Video Fitness

Simply Jazzercise

I bought this video from Collage for $19.95. It was rated in their catalog as Beginner/Intermediate but I would definitely rate it a solid Beginner. It's taught by Judi Sheppard Misset along with another Jazzercise instructor and a cast of 3 other Jazzercise instructors exercising along with them including a guy and a pregnant woman. The set looks like a sunroom with natural light coming in from the windows. The production quality is excellent. The date on the box is 1994. The tone of this video is warm and supportive.

If you are like me and have always wondered what Jazzercise is, this video is an excellent introduction both to Jazzercise and general principles of safety in an exercise program. Before the exercise session begins, there is an excellent demonstration of the correct and safe way to do various moves like flick kicks, kick ball change, chasses, demi and grand plies that are used not only in this tape but in Judi's other tapes. So although this is a beginner tape and I am probably an intermediate to advanced exerciser, I consider this tape worthwhile. I'm not really sure that I would have otherwise been able to pick up how to do all the moves without watching the demo section several times.

Having said all that, I must admit that the aerobic section of this tape is my least favorite of all the Jazzercise tapes. It's a too low key for me. I miss the Judi of old that would sing along with the music and generally do some high powered vamping during the routines. It made the exercise more fun and exciting!. The music is quiet, jazz music which just does not get my blood pumping! I can't understand why the live Jazzercise classes play good vocal music but Judi's tapes mostly play instrumental jazz music. I wish more good instructors would have a great soundtrack on their exercise vids like DonnaMite! Good music does something for the soul while you're working your body.

The moves are done in both a slightly higher impact version, with little skips, etc., but are also clearly demonstrated in a light or low impact version. They are easy to follow and well-cued. The moves are traditional Jazzercise like flick kicks, kick ball change, triple steps, chasses. Judi varies them by going back and forth, side to side and diagonal. Generally, Jazzercise videos don't require tons of room and aren't particularly difficult to follow once you learn the unique moves. Collage gives a breakdown of 5 minutes warm up, 18 minutes aerobic, 7 minutes standing toning, 5 minutes floor toning and 5 minutes total of 2 separate stretch segments.

The toning and stretch section is probably one of the best on the Jazzercise tapes that I own. It includes some standing weight work like plies while doing bicep curls or overhead raises. It includes standing adductors (raising one leg at a time up and down) and standing hamstring curls. There is a section including floor leg lifts and ab work. I would characterize the toning as traditional except for the welcome addition of some standing leg work. In fact, I like this toning and stretch segment so much that I may use it as the toning portion of all my other Jazzercise tapes when I'm not actually doing the aerobic section on two tapes. The toning and stretch moves are safe and the stretching feels good.

In conclusion, if you want to learn Jazzercise and/or begin an exercise program this would be an excellent tape for you. If you already know Jazzercise and/or are an intermediate to advanced exerciser, than this tape is probably not for you.

In general, Judi is an excellent instructor and easy to follow. She is also fun to exercise with. I am making her tapes more intense for me by using 1 1/2 lb. gloveweights on each hand that I purchased at Target for about $15.

Yvonne Delamater
4/97


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