Mom to Iris. Wife to Todd. Our little family lives at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We love it here and I love sharing little bits of our life.

© 2014 sarahfortune.


CONFESSION: I’m a Jazzerciser

I have a serious confession to make.
I’ve been Jazzercising… and I LOVE IT.

It all started back in October when I was planning Iris’ birthday party. I stopped by the party supply store on my lunch hour and noticed that a Jazzercise location had opened up right next door. Intrigued, I grabbed a pamphlet from their front door. I took it back to my office, which happens to be right around the corner, and half-jokingly showed it to my co-workers. But that’s when I noticed their hours… They have a class that starts ten minutes after our office closes and ends early enough for me to pick up Iris before her school closes – pretty perfect timing. Not only that, but October was totally FREE Jazzercise month for anyone who wanted to try it, no strings attached. Office challenge, anyone?!

One afternoon before the freebie month was over, a few of us got up the nerve to try it. No, we didn’t wear cheesy headbands and matching leotards (although we threatened to), but we did jump straight in, not knowing what to expect. My first class was… a mess. I was all over the place and all out of breath after just the first ten minutes. However, I left feeling like I had actually done something good, even though I may not have done it correctly. My co-workers and I laughed about it afterwards, but we all were in agreement – we wanted to do it again.

After getting through the craziness of the holiday season, I officially joined Jazzercise two months ago and haven’t looked back. I pay $50 per month and that gets me unlimited classes. My location offers 27 classes per week and they even offer child-care at several of their classes. I’m lucky to have a Jazzcercising buddy too, as my good coworker friend also took the plunge. You see, I’m not an exceriser at heart. In fact, I usually freaking hate it. My schedule is jam-packed during the week with home-life and work-life. Making time for me is usually pretty difficult, but now thanks to Jazzercise, I finally have an hour a day that I devote strictly to taking care of myself. I will admit that even with over 30 hours of Jazzercise under my belt, I still very much feel like a newbie and probably will for a while. I’m not naturally coordinated or athletic, but the best part is that it doesn’t matter. I may jump in the wrong director or squat on the wrong beat, but the point is – I’m moving, working up a sweat, getting my heart-rate up, and actually having fun doing it.

Why I love it:
+ It kicks my butt. There are several different style classes, but overall it’s a mix of (often intense) cardio, strength, stretching, and Justin Bieber. Okay, maybe just a little Bieber, but tons of other current hits (for once I actually knew every song that was featured at the Grammy’s).
+ It’s a mental workout as much as a physical one. You have to pay close attention for a full hour, otherwise you’ll quickly get off track. It’s rare that I go five minutes in my day without getting side-tracked, so to have a full hour where I am just concentrating on one thing is life-changing.
+ The environment is welcoming and positive without being overwhelming. The instructors are always upbeat and encouraging, which makes for a comfortable space for us girls to give it our all.
+ Because of that moment when a routine clicks and it makes me feel like Beyonce. I mean, I know I look more like a stumbling drunk person, but I feel like Beyonce!
+ For the first time in my life, I want to exercise every day. I’m actually bummed if I miss a day, not because I feel guilty, but because it really is something I look forward to. On days where I can’t make it to a class, I try to walk, jog, or do a bit of the routines I can remember at home – but it’s just not the same!
+ As with any exercise, it’s pushed me to be more conscious of what I eat. I’ve pretty much eliminated fast-food from my diet and since Whole Foods just opened near my house, I’ve been eating lots of leafy greens and tofu for my weekday lunches, while sticking to fruit and proteins for healthy snacks.

What I’ve been surprised with:
+ I am not the youngest person at Jazzercise. On some days I’m actually closer to being the oldest. While people, including myself, have a preconceived idea of what Jazzercise is (hello, 1980’s moms in neon spandex), the brand has totally revamped itself to stay relevant.
+ Turns out, Jazzercise might be the secret weapon no one is talking about. I’ve run into several friends and acquaintances there that I had no idea Jazzercised!

I signed a six-month contract, so I’ll be curious to where I am a few months from now when my beach vacations are over and the idea of wearing a swimsuit isn’t dangling in front of me for motivation. I really hope that I’ll be right here though, with my weights, mat, and dancing (I mean Jazzing) shoes on. Just kidding, they are just regular sneakers. And Jazzercise is, surprisingly, a regular work out – just a much more fun one.


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  • Jennifer Blankenship March 24, 2016 @ 9:04 pm

    Yay! So glad you found something you enjoy!!! I do pure barre classes and love it! But I love to dance and would probably love that to switch it up every once it awhile!

