By Sam Elliott
More than 100 Girl Scouts from area troops got together in one room March 25 for a workout class disguised as a dance party.
That was exactly as Fishers nurse and fitness instructor Robanne Robin intended since she first proposed the idea for the event via social media.
“I put out this idea on Facebook like, ‘Hey, calling all Girl Scouts. If you want to come rock a workout with me…’ and I thought I’d see what happened,” Robin said. “It blew up like crazy. I had so many moms and troop leaders saying, ‘Oh my gosh, yes.’ A fitness badge is one of their goals they have to achieve, so that worked out amazing. We had almost 150 people there, and that was really without even trying.”
The class mirrored those Robin teaches regularly at the YMCA, incorporating up-tempo hip hop and popular music to get participants moving for a high-energy workout suitable for all ages.
“I’m not super familiar with the hierarchy of Girl Scouts, but the cool thing about this while event was we brought in from the youngest to the oldest Girl Scout groups,” Robin said. “I asked that each troop had at least one or two moms that would be there to help me and help supervise and they also participated. I was hoping they would, because that leads by example showing those girls this is how we do it, we work out, we have fun and just finding fun with fitness was my whole goal.”
Troop leader Megan Leahy was one of those moms and was already familiar with — and a fan of — Robin’s hip hop fitness classes, so she was happy to bring the nine second graders from Troop 2101 to the event.
“Part of being a Girl Scout is being happy, healthy and strong,” Leahy said. “That was a great way for the girls to have a fun experience with being healthy. They think they have to run or do jumping jacks, but thankfully it’s all those dance moves that make it fun… They don’t feel like they’re working out.”
Robin already has plans to make the youth fitness class for area scouting troops an annual occurrence, with hopes next year’s event will be bigger and better and see more organization and promotion than one Facebook post.
“I think if I really put the time and effort into this, my next goal would be to encompass Girl Scouts and some levels of Boy Scouts,” she said. “Next year when I do this again, I think it’ll be double the numbers like maybe 300 kids if not more. It’s going to be an ongoing annual event, I have a feeling.”
The event also raised funds to support scholarships to YMCA summer camps.
“This whole event raised over $500 for the YMCA. That’s so awesome,” Robin said. “It was kind of a win-win on all fronts. The girls got their fitness and got their badges and we also raised money for other kids who maybe can’t afford to be members at the YMCA and their families. That just gives me chills because how much better does it get than that?”
For more, or to find a schedule of Robin’s hip hop dance workout classes, visit indymca.org/centers/fishers.
About Robanne Robin
Robin’s been a YMCA member for 13 years, but started working out regularly six years ago and went on to lose 150 pounds after weighing 300 following struggles with anorexia and bulimia before obesity.
“With our young girls, what I’m hoping is none of them ever have to get to the point I got — which was 300 pounds and unhealthy and I stayed there for 10 years,” she said. “That was a horrible way to live. It was terrible on my body and I’m very fortunate I found my way out of that.”
Now Robin’s goal is that her class can help adults in similar situations or help children develop healthy habits early.
“My whole goal is find fun with fitness. It doesn’t have to be horrible,” she said. “It can absolutely be the most fun you’ve ever had and if you’re having fun and enjoying it, guess what — you’re going to do it again. There’s no magic to that.”
For more, visit getyourstrongon.net.
April 30 is Healthy Kids Day