Jazzercise Celebrates a 50 Year Legacy of Fitness!
This is what turning 50 should be like for us all, celebrating legacy while manifesting a bright and full future. Jazzercise remains as one of the world's leading fitness programs, and it is poised to remain in the game for generations to come.
By: Jazzercise of Bellevue, WA
Seattle area Instructor Kristine Rooke was present to enjoy the celebration, as a tenured 28 year instructor. Rooke has been a presenter at these conventions, traveled the world with Jazzercise International and said of this event, "This weekend was one of the many highlights of my Jazzercise Franchisee career. So many valuable benefits of Jazzercise have made my passion for fitness possible as a business that helps thousands of people every day around the world." Including in Bellevue, WA, where Rooke has her own Franchised classes at the North Bellevue Community Center, 5 days a week. https://www.jazzercise.com/
Judi Sheppard-Missett created Jazzercise in Evanston, Illinois in 1969 as a student at Northwestern University. She was teaching at a dance studio and noticed her classes had high dropout rates. Realizing students were attending for physical fitness and not to become highly technically proficient in dance, Sheppard-Missett began to hold "just for fun" classes that began with a jazz warmup. These classes were eventually renamed "Jazzercise"
"I started to study jazz dance technique . . . and I thought, `This is for me!' " she says. She loved the funkiness and the pulsing energy of both the dance style and the music. Giodano invited her to dance in his company and become one of his instructors, which she did. Gus Giodano was a big influence in her life.
Sheppard-Missett's family moved to Carlsbad, California, where she taught classes in local recreation centers. Jazzercise quickly took off in San Diego and Sheppard-Missett trained new instructors herself. Many of those first instructors were in military families, so as they moved around the country, and the world, new populations were continually introduced to the program. Initially using VHS videos, Sheppard-Missett was able to train franchisees from a distance and began to sell franchise rights for Jazzercise studios across the country.
The 50 year celebration at the San Diego Convention Center drew over 3000 Jazzercise students and instructors from all around the world. Shaking the concrete floors of the convention center with several different formats of class offerings, a professional team of Instructors from places like Italy, Japan, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, and several US states taught classes of; Yoga Strong, Fitpro, Pilates, Dancing Abs, Body Strong, Core Fusion, Upper Body Builder, Booty burn, Strength 50, Dance Stretch, Slider Sculpt, Get LO, Street Style, Floor Barre, and the original format that kicked off the whole business, Dance Mixx.
From the Jazzercise. com website:
"Judi Sheppard-Missett started a revolution in 1969 when she created Jazzercise. Today she runs our company as CEO and Founder and teaches classes every week. Her daughter, Shanna-Missett-
Something else we're proud of is our longstanding tradition of giving back. Our Jazzercise instructors have raised more than $28 million for a wide range of causes, most of them directly affecting their local communities. We also offer Kids Get Fit, a community outreach program to fight childhood obesity. Our instructors throw free dance parties at schools all over the world to get kids moving.
So yep, we're the original dance party workout. And today we continue to rock it."
The legacy continues too, with Shanna Missett-Nelson's two dancer daughters, who were also present as they flanked their mother and grandmother in classes and performances on stages within the convention center. This event showcased a multi-generational picture of beauty and fitness and tenacity. There were many smiles and sore feet in the downtown area as strong and sassy Jazzerciser's strutted the 50 year anniversary colors of black and gold proudly in the heartland of the company's headquarters.
Thank goodness for Jazzercise, it has kept a beat under our feet for over 50 years. Congratulations on the milestone!
Jazzercise of Bellevue, WA