Instructor Flo Knight of Fitness Factory initiated a pilot program last year at Valley Junior High School that has now expanded into Carbon Hill, Lupton, Oakman, Curry and Sipsey. It will soon be offered in Jasper as well.
“The kids are taking to it extremely well,” Knight said. “They’re not only having fun and getting fit, but it’s breaking down barriers that they have between them.”
Knight explained that she can easily find the cliques on her first visit at each school. However, students are participating as one cohesive group after several weeks of Zumba.
“We even have some teachers and coaches who like to join in too,” she said.
Knight is certified in Zumbatomics, a special segment of the Latin-inspired dance fitness program popular among adults that has been tailored for youth 14 and under.
There is no cost to the schools to have Knight or fellow instructor Myeia Willingham of ZFit Studio as a special guest in physical education classes one day per week. Knight said the current value of the hours being donated to the program is more than $3,500.
She is currently working with officials in the Walker County School System to pursue grants that will fund the program.
Knight is so busy in her new position that she sometimes struggles to find time to meet with other school administrators who might be interested in scheduling her for a free demonstration.
Knight offered the first demo last spring at Valley, where four of her five daughters are students.
Knight was a stay-at-home mom when she enrolled in Zumba classes in 2011.
“My kids were trying to practice with me, and I saw the good it was doing,” Knight said.
To schedule Knight for a Zumba demo, call 522-3263.