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The Madison Record

Jazzercise class ‘not your mother’s exercise’

Ricky Fernandez, or 'Tricky Ricky' on the "Mojo Show" on WZYP-104.3, wore 1980s' Jazzercise garb when he visited a Jazzercise class in Madison. CONTRIBUTED
Ricky Fernandez, or ‘Tricky Ricky’ on the “Mojo Show” on WZYP-104.3, wore 1980s’ Jazzercise garb when he visited a Jazzercise class in Madison. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – A Jazzercise class in Madison proved to naysayers that the exercise regimen has changed drastically since 1980s’ legwarmers and skintight Lycra suits.

“It’s not your mother’s exercise class anymore, although I, and a few in the class, were doing Jazzercise in the 1980s,” student Tami Grant said. Grant is enrolled in Jazzercise at Madison Ballroom Dance Studio. “And, yes, I still have my leg warmers.”

Many people have the misconception that Jazzercize is stuck in a time warp. However, “we have evolved. WZYP-104.3 was surprised that all of the songs we dance to are songs that they are playing on the radio today,” Grant said.

“One of our customers heard WZYP announcers ‘dissing’ (disrepecting) Jazzercise by comparing it to ‘old school,’ Richard Simmons-type workouts,” instructor Lisa Peterson said. “We wanted to change that paradigm, and I think we did, by challenging them to attend a Jazzercise class.”

From WZYP’s “Mojo Show,” Ricky Fernandez, known as ‘Tricky Ricky’ on air, and two other radio employees accepted the invitation and attended a Jazzercise class. “I believe their reaction after attending the class spoke volumes for Jazzercise,” Peterson said.

Tricky Ricky was decked out in exercise gear that resembled fitness guru Richard Simmons’ famous garb with short gym shorts and headband around a besheveled afro. “The wig overheated him, and the shorts were a little too short for some of our moves,” Peterson said.

That was the “last time I run my mouth about Jazzercise on the radio,” Tricky Ricky said. “These ladies beat my * tonight.”

Today, the Jazzercise brand has 8,300-plus franchisees with more than 32,000 classes each week around the world, Peterson said.

Jazzercise recently recharged their brand to reflect the calorie-crushing intensity of their workouts and confront the misconception that Jazzercise hasn’t evolved from the 1980s.  Jazzercise’s new brand expression is edgy, intense, hard-hitting and modern, just like customers experience in class today, Peterson said.

Madison Ballroom Dance Studio’s address is 9076 Madison Blvd., Suites C/D/E. For more information, visit jazzercise.com.

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