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Eduardo Torres’s interest for capoeira began in his teens, but it wasn't until he traveled from Northern California to Florida that he discovered his passion for teaching the Afro-Brazilian sport. After extensive training, Eduardo earned the title of Professor Girino and became a member of Grupo Maculelê. Tucking that experience into his back pocket, Eduardo now leads four Tampa Capoeira studios across the Greater Tampa Bay Area.
At those studios, Professor Girino and his savvy staff teach the ways of capoeira to students of all ages and skill levels, and they have even trained Major League Baseball catcher Russell Martin. During classes, students form a traditional roda, or circle, as they learn everything from the rhythmic chants that keep fighters on beat to the fluid, acrobatic movements that send their bodies spinning across a mat. Professor Girino also points out that capoeira is not about fighting but rather anticipating the opponent's next move, much like playing chess against a short-tempered orangutan.
This fur-friendly retreat rejects the image of endless rows of cramped cages that traditional animal boarding usually conjures. Upon entering their pet resort, clients find a 1/2 acre of land, 5,000 square feet of indoor play areas, and spacious doggie suites stocked with toys and soft bedding under skylights. Before each visit begins, canine guests undergo a temperament assessment where caretakers study their play styles, food or toy aggressions, and any fear toward new people in order to gauge their unique personalities. Pooches then join up with peers of a similar size and demeanor in one of eight separate play areas featuring wading pools, digging pits, and a fully stocked shoe store. Dogs looking for some down time can recline on comfy beds and couches while enjoying their regular eating schedules courtesy of a 24 hour staff.
The thoughtful dog-whisperers will also board pets from the same household in a family suite and can administer any medications as directed by the client. Grooming services and photo sessions ensure four-legged friends stay front-page ready. Downtown Doggie Center also specializes in finding homes for orphaned pups with their adoption services.
Much like professional skydivers, wily coyotes, and other careers that involve a degree of danger, most professional glassblowers aren’t self-taught. Joshua Poll, however, learned to harness the glass furnace all by himself, today imparting more than a decade of self-taught experience to Zen Glass Studios, where he and fellow glass smith David Walker create custom works of art by hand. Together they shape glass into authentic and unique pieces, including custom glassware and jewelry to wear while meeting a spouse’s goldfish for the first time.
Within their studio, Joshua and David teach workshops and classes, during which students survey basic to advanced glass-blowing techniques, crafting their own handmade objects such as ornaments, beer glasses, and vases. The duo also runs a full glassblower training program, which follows a syllabus structured to arm all students with all the necessary skills to set out on their own in the industry, just as Joshua did all those years ago.
At being, owner Amy Bromley draws on her two decades of professional design experience to help shoppers convert their spaces into breathtaking expressions of style. Throw pillows burst with geometric and animal-print designs in the show room, which also holds kiln-dried hardwood furnishings and handmade jewelry and accents. Like the formal plaid suit of a lumberjack, pieces in the show room express both an elegant gentility and rustic, rough-hewn ethos. Shoppers peruse vases carved from driftwood, tables made from twisted roots, and candleholders made of silvery deer antlers. The attentive staff at being works hand in hand with homeowners to help make over living spaces with in-home appointments and full-scale consultations from professional designers.