Jazzercise changes owners and moves to Windsor Locks

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Tue., Aug. 20, 2013
The stage instructors use to teach class at the new fitness center.
The stage instructors use to teach class at the new fitness center.

Suzanne Griffin welcomed the public on Aug. 17 for free classes and refreshments at the new Jazzercise Fitness Center in Windsor Locks. The studio, previously located in Enfield, opened its doors at 255 Main St. earlier this month.

“The location wasn't really that great,” said Griffin of the Enfield address. “It was on the second floor with steep stairs and it was not a good visible location in Enfield.”

Griffin recently acquired the franchise in June, simultaneously the lease was ending at 70 Enfield St. According to Griffin, the new fitness center is larger, ground level, and located in a plaza with ample parking. The studio has also a new state-of-the-art dance floor.

In order to introduce newcomers to Jazzercise and bring awareness to the new location, Griffin hosted an open house. The certified instructor offered four free classes throughout the day, coffee, nutrition bars, water and a small chocolate treat for post-workout.

“Jazzercise has this negative stigma attached to it – leg warmers and leotards,” said Griffin. “Well, that was true for the original dance fitness program in the '80s and early '90s, but it has evolved with the times.”

The group dance fitness class was created in 1969 by Judi Sheppard Missett, a former ballet instructor. According to Griffin, she had many students who wanted to dance solely for the fitness benefits.

The aerobic exercise class incorporates Latin, hip-hop and jazz dance movements, resistance training, yoga, Pilates, and kickboxing for a total body workout that sculpts, tones and lengthens muscles for maximum fat burn. The 60-minute workout is said to burn up to 600 calories, according to Griffin.

“It is a wonderful way to exercise without feeling like you are working out,” said Barbara Jenkins, a customer who has been Jazzercising for more than 25 years. “I like that the routines are choreographed to current music and are uniform from center to center. You can travel anywhere, join a class and be right in sync.”

In addition to Jazzercise classes, the Windsor Locks location also offers body sculpting and circuit training classes. Body sculpting is a 40- to 50-minute class focused on sculpting arms, core, glutes and legs while burning fat. The circuit training incorporates weights, tubes and balls with aerobic exercise.

Griffin said each Jazzercise teacher goes through an extensive training and an audition to become an instructor. They are also required to become CPR certified and take an exam on the human body and injuries. “We know our stuff, so every customer can feel safe,” said Griffin.

Currently, the studio has five instructors who offer multiple classes Monday through Friday, and one class on Saturday and Sunday. There is no charge for the first class, and membership cost is on a monthly basis and varies depending on the length of contract. The drop-in fee is $10 and can be paid at the facility.

For more information visit www.jazzercise.com and search Windsor Locks.

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