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Published on Sep 30, 2019
This year marks the 50th anniversary of everyone’s favorite fitness phenomenon, Jazzercise. The fun and funky leotard-clad aerobic sensation was the brainchild of Judi Sheppard Missett back in 1969. Her goal was to incorporate cardiovascular and strength training into a dance class that was fun and accessible to everyone. Jazzercise caught on beyond her wildest dreams, especially with women who didn’t feel comfortable at gyms. In the 1980s, it blossomed into a full-fledged cultural phenomenon—Jazzercise dancers even performed at the opening ceremony for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Today, the Jazzercise community is alive and thriving. There are around 8,500 Jazzercise studios full of devotees all around the world, and at 75, Missett is still choreographing new routines and teaching classes. She has no plans to retire. “I’m going to do this as long as I can walk,” she says.