By John Lynds
When East Boston resident Julia Burrell had her first child, Emery, fifteen months ago she found there were not many programs in East Boston that would help new moms connect with other new moms in the neighborhood while at the same time bonding with their infant.
“There was a viral video I saw that became a phenomenon on the West Coast called Mama Mambo,” said Burrell. ” I thought we could use something like that here in East Boston because there are not a lot of mommy/baby programs for working moms–especially after work.”
So Burrell approached the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) with the idea and they were more than happy to become partners with Burrell.
Mama Mambo is a baby-wearing dance classes that is the perfect way for all new mothers to get exercise, enjoy time with their baby and have fun.
The free, eight-week program started last Thursday at EBNHC Education and Training Center at 250 Sumner St.
“We had about 15 people for the first class last Thursday and we expect more people to show up this Thursday for the second class,” said Burrell. “We’ve done some Internet promotions on Facebook but I’ve been out there at Maverick Square, at the grocery store and at parks hunting down new moms and telling them about the program.”
Burrell said Mama Mambo is the perfect way to not only exercise but also to socialize with new moms, meet neighbors and form a network in the community.
“I’ve met so many new moms already and it is a great opportunity to bond because we are all going through new motherhood together,” said Burrell. “There are more and more families that are moving into the neighborhood and deciding to raise their families here in East Boston so it’s really important to have these kinds of programs that help moms connect and have a network of support that will enrich our community.”
Burrell said there are still spots open for the class and is taught by a ballroom dance instructor from Sudbury.
“You can sign up by emailing or calling Claudia Hernandez at at [email protected] or at (617) 568-6444,” said Burrell. “The instructor Monica Wright Schauweker is awesome and she runs a ballroom class for moms and babies in Sudbury and agreed to come down to East Boston once a week to teach this class.”
One of the best parts of the class, said Burrell, is at the end all the moms were able to put their babies in a circle and watch them interact and play.
“We were really happy to respond when the request for us to host this program came from the community, particularly because there were many immediate neighbors of our Institute interested in the class”, said Steven Snyder, Vice President of Development at EBNHC. “We were also thrilled that they wanted the class to be open to all who had interest. Our definition of Education and Training is very broad and definitely includes classes that keep the community both healthy and engaged.”
The classes will take place every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.
The first East Boston Mama Mambo class kicked off last week at EBNHC’s Education and Training Center on Sumner St.
The group of Eastie moms and their babies during the Mama Mambo class last week. There is still space available for the eight-week program.