Music, dance part of exercise program

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2007

CHESAPEAKE — Power in an hour — that’s how Jazzercise is described.

“Jazzercise combines jazz dancing with an exercise program. We get cardio, we get strength, we get stretch - so it incorporates everything,” said Rhonda Guy, co-owner of Jazzercise.

All types of music are used in the classes - jazz, pop, rock, hip hop, swing, country and even classic. Everything is choreographed.

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The music is used with dance moves that the average person can do, Guy said.

“You don’t have to have a dance background, you don’t have to be a dancer to be able to do Jazzercise,” Guy said. “That’s how jazzercise was founded. When the founder of Jazzercise began, she was teaching dance classes and she found women coming to her dance classes wanting to loose weight and wanting fitness.”

One of their instructors, Mary Williams, has been teaching Jazzercise in Ironton about 18 years.

“She’s in great shape,” Rita said.

They have five full-time instructors for classes who each own the Jazzercise franchise.

Guy and her partner, Rita Isaac, began taking classes together and did not know each other until later.

Within a couple of years, they were instructors and when the owner decided to leave, they became the new owners.

“When Rhonda and I took over, we only had Ironton,” Isaac said. “We’ve grown since we took over.”

Jazzercise is an international organization and the partners have classes in Ironton, Chesapeake, Wheelersburg and Ashland.

“It’s a lot more fun than an aerobics class,” Guy said.

They also have a light class for low impact work. Instructors give the low impact option even during the regular classes, she said.

“Any age group can take the classes,” Guy said. “We have a variety of fitness levels in our class. It’s for everyone.”

But, they do recommend that the youngest age is about 13, depending on the maturity level of the student.

They offer 13 classes during the week in Ironton. The classes are one hour each and incorporate all the exercises into a dance form.

“Everything is choreographed,” Guy said. The routines are sent to us from corporate. We don’t make anything up. Not only is it choreographed by people who have a dance background, it is also studied for safety.”

Also doctors and physicians look over all the dance moves for the best results and safety, she said.

In Chesapeake, the classes are at the Community Center on Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

Through Sept. 20, they are offering two months of classes for the price of one and the first class is always free.

Guy and Isaac recommend that people who are interested in the classes to check out the moves on the Web site at

“If you don’t know what a move is - your brain has to know it before your feet can do it,” Guy said. “Once you understand the wording and the vocabulary, it translates to your feet and it becomes very easy to put it all together.”

For more information, call (740) 533-2996.