While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Licensed aesthetician Gaye Lay regales faces with a procession of three facial treatments in her signature package designed to improve blood circulation, diminish stress, and destroy toxins. The 75-minute visage coddling begins with a one-hour european facial, which uses pharmaceutical-grade products and aromatherapy oils for a skin-soothing, sweet-smelling experience unlike counting sardines in a horse stable. A skilled aesthetician then smoothes out faces through microdermabrasion—which sprays aluminum-oxide crystals on the face to banish dead skin cells—or a purity peel, whose ingredients wash away dead skin cells and improve moisture retention. Afterwards, the Ultrasonic Skin Rejuvenation procedure can hydrate skin and reduce wrinkles with ultrasonic wavelengths, or the LED-light therapy transmits diode wavelengths that can enhance the skin's radiance and firmness. An eyebrow wax using the Nufree Nudesse antibacterial hair-removal system shapes eyebrows before they morph into eye beards.
Professional belly dancer Alexia guides students through shimmying sessions that blend fitness with Middle Eastern dance. No previous experience is necessary for the Bellydance Basics class, which teaches the nuts and bolts of head slides, turns, and traveling steps while applying liberal amounts of swivel to hips. With eight weeks of practicing mesmerizing movements, students can enhance their posture and confidence, solidify lackluster abdominals, and create ripples rivaling those of monster-inhabited lakes. Alexia breaks down Middle Eastern moves into their fundamental components and encourages dancers to quest for precision and proper alignment.
The experienced instructors at Innergy Fitness Systems create personalized fitness regimens that provide intense 30-minute conditioning workouts. Thirteen-plus years of health expertise funnels into these workouts, which accommodate exercisers of all fitness levels. Their compact Reaction camps boost endurance while torching calories in a fraction of the time of most workouts, leading to benefits ranging from reduced stress to improved physical performance. Team members invest themselves in their clients’ ability to succeed, providing nutritional guidance and support by offering healthy-eating suggestions that fit into clients' lifestyles.
Having studied at the hand of ancient Chinese masters, Sigung Richard Clear embarked to bring his extensive martial arts education to the streets. His fearsome self-defense system calls on his training in Indonesian silat, Chinese kung fu, and Russian systema. Instructors share Clear's Silat self-defense skills in regular classes or condensed three-hour and two-day sessions, and have instructed SWAT team members, military special forces personnel, overly aggressive antiquers.