BY BARB BERGGOETZ
Taking Jazzercise classes is just what Ali Burt, 19, says she needs to make exercising fun and accessible. Avni Srivastav, 20, finds that Jazzercise provides cardio workouts and strength training while satisfying her penchant to perform. Throughout 2017, Jazzercise Bloomington is joining a national Jazzercise Inc. initiative and offering Burt, Srivastav, and other women 16 to 21 years of age unlimited free classes to support their fitness efforts.
The program, called GirlForce, is designed to empower young women and offer them a place to get fit, learn healthy habits, and improve their self-esteem, says Kris Heeter, owner of Jazzercise Bloomington, located at 201 S. Westplex Ave. “Oftentimes, women in that age range don’t have the means to sign up for classes,” Heeter says.
Fourteen young women have registered for GirlForce since the program began here in January. Heeter says she’s happy the participants are dancing with women of all ages. It means, she says, they can be inspired by older women who are staying in shape.
“We’re not about how good you look, but about how good you feel, and giving you lifelong habits to take with you as you age,” explains Heeter, a biology research faculty member at Indiana University who has been a local Jazzercise franchise operator for 20 years and Jazzercise teacher for 30 years.
Burt, a University of Indianapolis sophomore living part-time in Bloomington, has been taking the dance-aerobics classes with her mother, Paula, since January. She says it’s been a way for her to fit challenging workouts into her busy schedule. “It’s cool that we are able to do it together,” says the younger Burt.
Srivastav had participated in Jazzercise previously and says she wanted to start again when she came to IU last fall as a junior. Jazzercise was especially appealing, she says, because she gets bored working out in gyms, has participated in dance, and performs with the Singing Hoosiers. “It’s really cool. I’ve already brought a couple of my friends with me,” Srivastav says. “I go three days a week, but I really wish I could go every day.”
For more information, visit jazzercise.com/GirlForce or call 812-876-2158.