Jazzercise London

50 YEARS STRONG by Rita Hartley

Ever felt bad for someone because they feel sluggish, a tad overweight perhaps? They want to work out, but just can’t figure out how to fit fitness into their life? In short, they want what you already have: a Jazzercise lifestyle!

For goodness sakes, bring them with you to your next class. (You’ll get five Jazzerbucks if they join.) You can show them that here in London there are 39 classes/week to choose from. Wow! With that many options, you can surely pick a few/week to fit your schedule, yes?

Since becoming an instructor in 2003, Jazzercise has been on my schedule, so I haven’t had a choice about showing up to class for a long time. No instructor, no class.

And that’s most of the battle, don’t you think? To just keep showing up? You walk in, strap on your aerobic shoes, hear the awesome (and current) music thumping, yak a bit with friends, and then suddenly you’re moving that body. Before you know it, an hour has gone by, you have that healthy post-workout glow and your muscles are aching in that good, earned-it kind of way. And your mind? Well, it’s feeling pretty free, right?

Thanks to your dedication to Jazzercise in London, we’ve kept those bodies moving for 32 years. At a class of mine the other day, two of you celebrated attendance at more than 5,000 classes. And, as many of you know, the program itself is proudly celebrating its golden anniversary this year. Fifty years of Jazzercise!

Yeah. Go ahead, you can google it and come up with some very embarrassing video from back in the day, when instructors spun LPs, and taught barefoot with a flower in their hair. Luckily, by the time I became an instructor, I just had to be a sound tech with a five-disc CD player, remembering which song was where. iPod/iPhone/iTunes have sure made being an instructor less stressful.

There’s a very good reason why this fitness program that Judi Sheppard Missett started way back in 1969 is still around: change. While the core values of Jazzercise never change – “We believe you can create a stronger, happier, healthier life through fitness.” – the program itself has constantly evolved to adapt and stay current. Judi adheres to this motto she got from her mother: “Don’t look back; we’re not going that way.”

In an interview with Yitzi Weiner for Authority Magazine, Judi points out, “We know from long experience that the enemy of exercise is boredom, which is why we are always in the hunt for ways to keep our classes fresh, new, and exciting.”

The music and routines – and even some of the moves we do – are constantly changing, which is why members stick around so long. Judi shared a quote from one of her students: “I’ve stuck with Jazzercise for 27 years. I came to get fit, but I’ve stayed for the comradery, the mental and emotional support and the courage it’s given me to try new things. There’s nothing else like it, which is why I will never, ever leave.”

Judi is proof Jazzercise works: rocking the program for 50 years, she’s 75 and looks anything but. She’s vital, energetic and inspirational.

“The benefits from even a minimal amount of effort are undeniable,” she says. “Regular exercise helps you feel better, think better, have better sex, skin, bones, joints, muscles and memory. What’s not to love, and get behind, about that?”

On a local note, Gaby Copeland, our Jazzercise London owner and an instructor for 33 years, is also proof positive of the Jazzercise program. In her sixth decade – say what?! – she exudes a youthful, vibrant energy we all want to absorb and be around.

See you at class!