March 3, 2011

Jazzercise: This Ain’t Your Granny’s Workout. ~ Rachel Davis

Photo: Kristen Johnson

Jazzercise is back. And it’s awesome.

“Chassé to left… two, three, four! Chassé to the right, kick ball change! Chassé, chassé, kick ball change!”

Your heart is pounding and your forehead is sweating, but you’re smiling because in the background you hear the soothing but uplifting sound of Bruno Mars singing “Just the Way You Are.” And you know he really does love you just the way you are. Because you’re in a Jazzercise class and you’re totally owning those moves.

Yes, you’re executing a perfect chassé, with your feet meeting in the middle just like you were told, but you start to feel a little something special happening inside of you. Maybe you lift your arms a little more than is expected for this particular move. Maybe you even flick your wrists a little because you’re feeling sassy, to say the least. Next thing you know, you’re plum in the middle of a flawless jazz square peppered with a plié. No big deal.

This isn’t a reflection on the aerobics craze of yesteryear. This is the real deal and it’s as hot as a habañero once again. I have a feeling it’s going to be bigger than it ever was in the 80s. In Boulder, Colorado, your friendly neighborhood Jazzercise studio is located at 55th and Arapahoe, with classes daily. And you better believe these Jazzercise classes are complete with a fiesty instructor rockin’ a headset onstage, and women of all ages strutting their stuff like it’s what they were born to do.

There are spicy shoulder shrugs and provocative pelvic thrusts. If you’re lucky, you’re jazzing it up right along side the lady in the class who lets out an enthusiastic “woo!” every once in awhile—and that’s how you know she’s really feeling the burn. There are ladies who know the moves like the back of their hands; maybe they practice at home, maybe they’re just born with the gift. There are also ladies who might not be as coordinated, but who keep on swaying those hips and tapping those toes. I gracefully fall into the latter category. But this doesn’t concern me in the least, because when I hear Rihanna’s sultry tunes and the call from the instructor to do a reverse grapevine, I move my feet in what feels like some sort of choreographed pattern and let my insecurities drift away.

There is something intoxicating about a group of women getting their groove on. Maybe it’s the estrogen, maybe it’s the endorphins or a delightful cocktail made of equal parts of the two—with a splash of sass. In any case, Jazzercise has opened my eyes to the world of dance aerobics and I never want to be blind again.

Rachel Davis is a Pastry Chef in Boulder, CO where she spends her down-time dabbling in such things as running, reading, eating, napping, and various arts and crafts. Another burning passion: writing. After initially attending university as a communications major, Rachel took a leap and enrolled in culinary school where she earned her Associate’s Degree. She strives to leave no stone unturned in her life as she believes there is no reward without risk.

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