Jazzercise of Dexter is adjusting to its new home in a more visible downtown location than it has ever had before.
The new location, located at 3219 Broad St. in downtown Dexter, has been in use since November. It now occupies the former Snap Fitness space next door to Cottage Inn Pizza.
Joy Bucher, the owner of the Ann Arbor, Saline and Dexter Jazzercise franchises, spoke with We Love Dexter staff over the phone Dec. 23 about the recent move and the world of Jazzercise.
Bucher said the new Jazzercise of Dexter Broad Street location has several advantages over the old Dexter Commerce Building location, where Jazzercise of Dexter was previously located for the last 5 years.
“We have much better parking and much better visibility because we’re right on Broad Street, and you can see us from Main Street,” Bucher said. “It’s light inside. We have lots of windows. It’s just new and fresh and clean.”
Bucher said she looked at several spots to potentially relocate, but kept coming back to the Broad Street location.
Bucher has been a Jazzercise franchise owner for nearly 20 years, purchasing the Ann Arbor franchise in 1995, followed by the Saline location in 2006. In 2013, she purchased the Jazzercise of Dexter franchise from the previous owner.
Bucher said she enjoys working in Dexter, which has had a Jazzercise location for 30 years, because of its character.
“I love Dexter. I drive through Dexter and to me it’s so quaint,” Bucher said. “There are new businesses that are popping up in Dexter that are making it be more up-and-coming, sophisticated and perhaps more city-like, but it’s continuing to maintain its quaintness as a town. It reminds me of my hometown back in Pennsylvania, and that’s why I like it so much.”
Bucher said she is thrilled to be able to own a business in the center of town.
“The downtown area is very warm and friendly,” Bucher said. “I’m happy to be a part of the downtown area. I actually have gone into every single business downtown and have introduced myself and talked with the business owners and people who work there.”
The conversation then turned to Jazzercise itself. Bucher knows plenty about the topic. She has been a certified Jazzercise instructor since August of 1994.
“Jazzercise is the number one dance fitness program in the world,” Bucher said. “There’s nothing out there that’s like Jazzercise. It’s a combination of a jazz, dance, aerobic exercise, resistance training, yoga and Pilates.”
While Jazzercise has been around for decades, Bucher stresses that the music and moves won’t leave you wearing a headband and neon spandex.
“People tend to think that Jazzercise is their mother’s exercise because they used to go to Jazzercise with their moms in the 1980s or 1990s,” Bucher said. “It’s not your mother’s exercise. Everything is updated. We keep up with the times. We aren’t wearing legwarmers. We don’t look like Jane Fonda. We call it the new Jazzercise and we’re continuing to welcome our older crowd in the door.”
Bucher said she would like to see more young adults attend the Jazzercise of Dexter. Many University of Michigan students already visit her Ann Arbor franchise.
“With open arms, we are hoping to see more young people in our classes,” said Bucher. “Dexter is booming. There are new homes being built. It would be great to see more of those new moms and dads coming in to join us.”
Jazzercise combines a wide variety of music accompanying a workout routine. A class, typically lasting an hour and burning up to 600 calories, can play music ranging from techno to country to jazz and Top 40 hits currently on the charts.
“It really lends itself to all types of different music tastes and styles and ages,” Bucher said. “It’s fun.”
Bucher said that unlike running, where the same muscle movements are repeated constantly, Jazzercise varies in the way muscles are used during workouts to reduce the risk of muscle strain. The workouts also focus on the core muscle groups.
“In Jazzercise, we move forward back, we move side-to-side and we stay in place. So, we don’t overtax the muscles, the bones and the joints,” Bucher said, mentioning movements in the class range from Latin dance moves to kickboxing.
“That’s what makes Jazzercise so unique and sets it apart from all other programs, is the fusion of all these different types of movements,” Bucher said. “The routines are choreographed. The instructors are not making them up as they go.”
According to Bucher, Jazzercise was the first ever dance fitness program, which has been in existence for over 45 years. Bucher said the same woman who founded Jazzercise in 1969, Judi Sheppard Missett, is still the main choreographer.
Bucher said men and women of all ages and sizes are welcome to take classes. Kids can also participate in a Junior Jazzercise program, or in the adult classes if they can keep up with the pace. Bucher said she’s had children as young as 8-years-old to people in their 80s in her classes.
Bucher said many clients often end up forming friendships with their classmates over time.
“The other part of Jazzercise that makes it so special is that there’s a friend component that people meet other people at Jazzercise. That’s just part of it,” Bucher said.
Bucher said she has a feel-good feeling every time she finishes a Jazzercise workout, even if she doesn’t think she’s up to working out that day.
“You walk out of there and you say, ‘Wow, I feel good.’ I walk out of class on top of the world,” Bucher said. “It just makes you want to take care of your body. After you’re done exercising, you don’t want to grab that doughnut, you want a salad or vegetables.”
Bucher said that between Jan. 5 through Jan. 31, people can take a month’s worth of classes for free with no joining fee if they commit to a 6 or 12-month membership. A 12-month membership is $49 per month. A 6-month membership is $55 per month.
Bucher recommends exercising or coming to classes at least three times per week per recommended health guidelines.
Class schedules and prices for the Jazzercise of Dexter and other locations can be found online.