You’ve probably heard of Jazzercise before, the dance-based fitness program that has been oft-parodied in pop culture. But step into a modern-day Jazzercise studio and you’ll see that it’s a pretty serious business.
“It’s definitely not spandex and leg warmers anymore,” said Crystal Jennings, owner and one of two instructors at .
True enough, Jazzercise was popularized in the ‘80s, although it’s been around since 1969. Today, Jazzercise is a certifiable corporation, with franchises spanning 32 countries.
Jennings started Lehigh Valley Jazzercise more than three years ago in Bath. After a year and a half there, she moved to the current Upper Nazareth Township studio, which boasts 1,700 square feet. The business has called Nazareth home for two years this month.
Jazzercise combines the styles of yoga, kickboxing, aerobics, Pilates and, of course, jazz dance -- all set to popular music and directed by a certified instructor. Jennings leads her students through the routine from a stage at the front of the studio while using a microphone to motivate them throughout the exercises.
Each 60-minute class is designed to increase metabolism and energy, strengthen and tone muscle and improve flexibility and overall health.
“It’s definitely a total body workout,” said Jennings. “We hit everything.”
Jennings got involved in Jazzercise about six years ago, when her aunt introduced her to it. Before that she tried Zumba, step aerobics, kickboxing and other fitness programs.
“Jazzercise is all of those things together,” she said. “You don’t need anything else.”
To stay modern and fresh, Jazzercise routines change every 10 weeks. The classes, which average 8-12 people, are all women right now, but Jennings has had men in her class before. She points out there are plenty of male instructors out there as well. As far as age goes, Jennings has had students as young as 10 and as old as 75.
“It’s more of a family environment than, say, a gym,” said Jennings. “Everyone knows everyone. It’s a tight-knit group.”
Lehigh Valley Jazzercise is at 299 Industrial Park Drive in Upper Nazareth, in the building next to . The entrance is in the rear—just follow the arrow signs.
Classes are held twice daily Monday through Thursday -- once in the morning and another in the evening. On Friday and Saturday there is one morning class. Childcare is available during these morning classes.