Let’s Jazzercise!

A few weeks ago, my friend Jill invited me to join her at a women’s retreat. Instead of relaxing by a lake and basking in the wisdom of remarkable ladies, Jill asked me to put on a leotard and grapevine around as a co-emcee moonlighting as a Jazzercise instructor.

Naturally I was in.

Jill and I have been dying to introduce our Jazzercise instructors at a women’s event for YEARS. When we first thought of the idea, Jill was 43 months pregnant. Can you imagine Jill bouncing her way through a routine with a pregnant belly? HILARIOUS! Unfortunately (Jill would opt to use the word “thankfully” here), she now has the figure of a normal person. No unborn children were jostled as a result of this bit.

Our first order of business was research. Although the two of us both participated in Jazzercise in some form or fashion back in the day, (read: we watched our moms watch the Jane Fonda videos) we thought we should revisit some of the well-known catch phrases. We called our friend Country, a former exercise instructor, who immediately offered a few interjections that we should shout in our routine. These included “pulse it,” “hurt so good,” “feel the burn” and “pelvic tilt.” (“Pelvic thrusting” was too tacky back then.)

Courtney also offered the following video as inspiration:

I can not handle thew awesomeness of this video and am proud to annoucne that Jill and I committed to owning the moment just like the lady in the thong onesie.

Speaking of thongs, our next order of business was wardrobe. My favorite part of the weekend was explaining to the ladies who asked, “Where did you get those leotards? They look exactly like what I wore in dance class!”

I’m happy to say, dear reader, that the leotards are vintage. That’s right. Because Linea Ray never throws anything away, I was able to secure the leotards that I actually wore in drill team class once upon a time. I simply called my mama and asked her if she knew where she kept any of our old dance leotards? She didn’t even skip a beat.  She told me that she knew exactly where they were.  She babbled on the phone as she headed upstairs to my old room. She pulled open a drawer and asked me how many I needed?

  1. Notice: I love that she pulled open a drawer. These leotards were not in the attic. They were not tucked away in a box on top of the closet shelf. They were in a drawer. If she needed to make a quick getaway due to a house fire, these would be the items that she could quickly throw onto the bedspread before folding it like a Tootsie Roll and making a run for it.
  2. The fact that she asked me how many I needed made me smile. Of course I had choices!

Mama came through big time for us. We were able to have a costume change for each walk-on bit, thanks to the six leotards Mama kept in a safe, dry, readily available space for the last two decades. We added a few brightly colored leg warmers from my friend Natalie and some 80s-inspired earrings from friend Connie, and the look was complete. The pièce de résistance was our fake ponytails. They really pulled the outfit together. Don’t ask me why we spoke in New Jersey accents — it just felt right.

As someone who is on the doorstep of 40, I’m pretty proud of myself for squeezing into those leotards for the sake of a good laugh. I can do anything with Jill by my side and I’m incredibly thankful that I was able to perform beside her once again.

Having a killer outfit for Halloween is an added bonus.


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