Words Shehara de Mel
Considered an important aspect of well-being, fitness has today become a popular routine among many people.Hectic work schedules or long periods of physical inactivity have caused people to engage in some form of fitness routine. A fun yet effective fitness programme, Jazzercise is a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon offering entertainment and a surge of excitement. Motivated by recent trends in fitness together with the common Sri Lankan passion for dance, Jazzercise was introduced to Sri Lanka by Nishelli Perera, franchise owner and instructor of Jazzercise.
The concept of Jazzercise began in 1969, when Judi Sheppard Missett, founder of Jazzercise, transformed her jazz dance class into a dance fitness programme. With the objective of catering to those in their late twenties and over, Jazzercise focuses on drawing the working population, mainly female, and stay-at-home mothers.
A new phenomenon in Sri Lanka, the Jazzercise programme is a 60-minute group fitness class that involves a full cardio workout. These energy-packed classes are conducted four times a week and begin with a good warm up. This is followed by a 40-minute cardio workout involving a fusion of fun moves such as jazz dancing, kickboxing, hip-hop and latin movements. The final 20 minutes of the workout involves strength training, vital in maintaining the long-term benefits of exercise. Trained and certified as a fitness instructor, Nishelli advises clients to consult their doctor before engaging in this routine.
“People come to Jazzercise because they want to lose weight, get toned or look great. But the secondary benefit that they may not have considered is improved cardiovascular endurance, because once you start getting fit your stamina increases and you are preventing many diseases that you might have to deal with down the line such as cholesterol and heart disease. The best benefit of all is the ‘feel-good’ factor: I want people to leave the class feeling great about themselves knowing that they accomplished something but that they also had fun doing it,” explained Nishelli.
Creating a sensational impact today, Jazzercise is part of the international franchise based in California which hosts a network of 32 countries. It enforces a strict approach and ensures that clients are guaranteed the same quality instructor in Sri Lanka as anywhere else in the world.“My ultimate goal would be to have a dance studio, or what Jazzercise calls a Jazzercise Centre,” stated Nishelli.
Enhancing the quality of people’s lives, Jazzercise is one hour of exhilarating fun, an innovative idea transforming the very notion of fitness. Its distinctive value is evident in that it serves as a stress reliever in the demanding, hectic schedules of life.
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