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.
Instructor Ray Al encourages all levels of dance enthusiasts to revel in their own fancy footwork with variety of dance classes, including waltz, tango, polka, salsa, and the hustle. After choosing a dance style, couple up with Ray for a 40-minute private class to gauge your experience level, and then cut a captivating rug while learning proper technique in a class attuned to your liking and level, compromised of a series of four, one-hour group-dance sessions held one time a week.
Parked on a high ledge next to a bust of Ronald Reagan wearing a party hat, a miniature DeLorean patrols The Wormhole, a sit-down coffee shop that doles out caffeine and pop-culture kitsch in equal doses. For children of the 1980s, the cafe delivers a "wormhole" experience, surrounding them in emblems of an era: Nintendo games (available for play), ET collectibles, plush gremlins, and Star Wars doodads. The menu also smacks of the 80s, although it frequently changes to accommodate seasonal tastes. In recent times, baristas have fused espresso with cocoa puffs, and dished out donuts encrusted with Fruity Pebbles. Select beverages come with a Nilla wafer-chaser. As for edibles, Fritz Pastries supplies homemade tarts (a gourmet variation of the kind that come in silver foil) and other handheld treats.
Having toured with Dinosaur Jr. and Meat Puppets in recent years, Dead Confederate returns to reclaim its native soil by planting its flag at the intimate downtown venue 40 Watt Club. In a dynamic live performance, the five-piece band will free cuts from their newest album, Sugar, from the confines of ear buds and bootlegged eight tracks. Beards can stoically bob along to the J Mascis–aided single "Giving It All Away" and the band's other forays into the dark corners of the rock-o-sphere, from freeform psychedelic wanderings to pulsing aural packets of distortion. Fellow performers Colour Revolt, whose debut album ranked among Paste's Best of 2008, and shoegazey Twin Tigers will ease ears into the deep end of the sonic pool with tonal palettes that range from jaunty to noisy. 40 Watt Club boasts two full bars for mid-show sipping or pouring libations to the gods of rock. Doors open at 9 p.m.
With a resume that includes ballet and rock-climbing experience, Amber Monson took naturally to the graceful art of aerial silks. She founded Sky Gym as a place to train herself and others in her most beloved pastime, and ultimately, her venture paid off.
When she's not training and performing with other aerialists all over the world—including some from Cirque du Soleil—she passes on her skills to new students, helping them discover new levels of strength and grace. Besides aerial silks, she keeps students elevated with classes such as trapeze, sky yoga, and lyra—a ceiling-mounted hoop in which students spin after being dunked by their favorite NBA player. “I can’t decide which is more fulfilling to me, performing aerial or teaching it," she says on her website. Nonetheless, she continues,"I am incredibly grateful to my students and my trainers for allowing to make aerial dance my life."
When the neon curlicues above its marquee first lit up in 1916, the Capitol Theatre promised Macon residents the finest movie-going experience available, with cozy leather seats and a gold-fiber screen. After shutting down in 1976, the theater languished for 30 years, suffering from water damage and neglect until renovation began in 2003, restoring the space to its former glory. Brass-banisters encircle the wrap-around balconies above the venue’s open floor, dotted with cabaret-style tables and seats occupied by frugal 1920s ghosts still trying to get their 15-cents worth from their original admission.