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Jazzing it up

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Dance class combines fun and fitness

By Lisa King

Want to jazz up your workout or even begin a fun new one?

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You might want to pop in at Jazzercise on Main Street and join in the fun.

Diane Young smiled as she began to warm up.

“I really like it,” she said. “I had a total knee replacement September 13 and this has really helped me.”

Nel Grin, instructor and owner of the facility, said that having fun is the key to a successful exercise routine in terms of longevity.

“One of my customers has been jazzercising for twenty-five years,” said. “The good thing about it is, it's always changing. The basic moves are the same, but we have five new releases every year, so five times a year we get thirty new songs. So we always get to change our routine up. We keep it fresh, we keep it fun, it's sometime you can do for a lifetime.”

And through the Girl’s Force Program, Grin is giving her younger audience a chance to get started.

For girls ages 16-21, the Girl’s Force classes are free, something she started this year.

“There's a timeframe from high school activities to college where activity kind of goes by the wayside and you tend to gain pounds, and if you don't stay active it's kind of a vicious circle,” she said. “You spiral and it's hard to get back from that. You think, 'When I was eighteen, I could have done this,' then by the time you're thirty or forty, you think, 'Gosh, darn it.’”

Unfortunately, the enthusiasm that she experienced from the public for that age range has been dwindling and she urges girls to hit the gym again.

“It was very popular at the beginning of the year, you know, with that craze in January, but now, it's kind of dying out,” she said. “We had about seven showing up for a while.”

The Girls Force program is not a separate class, she said, girls just come in and join the fun, and that’s really the best way to describe Jazzercise.

 

Fun and fit

“Anybody can benefit from it, and if you start young, it's easier to keep it up,” she said. “If you can march, you can jazzercise. It's top forty music, just current music – country, pop, alternative rock, it's kind of the whole spectrum of music.”

With five instructors and classes offered at various times every day – even at 5 a.m. for early birds – there’s a lot to choose from, from classes with basic moves, to high intensity training. The workout, which Grin describes as dance fitness, consists of 40 minutes of a cardio, aerobic routine, followed by 20 minutes of strength training and stretching.

“We incorporate Pilates, yoga, we pretty much do it all,” she said.

Grin took over the facility at 222 N. Main St. five years ago, but it has been there for 13 years,.

She moved to Shelbyville with her husband Mark eight years ago.

Grin laughed as she talked about her children, Joey, 17, and Caelin, 10, and their participation in her classes.

“They don't want to dance around, but they like the strength classes,” she said.

That’s one of the great things about Jazzercize, is that it’s something that people of all ages can enjoy. “We have people 16 [years old] to 76,” she said.

Then there’s the social aspect that is probably the most important of all, that keeps people coming back, she said.

“It's the music, the camaraderie,” she said. “If somebody misses a class, when they come back, everybody says, 'Hey, where were you last week? We missed you’ – it's almost like a family. You get to know each other. It's just so much than jazzercise, so much more than a great workout – I absolutely love it.”