So, this recap is a long-time coming! The last weekend of June was a total dream for me and I’m excited to share it all with you! That weekend was spent in Washington D.C. for an annual event called “Jazzercise LIVE.” It was an incredible event and definitely refreshed my feelings toward the classes that I teach and reinforced why I love doing it so much. First, let’s give a little background into the event…
Every year, each Jazzercise instructor receives five new sets of routines. The songs are hand-picked and the routines are choreographed by the CEO, Judi Sheppard Missett…the founder who started everything back in 1969. Crazy, right!? Anyway, the routines are taped by Judi, her daughter, Shanna, and a few other instructors that make up the ‘taping team’, and are sent out in DVD form. Each set consists of about thirty routines and they are sent out every ten weeks. Out of the routines we receive, we can pick and choose which ones we want to learn and teach. An important part of Jazzercise is that you can go to any center in the world and know what to expect and be familiar with where you are and what you experience. While each instructor is different and teaches in their own way, there is a common tie between every class – and those are the routines. Every year, one DVD is recorded at a live event that is held at a different location each time….and this year, to our surprise, it was held in Washington D.C., which is only four hours away…and totally doable for a road trip! When they announced the location last year, myself, two other instructors, and one of our customers, purchased our tickets, booked our hotel room, and a year later, set off on the open road…which brings us to the present…
We headed out during the late morning on Friday, June 27th. Our one instructor, Natalie, had to teach the morning class that day so we took our time and got to D.C. around 4pm. The event technically started at 9am for registration and shopping (!!!) but we had pre-registered and knew we would have time to shop on Saturday, as well, so we weren’t concerned about getting there early. We got there just in time to get to our room, change into our workout clothes (like I ever wear anything else), and get down to the ballroom where the big event of the night was taking place! At 5pm, Shanna was teaching a dance aerobics class and we could not wait to start!
Entering the ballroom was electric. There were people everywhere and music was blaring which made the vibe incredible. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget what we’re a part of when we teach to the same class, at the same center, at the same times every week. Being around all of the other instructors (and some customers) that traveled from around the globe to share in what we love was awesome. Words really can’t describe it! We spent an hour doing some of our favorite high-intensity routines and learning some of the new ones that were thrown in the mix! By the end, I was a sweaty mess, which was totally expected and okay with me!
After the class, we all took a seat and welcomed Judi (the founder) to the stage. I was so honored to be there and listen to her share her story of the ‘why’ and ‘how’ she started Jazzercise. She also touched on how she tries to keep Jazzercise fresh and new, which can be difficult because of the “80’s” stigma that is usually attached with the program. She hinted that we were all in for some exciting changes during the next half of the year! After some history and some inspirational words, she opened up a Q and A session, which was great! She is so down-to-earth, which makes me proud to be part of such a wonderful community! Here is a great article written by the Washington Post that touches on the legacy of Jazzercise and the points that Judi touched upon during her talk with us.
After the session with Judi was over, the four of us headed back to our room, threw some normal clothes on (without showering, of course) and headed out to dinner. We walked until we found a great restaurant with an outdoor patio where we shared great food, cold beers, and great conversation! We headed back to the room and fell asleep shortly after…we had a big Saturday ahead of us and we couldn’t wait for what was in store…
…and that shall come in Part 2 (along with a million more pictures)!
Reminiscing and smiling,