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.


I Jazzercised for a Year and Here’s What I Learned

Well, I did it. Today I met my goal of 150 Jazzercise classes in 2016! That’s a total of 150 hours of exercise – the equivalent of almost four full work weeks (yes, I’ve done the math). And as a mom that works full-time, runs a blog on the side, and travels whenever and wherever I can, I feel very proud to meet my goal.

So how did I get here? Looking back to my first Jazzercise post where I made my confession, it all started when I noticed that a Jazzercise location had opened near my office. Before I knew it, I posted an update at my six-month mark. And now here I am, dancing my way to the end of my first full year. So in honor of hitting this milestone, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned in my first 12 months of Jazzercise.

A Jazzercise class is as much mental as it is physical. This was one of the first things I realized in class and one that has stayed true even a year later. While I find myself feeling more confident to let my mind wander mid-routine, I’m usually jolted right back to the present moment when I’m not sure what is coming next. I never knew how much I needed a mental break from my day until I began taking these classes.
It gets easier, but never easy. When I first started, I was told to give it a month and then you’ll have the basics down. From there on out, learning a new routine isn’t as difficult and you can really concentrate on the workout, rather than just trying to keep up. If you give it your all, every class is a tough, yet rewarding workout.
It’s addictive. With the combo of music, dancing, and endorphins, it’s pretty easy to get hooked.
You’ll have ‘off’ days. And that’s okay. For example, I had four great classes in a row this week and then for no good reason this morning (my 150th class, actually), I felt like I was off a few more steps than normal. Just like anything else, you have good days and bad days, but with Jazzercise it doesn’t matter. Just by showing up, you’ve completed the hardest part.
It’s not stuck in the 1980s. Expecting bodysuits and leg warmers? Sorry to disappoint, but Jazzercise has evolved with the rest of us. Combining modern dance choreography, kickboxing, and Pilates to the tune of top 40 hits, I’ve noticed that many of my fellow Jazzercisers are way younger than I am. In fact, they are offering free classes to girls 16-21 years old in 2017 as a part of their GirlForce program.
I’m still a terrible dancer. But I sure have fun pretending otherwise!
Just when you think you have it, they throw in new routines. New routines mean new moves to learn and new songs to dance to, so the workouts are never boring. Jazzercise likes to keep you on your toes. Literally.
It’s never too late to start. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’ve never been a regular exerciser. So when I decided to finally devote some time to my health in my mid-thirties, I felt a little intimidated. Jazzercise has perfected the recipe to make a newbie feel comfortable, yet still challenge a veteran. I’m sure that’s part of what keeps such a diverse crowd in the audience. A crowd where no one ever feels out of place.
I’m still learning. After a year, I still feel like I’m pretty new at this and have a lot more to learn, which keeps it fun and exciting. The average Jazzerciser sticks with it for seven years, which gives me hope that even years later – I’ll still feel the same way.

PS – This is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share my honest journey.


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  • Jeanene Houtchens December 29, 2016 @ 4:05 pm

    Wow, GREAT commentary, Sarah! So glad that you’re enjoying your Jazzercise experience! Enjoyed reading about your journey! Here’s to another 6 years (at minimum!) and an active and healthy 2017!

  • Diane December 29, 2016 @ 4:30 pm

    I have been jazzercising for 12 years. It is the only thing I can stay with. One thing you didn’t mention is the social aspect of Jazzercise. Meet people just like you older and younger. I have discussed ailments as well as milestones and tiny houses with women of all ages. Also work as hard as you want. No one cares. They call me the energizer bunny, and I love it because it confirms I’m working hard. So glad you are talking about Jazzercise. Thanks for the post.

  • Andi December 29, 2016 @ 4:41 pm

    I’m so pleased to see another happy Jazzy Mom. I’ve been at it 4 yrs this March. Love every minute of it.
    Cherry Valley, CA Jazzercise Instructor

  • Peggy Rick December 29, 2016 @ 4:47 pm

    thanks for your post. I was an instructor for 35 years. then I had full knee replacement and now am a proud student. So glad you made it 1 year..cheers to your next year.

