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The Buzz on Jazzercise

The Fitness Class with Rhythm

-- By Zach Van Hart , Staff Writer and Gigi Washington, Jazzercise Instructor
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Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility.

The name says it all.  Participants exercise to the rhythms and beats of current, upbeat music. Jazzercise offers an effective, total-body conditioning program in a group setting (similar to yoga or Spinning). Below are answers to many questions about Jazzercise. If your interest is piqued, check local papers to find out where Jazzercise is offered nearby.

How much does a class cost?
Because individual instructors independently own Jazzercise classes, there is no set rate. You will find that classes cost anywhere from $2 to $7, depending on the number of classes you purchase. Many instructors offer a special rate for new customers on their first purchase. You may pay as you go, or pay month to month.

How does Jazzercise improve your fitness?
  • Develops cardiovascular fitness
  • Increases energy
  • Strengthens and tones muscles
  • Improves flexibility and balance
  • Enhances metabolism
  • Reduces stress
What is a typical class like?
Each Jazzercise class is approximately 60 minutes. Here's how the class flows:
  • A warm-up segment comprised of gentle rhythmic movements and isolations for individual muscle groups
  • An aerobic segment to increase cardiovascular fitness and burn calories
  • An aerobic cool-down segment to reduce heart rate
  • A muscle-toning segment with weights to strengthen the hips, thighs, butt, abdomen, upper torso and arms
  • A final cool-down stretch segment to return the heart rate to normal Continued ›
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About The Author

Zach Van Hart Zach Van Hart
Zach is a journalist who regularly covers health and exercise topics.

Member Comments

  • In theory Jazzercise sounds like it should be right up my ally - I love the 80s style aerobic classes. But the couple of times I tried it I found that the choreography was awkward and jerky....not sure if that was just an issue with the instructor or what, but later I bought a Jazzercise DVD and it was the same way. There is a class three nights a week near my home...maybe I should try it again. - 12/28/2013 4:28:01 PM
  • I love Jazzercise. I was never able to find a fitness routine that I could stay with until I found Jazzercise. Believe me, I have tried everything under the sun. As an older, out of shape gal when I started, I was able to modify by eliminating any jumping or skipping and just marching. I guess I have a super instructor, because she always explains the modification you can make for each exercise while still showing us how to get the most out of the exercise like using big arm movements, straight arms, or raising your knees high, and she also encourages everyone to try to step bigger, add a little jump, or try one of the more challenging positions when doing floor work. If you are looking for a fitness routine that you will want to go back to again and again, and will find yourself smiling when you are right in the middle of the class and sweating buckets, this is for you. I recently bought a Polar FT4 heart rate monitor, and I consistently burn between 450 and 600 calories each time I attend class. If my knee or back is bothering me, I just ratchet it down a bit. - 7/23/2013 11:37:47 AM
  • KB42ANDFIT
    I LOVE Jazzercise (once you get over the 80s name). It's hot Top40 music, great moves, and a fantastic workout, incorporating aerobic dance and strength training. I wear a mio heart-rate watch, and routinely burn 550 - 650 calories in an hour and have fun doing it. Plus, it's easy to modity for low impact ... which I do and still burn that calorie range!

    - 6/4/2013 9:44:22 AM
  • Hey Jazzercise! Those used to be hugely popular when I was a kid. There were signs and ads for it everywhere around here! - 3/15/2013 10:03:01 PM
  • AZURE-SKY
    I have never been to a Jazzercise class because there are none available near where I live, but I have purchased 2 Jazzercise DVDs. They're OK, but I strained my back doing one of them. There are no modifications shown on the DVDs for those with back or knee problems. I modified the movements myself, but it wasn't enough.

