IndoCycle Studio is a spinning-only facility where members come for vigorous indoor group cycling workouts. Stationary Spinner NXT bikes are the focal point of each calorie-blasting workout—experienced instructors lead classes in high-energy cycling circuits, incorporating music, visual effects, and subliminal sounds of stampeding herds to help riders through intense sessions. Each workout is customizable to every individual’s fitness level, but the end result is the same for everyone; burn fat and build muscle during rides that simulate climbing hills and racing courses. IndoCycle Studio provides towels, water, and shoes for gym-goers, as well as gel seats for those who want extra cushioning.
Classically trained and culturally diverse, Ballethnic Dance Company blends traditional ballet with the artistic influences of ethnic cultures. Its classes include ballet at all levels, hip hop, and jazz, along with more unique offerings such as African and ballethnicize, an original dance style developed by cofounder Waverly Lucas.
A shotgun-only facility, Tom Lowe Trap & Skeet Range invites beginner marksmen to shoot across 20 combination trap-and-skeet fields as well as a five-stand sporting-clays field. At each of these areas, clay pigeons launch into the sky above dense forests and rolling hills. Shooters as young as 10 (with proper supervision) can target the wingless birds during practice sessions and competitive leagues. Tom Lowe Trap & Skeet Range also partners with local independent instructors, who train beginner shooters to shoot and track the migratory patterns of clay pigeons.
Before hitting the field, visitors can rent a gun from Deshotels Arms, Inc., the onsite pro shop. The shop also sells ammo, used guns, and new shotguns from brands such as Beretta.
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 just inside the entrance at The SunTrust Georgia Explorer, where visitors touch rays and marvel at the sea turtle's ability to keep from sliding out of its shell. To the right lies 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.
For more than 20 years, Carrie Heller's life has been a balancing act between honing her circus talents and helping others. Today, the licensed clinical social worker, a founding member of the American Youth Circus Organization, blends therapy methods with big-top techniques at the Circus Arts Institute, benefiting children and adults alike with mind- and body-benefiting acrobatics that send students swinging, twirling, and laughing through the air.
Carrie and her team of instructors acquaint students with circus-performance fundamentals using the trapeze, tight wire, Spanish web, and juggling balls. They bolster core and upper-body strength during Circus Arts Fitness workouts, which have been featured on CNN for their exciting approach to toning. For students with special needs, such as sensory challenges or ADD, they host Circus Arts Therapy classes. These sessions channel playful and positive energy as small groups learn to navigate circus equipment, enhancing their confidence, social skills, and physical coordination in a much more natural way than going on a handstand speed date.
Matt Janke dreamed of landing the perfect glass-blowing job. After moving to Atlanta in 1986, he realized there wasn't a single glass studio in town, granting his art a ready-made niche. After settling in, he returned to grad school, earning an MFA in glass with the intent to launch his own university program and ultimately procure his own space. By the time he graduated in 1992, Matt further honed his skills, stockpiled equipment, and, in 1996, opened his own studio and hired himself.
Beyond the perks of being his own boss, having his own studio affords Matt a great deal of creative freedom. He infuses all his handblown light fixtures, tumblers, and vases with the prismatic swirls of his signature style, in which precise lines and natural variations vie for attention across undulating surfaces. A downtown gallery space facilitates sales of these works.
But the studio has also fulfilled more than Matt's original goal of finding glass-blowing employment, going on to catalyze a glass-blowing community. From single apprentices in the early days, the studio is now a full-fledged classroom, with space for five instructors, a dozen students, and the kilns that must melt their glass until they each finish their training by capturing and taming a fire-breathing dragon.