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.
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.
Sequestered from the fitness studio, cardio room, and kid center at St. Julian's Fitness, a quiet room plays host to massage therapy. Here, a duo of licensed massage therapists—Bethany Kovach and Ryan Debelak—improves muscle health with soothing hand movements. Both Bethany and Ryan possess the know-how to induce relaxation with gentle Swedish strokes, relieve chronic pain with firm deep-tissue kneads, and target areas of tension with a sports massage. However, Bethany alone practices Thai-yoga massage, which is performed on the floor without lotion, oil, or ranch dressing. Massage therapy is available without a gym membership, and guests are welcome to enjoy a 15-minute Jacuzzi session prior to each appointment.
Movementality Yoga & Wellness Studio's tranquil practice space plays host to a slew of classes ranging from yoga and tai chi to upbeat Zumba. The team of certified instructors at the studio share a belief in the link between physical movement and mental well-being, fostering an encouraging environment in which students can explore the limits of what their body can do. They lead classes through safe stretches and movements during Vinyasa, Easy Flow, or intermediate yoga courses, along with more upbeat Zumba classes.
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.
Instructor Denise Ellis combines her background in education with her training in Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ayurveda practices to offer students a variety of yogic opportunities. Awaken muscles and joints in gentle beginner’s sessions designed to teach basic breathing techniques, fundamental poses, and advanced methods for protesting gravity. The postures that encompass the intermediate Hatha classes raise the bar for students’ disciplines as the instructor adds more poses while emphasizing proper body alignment and introducing yoga philosophies into the mix. The schedule boasts both morning and evening classes to provide students with varying lifestyles a chance to downward-dog in a socially acceptable manner.