Tonight: Free Jazzercise!

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2002

Jazzercise is known as the original dance-exercise phenomenon. Each class offers a blend of jazz dance and exercise science set to all sorts of music (Top 40, country, funk, classics, and, of course, jazz). Each class, usually between an hour and 70 minutes, includes a gentle warm-up, an aerobic workout with muscle toning and strengthening, and a finale of stretching.

For the past year, Suffolk residents have been enjoying the musical workouts at King’s Fork Middle School and, more recently, Wilroy Baptist Church. But this evening, those that are interested in finding a new and fun way to get their body into shape will be able to do so for free; an Open House event is being held at the Church, located at 300 Williams Road.

The free class is a kickoff for the fall Jazzercise program: Helping Other People Excel (HOPE) that runs through the end of August, explains instructor Ella Benson.

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&uot;Between exercises, we’ll be giving away T-shirts, water bottles, all sorts of things,&uot; says Benson as she dressed for Monday’s class at King’s Fork. &uot;Whoever brings the most friends will get a special prize.&uot;

For nearly a year, Brenda Peace has been using the class to work herself into shape.

&uot;I needed to start exercising on a regular basis,&uot; says Peace, who joined the class last September. &uot;I wanted to do something indoors, because the climate is the same year-round. Jazzercise has helped me get into better shape; my heart rate and metabolism have sped up.&uot;

Peace also uses Weight Watchers to drop off the pounds. &uot;Even in Weight Watchers, people tend to hit a plateau where they don’t lose any weight. But that hasn’t happened to me, and I think it’s because of Jazzercise.&uot;

Attendance has been strong since the class began, says regular Sharon O’Keefe.

&uot;We usually have between 10 and 12 people, but sometimes we have as many as 24,&uot; says O’Keefe. &uot;That’s good for summer months. We just hope that people see Tuesday’s free class as an incentive to come.&uot;

Tonight’s class will be held from 5:30 to 7:30.