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.
Whiter Image helps restore chompers to gleaming-white status in minutes using state-of-the-art oral technology. Clients bite down on a premium teeth-hugging tray prefilled with hydrogen-peroxide paste, then beam their bite bones with a blue LED whitening light. In as little as 15 minutes, customers' mouth mashers can whiten up to six or more shades, helping them lure gummy worms and oreo cookies even more effectively. Owners of sensitive teeth need not worry, as the whitening gel is filled with hydrators that respect fragile gnashers both chemically and on a personal level. The session also includes vitamin E swabs to be rubbed on the lips for comfort.
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.
As soy candles fill the room with a soft, flickering glow, licensed massage therapist Christina Jo Benoit runs her hands along sore muscles in a custom routine that combines gliding strokes with natural oils. Tense muscles loosen their grip as she pores over limbs, backs, and shoulders and tends to each client’s individual complaints with therapeutic bodywork. When figuring out which techniques will best suit your body, Christina draws on her knowledge in various modalities: she can gently bolster circulation with Swedish massage, induce multi-sensory relaxation with organic essential oils and aromatherapy, or chill out babies stressed from rigid nine-month deadlines with prenatal techniques.