Jazzercise celebrates 50th anniversary with new franchise owners in Grand Island

By Jazzercise | Sunday, June 02, 2019


For 50 years, Jazzercise has been helping women and men to be healthier through its fun, but rigorous, 55-minute exercise routine "" combining dance, strength and resistance training with popular music for a full-body workout.

Jazzercise is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year "" it was founded in Chicago by Judi Sheppard Missett in 1969 "" and it's doing so in Grand Island with new owners who want to grow the franchise in the community.

Rona Jacobsen and Sharon Placke took over the franchise, 2631 Old Highway 30, on May 1. They have scheduled an open house celebration for 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 8. Jazzercise routines will be demonstrated every half-hour, and those attending can join in and find out more information on how to get in better physical condition, whether you are a teenager or an older adult.

Both of the new owners have been instructors since 2012.

"Rona and I have been instructors at Jazzercise in Grand Island for quite a few years," Placke said.

Jacobsen recently retired from Sherman Williams in Grand Island, where she worked for 30 years. She also runs a home interior business, Interior Concepts By Design. Placke works as the business manager for Northwest Public Schools.

Jacobsen said the previous owner of the franchise purchased the Aurora Exercise Center in Aurora, where she lives. She said when the former owner of the franchise decided she wanted to concentrate on her new Aurora business, "We wanted to keep Jazzercise here in Grand Island," Placke added, "so Rona and I decided to purchase it."

Jacobsen said she and Placke want to continue the popular Jazzercise program.

"Our goal is to double the size of our center as far as customers," she said. "We are really involved in keeping people fit."

Jacobsen said, taking a class at Jazzercise is "different from going to the gym."

"When you go to the gym, you walk on the treadmill and do certain things," she said. "But, with Jazzercise, we incorporate a lot of movement into the workout."

Jazzercise blends dance with Pilates, yoga, kick boxing and strength training for one 55-minute session, which can burn up to 800 calories.

Both Jacobsen and Placke think of Jazzercise as a community of people who share a common goal of getting fit. As a family, they help one another with encouragement and advice, regardless of fitness level.

Placke said the program is excellent for people of all ages, especially because they stress movement. There's a lot of functional fitness that works to improvement of a person's entire body from strength, to endurance, to balance to coordination.

"I was a customer at first," she said. "But I liked it so much that I decided to become a teacher."

Placke said it is a "great way to stay fit."

"I love the ladies," she said. "I love the groups. It is fun. Everybody supports everybody. You can come in at any level of fitness, and everybody is in the same class, and it doesn"t matter whether you are really in shape or just starting, everybody can join in the same class at your level."

Jacobsen said Jazzercise is more than promoting fitness. It is also about the benefits of socialization working to accomplish an individual goal through working within a group of like-minded people.

As people live longer and health costs become greater, both Jacobsen and Placke said there a great benefit to keeping fit and mobile through an exercise program that emphasizes health through a comprehensive workout program.

"During the 50 years the program has been around, it has evolved to become one of the top fitness programs nationally," Placke said.

Along with 55-minute classes, they also offer half-hour workouts.

The classes are scheduled to fit the needs of their customers, whether it is an early morning class (5:30 a.m.), mid-morning class, noon class, afternoon classes or evening classes.

The program is designed for both men and women of all ages.

"We show all different levels when we teach, from high-impact to low-impact," Jacobsen said. "We show different options to different moves throughout the class."

To learn more about the Jazzercise program in Grand Island, call (308) 390-9740.

For More Infromation Please contact:
Robert Pore
Email: [email protected]

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