All posts by Carlyn Shear

Carlyn Shear is an aspiring multimedia journalist. She is currently a junior at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia co-majoring in Journalism and Sociology. She has worked in journalism for Creative Loafing Atlanta, and Easy Eats Digital Magazine as well as in social and digital media for FITiST.

SweAtlanta: New ways to work out

There’s a new set of “chains” emerging in Atlanta, and it’s not Chick-fil-A… Actually, these chains are the complete opposite – they’re good for you. In the past couple of years, many people have begun swapping gym memberships for boutique fitness classes. These small, niche fitness centers that specialize in specific group classes have gained popularity in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles, and now Atlanta. Atlanta’s boutique fitness scene has exploded in the past two years with studio options ranging from indoor cycling, to hot yoga to CrossFit.

One reason behind the rise in the boutique fitness trend is flexibility. Most boutique fitness centers require booking online on each studio’s individual system and have extensive schedules with classes beginning at 6 a.m. and ending around 8 p.m. Another reason behind the rise is specialization. At a “one-size-fits-all” gym, people might love the spinning classes, but not the kickboxing classes. A person might also love a certain instructor, but none of the others. Boutique fitness studios boast qualified, specifically trained instructors and some studios even pride themselves in employing celebrity trainers.

While Atlanta’s boutique fitness scene is quite concentrated in Buckhead, there are studios throughout the city. Flywheel, an indoor cycling studio with an abundance of national locations had opening weekend for their second Atlanta studio in Midtown on April 12, 2014. Flywheel Buckhead’s assistant manager and instructor, Kelsey Dick, says Flywheel is  “not your average cycling studio.” Its use of technology allows clients to see their results from each class on their personal account, enhancing people’s workouts and adding another benefit to boutique fitness that can’t be found at a mainstream gym. Her passion for Flywheel is apparent through her giddiness when talking about it. “The studio has 48 bikes, is dark lit, the music is insane, it’s outrageous, it pushes you, the instructors are professional… so it’s dynamite instructors, and our clients love it,” Dick says.

Other chains boutique fitness studios around the city include Blast900, Orangetheory Fitness, Atlanta Hot Yoga, and Pure Barre. Many other studios are currently only concentrated to one location such as Red Hot Yoga, Crossfit404, CORE, Chaos Conditioning and Active sol Yoga.


See what people are saying about the best places to sweat in the ATL here!

WonderRoot: saving the world, one artist at a time

Imagine a place where creativity goes to flourish. Where artistic and creative types convene to develop their work. Where artists are empowered to engage their community through the arts.

A place where art is thought of as a tool for social change.

Photo Credit – Creative Loafing Atlanta

This place is WonderRoot (, a nonprofit organization with the mission is to “unite artists and community to inspire positive social change.” The organization, which was founded in 2004, has many facets. There is the Arts Center, which is located at 982 Memorial Dr. SE and houses a community garden, community library, performance venue, darkroom, ceramics, screenprinting and recording studios, digital media lab and a gallery. WonderRoot provides access to computers (loaded with software) and wireless Internet. Members of WonderRoot pay either $10 a month, or $60 for the year and get access to all that the organization has to offer.

Past events at the organization have included:

  1. Power2Give: Loose Change Magazine – Building Community Through the Written Word – WonderRoot’s literary magazine, Loose Change, is eligible for a grant through the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. According to the WonderRoot website, the $10,000 grant will support Loose Change to “publish a second print issue, conduct three additional writing competitions, launch the inaugural writer in residence program and host a series of community literary events throughout 2013.”
  2. Between Passages – A showcase of color photographs by Nicole Akstein, from her time living in rural northeast India, where she taught art and photography classes to elementary students in the Dhampur Sugar Mills in Dhampus, Uttar Pradesh.  Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat., 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. through Fri. March 15.
  3. Music Show — $5 show on March 13 at 9 p.m. featuring Lux Noise, D. Charles Speer and the Helix, Jason Howell and Jesse Nighswonger. Join the Facebook Event here: