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.
Classes at Dance It Off keep beginner and intermediate dancers moving to diverse beats. For instance, Zumba, cardio dance funk and musical theater Broadway dance pay homage to two American-born genres. The new cardio world class pulls dance moves from countries all over the globe to create its fusion routines. And in addition to dance, the studio also offers strictly fitness classes such as yoga flow, Piloxing, and barre fitness.
With locations in Midtown and Duluth, the Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta teaches aspiring ballroom kings and queens how to confidently execute such staples as traditional waltz, foxtrot, salsa, and swing. A cast of instructors brings years of experience to the dance floor as they shepherd their charges through rug-cutting private and group lessons, dissipating patrons’ nervousness with a cheerful demeanor and constant reassurance that their high-school crushes aren't watching. The studios' weekly parties give students the chance to mingle with their peers and practice freshly learned techniques in a laid-back environment.
Recommended Age Group: Kids
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Home of the Atlanta Jayhawks
Cheer & Dance Atlanta's two newly renovated locations feature exactly the sort of amenities an aspiring cheerleader or dancer might wish for: padded spring floors, regulation-size competition floors, and even tumble tracks into padded pits. It's no surprise then that the JayHawks Cheerleading and Dance Teams make use of all of that equipment to hone their skills between regional and national competitions and exhibitions. But don't let the professional-grade facilities and competitive training intimidate you. The five-level training program helps develop students from complete beginners to skilled acrobats without requiring them to have any previous experience in tumbling or sticking it to gravity.
A floating floor cushions heels at Daza Dance Ballroom Academy while overhead bulbs that shine like stars illuminate a flurry of foot tapping and twirling. Inside the spacious Buckhead studio, students set to work mastering the cha-cha in group classes, dipping a partner in private sessions, or choreographing a memorable first wedding dance. Professional instructors oversee lessons and participate in dance parties, which, unlike solitary-confinement cells, foster a social atmosphere to practice new moves.
No one has ever trained for the lead in Swan Lake just to tighten their abs, but dancers, choreographers, and Atlanta Zumba Dance instructors Faaridah and Nahari both agree that it comes with the territory. That’s why they’ve channeled their experiences in the performing arts into a platform for dance-based fitness instruction. Faaridah was particularly drawn to Zumba because of her Caribbean and Hispanic heritage, and Nahari has been a student of Middle Eastern dances for nearly a decade, so their curriculum of Zumba and belly dancing was a natural fit.
Students can shed pounds and throw on their shiniest layer of sweat during Zumba classes, a 60-minute dance-based aerobic workout with easy-to-follow choreography performed to a soundtrack of Latin rhythms. The dance moves are an amalgam of styles that includes elements of salsa, cha-cha, merengue, flamenco, and tango. Classes at Atlanta Zumba Dance always begin with a warm-up, followed by intervals of faster and slower tempos. Visits conclude with a cool-down and stretch session. In addition to group classes, patrons may rent the studio for a private-lesson Zumba party or to spin around in an office chair without anyone telling them that they’ll get sick.