  • Jill Wheeler March 25, 2016 @ 6:34 am

    I’m coming back in April!!! It’ll be slow going but I’ve missed it soooooo much!!

  • Marianne March 25, 2016 @ 9:40 am

    Awesome! I love Jazzercise and used to go to the Fayetteville studio too, but I live in Rogers and attend the Bentonville one now. You are spot on with your description and how even if you hate exercising, that this is so much different and you almost crave going. It is such a great workout! Thanks for sharing.

  • Becky March 25, 2016 @ 10:03 am

    So happy you found Jazzercise. I was one of those “80’s moms” you mentioned when I found Jazzercise, and I was hooked from day one. Your description was spot on. And guess what? I’m still doing it at age 60 and am in the best shape of my life. It’s addictive, so watch out!

  • Maura Barber March 25, 2016 @ 11:10 am

    Best thing I’ve read all day!! Welcome to the best workout I’ve been doing for over 10 years!!! Totally hooked! You are correct…a full hour to pay attention and stay focused on you!

  • Tanya Craig March 25, 2016 @ 11:37 am

    Love ❤️

  • Gianna Nolda March 25, 2016 @ 11:52 am

    Welcome to the Jazzercise family! I too was reluctant to try but after only 3 months of taking classes, I took the plunge and began training to become an instructor. That was 4 years ago and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. I’m a happier, healthier (nearly 40 pounds lighter with a developing six-pack) person because of it which makes me a better friend, mom and wife. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • fitfirst_u March 25, 2016 @ 11:54 am

    Thank you for sharing this important part of our day!

  • Tamia March 25, 2016 @ 11:59 am

    I too am a Jazzerciser who eats at Whole Foods and drinks Shakelogy. I love your blog and I love my Jazzercise. I evemnise the app to go to classes when I’m out of town for work.

  • Heather H. March 25, 2016 @ 12:28 pm

    I am a 42 year old mom of 2 teenagers. Jazzercise has been my sanity for 11 years. I used to feel embarrassed to say I Jazzercise because of that 80’s image but now I shout it out to everyone. I became an instructor 18 months ago and now get paid to do what I enjoy. I love the customers, songs, routines and the studio. Continue to have fun! Keep Jazzing!

  • Karen Flaim March 25, 2016 @ 12:38 pm

    Love it! Keep jazzing, I’ve been for over 20 years and an instructor for 15 years. Jazzercise has changed every aspect of my life and I can’t imagine life without it!!! I am only getting fitter, stronger and younger(I wish) with each class! So to all who will listen, live, love, laugh and Jazzercise!

  • Rhonda Lobb March 25, 2016 @ 12:45 pm

    Welcome to the Jazzercise family! Thanks for spreading the word!

  • Kena March 25, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

    Love this! I’m a Jazzercise instructor! Welcome! After your 6months you will go to a 12 month contract!

  • julie @ peanut butter fingers March 25, 2016 @ 1:14 pm

    I absolutely LOVE Jazzercise, too! My mom took me to my first class — she’s been regularly attending Jazzercise classes for 25+ years — and immediately realized the stereotypes I had in my head could not have been more wrong. The workout was a BLAST and no one was sporting leotards. 😉 I love to dance but don’t always feel like I’m the most coordinated and love the way Jazzercise lets me embrace my desire to dance up a storm in a format that is easy to follow. It’s truly one of the most FUN workouts I’ve ever tried!

  • Kathy March 25, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

    My husband and I have been jazzercising together for years. We love to dance, so Jazzercise feels more like fun than exercise. He is 67 and I am 70.

  • Dana March 25, 2016 @ 6:18 pm

    Jazzercise is my best friend. A friend of mine introduced me to the class a few years ago and it just floored me. The atmosphere is just fun–do what you can do and enjoy yourself while doing it. There’s no pressure to get the routines exactly right; just keep moving! The instructors genuinely love teaching class and they are wonderful motivation. I find myself eating better, feeling better and sleeping better. Enjoy your ‘you’ time, Sarah, because you are doing something wonderful for yourself.

  • Melissa March 25, 2016 @ 7:46 pm

    I started Jazzercise Oct 12,2013. Yes, I remember that day because it changed my life! It’s my therapy and the women are my Jazzersisters! It’s a no competition place where women help women. Every one is there for different reasons but we all have a common connection. If I had to sit in a chair, I’d still go!

  • Stephanie March 25, 2016 @ 8:41 pm

    And it’s not your mothers Jazzz!! Way better. Kick butt better.

  • Grace March 25, 2016 @ 9:16 pm

    Once you go Jazzercise you never go back!!

