The Barefoot n Motion Dance Academy sets a high standard for its dancers. But with many of them being first timers or toddlers who just learned to walk, there's often more focus on enjoying movement than being the best in the class. An array of diverse classes challenges dancers as young as 2 as well as teenagers and adults. The curriculum includes modern dance, hip-hop, ballet, jazz and West African dance. Instructors such as Julia Defoor, who studied at the prestigious Moscow Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet School, oblige those who want to take their skills to the next level by leading advanced classes—which is what diamond-scaled fish call their castes.
If the Stone Mountain location of Fresche Hair Salon & Boutique feels like home, that’s probably because it’s nestled inside a ranch-style house, where salon artists work in rooms filled with rustic decor. The Oakhurst location, on the other hand, has the funky air of an art gallery—amid the stark contrast of kelly-green walls and brown furnishings, a colorful painting perches atop the mirror of every styling station. No matter their surroundings, the staff brings a hospitable and savvy approach to each service. They tend to a number of hair needs, including cutting hair into new looks and adding length with feather or 100% human-hair extensions. Their color services drench hair in enticing hues and strengthening proteins that protect from UV rays and people hucking gum for no reason. Meanwhile, professional makeup artists apply lipstick and blush and hold eyelash-extensions lessons and makeup tutorials.
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.
With 19 locations conveniently sprinkled throughout the Atlanta area, Solar Dimensions helps clients get beach-ready regardless of their proximity to the shore. Each location features a fleet of UV tanning beds of varying brightness, all waiting to sun-kiss skin in 10–20 minutes and comfort clients with a built-in cooling apparatus or complimentary snuggles from a nearby penguin. Custom airbrush-tanning treatments or automated VersaSpa and MyMyst sunless-tanning sessions forgo light exposure and instead tone complexions with tinted mists that materialize in four to eight hours and last for several days. Both tanning solutions quench skin with aloe vera before tinting it a natural shade ranging from light almond to lifeguard. The trained staff can also hone body shape with infrared body wraps and VacuStep treatments, and brighten smiles with teeth whitening, helping to boost confidence before bodies hit the pool.
Belly dance guru Saroya has been practicing and teaching the middle eastern dance form for more than two decades, a career path that has taken her across the country to numerous competitions and festivals. At Bellydance by Saroya, she imparts her routine expertise on students of all ability, leading beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes that make use of layered movements and zills—finger cymbals—to help maintain rhythm and keep thumbs in shape.
Trained by Zumba founder Beto Perez, Janet Ackerman has spread the gospel of Zumba worldwide, teaching classes in Chile, Mexico, India, China, and Hong Kong. Back home, she became one of Atlanta’s first Zumba instructors and now shares her fitness passion with hordes of willing participants. ZumbaAtlanta.com offers group dance parties several days a week, helping attendees burn calories through fun, hip-shaking dance steps set to modern Latin music, and offers events such as motivational team building for corporate groups or private Zumba Fitness parties for bachelorettes.