On Beat

Get a digital fix: Jazzercise is available on demand.

Studio closed? Try Jazzercise On Demand instead. Photo by Alex Clark.

When you hear “Jazzercise,” you may picture leotards, big hair, and electronic beats—it did rise to popularity during the 1980s, after all. But Jazzercise has evolved in step with today’s fitness zeitgeist. Started by Judi Sheppard Missett in 1969, Jazzercise now has 8,500 franchisees around the world—as well as a new on-demand fitness service that’s helping fans stay in shape while the studios are closed during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Led by Missett’s daughter, Shanna Missett Nelson, the dance dynasty is offering Jazzercise On Demand classes via streaming services such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku, as well as free workouts at the Jazzercise On Demand Facebook page and many local studios’ pages. The company releases new choreography every week, and has also introduced a modern activewear line—no more leotards! 

While students love the physical results of Jazzercise—classes can burn up to 800 calories—they are also effusive about the atmosphere, both in person and online. In a Richmond Jazzercise studio, one member who has been been working out with Jazzercise for more than 35 years said, “I’m here because I feel like I belong in spirit and in body.” An online member said, “I have some normalcy in my life in this challenging time. Thank you Jazzercise for all you are doing to help relieve the tension of the times in a fun and entertaining manner.” Jazzercise.com


This article originally appeared in our February 2020 issue.

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