Scarlett Gipson glances hopefully at the Ron Anderson Recreation Center, planning her resurrection in her head.
“I need to get me back,” says the Powder Springs mother of a couple of teens and a tween.
As she walks over to sign up for the twice-a-week course at the center, she says: “I think Zumba will give me some planned ‘me’ time."
Zumba is the latest exercise mania to strike the Atlanta area. Schools have hopped onboard, with some teachers showing kids the basics in non-study time in an effort to teach them healthy exercise habits.
But for moms, it can be a way to seize or reclaim their youth.
“Zumba melds many dance forms,” Shana Fawbush explains, “and it gives you a great workout. I love the way you can blend different cultures—hip hop, pop, rock, any kind of dance—and appeal to any age.”
Fawbush runs Fit U close by on Hiram-Acworth Highway in Dallas, and she’s also the mother of two children, ages 6 and 12.
“Before I went into retail jewelry, I was big into dance, and over the years, I really missed it," she explains. "I couldn’t find anything in the area for dance, and then I came across Zumba on the web and was hooked. So when I had the chance to launch Fit U, I took it.”
Fit U provides Zumba classes that appeal to all ages, although Fawbush admits, “I get an awful lot of moms here.”
Malcolm Pays, the youth leader at Ron Anderson, says of the crowd at the center: “Lots of moms are getting back in shape and staying healthy. Zumba really appeals to them because it’s a salsa-aerobic type of thing.”
Zumba classes have also been implemented during the past year at Lost Mountain Park's Ward Recreational Center, and the number of attendees have been climbing at both rec facilities.
“Friends bring friends, and they bring more friends,” Pays adds with a chuckle.
“It’s definitely grown since we started it last summer.”
Fawbush calls fitness "progressive" and "constantly changing."
"Which is where Zumba comes in," she says. "With these classes, women can be supportive of other women as they get in shape.”
Fawbush emphasizes that people of all fitness levels are welcome to join. Guys can also take part, and some moms will bring husbands and sons to join in the fun.
“My 6-year-old son is really into it,” Fawbush shares in a sotto voice. “And a mature 7-year-old can follow my class.”
Gipson hasn’t tried the dance workout program before, but “I’ve heard great things about it from my friends.”
She’s decided that now is the time to explore it for herself.