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.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn up to 500 calories with each go-round.
This winter, the streets will fill with red, white, and beard. That's because Santa Hustle 5K makes its way to cities across the country, inviting runners and walkers alike to dress as Old St. Nick. Each participant receives a Santa hat, Santa beard, and Dri-FIT hoodie as they tread the pavement to raise money for a different charity in each city. Post-race, participants can kick-start their holiday cheer at an after-party filled with treats, music, and festive decorations.
The Athletic Club aspires to reach the upper echelon of fitness facilities, leading specialty classes within upscale workout environs. Limbs lengthen and spines straighten thanks to an extensive selection of yoga classes, including Anti-Gravity Yoga, which encourages participants to spite earthly forces while in inverted positions using an anti-gravity hammock. Dance fitness classes such as Zumba and African Movement fuse cardio movements to energetic rhythms. Core-sculpting and strength classes such as Cardio Barbell tone physiques without resorting to monster-truck-tire tossing competitions. Exercise enthusiasts can access the merits of cardio and strength equipment before and after classes at each location. Class schedules span seven days a week with early morning through evening sessions, and the Amherstburg club also offers a schedule of aquatics classes. Further amenities include childcare, along with a juice bar, steam rooms, and saunas.
• For $9, you get one mezzanine ticket to The Fairy Forest on Saturday, August 20 at 2 p.m. (up to an $18 value). • For $11, you get one orchestra ticket to the "Season Encore Performance" on Saturday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m. (up to a $22 value).
Got Gut boot-camp participants generally flock to the fitness grounds two to five days a week, but with today's Groupon secured under your terrycloth headband, you can attend as many of the 60-minute sweat fests as you please. During your four-week program, you'll receive unlimited physical and nutritional guidance from Debi's highly trained instructors and get to take your body to its buffing limits during increasingly challenging cardio and strength-training workouts. The group sessions promote a team mentality, so not only will you feed off the supportive vibes of your peers, but you will also likely walk away from the experience with a new secret bicepshake.