In pre-flood 2007, Chase Eikenbary was attending Weight Watchers meetings in Findlay. One of the older ladies invited her to a Jazzercise class, to which she reluctantly agreed. Imagining a workout for grandmas, full of leg warmers and spandex, she was happy to see that was not at all the case. She was actually shocked at the workout. “It started toning my muscles, and I noticed it was really working!”
She continued to attend classes religiously until Findlay’s studio closed, then picked it up in Bluffton. Fast forward a couple of years, and the instructor was preparing to move away. She approached Eikenbary with the idea of becoming a certified instructor. ‘I was at a significant point in my career, and felt that I didn’t have time for it,” Eikenbary noted. A few days passed, along with some soul searching. “I eventually realized, ‘If she goes away, so does my workout!'” It has now been about 5 years since she purchased the franchise. Bluffton classes have been booming since then.
A year and a half into her ownership, Eikenbary expanded her franchise to include a Findlay location. In November 2019, 2 additional instructors were certified, and joined the team. More instructors means there are more class options, and that class is never canceled. Between the 2 locations, customers can choose from 18 classes per week.
Eikenbary wants to make it clear that “it’s not just dancing and wiggling your hips!” Classes combine cardio and strength training, and cater to all body styles and fitness levels. Participants can go all-in with high-intensity, high-energy workouts, or they can modify the moves into a low-impact workout. That is a good option when you need to take it easy on your joints, or are nursing an energy. The routines you will see are the same routines that are being done at Jazzercise studios all around the country and world. The routines are studied by an exercise physiologist, who works with the choreographer. The exercise physiologist checks the moves over to ensure the routines are truly safe and effective.
What would she say to someone who’s on the fence about trying? “I want to see you in class! I hear things, like ‘I can’t dance,’ but the classes do not require any prior experience – or even any rhythm! As long as you’re moving, feeling the workout, and listening to your body, you’re doing great.” If you hesitate because of the idea it’s an 80’s workout, that is not the case. “Jazzercise is the original cardio-aerobic dance workout. Last year, we celebrated our 50th year, so something is working!” If pricing is an issue, there are promotions available, and instructors are willing to talk over the options with you to see what would work.
“Everybody should at least give it a shot, to see how impactful it can be. It sounds cliche, but it’s changed a lot of lives that I’ve seen first hand. Even if it’s just making a friend.”
Follow Chase’s Findlay & Bluffton locations on Facebook. Findlay classes take place at 121 E Crawford St. Bluffton classes are at the University.