I’m pausing from regular Commercial Fishing Mom programming to write about how lucky I feel to be a Jazzercise instructor at my local studio.
Our Jazzercise community is incredible. From customers to instructors to class managers, we have an amazing family of women (and one man) that I feel lucky and grateful to be a part of.
This morning, we celebrated my friend Meghann’s fifth year of teaching with what we call a “team teach.” A “team teach” means that during the course of a one-hour aerobic set, a variety of instructors each teach three or four songs. Team teaches are fun for instructors and customers alike, especially when you are celebrating an event or holiday like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or someone’s Jazzercise anniversary.
Later on today, I attended an incredible event; the farewell concert of one of our Jazzercise customers. Our Annie, who would have been a Jazzercise instructor save her career as a Mezzo Soprano in Germany (ha!), put on a beautiful concert that left me and everyone else speechless. She sang pieces from Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Mozart, Alban Berg, and Leonard Bernstein before concluding with the most heartbreaking, beautiful version of Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen) that I have ever heard. I had to be stern with myself in order to hold it together as she sang.
What else about Jazzercise at my studio? We celebrate and support our customers with cancer and participate in Relay for Life. We host Mother & Child Jazzercise and donate diapers to the food bank. Twice a week, I say hello-and-goodbye to my own sister as she leaves the 8:25 a.m Jazzercise class and I arrive to teach the 9:35 a.m. class. Just today, I watched a new instructor teach a solid four routines during the team teach and felt both pride and respect for her and our studio. I laughed throughout class thanks to the blessed good humor of our friend and fellow instructor whose five-year anniversary we celebrated.
I see Jazzercise friends at the pool, I watch them perform in theater productions, and I chat with them at school board meetings.
No, I’m not as young as I was when I first started taking Jazzercise twenty years ago. I’m nowhere near the weight I was when I started teaching seven years ago. We don’t always all get along and we make mistakes and feelings get hurt. But when I see my fellow Jazzercise friends, I also see the infants we nursed in the studio childcare that now attend elementary and middle school. I see a shared past and I see a future.
If you wonder why Jazzercise still exists, this is why. We not only dance and lift weights to awesome music, we create a community. It’s a thriving community of friendship, mishaps, forgiveness, talent, and growing. I wouldn’t trade my Jazzercise family for anything. If you like good music, exercise, community, friendship, and joy, I recommend checking out your local Jazzercise center. You won’t be disappointed!