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Is Jazzercise Right for You?

Updated on January 19, 2013

You Don't Need Legwarmers Anymore

The author & her love at a Jazzercise demo in Royal Oak, MI.
The author & her love at a Jazzercise demo in Royal Oak, MI. | Source
Class managers Dina & Cecilia at the Jazzercise Fitness Center in Royal Oak, MI.
Class managers Dina & Cecilia at the Jazzercise Fitness Center in Royal Oak, MI. | Source

About four years ago, I decided to get real about my exercise program. The gym I belonged to was charging me $40 per month, yet I never went there. It was one of those 24-hour places full of droning machines, sad-looking people, and TVs set to "silent." Although I was desperate to lose weight and get in shape, I dreaded the thought of using another elliptical machine or leg press. I knew I had to resign from the spiritless 24-hour gym and find something new, but what?

What I didn't know was that I would get really lucky. Coincidentally, a Jazzercise center came to my town of Royal Oak, Michigan that very month. At the grand opening, I signed up for the same amount I was paying at the other gym. It was the best investment of my life.

Since joining Jazzercise, I have taken my body AND my mind to a state it has never been before. After an initial 25-pound weight loss that took about a year, I settled into a program that continues to build muscle and a positive outlook on life. And, yes, I eat really well! A Jazzercise workout, comprised of an hour of cardio, stretch, and strength training, burns about 600 calories. Do this five times a week and you've prevented that extra pound from creeping up on you.

So what is the secret behind this fitness organization that has endured for over forty years? Two things: fun and friendship. Let's talk about fun first. If you love music, you are a candidate for Jazzercise addiction. Each Jazzercise routine (there about about ten in a hour-long class) is coreographed to a popular song that you might hear on the radio. Genres include pop, rock, hip-hop, country, jazz, and more. If you are the kind of person who has no idea what's on the Top Ten Billboard chart, get ready for that to change. Soon, you will be informing your friends and family that a certain tune is by Shakira or Beyonce or Lady Antebellum. Can your 24-hour gym make you so in the know? I don't think so.

And that's not the end of the fun -- the routines are professionally choreographed, so they are easy to learn and make you feel like a real dancer. But they are hard! Soon enough, you will be putting your cerebellum and your bottom to the test as you try to keep up with the "hardcore" members who are at almost every class. Don't let them intimidate you, though, because Jazzercise is incredibly democratic. There are no assigned spots, no special treatment for anyone, and all levels of ability. You will see all ages, skin colors, and body types at your local Jazzercise class. And, if you go out of town, you can visit another Center for free. Since the routines are created at the Corporate Headquarters in Carlsbad, California, you won't be out of the loop.

Now, on to the friendship. Because Jazzercise is a long-running organization and is well-organized on the national (and international scale), it tends to retains its members for long periods of time. Attend for a few weeks and you will begin to recognize faces. Within a year or two, you will be one of the regulars who is greeted by name at the check-in counter. At some centers like the one I belong to in Royal Oak, the members gather together at social events like parties and charity fundraisers. Being part of Jazzercise is being part of your community.

What I've said here is just the basics of what you will find at Jazzercise. There's much more that happens in your soul when you are so perfectly executing the moves to a Rihanna routine. However, I will save that for another article.

Jazzercise at Amazon

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