?to match each customer with a look to suit their personality and facial structure. Before either can get to work, however, optometrists conduct comprehensive eye exams, helping patients maintain healthy, focused vision by honing new prescriptions and diagnosing potential diseases such as cataracts or early-onset googly eyes.
SynChi Holistic Wellness Center's services live at the intersection of traditional healing techniques and scientifically inspired treatments. Crystal healing sessions, reiki, and reflexology all aim to restore harmony and balance by refocusing the body's inner energies. On the other end of the spectrum, ionic footbaths and pulsed-electromagnetic-field therapy channel technology in the pursuit of detoxification. Therapeutic massages relieve tension-laden musculature, and hypnotherapy can help reduce the urges that contribute to bad habits, such as smoking, overeating, and training a parrot to recite your Social Security number.
The WRC's Making Change Program enables women to regain control of their economic security by offering basic financial education in a safe space. Women can also discuss finances with other participants and cooperate in mutually beneficial ways—for example, by becoming roommates. All of the program's participants have experienced domestic violence and are ready and willing to look realistically at their current financial situations and make the necessary changes. After completing the program, women receive dollar-for-dollar matches of up to $1,000 for any funds they save while participating in the program, thus helping them pay the first month's rent in their new, safe residences.