Jazzercise is still a thing and I regret to inform you there are no leg warmers

Jazzercise is still a thing and I regret to inform you there are no leg warmers
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(Note: Our Workout Wednesday series is brought to you by OrthoCarolina who reminds you – avoid sitting at your desk for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. Get up, move around and strengthen key muscles.)

I’m trying out a different workout class each week and reporting back for your entertainment every Wednesday. Homegrown fitness concepts all the way up to the big national franchises. Follow along here, browse our fitness archives for more, send class suggestions to katie@charlotteagenda.com.


Name: Jazzercise
 1600 E. Woodlawn Road
Class schedule: see schedule here
Class duration: 45 minutes (they also have 30- and 60-minute classes)
Drop-in rate: $20
Monthly membership: $75/month with a $50 joining fee for a 12 month commitment OR $90/month with a $50 joining fee for a 2 month commitment
Pros: Affordable membership pricing, tons of classes to fit most schedules, accessible modifications for various fitness levels
Cons: No leg warmers

jazzercise charlotte

How to dress and what to bring

Once again, my ninja uniform of black spandex and a black tank did the trick. I had an urge to take my shoes off upon walking in because I’m used to yoga studios but you don’t do that here. Wear your shoes. I noticed most participants brought their own mats but I was ill prepared so I borrowed one of the studio mats.

katie levans jazzercise

What to expect in class

It depends on which class you go to. I happened to stop into a Strength class, which owner Allegra Hinson informed me isn’t representative of the dance-based foundation that makes up the bulk of the Jazzercise program. Out of 45 classes per week on the schedule (that’s a lot), only about five are Strength. The main offering is choreographed dance cardio classes.

It’s probably for the best that I didn’t dance. In Strength45 we moved through song-specific choreographed routines for different body parts. Bieber for thighs, Sara Bareilles for triceps, Adele for abs. You get the idea. (Please feel free to quote “Bieber for thighs” out of context somewhere so long as I am credited.)

The 45-minute class was a mix of mat work and standing moves, usually just with body weight but occasionally adding light (3- to 8-pound) weights.

jazzercise charlotte

Where you’ll feel it the next day

Most of the burn I felt came from tricep work, but this would vary depending on the class you take.

Locker room situation

No locker room but there’s a bathroom just down the hall and plenty of cubbies inside the studio.

My take

I was on the phone with someone on my way to class and when I said I was headed to Jazzercise the response was, “Jazzercise still exists?” I think this is a common reaction for people who know it only as the 80s workout imitated by theme partygoers in thong leotards and leg warmers.

But Jazzercise does in fact still exist and thong leotards and leg warmers are a thing of the past. And it’s not something that exists but is just barely hanging on for dear life. Hinson has had her studio in Charlotte for 8 years and in that time has expanded it to allow room for more students.

jazzercise charlotte

As an outsider with an admitted misunderstanding of what Jazzercise is (despite Mary’s write up on it last year), I came fully prepared to scoff at the workout. This was, of course, until I couldn’t make it through one of the arm workouts that involved nothing but quick pulses and small circles WITH NO WEIGHTS. Attitude, checked.

In terms of intensity, the class had ups and downs. For me, the core work felt pretty easy but the Bieber thigh work resulted in a quick muscle burn. There’s always room to add more weight to up your own intensity.

In terms of accessibility, this workout can be for anyone. The class was a mix of women my age (30ish), my mom’s age (50ish, jk my mom is 60) and definitely some grandmothers. And they will all make you look like a little weakling when they can make it through the arm song without stopping and you can’t.

Connect with Jazzercise


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