In 2019 Jazzercise, Inc., the company that catapulted "aerobic dance" to notoriety in the 1980s, became the first ever dance fitness brand to celebrate the 50-year mark. The always-evolving program was created in the Chicagoland area in 1969 by Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett, with a single aerobic dance class based on classical jazz dance. Says Sheppard Missett, "I turned (my students) away from the mirror when I learned that, for them, it wasn't about learning dance. It was about having a dancer's body and enjoying the fun of Dance. Interest in Jazzercise grew rapidly, especially when Sheppard Missett moved the business to fitness mecca Southern California in 1971. The first instructors were trained in the 1970s and the business franchised in 1983. By 1984, Jazzercise was declared the "2nd fastest growing franchise" behind Domino's Pizza.
Today, the company boasts 8,300 franchisees in 32 countries and earns roughly $100M per year. With 200,000 customers dancing and sweating to Jazzercise choreography each year, millions of lives have been touched during the company's 50-year history.
Jazzercise celebrated the golden anniversary with a 2-day international convention and party June 28-29, 2019 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA. Between 3000-5000 people attended the event that was filled with dance fitness classes, live entertainment, international guest performers, surprise announcements and big reveals about the brand's future. Kicking off Friday night June 28th with an opening night gala, the weekend also featured a specialty 50th anniversary merchandise & apparel shop, behind-the-scenes tours of the corporate offices in Carlsbad, CA, and an interactive museum that chronicles the many industry "firsts" Jazzercise has accomplished.
To celebrate her own 50 years of teaching and running a business, Sheppard Missett has written a book filled with the business lessons she's learned along the way: "Building a Business with a Beat: Leadership Lessons from Jazzercise – an Empire Built on Passion, Purpose and Heart."As she tells it, the goal in sharing her experience is to "empower others to embrace their passion, trust their instincts and go for it!" The book is scheduled to publish June 14, 2019 by McGraw-Hill.
Whether leading the way in instructor training, featuring the latest in all genres of music throughout their 50 years, instructors wearing microphones to teach or opening the first boutique fitness franchise in history, Jazzercise has innovated their way through the decades. Says Jazzercise President Shanna Missett Nelson, "As a unique business, in an industry that is young, we really don't have anyone to look to who has been where we have and where we are today, so, we are paving the way."
Given their proven grit, company earnings and global presence, Jazzercise, Inc. is poised to take on the next 50 years stronger than ever.
About Jazzercise Jazzercise believes you can create a stronger, happier, healthier life through fitness. The company draws on the passion to motivate and inspire customers, instructors and employees to live healthier, fitter lives. Jazzercise develops fun and effective fitness routines and products that enhance the well-being of people of all ages. Learn more about Jazzercise at www.jazzercise.com
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