If you ask me what my favorite thing to do is, I would say I love to DANCE. I dance everywhere. In my car, in my kitchen, in my bathroom and even in my shower. If the right song comes on, I just can’t help myself. I guess that’s why you can say my absolute favorite workout program is Jazzercise.
I have been dancing my whole life. I started in Jazz, Tap and Ballet when I was little. It was one class that included all three formats. You would practice some jazz squares and then you would throw on your tap shoes and practice some kickball changes and then you would throw on your ballet shoes and practice some leaps. This probably isn’t the correct order, but you get the idea.
I kept dancing all through high school. In college, I was always involved in some kind of aerobics class that included a lot of dancing. So, when I graduated from college, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. A friend of mine had mentioned that I should try Jazzercise. I had actually never heard of it even though at the time it had been around almost 30 years. I went to my first class, and I was hooked. I was going all the time. The music was current and upbeat. The classes were fun, but it was also a great workout. It actually didn’t even feel like I was working out I loved it so much.
I even got caught in a tornado because I couldn’t miss my Jazzercise class. True story! I was working in Kansas City at the Kansas City Star and the Jazzercise center I attended was very close to my office. But, at the time, I was living in Lawrence with my fiancé. So my drive was a good 45 minutes because we lived on the west side of Lawrence. There was a bad storm headed our way, but I could not miss my Jazzercise class just because of a little rain.
I had a cell phone in my purse, but I hardly ever used it. The cell phone industry was just beginning and I loved that my phone was now small enough that I could keep it in my purse, just in case. The bag phone I used to have was like carrying a briefcase. Anyway, my just in case moment was about to happen.
I finished my fun, but intense workout. I was in a great mood because I just got my endorphins up from dancing. I’m blaring music in my car and still dancing as I start my drive to Lawrence. As I was approaching DeSoto, I began to notice how weird the sky looked. It looked almost green. As I looked towards Lawrence, it looked even worse. I also noticed cars turning around on the highway. I turned off my music and found a local radio station, but I guess they decided running commercials was more critical at the time.
I kept going, but things kept looking worse. I decided to pull out my handy dandy cell phone and noticed my fiancé had been trying to call me. I dialed his number on the glow in the dark number keys. He answered kind of in a panic which is not normal for him. He told me to turn around or stop somewhere because the sirens were going off in Lawrence and the storm was heading my direction. I panicked, which is typical for me. When I arrived in DeSoto, I heard the sirens. I jumped off the highway and headed to the portable McDonald’s that sat on top of a hill in DeSoto. I call it the portable McDonalds because if you look at it you realize that there is no way it would be able to withstand a tornado. But, that was my best option at the time. As I jumped out of my car, you could literally hear something that sounded like a train getting closer and closer.
As I ran to the door, an employee was locking it. She noticed me coming and unlocked the door and tells me to hurry. I got inside and was directed to the back of the McDonalds. I was then told to go inside the walk-in freezer. Important to note here is that I was wearing a Jazzercise tank top and biker shorts (or what they now call Nike Spanx). An employee handed me a McDonalds shirt to put on, so I didn't freeze to death. I then hunkered down with the 10 other strangers in the portable McDonalds walk-in freezer thinking that I may die with these complete strangers.
We could literally hear the sound of a freight train that was too close for comfort. Kids were crying, people were speaking different languages, and I was curled into a little ball. I could literally picture the white portable McDonalds like Dorthy’s house in the Wizard of Oz. Then, as quickly as it started, it was over. We all exited the walk-in freezer and looked at each other as if our lives had just been spared. I walked outside, and it was beautiful. Sun was shining, and birds were singing. It was like I had just exited the Twilight Zone.
This little episode did not deter me from ever going back to Jazzercise or that McDonald’s again. I was back at Jazzercise the next evening getting my groove on again. It wasn’t long after this that I was approached about becoming an instructor. At first, I laughed thinking there is no way I could do that. Get on the stage, dance and talk at the same time. No way! But they didn’t give up, and after I got married, I was certified within 6 months, and I have never looked back.
Here I am twenty years later and still dancing. I’ve been through a lot in the last 20 years, and this is the one thing that has stayed constant. I got married, had a couple kids, got divorced, went back to work full time, I got married again, and now I own a small yoga studio. My yoga studio is inside the Jazzercise center I teach at. It is aimed towards people who are looking for yoga that helps add endurance to their current workout program such as Jazzercise. Jazzercise and yoga work perfectly together, and they are both super convenient since they are located in the same studio. Classes are offered back to back so you can quickly go from one class to the other.
Jazzercise has kept me fit and healthy for the last 20 years. It has also kept me sane through some tough times not just with the fabulous workouts, but also with the wonderful Jazzercise community. I have created some of the best friendships through Jazzercise. I have found my forever tribe.
So, if you are looking for something fun, but is also a great workout, come try Jazzercise. We offer different formats, current upbeat music, strength training and cardio all in one hour. Jazzercise may be about to celebrate its 50th year in the fitness industry, but we are forever evolving and keeping up with current trends. This is how we have stayed in the industry for so long. Jazzercise was the original boutique fitness studio.
Another little tidbit, did you know that dancing is one of the best ways to help prevent dementia? Well, it is, so come join us and keep your head and heart healthy.
Next week we will dig deeper into why I love yoga and why it works so well with other fitness programs.
“Come find your TRIBE.”
Hugs and Kisses,
In the beginning!
Breast Cancer Awareness
Visiting the Mother Ship
Friends for Life
20 years later...still dancing!