By Logan Guzik, junior
Free Jazzercise classes are now available for young adults ages 16-21, thanks to “Girl Force,” a program being offered throughout 2017 by the local Ellettsville Jazzercise Studio located at the Richland Plaza near the IGA.
Jazzercise is an aerobic exercise program involving movements such as a dance or kickboxing to music. It helps you be part of a community; Jazzercise is for everyone to enjoy and meet their fitness goals in a healthy atmosphere. Participants experience dancing with a large group to popular top 40 songs, have fun and move. Jazzercise instructor and business owner Melannie Stillins explains how Jazzercise has brought value to her everyday life.
“Jazzercise empowered me to step out of the box, take chances, not being afraid, and to find the sense of community and comradery that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” Stillins said.
According to Stillins, participants most enjoy the sense of community that Jazzercise provides as well as working out in a fashion that the entire group can find enjoyable. It allows participants to work at their own pace, learn the dances at their own pace, and choose their own intensity.
According to learn.healthpro.com, the history of Jazzercise can be dated as far back as 1969, where it was founded by professional jazz dancer Judy Shepard. Jazzercise can be found in more than 32 countries. The goals of the dynamic choreographed program remain the same: It combines jazz dance moves, cardio, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing all to the tune of popular music.
One common saying the Jazzercise community likes to use is, “You think you know us, but you don’t.” The stigma of Jazzercise tends to keep young participants away, but Jazzercise does not have anything to do with old-fashioned music and “jazz hands”. The biggest fear people have when joining is not feeling comfortable dancing or just not knowing the dance.
“You get your workout, you make some friendships, and the accountability helps keep you coming back,” Stillins said.