  • Shannon December 29, 2016 @ 4:49 pm

    Wow…perfect!!! Totally right on…everyone needs to give jazzercise a chance. Not only does it make you feel better, the ladies and men make you feel great! When in doubt. ….try it😊😊honestly can’t hurt

  • Mary December 29, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

    Loved your article. 15 years for me. Just got my 150 last week. Only workout I have stuck with for longer than a month.

  • Dena December 29, 2016 @ 5:53 pm

    26 years of Jazzercise for me. Started going 4 days a week a few months ago & feel better than before. It’s always a good time even when it hurts

  • Ruth December 29, 2016 @ 5:55 pm

    Very interesting reading your blog, I started Jazzercising 4 years ago at the age of 66. So you see you don’t have to be young to start this type of exercising. I’ve always been in some kind of program but, this one I actually enjoy. It’s not only a great way to exercise but you meet so many wonderful people with a great outlook on life. Keep it up and hopefully Jazzercise will always be an important part of your life.

  • Kellee December 29, 2016 @ 6:55 pm

    Hi Sarah! Thank you so much for sharing this post, praising Jazzercise and your incredible accomplishment! Congratulations! As you mentioned above, it IS addicting! I started a year ago, as well, and loved it so much that I became a certified Jazzercise instructor! I love how it makes me feel – body, mind, and spirit – as well as how amazing it is to see the joy mixed with sweat on the faces of my clients, whom, by the way, all look incredible! Here’s to 2017!!!

  • Carson December 29, 2016 @ 7:10 pm

    Wow! This is amazing! I started jazzercise at 14 years old and have loved it ever since. Now, at 18, I have seen that there are so many ages who attend, and this is not a “leg warmer” work out! It kicks my butt and always challenges me.

  • Janice Lee December 29, 2016 @ 7:27 pm

    I love your article, so much do that I’d like to ask if I could put it in my class newsletter. It’s an honest inspirational piece that newbies, as well as long timers will feel good reading it. Thank you for sharing!

  • HELEN December 29, 2016 @ 7:39 pm

    I have been Jazzing for almost 25 years. I am 76 yrs old and have completed over 300 classes this year! We have a “family” that we get together with. I always tell people who don’t like to exercise, they haven’t tried Jazzercise. Be proud of what you’ve done, and keep up the good work!

  • Carol December 29, 2016 @ 7:41 pm

    I have Jazzercised for about 17 years and have had a few breaks in between. Love to dance and just got my 150 class shirt last week. Love my Jazzersisters. I have made many friends over the years through my classes.

  • Jodi December 29, 2016 @ 8:05 pm

    THANK YOU for sharing! I have been an instructor for 21 years and STILL love this workout and it challenges me every day!

  • Ann December 29, 2016 @ 8:17 pm

    I’ve been Jazzercising for 20 years now and I’m 65. I set goals each year for myself and this year will reach 235 classes! I enjoy good health and I believe regular workouts are the reason. Several years ago, I invited my daughter to come with me. Now she is an instructor. She’s also my favorite! Your description is perfect. Jazzercise is never boring, always challenging, and so much fun!

  • Donna December 29, 2016 @ 9:28 pm

    Glad you love it!! I’m going on my 8th year and started in my mid 30s like you. I was never athletic or even liked to really sweat but jazzercise is so much fun and has changed my view toward exercise. Also, with so many responsibilities to work and family, I look forward to the time to just put everything else on pause and focus on me for a little bit. Here’s to one year down for you and hopefully many more to come!!

  • Brenda December 29, 2016 @ 9:35 pm

    I did Jazzercise starting at age 29 in 1990. I did it off and on for 15 years. I don’t know why I stopped accept we moved a lot and my back pain got worse. When I was going I loved it and the endorphins were wonderful. It is the only form of exercise besides riding a bike that I have enjoyed. I even went to a taping down in Carlsbad, CA once. They taped the new routines every six weeks or so and then send them out around the world. I miss it and plan to go back when I get my back pain resolved.

