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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Making exercise fun through Jazzercise

  • A fun, friendly atmosphere with music playing and energetic instructors keeps Jazzercise members coming back for more.


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  • A fun, friendly atmosphere with music playing and energetic instructors keeps Jazzercise members coming back for more.
    “It is a great workout, fun, fun music,” said Lynne Haars, who has been attending Jazzercise classes for at least 28 years. “I love to dance, the instructors are really great and it is a fun way to exercise and feel like you are not exercising.”
    “I started because of the music and I like the group atmosphere to keep me motivated,” said Martha Herron, who has been a Jazzercise member for more than 20 years.
    “If you are going to exercise you have to do something fun,” said Janis Snell, a more than 20-year Jazzercise member.
    “When you exercise to music you forget what you are doing,”?said owner Michelle Glazier.
    Geneseo Jazzercise, which opened in July 1983, offers 22 classes a week from 5:45 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. of regular Jazzercise and low-impact Jazzercise classes, which appeals to people of all ages and fitness levels.
    Jazzercise began in 1969 by Judi Sheppard Missett, who combined jazz dance, resistance training, pilates, yoga and kick boxing movement to help increase cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility.
    “As programs and people come and go, it is amazing to me the longevity of the Jazzercise program,” said Glazier. “There are no age limits. We have late elementary members to people in their 70s. There is something for everyone. You can go at your own pace and what is comfortable for you.”
    When she opened Jazzercise in Geneseo, Glazier rented places around the community for her classes until December 1990 when she opened at her current location at 215 Smith St.
    Since Glazier opened her Geneseo business, members have come and gone, but there is a core group of women who have been with her almost from the beginning with more than 20 years of Jazzercise experience.
    Members of the more than 20 years club include: Patti DeLeon, Mary Martin, Tammy McVietty, Deb Rokis, Carol Neuleib, Joy Dornfeld, Shari Anderson, Jill Weaver, instructor Lin VanOpdorp, instructor Tami?DeBisschop, instructor Lisa Meeker, instructor Anne Sammons, Sandi Simonich, Chris Ward, Janis Snell, Virginia Sears, instructor Laurie Loitz, Renee Benhart, Lynne Haars, Barb Printy, Martha Herron and Jud Vercha.
    “We are all very close, and I consider them family,” said Glazier. “We have gone through ups and downs together. Everyone is very welcoming to new members and that pleases me. I am amazed and it says a lot about the program for people to stay with it as long as they can.”
    “It is a fun environment and if you are going to exercise you have to do something fun,” said Laurie Loitz, an instructor for 25 years. “It’s a one-hour workout and you don’t have to plan a thing because we do it all, have all the equipment and routines.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Over the years Jazzercise has not been afraid to change with the times and continues to enhance its programs to appeal to all ages, said Glazier.
    “Five or six years ago, Jazzercise realized our core group was getting into their 40s and 50s and they needed to start recruiting the younger generation,” said Glazier. “So we increased the intensity and hired younger instructors. It is not the Jazzercise of the 80s. The company did an amazing job recreating its image to appeal to a younger age group.”
    Several college students have returned from school in the summer months and are enrolled in classes, as well as high school and middle school students.
    “I joined Jazzercise because I was done with high-school sports and wanted something to stay active,” said Sydney Dykema.
    “It is a lot of fun and it is music I am use to,” said Emily?Storm. “The hour goes by fast.”
    “I joined because of the music and it makes my day start off well,” said Kelsey Klein.
    “I came to support my mom,?Dianne,”?said Amanda Egan. “She found something that fit for her and I’ve been doing it since I returned from school.”
    Glazier will celebrate 30 years of certification in May 2013. The Geneseo Jazzercise also will celebrate 30 years in 2013.
    “I am so glad I?chose to do this,” said Glazier. “I knew this was what I wanted to do and I knew it would thrive in the future.”
    For more information on Jazzercise,?visit www.jazzercise.com.

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