Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber


The JazzerThon yesterday was a smashing success, and a lot of fun, to boot. I raised $650, plus another $100 was added by my center from the donations made by members who were not going to the Jazzerthon themselves--$750 being the amount at which another incentive item kicked in. My center (with 13 people signed up) raised $6,425, and the entire event (registration was capped at 500) raised $170,000. I was a distant second among my center's group to Sherry, who raised over $2,400.

The event was organized into 3 sessions, with 15 minute breaks between them. The first session consisted of various of the Atlanta-area Jazzercise centers each leading one song and dressed in some sort of costume suggested by their song. Larger centers, some with upwards of 40 or 50 participants, had sprung for professionally printed T-shirts for the event and used those as the basis of their costumes. The session was rapid-fire--one song would end, and the next one cued up in seconds--but the scramble to get groups on and off the stage seemed to go smoothly.

My center had the second song, so we were allowed into the room early and could assemble beside the stage (where the group with the warm-up song were in place when the doors opened). We did a song called "Fighter", and our costumes were limited to pink T-shirts (as ribbons for breast cancer concerns are pink, that was the color of the day) with iron-ons on the back saying "Knock out breast cancer". Oh, and pink wrapping around our hands to look like a boxer's wraps. We did do a mini-skit, with one of the instructors representing Jazzercise and another Breast Cancer, and the instructor who cued the song (telling everyone what steps to do) added in bits about the fight against breast cancer and what Jazzercise has tried to do to help. Unfortunately, I think most of this couldn't be heard over the music and general noise levels.

The middle session was a body-sculpting session--a series of exercises to tone up various muscle groups. Then there was one more break, and the final session was led by Judi Sheppard Missett, the woman who came up with the Jazzercise concept. At almost 60, she could dance most of us into the ground. I'm sorry that I was far enough back in the crowd that I couldn't see her feet, both because I'd have liked to observe her technique, and because it would have been much easier to follow the steps. <g> She ended with a cool-down and stretch song, and at one point told us to pull our knee up to our chest and stretch--and she straightened her leg out with her knee pressed to her face. We all rolled with laughter.

It was a wonderful but exhausting day. The room was very crowded, so if you moved the wrong way or stretched a little too far you would always hit someone. And during the first session it was very hot, though later the hotel managed to get the room cooler. At the end of the day I was wiped--feet sore, muscles aching, but still with a real feeling of accomplishment.
Tags: charity, jazzerthon

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