Jazzercise welcomes Girl Force

Jazzercise%27s+Girl+Force+meets+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+23+for+a+workout+in+their+Oceanside+location.

Maddie Ward

Jazzercise’s Girl Force meets on Saturday, Sept. 23 for a workout in their Oceanside location.

Skyla Nelson, staff writer

The 1969 dance fitness franchise, Jazzercise, has had its comeback. For close to 50 years, Jazzercise has evolved from a leotard and leg warmer company to a workout you won’t want to miss.

Throughout the years, Jazzercise has grown into a multimillion dollar company, and is now doing its part to help the community. Throughout the entirety of 2017, Jazzercise promoted working out with Girl Force. This program allows all girls ages 16-21 to come to Jazzercise for free. With Girl Force in mind, it allows girls an opportunity to build relationships and confidence, as well as maintain their health as well.

“Jazzercise has always had a philosophy of giving back to the community, [so] this year our initiative is Girl Force because we wanted to give back to young girls, and because today, young women have such a hard time with body image and staying fit,” Jazzercise president Shanna Nelson said. “We wanted to give them a safe place and instill in them exercise can be fun.”

The fact is, teens are spending nearly 9 hours on social media each day, making it difficult to get up and be active. Girl Force has offered a solution where your workout does not have to be a grueling task. Instead, classes are fun, upbeat and something all girls are able to enjoy. Jazzercise is no longer the 80’s workout that is imagined. It is “breaking 80’s barriers,” and creating a fun, energetic space that has drawn many girls in.

“There’s just a different kind of energy that comes with [the girls] when they’re in class, having a more young women in class, and a lot of them just bring a lot of energy, they bring a lot of fun and just renewed spirit kind of happens in the classes,” Nelson said.

Jazzercise has had a positive reaction from girls throughout the year. Now, more girls than ever have been coming to classes, having fun, and working out. This year, Jazzercise has accumulated over 7,000 girls who have signed up all around the U.S, not including the several thousand who are in the program internationally. The Girl Force bug has caught the attention of thousands of girls, including some of Carlsbad High School’s own.

“I found out through social media how [Girl Force] is a new program, and thought it would be really cool,” freshman Lauren Montaño said. “I feel really strong and empowered. I feel like a strong, independent woman when taking a class.”

Jazzercise has done their part to stretch out to the community of high school women, and it’s worked. More and more high school girls are showing up to class in the afternoons, on weekends and even more frequently during holidays.

“My cousin found out about ‘Girl Force,’ and she goes there a lot so I knew,” sophomore Emily Kraszulyak said. “It’s really good for girls to come exercise when they don’t know they can… just to go have fun and be with their friends, and you can just go whenever you want to. The best part is just going there and looking at your friends and who’s sweating the most, and just being there and having fun.”

Kraszulyak and Montaño both share the love of going to class, and Jazzercise’s main goal is to keep girls fit while improving their confidence. The judgment-free zone has drawn many young girls to the franchise, and anyone is welcome. Girls of all shapes and sizes are welcome, and whether they have danced since they were two or have never danced a day in their lives, Jazzercise has created a space and a program for them.

“The best part is just being their with a bunch of girls just dancing,” Montaño said. “I love Jazzercise and am thankful for everything they have done for me.”