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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Geneseo Jazzercise celebrates 30 years

  • Jazzercise is having a 30th birthday party!

    Michelle Glazier introduced the dance/fitness program in Geneseo after attending a Jazzercise class in Moline. She said after that first class, “I knew I was meant to be a Jazzercise instructor.”
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  • Jazzercise is having a 30th birthday party!
    Michelle Glazier introduced the dance/fitness program in Geneseo after attending a Jazzercise class in Moline. She said after that first class, “I knew I was meant to be a Jazzercise instructor.”
    She became certified in May of 1983.
    In observance of the 30 years of Jazzercise, Glazier and her 10 instructors will teach a “30-year celebration class of our favorite routines from the past 30 years,” she said. “The free class is from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11.”
    At the conclusion of the 10:30 class, instructors will present a special routine. Prizes also will be presented at random, Glazier said, adding that there also will be food.
    A special discount will be available that day only for anyone interested in joining Jazzercise.
    “On May 11, we also are collecting contributions to benefit breast cancer research and the money will be donated when we walk for Race for the Cure in June,” she said.
    Geneseo is not alone in celebrating 30 years of Jazzercise, Glazier said. “The entire Quad Cities area has had Jazzercise for 30 years or more. I think the longevity of the program and the fact that Jazzercise has been around longer than any other aerobic dance fitness program speaks for itself.”
    It certainly spoke to Glazier at that first class more than 30 years ago.
    She has always been involved in some type of physical work out, from athletics and cheerleading when she was a student at Geneseo High School and later at Augustana College.
    “I knew from the first moment when I stepped into a Jazzercise class (in Moline and was taught by Mary Beth Ford) that it would be around,” she said. “At the time, it was the start of the fitness boom and I wondered if I picked the right program, but once I got going and learned, I knew Jazzercise would be around forever. I feel so blessed that I knew deep down this was a quality program and it proved itself.”
    After becoming certified in 1983, Glazier first taught classes both in Rock Island and Geneseo. She taught her very first class in Geneseo on July 5, 1983, on the third floor of the American Legion.
    “After one year, I offered classes in Geneseo only,” she said. “In December of 1990, we built the current Jazzercise Center building at 215 Smith St., Geneseo. I had paid high rent for seven years at different locations (such as the Moose, country club and former rollerskating rink) in Geneseo and was always facing obstacles from no air conditioning to parking issues. One day my dad, (the late Bill Rice), asked, ‘Why don’t you build your own place?’… and the rest is history!”
    Page 2 of 2 - Glazier went from only offering classes two to three times a week when she started to now having 30 classes a week, which start at 5:30 a.m. and the last class begins at 6:30 p.m., and includes low- impact classes.
    “The unique aspect of Jazzercise is the young and old can workout together and get a great workout,” Glazier said. “At Jazzercise, you will see a 70-year old and a 16-year old working out together and having fun. The beauty of Jazzercise is it is a high energy workout, but we are trained to show the low impact side and teach our customers to take the class at a level they are comfortable with. We encourage everyone to go at their own pace.”
    In addition to Glazier, other instructors at the Geneseo location are: Laurie Loitz, Lisa Meeker, Tami DeBisschop, Anne Sammons, Traci Mask, Lin VanOpdorp, Jenny Brieser, Abbey Fuelling, Kate Dillman and Kirstin Burbridge.
    “Jazzercise was founded by Judi Sheppard Missett in 1969,” Glazier said. “Today, she still runs the company with her daughter, Shanna. Jazzercise recently boasted a record-breaking year in 2012.”
    Glazier said instructors are educated on a continuous basis. “We are sent the routines via DVDs, and all routines are choreographed by Shanna and Judi.”
    Jazzercise is listed as one of the Top 10 franchises, Glazier said. “The beauty and appeal of Jazzercise is the always changing routines. We dance and exercise to popular music with the latest dance moves in an easy to follow format. Jazzercise is definitely addicting!”
    “I am in awe of how successful this is. We all work hard at it, but I would do it again, it is worth it,” she said. “I am shocked we are still going with all of these classes.
    “What I love more than anything is when our customers come back to me and say ‘My pants are looser or I lowered my cholesterol.’ That makes it all worth it because the bottom line is you exercise for the health of it. When I hear those stories it reassures me that this is what I was meant to do.”
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