Fitness come back, jazzercise!
Okay, how about a quick game of word association? You say Jazzercise. I say leg warmers. You say leg warmers. I say the 80's. You say the 80's and without even the slightest pause I blurt out, Jane Fonda!
But that was then. Or is it now?
It's 2006, people, and I'll be damned if Jazzercise doesn't appear to be making, what appears to be, a come back. I see the word emblazoned in red on ubiquitous signs around town. I catch glimpses of leotard clad women as I head up the stairs to yoga. They are laughing and happy and wearing the flushed faces of athletes who have just finished a satisfying workout.
I chuckle to myself, "Jazzercise. Right. Whatever works, ladies."
But here's the thing, apparently it is working and, unbeknownst to me, has been for more than 36 years now. Forget the leg warmers and leotards; try these stats on for size:
â€¢ 3,200 Jazzercise locations worldwide
â€¢ 20,000 weekly classes
â€¢ $70 million in system wide sales
I'll tell you who's chuckling now and it isn't Jane Fonda, folks. It's Judi Sheppard Missett, the founder of Jazzercise. And the year, by the way, was 1969 not 1980- something.
Maybe Jazzercise hasn't been around for thousands of years like, say, yoga but it certainly has more staying power than a lot of the exercise trends we've witnessed: Samurai stick fighting, circus sports, cardio strip -- need I go on? Over the years it has lifted millions of people off, what might otherwise be their large posteriors and has motivated them in a fun, challenging, and lively environment. It's designed to enhance the cardiovascular system, build strength and flexibility and it, undoubtedly, expands one's repertoire of groovy dance tunes. And at the end of the day, this is hardly anything to chuckle at (except, arguably, the part about the groovy dance tunes).
So, let's try it again. You say Jazzercise. I say it's here. It's now. And, these days, I'd say you'd be hard pressed to find a pair of leg warmers wrapped around the gams of any Jazzercise devotee.