Special Sections

Young at Heart January 2023

Issue link: https://www.ifoldsflip.com/i/1490800

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 3

Young at Heart Lotus blooming in the mud: New Ja z zercise studio at Capitola Mall Whether you are looking for 'light' exercise or a more strenuous workout, Jazzercise Santa Cruz can fit the bill. "We have had many members return to classes recovering from surgeries, childbirth, cancer, and more," says franchise owner Robin Berkery. "Jazzercise can also be challenging enough for collegiate athletes. Our classes are designed to accommodate all fitness levels and abili- ties. It really is the perfect workout for whatever you need. A body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest. This only gets more pertinent as we age." Jazzercise has been around for several de- cades—Judi Sheppard Missett, now in her late 70s, founded the business in 1969—but it continu- ously evolves to be cur- rent and stay in touch with what people are looking for. As Missett explained in a 2022 Bloomberg article, "We always put our customer ahead of everything." Unfamiliar with Jazzer- cise? At its core, it's "… the original dance fitness program," says Berk- ery. "Jazzercise is an incredible workout for cardiovascular health, strength training, balance, and flexibility, but it also keeps our minds active— it's mental health as well. And the life-long friend- ships formed through classes are an added bonus." Alicia Cortez, 56, completely agrees with this. "I've made some wonderful friendships," says Cortez, who attends classes every day except Sunday. On Saturdays, she goes to two different sessions! She first attend- ed in 2018. "What I loved and what kept me going back is the friendly greeting you receive when you walk through the door," says Cortez. "The music is playing, and the instruc- tors welcome you and you know this is where you want to be. My endurance, stamina, flexibility, and overall well-being have improved." She recom- mends Jazzercise "…to all age groups and especially seniors. It's a program you can adapt to all levels and the instructors are great about demonstrating the different levels that you can do to get a good workout." 62-year-old Robin "Dot- tie" Ridpath, a Jazzercise customer for more than 20 years, takes classes several days a week. Benefits she has received from Jazzercise include the typical things a person "…might assume one would get with an exercise program," says Ridpath. "I am stronger, I am fitter, and my energy level is great. Overall, my body and mind are in healthier shape. Some of the other benefits are a little less obvious. I feel I am part of a community at Jazzer- cise Santa Cruz. I have friends and instructors that genuinely care about me. I have a confidence in myself that comes from feeling good physically and mentally. Jazzercise grounds my daily sched- ule and makes me happy. And I know more pop songs and artists than my hubby—which is benefi- cial during Jeopardy," she laughs. Ridpath "honestly and wholeheartedly rec- ommends Jazzercise to seniors, AND to twenty- somethings, AND to any and ALL age groups. If you like a fun workout, set to great music, with fabulous instructors, with movements that can be modified to whatever level you're comfortable with, then Jazzercise is for you," she says. Jazzercise Santa Cruz's current mem- bers range in age from 18 to 88. Like many small busi- nesses, Berkery's local Jazzercise franchise was significantly affected by the pandemic in 2020. "I had to immediately shift my entire community from in-person classes (which were taking place at the Santa Cruz Roller Palladium and the Aptos Grange) to online," she says. "My instructors and I live-streamed from our garages, living rooms, and bedrooms. As you can imagine, we lost an enor- mous percentage of our memberships. I literally did everything I could to keep Jazzercise connect- ed, strong, and healthy during unprecedented times." With a lot of hard work, Berkery and her staff succeeded in keeping the business going. This included holding outdoor classes at different times as COVID-19 ebbed and flowed. Then, in Septem- ber 2022, Berkery discov- ered the Capitola Mall had leases available. "A studio of our own was a dream come true. My team and I transformed an old retail space into a beautiful dance studio and began offering classes seven days a week in Novem- ber. Our lotus in the mud of the last few years of the pandemic!" All local Jazzercise classes are now offered at this studio. Never in the history of Santa Cruz County has a Jazzercise franchise oper- ator had their own center. Berkery is very proud of where she is today, and her path to this point is an unusual one. "My introduction to Jazzercise actually began when I was about 10 weeks old. My mom took me to class in an infant carrier. She start- ed taking classes before I was born in 1978." Until she moved to Santa Cruz in 1999 to attend college, Berkery didn't have a workout that she was passionate about. After searching for local fitness classes, she found herself at the Roller Palladium taking her first Jazzercise class. "I was studying Molecular Biol- ogy at UCSC and loved how Jazzercise cleared my head, welcomed me with open arms, and kicked my butt." After completing her BA, Berkery began working full time. "I prioritized workouts by attending early morning, evening, and weekend classes. My love affair with the program blossomed." Years later, after earning a second degree in Culi- nary Arts (from Cabrillo College), she was strug- gling to find a career she loved. "I worked nights in a restaurant which paid my bills and freed up more time for my favorite workouts." Abbi Hartsell, the local Jazzercise fran- chise owner at the time, encouraged Berkery to get certified as a Jazzercise instructor. It took "a lot of convincing," but she finally pursued this jour- Jazzercise studio at Capitola Mall - Contributed Photo By Tara Fatemi Walker Young at Heart In Santa Cruz County Special Advertising Supplement to the Santa Cruz Sentinel 1777-A Capitola Road, Santa Cruz 95062 www.seniornetworkservices.org A Nonprofit Community Agency Santa Cruz County's Official Information & Assistance Provider call: 831-462-1433 email: info@seniornetworkservices.org Unbiased, No Cost Medicare Counseling Santa Cruz call: 831-462-5510 San Benito call: 831-637-0630 email: hicap@seniornetworkservices.org Shared Housing I Housing Navigation I Home Help call: 831-462-6788 email: housing@seniornetworkservices.org Respite Registry I Respite Grants call: 831-462-0880 email: respite@seniornetworkservices.org SENIOR NETWORK SERVICES Peggy Pollard, Teacher www.PeggyDance.weebly.com Join the funnest social dancing in Santa Cruz! Santa Cruz Waltz & Swing In-Person & Online Dances & Lessons Meet cool & sophisticated new friends! Jazzercise Santa Cruz owner Robin Berkery- Contributed Photo Continued on page 2 January 2023 edition

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Special Sections - Young at Heart January 2023