  • Ellen December 29, 2016 @ 9:38 pm

    That’s awesome. I loved reading about your journey. Im starting my 11-12 year. Where else can you sing and dance and no one cares what you sound or look like?

  • shery Tucker December 29, 2016 @ 9:42 pm

    Yay you! Glad you wrote about your experience. I’ve been Jazzercising since 1980 and still go 4 times a week. LOVE IT. It’s all those things you say and more. At times in my life it’s been a literal life-saver. Keep it up. Preach!

  • Christy December 29, 2016 @ 10:27 pm

    Jazzercise has gotten me through the lowest times of my life. I am so grateful for a fabulous staff that is so dedicated to the wellness of the rest of us!

  • Sharon December 29, 2016 @ 10:30 pm

    Great article. I too started little over a year ago….in my 60’s! Shocked that I love doing it and able to keep at it. Actually even going to a very early class at 5:30 a.m. a few times a week….anyway, it is the best exercise I have ever done, and it is fun!

  • Iona Wilson December 30, 2016 @ 4:15 am

    Great to read Sarah! I’ve been Jazzercising in Fife, Scotland for 19 years…. yes, 19 years. Still loving it. I’ve been a class manager for 17 years. It’s fresh, gives a great workout and the girls are amazing. To quote their old saying “fun, fitness and friendship”!

  • Patricia December 30, 2016 @ 7:09 am

    This is my 30th year. I can’t live without it. I call it my Prozac. Lol. My daughter whom I’ve jazzed pregnant with now comes to class with me. At 52 I can still move like I’m young 😁 thanks to jazz and never ever get bored. Best workout ever.

  • Beth Clark December 30, 2016 @ 7:15 am

    Good for you. I have been Jazzercising on and off for over 30 years. I have always exercised but there was a time when I was a single Mom, owned a business that required long hours and was raising 4 very active kids. For a time then I worked out mostly at home. Then came a time in my life where I was able to go back full time to Jazzercise about 8 years ago. I forgot how much I loved everything about it. I am now in my 60’s and can still get an exhausting workout doing the low impact. You get out of it what you put in. For me I also loved the “estrogen” in the room. The comraderie of the people is amazing where I go also. Thanks for posting. You are right about the style of the 80’s. I know first hand because that is when I first started. Good for you and thanks for posting. I too have the same shirt you are wearing in your picture. Just remember New Year New Rear!!

  • Kim December 30, 2016 @ 9:07 am

    you didn’t mention how your body changed with these classes. Anything noticeable?

  • Sarah Fortune December 30, 2016 @ 9:17 am

    Oh definitely! I talk more about the physical changes back in my 6 month post, but all of that still remains true. My personal goal wasn’t necessarily weight loss (I’m naturally on the smaller side), but I’m toner, stronger, and feel better!

  • Sarah Fortune December 30, 2016 @ 9:17 am

    Of course!

  • Christine Ferguson December 30, 2016 @ 10:28 am

    Amen to All of That!! I tell people that I never regret going, I only regret not going!

  • Dalene Forgan December 30, 2016 @ 11:18 am

    I am soon to be 67 & I have been Jazzercising for years & years. Started in the 80’s, did other exercising while raising my family then came back years ago because nothing matched what I experience in Jazzercise! I hope to be still doing it until I leave this earth. Someone in 80’s still doing it in our classes!

  • Deidra Connell December 30, 2016 @ 11:42 am

    Congratulations on your year milestone! I’ve been jazzercising off and on for over 16 years! I’ve never tire of it and even though I have aches and pains, I’ve never been disappointed!

  • sarah December 30, 2016 @ 12:02 pm

    Such a lovely reading. Jazzercise has great instructors and even greater customers who enjoy the fab all over body workout. Keep up good work Sarah xx Sarah instructor from Plymouth.uk

  • Timi Bryan December 30, 2016 @ 12:39 pm

    I just started my 31 first year of jazzercise. Although I’ve never become an instructor which was a goal of mine, I found that I will still take classes and can help in other ways. I’ve never strayed and never will. There is no better workout in my opinion. I’ve met some of my best friends for life this way

  • Kristie Ward, Jazzercise Instructor & owner December 30, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

    Started Jazzercise when I was 23. I’m 38 and still jazzercise! It’s the only workout I’ve ever stuck with.

