Trained by Zumba founder Beto Perez, Janet Ackerman has spread the gospel of Zumba worldwide, teaching classes in Chile, Mexico, India, China, and Hong Kong. Back home, she became one of Atlanta’s first Zumba instructors and now shares her fitness passion with hordes of willing participants. ZumbaAtlanta.com offers group dance parties several days a week, helping attendees burn calories through fun, hip-shaking dance steps set to modern Latin music, and offers events such as motivational team building for corporate groups or private Zumba Fitness parties for bachelorettes.
Women of all ages and sizes spin, boogie, and laugh within the glamorous, hot-pink confines of Bellissima Studios. Owner and instructor Sharon Gray knows what it's like to feel unconfident in her skin, and she credits self-reflection, faith, and a passion for dance with helping her become "diva-fied." Her own life journey has imbued her with a keen understanding, therefore, of what it's like to be supported by a welcoming community. And so, with fellow instructors Nicole Sullivan and Starr, Sharon cultivates a supportive atmosphere conducive to personal growth and fun.
The trio teaches Zumba, yoga, pole dancing, and Hoopnotic, all of which help clients obliterate calories and tone their bodies, and opens the studio for BYOB, private events. Celebrities, including Chili of TLC, have been spotted at the onsite boutique, mingling with guests.
The falcon stalks its prey with a mixture of cunning and agility, waiting for the opportune moment to swoop in and strike. The same can be said for the skilled martial artist, who patiently wears his opponent down before unleashing a flurry of kicks. Master Leroy N. Johnson Jr., the founder of Rising Falcon Fitness & Martial Arts, knows this well. Though the falcon serves as his inspiration, he is first a student of human anatomy. Master Johnson draws on his extensive knowledge of the body's inner workings to lead his students through challenging martial-arts fitness programs. To limit the intimidation factor, he keeps his class sizes small and discourages advanced students from demonstrating their falcon screeches in front of beginners.
During their frequent appearances on NBC's American Ninja Warrior, elite athletes from around the country test the limits of human fitness against an unforgiving obstacle course. When they're not on camera, where do they go to get so buff? Some of them train at CrossFit Lilburn 678, where seasoned trainers specialize in getting the most out of every workout. Here, students spend their days plowing through a high intensity work out of the day, learning personalized lessons during one-on-one personal-training sessions, or testing their mettle against obstacles like the ones seen on television.
As a former Atlanta Brave, personal trainer Travis Jones of A&R Fitness knows how important it is to be physically fit. That's why he whips clients into shape with cross-training, performance-training, and nutritional-counseling programs. Certified by the International Sports Sciences Association and his mom, Jones provides professional training that can get you on the right track.
Valencia Kelly knows what it takes to help athletes succeed, as she once played Division I women's basketball at Western Illinois University. She teaches kids developmental sports skills and trains teens who seek to reach the next level athletically. Adults aren't left out at Excel With Kellz, either; she tailors workouts to her personal-training clients, whether they seek to lose weight or look better in their favorite pair of leather bike shorts.