Jazzercise Classes Provide Legitimate Exercise

Jazzercise has much more to offer than jazz hands and the step ball change.

When I think of Jazzercise I think of little old ladies in leg warmers doing the Charleston, or some watered-down version of it. Or even Richard Simmons dancing around on his “Sweating to the Oldies” video.

I definitely think of jazz hands.

Jazzercise was not on my to-do list until I spoke with another swim team mom. While our kids swam, she told me how she had become a Jazzercise instructor. It allowed her to make some extra money and stay home with her kids. She could even bring her boys to work with her since the studio had child care. I admitted I didn’t really understand what Jazzercise was, and so she invited me to come to a class.

The new studio was located where the license office used to be on Highway K in O’Fallon. Since I had spent plenty of time waiting in line there, I had little trouble finding it. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was that there were no mirrors.  Every aerobics class I had ever attended had full length mirrors along, at least one wall.

I wondered how you would know if your form was correct if you couldn’t see yourself? But then again, considering my signature move is the running man, and a goofy one at that, maybe not having any mirrors was a good thing.

The class was a mix of women, and a man, from their early twenties to sixty plus. Our instructor, Lynette, was a bubbly blonde, full of energy. As she led us through the warm-ups she chatted with us and it made it feel like I was taking a class from a friend. She was also very knowledgeable, and sprinkled the instruction throughout the one hour workout so it almost didn’t feel like you were taking a class.

“Did you see the new Target opened?” she asked. “Now you’re stretching your hip flexor muscle. They have groceries now!”

The beat started thumping and Lynette began to lead us through steps that were most definitely not the Charleston. The aerobics were a mash of funk, hip hop, kickboxing, and, yes, a little bit of jazz. I was introduced to a much cooler version of the step-ball-change.

The music played was everything from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals to Emmylou Harris.

“Do you know who this is?” Lynette asked the class, “It’s Flow Rider. Flo Rida? I don’t know! I’m not hip!”

Lynette looked like she was having fun and it was infectious. Doing moves that at times had you skipping in place and jumping up and down had me feeling at times like an energetic kid filled with glee.

The strength training and stretching portion at the end borrowed heavily from Pilates and yoga. We even did a sun salutation and a downward dog to close the class.

I left sweaty and satisfied that I’d gotten a good workout—something I honestly didn’t expect.

If you’re interested in learning more about Jazzercise, their website provides information on studio locations (including one in St Charles), a brief history of Jazzercise, even their current music playlist. If you sign up for classes on August 22, there is no joining fee and no payments until October 1. Your membership is also good at other Jazzercise locations.


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