  • Jill December 30, 2016 @ 1:55 pm

    So glad you found it and that we’ve been able to dance 2016 away!!

  • Lisa Hogan December 30, 2016 @ 2:13 pm

    Congrats on 150 classes! Awesome!
    Here’s to the New Year and a lot more Jazzercise classes to come.

  • Denise December 31, 2016 @ 2:32 pm

    Well said! The friends I’ve met are wonderful and fun. Thank you for this great review of jazzercise.

  • Vicki December 31, 2016 @ 3:32 pm

    Wonderful story! I agree with everything you have written, especially the addictive part of Jazzercise. I didn’t hit 300 this year and my first full year but I got to 292 classes. You feel great and meet amazing people.

  • Kathy Lingo January 1, 2017 @ 6:51 am

    Thank you for sharing this, Sarah! I’ve been Jazzercising since the early 90s and became an instructor in 2003. Love to hear people understanding what Jazzercise is…more than a great workout! Great for overall well-being. Here’s to a great 2017. Get that 150 shirt for this year!!

  • Mary Pierce January 1, 2017 @ 4:41 pm

    Wonderful post and congratulations! I joined Jazzercise about 4 yrs ago, after giving up my running gig of 20+ yrs. I was looking for something I could do the rest of my life and Jazzercise was it! I completed 327 classes in 2016, and lost 50 lbs. I feel amazing and celebrated my 50th Birthday too.
    Thanks for sharing your journey!

  • Diane Sherwood January 1, 2017 @ 11:43 pm

    I also learned that you work every muscle every time. And if I’m wrong, you’ll catch the muscle you missed the next day.

  • Tamara January 5, 2017 @ 9:04 am

    I started 2016 with a goal of four classes per week. A busier than usual schedule in May and then a month-long illness in September busted that momentum, so I did not make 150. It’s 2017 now and if I can eventually get out today (roads are a mess), I will get in my fourth class this week and will hopefully have two more by the end of the week. I know there will be weeks (like next week) where four classes will be impossible, but after three years, I still enjoy it.

  • Monica Benninghoff January 12, 2017 @ 1:03 pm

    Congratulations on reaching 150 classes your first year. That’s incredible! Thank you for sharing your first-year experience! As a veteran instructor (21+ years) Jazzercise still keeps ME on my toes. When my older (non-Jazzerciser) sister asked how I could teach a 5:45am class twice a week, my response was simple… “Because I love what I do.” I predict YOU will be with Jazzercise long after 7 years roll by. Time flies when you’re having fun! :)

  • Linda P February 1, 2017 @ 7:01 pm

    Sarah, what an inspiring plug for Jazzercise. I have stuck with it for 13 years and don’t plan on leaving. After I retired I wondered how I would get along without my work friends. There’s life after retirement and I turned my focus to my health. Little did I know I would get a new family. The social aspect of Jazzercise is amazing not to mention the classes and fantastic instructors.

    Thanks for taking the time to lay this all out. I am happy you discovered Jazzercise and good luck continuing on the road to your next 150! Cheers from Lutz, FL Jazzercise

  • Misty March 2, 2017 @ 10:58 pm

    Thanks to the push of my 18 year old daughter in September of 2016. I finally gave jazzercise a go. I was hooked after just one class. With much pride and huge feeling of accomplishment I just finished the 30/35 today at day 30. The last 3 years I have done other challenges but none have pushed me like jazzercise and none have given me the results physically and mentally. My only mistake is not trying it 12 years ago when I was asked to. At that time I felt intimidated. Better now then never… Right! Jazzercise truly is the best fitness choice I have ever made for myself. The jazzercise family is so friendly and the instructor’s are simply amazing!

    Thanks Jazzercise 😊