    I get a better workout from lower impact aerobic videos. To me, they are just as good as Jazzercise. - 3/15/2013 8:17:56 PM
  • My SIL has done Jazzercise forever and my friend joined Jazzercise a month or two ago and really likes it. My local one has free classes on the weekends for the month of March, so I'm gonna go try it out! - 3/15/2013 3:42:09 PM
  • I love Jazzercise! I joined my local Jazzercise center almost a year ago. I have been going just about every day. I have lost 40 pounds and am in the best shape of my life. - 10/7/2012 10:28:03 PM
  • MAIRE77
    I first started doing Jazzercise when I was a teenager, and did it off and since then. I have been doing for the last few years, and it really is a well-balanced workout. The workout is very adjustable to your individual needs. I have a bad back, and the modifications help me to still work out and protect my back. The instructor can show you how to adjust your movements to protect vulnerable areas. What I really like is that I don't have to think about which areas I am working, Jazzercise works it all. The music is very current with the occasional remake or oldie thrown in to make it interesting. The people are very supportive and nice, and I have made a lot of friends there. Also, you can become a class manager or childcare worker and receive a healthy discount. Each Jazzercise center is individually owned and operated, so the details of the discount vary from place to place.
    - 9/27/2012 2:20:55 PM
  • CHRIS1062
    I've been doing Jazzercise for 30 years - since my oldest was born. There are many ways to bring exercise and activity to your every day life but I have found Jazzercise to be my favorite. The combination of aerobics, core strength, stretching, and all to current music is what works for me. Instructors are monitored on their techniques which keeps it a quality program. I plan on Jazzercising as long as I am walking! - 1/2/2012 12:48:10 PM
  • TIFFYK3
    I have been a Jazzercise Instructor for 4 years now and attended classes for 2 year previous to becoming an instructor. Obviously, I LOVE IT! Each class can be what you need it to be. There are always low impact moves shown so you can choose to hop & bounce or keep your feet on the ground through the whole class. We work everything in your body, especially the all important CORE muscles. My butt still hurts after every class. Judy (the owner and CEO) continually creates new moves and is always using the most current music to help everyone feel excited about coming to class. We have every fitness level, every age and every shape in class. The BEST part is you make friends with the other ladies that just like you, are just looking for a great workout without the stresses of a gym. Check out the website www.jazzercise.co
    m to find out more about the company, where you can take classes near you, the latest offers and get a preview of the moves before you attend a class. You don't have to be coordinated to do Jazzercise, you just need to be willing to have fun while you sweat! - 3/21/2011 1:01:20 PM
  • I've been doing Jazzercise since the mid-90's. I convinced my daughter to go when she was in high school. She was just sure it would be easy. She was pleasantly surprised. She has been an instructor since 2004 and owned her own franchise since 2005. She has added 3 instructors and gone from offering 3 classes a week to 10. I am not the type that can motivate myself to do something on my own and with Jazzercise I can be motivated plus I've made lots of good friends. I took over 150 classes this year and I was gone at least 4 weeks for vacation. - 1/8/2011 4:04:31 PM
  • The article make Jazzercise sound fun, but I'd have appreciated definitions or brief explanations of the list of terms. It kind of feels like there's a page missing.

    I tried Jazzercise years ago, but it was too high impact then for my knees, even when I was young & much thinner. Maybe now it's more modifiable. - 11/6/2010 2:47:43 AM
  • I love Jazzercise! It's so much fun, and my instructor really pushes us, so I burn 500 - 600 in an hour. I'd do it everyday if I could! - 10/15/2010 4:29:56 PM
  • Oh my! I bet if I dug around a bit, I still have a few Jazzercise lps that were my Mom's from the 1970's - she used to do them all of the time and I really enjoyed it as a kid - it was oodles of fun. I will have to look around and see if classes are offered in my area.
    - 10/15/2010 4:30:54 AM
  • JAY75REY
    I liked Jazzercise and would do again if I didn't have a local gym with fun cardio classes. My gym offers Zumba 3 days a week which is great dance exercise. My gym also offers Balletone once a week (I haven't tried it yet). Dance is fun exercise and I love it! - 3/22/2010 4:25:46 PM
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