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.
At Zumba in Tucker, Jessica Bartel—a jock-turned-professional-dancer-turned-wife-and-mother—uses her Zumba certification to share her love of fitness and dance. During classes, she blends dance moves from various styles, including salsa, hip-hop, reggaeton, and belly dance, into fun and challenging dance routines that get hips shaking while students burn calories and have a blast.
Whether it’s rooms, clothes, or pet hamsters, sisters share everything. For Faaridah, Leena, and Nahari, that transaction extends to their love and appreciation for belly dancing and the Middle Eastern culture. Eventually, their passion led to the shared ownership of Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance, where they—along with four other instructors—lead sultry, body-sculpting belly-dancing and Zumba classes.
Basic classes lay a foundation of arm and hip movements, and specialty sessions fuse belly dance with a number of other dance styles, including hip hop, blues, and Bollywood, for a dance mélange that tones muscles more effectively than waltzing with a Bowflex. Classes may cover traditional Egyptian, Turkish, Tribal, and Gypsy styles, while others create innovative choreography set to steam-punk-tribal fusion, Arab electronica, and tango fusion. Some even incorporate such props as fan veils, canes, and brass candleholders, all available for purchase so that guests can practice at home, or play makeshift games of Clue.
At the women’s only Glitter’s Fitness Club, visitors tone their physiques while unleashing their inner vixens during a choice of 22 classes per week. Instructors guide students through yoga and Piloxing, a fusion of Pilates and boxing, and helm sultry Zumba dance parties and Sexy Chair classes, during which students learn to look seductive while building a wooden rocking chair.
Though Sharika Giddens grew up dancing, her family was afflicted with obesity and diabetes. So when she put on weight after college, she quickly joined a gym, and discovered a workout that catered to her love for dance: Zumba. At Hot Body Fitness Boutique, Sharika banishes boredom from her Zumba, pole-dancing, and yoga classes with energetic exercise routines.