  • Dana March 25, 2016 @ 11:16 pm

    My son was in a baby carrier when I took my first class (our center offers childcare). I was ONLY signing up for a 90 day special. He’s 7 now. I love Jazzercise. I’m at my ideal size now and feel incredible and strong!!! Looking forward to 7 more years. Finally found a workout I love and it doesn’t seem like work!! It’s hard but fun :)

  • Brenda Mayer March 26, 2016 @ 5:14 am

    It truly is so much fun! I love how I feel after a class. My first class was in March of 1993! Yes, it’s been a while. The ONLY exercise that I’ve stuck with,so much that I became an instructor in 2007! Should’ve done it sooner! Keep smiling and pass the word! We love it!

  • Simone G March 26, 2016 @ 8:53 am

    I too started last Oct during the free trial and, like you, the images that the word Jazzercise conjured up for me included women in leotards and headbands. I was of course wrong about that. And now I think that the fact that Jazzercise has been around for a while shows that it is effective, safe and state of the art. Jazzercise stays on top of its game… Not to mention the fact that it is fun and addictive.

  • Judy Berlin March 26, 2016 @ 12:40 pm

    Thank you for a wonderfully written piece! From a long-time Jazzercise instructor! We are truly a secret weapon in the journey to a fit and healthy lifestyle!

  • Nina March 26, 2016 @ 1:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing your sort.

    I Love Jazzercise! It’s helped me stay fit & recover from 4 pregnancies. I am now retired from the military and Jazzercise keeps me in better physical condition than my military training. Will be jazzing for life.
    …and yes, it’s benefits are way beyond physical fitness

    😉 due to military moves just had to become an instructor so I could take it with me everywhere I went.

  • Lisa March 26, 2016 @ 2:43 pm

    Hi. Jazzercise instructor and also a fellow blogger here. So glad you found jazz and love it. I also recently published an article about how Jazzercise helped me lose pre-wedding weight!

  • Margaret Thompson March 26, 2016 @ 3:59 pm

    I swear I had almost this exact article stirring around in my head! I wish there were thumbs-up buttons for every single response, too!

  • Sally Burton-Hoyle March 26, 2016 @ 8:05 pm

    Love my Jazzercise! I do not feel right without it each day!

  • Lori March 26, 2016 @ 8:18 pm

    Wish there was a class close to me…

  • Laura March 27, 2016 @ 7:10 am

    Glad to had the possibility to read your post! Started Jazzercise on Jan 2014 thanks to my sporty mum, and now I’m much healtier than ever! My mum, my sister, cousin and me attend classes all together, it is a family matter right now :) incredible how addictive and all-involving this activity is, cannot spend my days without! Greetings from an Italian reader and thanks for sharing your “Jazzperience” 😉

  • Marj March 27, 2016 @ 9:18 am

    At Jazzercise, I learn the steps so I can be in the chorus line!!!

  • Donna Lange March 27, 2016 @ 6:20 pm

    Good for you. I just got back into it 18 months ago after about a 15-year break. I go four times a week and I love the gals, the routine, the results. I even go when I visit other cities, and I always feel welcome. Great blog.

  • Michelle Joshua March 29, 2016 @ 8:09 pm

    Yay! LOVED reading this on FB tonight! I’ve been doing Jazzercise for 15 years and teaching it for 9 and I still love every minute of it! It’s always wonderful to read positive articles such as yours about Jazzercise and it’s great to spread the word about why we all enjoy it so much. Well done! I’m so glad you found us!

  • Terry Borrelli March 31, 2016 @ 3:19 pm

    I have been doing Jazzercise for over 25 years. Wouldn’t change it for the world.

  • Tracey April 2, 2016 @ 7:33 pm

    I’m a Jazzerciser too and proud of it. It is my happy hour everyday! I wish more people would just try it for awhile and get to know that it is not your mother’s Jazzercise anymore! Thanks for sharing such a positive story about Jazzercise!

  • Mary March 22, 2017 @ 9:39 am

    I’ve been doing Jcise since the late 70s and realize it has fallen waaay out of fashion. My friends who also do it call it “fight club.” (From the movie of the same name — “The first rule of fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.”) If I do mention it to other people they roll their eyes and think I’m some sort of freak! But what they don’t know is it’s a truly great workout, so cheap & the time goes by pretty fast. I will say I’ve always thought the music mostly sucks, being a jam band/indie rock/blues rock kind of girl. And I hate-hate-hate the boxing moves — I just try to turn them into more dancy moves. The warmup is also pretty useless too, so I come a little late most of the time. Maybe one day Jcize will gain the popularity it once had. They are really trying to change their image.