Surviving the Fads: Jazzercise

You may think that Jazzercise came and went with the sweatbands and leg warmers of the '80s. Truth is, the franchise has been around since the 1970s, and is still going strong.

Its founders say they were the first to insist that exercise can be fun, and it's that philosophy that's kept people interested all this time.

Valerie Davis came to Jazzercise, hoping to ease her back pain. She says she got that and a lot more.

Davis is now stronger, has more energy to chase grandkids, and in many ways, happier.

Valerie says, "It's good to have several hours a week where you can just go and be. It's your time. No stress and no thoughts other than what you're participating in."

There are other success stories here.

Ashley Niehaus says, "For me, just being a stay-at-home mom, I spend all day with three very young children. So for me to be able to come here and be with adults and have that fellowship is important."

Niehaus says she was able to workout when she was pregnant too because the routines can be modified for every fitness level.

Sixty minute sessions include warm-ups, aerobics, strength training, stretching and cool down.

Sounds formulaic, but instructors say two things set these classes apart. One is the fun dance moves, the other is the music.

Jazzercise pays royalty fees so it can play the latest hits, and contrary to popular belief, it's not all jazz.

Instructor Darci Homan says, "You might have a country. You might have a rock 'n' roll Rob Thomas. You get a variety in one class, and it really makes the class go fast."

Come three times a week, and they promise you'll see results in no time. And with babysitting at only $1 a child, you'll have no excuse not to.

Jazzercise is currently offered in Boonville, Newburgh and Owensboro, but there's a push to recruit more instructors so it can expand to all parts of the Tri-State.

Plus, Jazzercise is comparable to a gym membership, costing around $35 per month.

If you're interested about teaching or participating in the classes, check out the Jazzercise Web site or call (800) FIT-IS-IT to find a class near you.

To become an instructor in the Evansville area, call Kathy Disinger at (812) 897-3142 or e-mail her at