Over the past two months, I have been running up against of the hardest physical challenge I have encountered other than being pregnant for nine months and giving birth (because if you knew me, that was no cake walk). I was recently certified to be a Jazzercise instructor. I know some people are saying, “Jazzercise? You’ve got to be kidding…the whole 1980s ‘let’s get physical,’ leg warmers and headband thing is coming back?” Yeah that, but not that, Holly Holliday. Jazzercise never went away, and just like me, it’s gotten better with age. (like that? I thought you would…)
Training was an ass-kicker. You’d think my butt would have disappeared working out six days a week, however I don’t think that I’ve dropped any weight, but I will tell you that I’m gaining serious muscle. I’ve never been an athlete or gym bunny. But I’ve long known that dance makes my soul sing and it has chasséd in and out of my life since childhood. It’s what I can count on.
I’ve got rhythm. I’ve got music. Who could ask for anything more? (JenHM that was for you.) Dance has always come naturally to me and when music is on, it’s always hard for me to contain myself.
Jazzercise is a great workout. It’s dance fitness, strength training and stretching to a variety of music. It’s not solely hip hop or latin (and there is a good dose of that too). The music is diverse and cuts across many a musical spectrum. I need that diversity to keep it fun. Fresh routines and great music kept me coming back for more.
And now, holy shit, I am an instructor too.
Here’s WHY I did it (I need to write it out so I have a place to come back for potential inspiration and I thought you, much like my Husband, may be wondering WTH too)…
I did it because I think people need more fun and funk in their life. I know I do.
I did it because Jazzercise is for every body. No matter what size, age, ability, shape, color or persuasion you may be, there is something for you to get in each class. You may think that you are this and not that, but the fact of the matter is, just get up off your ass, come move your body and shake your booty (big or little, whatever… They mean it when they say Jazzercise is for every body). Even if you’re not dancing to the same beat or moving in the same direction as everyone else. It’s okay. You’re moving your body, getting your blood flowing and pumping your heart and THAT’S a step in the right direction.
I did it because I know it feels good to move your body. You may even laugh a little bit during class. I laugh at myself all the time. Sometimes I laugh with others. Sometimes the instructor’s sense of humor is full-tilt boogey. It’s good to laugh and sweat at the same time. It’s an odd combination that doesn’t occur too often in life, but it’s good when it happens.
Not to get too woo-woo on you, but I think there is something deeply spiritual and humanly primitive to dancing in a group with others that feeds our souls in ways that we can’t ever imagine. I like to pretend that dancing together creates good cosmic waves that battle the negative mojo that’s out there. How’s that for crazy thinking?
I did it because I want to challenge myself especially the year that I’m turning 40. I know Jazzercise can melt the the soft and gooey center even only going 2 days a week for a year. I imagine that working at the instructor intensity level a few days a week, I will finally gain those shapely arms and put my mind at peace about wearing a bathing suit. I may still have cellulite and beginning varicose veins, but I know that I am doing something to help me feel good on the inside and look better on the outside.
I did it for the love of dance.
I did it because being a part of a functional organization mostly run by women is a positive and awesome experience.
I did it because I want to participate in positive change in people’s lives, supporting them in their health and well-being. This gets more and more important as we age. I say, pay now or pay later. Either way, you’re gonna pay. We all hear that most people must have regular and frequent physical activity to maintain weight, health and vitality. It’s an accepted medical fact. Guess what…you’re probably like most people. Just get on board with it. The future is coming. Get off your ass and find an activity that works for you.
THANK YOU Judi Sheppard Missett for creating this phenomenon and a strong business that has been in existence for 42 years. THANK YOU Shanna Missett Nelson for continuing your mother’s legacy, upholding high standards and plie´ marching us into the future. Thank you Cheryl Burke for attaching your name and great dancing reputation with Jazzercise. It moves the brand forward and extends its visibility in ways it couldn’t before. Thank you Jina Bjelland for the inspiration, humor and fun that you bring to every class. Much gratitude to Holly Galloway and The Decider, Sarah Fritz. You gals are great examples of the high standards and excellence that is Jazzercise. Thank you Michele Checchia for the reassurance and perfection. Thank you Faye & Gigi for being great training partners. I’m so glad we made it together!