Press Kit

About Jazzercise
Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and cardio box movements, has positively affected millions of people worldwide. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility, as well as an overall “feel good” factor. The international franchise business hosts a network of 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries. 
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Judi Sheppard Missett
Founder and chief executive officer of Jazzercise, Inc., Judi Sheppard Missett turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon. A fitness advocate and aerobic dance pioneer for 41 years, she continues to break new ground in the industry through innovative class formats, exciting customer/instructor conventions, and broad-reaching community service programs.
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Shanna Missett Nelson  
For more than three decades, Shanna Missett Nelson has witnessed the explosion of the dance fitness industry from a front row seat. She watched her mother, Judi Sheppard Missett, light the spark and fuel the fire to Jazzercise, the world’s leading dance fitness program. Today, Shanna is President managing the direction of the company along with Judi Sheppard Missett.
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Jazzercise Fact Sheet

  • Jazzercise was founded in 1969 by fitness pioneer and company CEO Judi Sheppard Missett
  • Shanna Missett Nelson was named President of Jazzercise in 2010
  • Choreographed to today's hottest music, each 60-minute Jazzercise group fitness class offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, kickboxing and Latin style movements
  • Jazzercise was the first aerobics program to franchise its instructors, beginning in 1983.
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Jazzercise History  
  • 1969- Judi Sheppard Missett conceives of a fun dance-fitness class that evolves into Jazzercise. She teaches the class in an Evanston, Illinois dance studio between performances as a professional dancer.
  • 1977 - Judi holds the first workshops to train instructors. Jazzercise begins to spread around the country when trained instructors move to other areas and open classes.
  • 1979 - Jazzercise begins videotaping routines that are sent to certified instructors – and thus lays the groundwork for creating consistent choreography nationwide. Jazzercise goes international with classes in Europe, Brazil, and Japan.
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Fitness Industry Firsts
When Judi Sheppard Missett originated Jazzercise more than 41 years ago, fitness was just beginning to evolve into the lifestyle it is today. Throughout the years, Missett has built a long list of fitness “firsts” for Jazzercise that have provided the foundation for today’s fitness industry.
Click here the complete list of Jazzercise Industry Firsts.