July 19, 2010

Jazzercise is Alive and Kicking in Portland and Beaverton!

Wouldn’t this gal motivate you to jump around and get in shape?  Meet Nicole, dancing to Jazzercise tunes since before she was born, in her mom's belly, over 20 years ago.  She’s been leading happy students since December ’09, at the Beaverton Jazzercise center as well as in Corvallis where she’s attending OSU.  She started taking classes herself at age 13, going at 7:15AM, before school, in addition to playing soccer, softball, basketball and running cross country.  She was hooked!  Jazzercise does that to you.  Now she’s the newest instructor there and holds her own with confidence.  Her classes are delightful.  As she sang along with one of the dance songs the other day, “It’s never too late to get a good workout.”

I’m a major fan of Nicole’s and the other 12 or so instructors at the Beaverton center because I happen to be an absolute Jazzercise junkie, going to classes 5-6 times a week. There are 43 different classes offered Monday through Sunday, starting at 5:30AM and finishing at 7:45PM.  No excuse that you couldn’t make it to a class!  It’s become my life line, my foundation, since I restarted classes 3 years ago.  I had done Jazzercise for 4 years or so, after my 2 kids were born (20 years ago!), to get back into shape.  Then tennis came along and I left it in the dust.  I’ve never been one to enjoy going to the gym on a regular basis, but it’s always been really important to me to stay fit.  When I developed tennis elbow, I went back to Jazzercise.  If you play energizing, fun and varied music (jazz, country, rock, top 40, funk, Latin), lead me through creative dance aerobic steps, tell me I’m looking good (as they tell everybody, and they mean it!), then I’m sold on coming as often as possible.  I’m back to tennis, but won’t let go of Jazzercise this time around.

Over the years, Jazzercise has incorporated jazz dance, strength training, Pilates, hip hop, yoga, and kick boxing with an emphasis on the core muscles.  The 60 minute workouts typically start out with a slow and easy warm-up, moving into a 30 minute dance aerobic session, followed by muscle toning and strengthening using weights and resistance tubes.  We finish up with stretching.  We work hard!  And we feel so good during and after the classes.  Everyone moves at their own pace, so there’s no need for beginning, intermediate and advanced classes. You’ll see all ages, abilities and body sizes.   Ask the men who attend on a regular basis (I’ve counted 10) – they all say it’s an intense workout!

Jazzercise has been around for over 40 years, started by Judy Sheppard Missett, a professional dancer who loved jazz, in Illinois. Her philosophy is that “fitness is an important aspect of well-being and it enhances the overall quality of people’s lives.” Now the headquarters are in Carlsbad, CA, with classes taught all over the world.  In 1979 Judi began standardizing her innovative routines, sending videos every 10 weeks, of her choreographed steps, to all the certified instructors to provide consistency.  You can step into a class anywhere and recognize what to do.  Judi’s daughter, Shanna Missett Nelson, became president of the company in 2010, so we know Jazzercise will be around for a long time!  Whew!

I was excited to introduce my 24 year old daughter to Jazzercise 1 ½ years ago.  Sold!  She also runs and gets to the gym, but swears by Jazzercise. It’s especially fun when, with our busy schedules, we can take a class together.   She recently brought her boss, who has since signed up and now goes regularly, looking to lose some pounds and tone her body.

[caption id="attachment_629" align="alignright" width="368" caption="There are Jazzercise studios all over, and they are constantly having promotions."][/caption]

I’ll leave you with words of wisdom from Cheryl Burke (two time champion on Dancing with the Stars), who Jazzercises with great enthusiasm: “What are you waiting for?  Push your body.  Find your beat.  Start Jazzercise today.” No dance experience is necessary.  Cheryl says that Jazzercise is “the fitness for the dancer in all of us.”  I like feeling like a dancer!



Jane Lee is a Real Estate Broker with eXp Realty in Lake Oswego, Oregon
Jane@portlandpowersearch.com  503.806.0517

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