Turns out I’m not the only one gearing up for a milestone birthday this year: Jazzercise is turning 40 and on the brink of a reinvention. Coincidence? No chance.
Jazzercise, founded by Judi Sheppard Missett in 1969, is making a huge comeback. Ok, maybe not high-waisted jeans-huge, but huge, nonetheless.
Although I’ve never tried Jazzercise, my heart of hearts tells me that my beloved “20-Minute Workout” probably wouldn’t have existed without it. And without the 20MWO, I wouldn’t have had my first foray into fitness. Like anything, even greatness has its roots – Madonna had Marilyn; JT had MJ; Juicing had LaLane; and the 20MWO had Jazzercise. (Sidebar: When I was a kid, watching my mom do the “20-minute Workout” to ABBA was like banana popsicles on a hot day in August – pure heaven. I’m still obsessed with the wonder that was Bess Motta’s hair. And banana popsicles.)
Jazzercise turning 40 says a lot about the importance of celebrating milestones and, of course, reinvention: take something that is defined and then give it a new definition. Why? Because you can, damn it. Because you can.
For Jazzercise, reinvention means easing up on the excessive use of “jazz hands”, nixing metallic leotards, and wiping that stupid grin off your face. For a 29-year old turning 30, reinvention is jumping out of a plane, learning to skate again, speaking her mind more, and starting a blog about it. Any way you slice it, reinvention is the stuff greatness is made of.
And so, in the spirit of doing great things, reinvention, birthdays, and jazz hands, I’ve decided that trying Jazzercise is on the List.