Jazzercise is a pulse-pounding, body-shaping fitness program that provides results … fast! Kara Posmer and her group call it a high-intensity dance party that fuses cardio, strength, pilates, hip-hop, yoga and kickboxing, burning up to 800 calories in one 60-minute class! The bottom line is that Jazzercise is a dance-based full-body workout set to top 40 music ballads. It was started in 1969 in Evanston, IL, by Judi Sheppard Misset. From there, it continued to evolve, responding to fitness research, trends, and, most importantly, customer needs. It has now grown to over 8,300-plus franchisees, teaching 32,000-plus classes each week around the world! Its rapid growth has been unprecedented in the fitness industry.
Kara Posmer, the current owner and instructor of Jazzercise Palatine Fitness Center, grew up in Dallas, Texas, but moved to the Chicagoland area in 2000 when her musical theater career brought her to the area. She immediately fell in love, and although the winters here are hard, spring, summer and fall are lovely, making the winter months much more tolerable, according to Kara. She lives in Wauconda with her loving husband, a surly cat and a mama’s boy of a dog. Kara has always loved dancing. Eventually, when her parents realized her love for the art, they enrolled her in dance classes. Afterward, Kara attended Oklahoma City University, Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment. Following the completion of her degree, she went on to have a 10-year musical theater career. A set of unfortunate circumstances took her out of performing professionally, and as a result, she switched careers working as a community outreach coordinator at Wellness Place in Palatine, a psycho-social support center providing services for people with cancer and their supportive friends and family. This career path further led to working in Physician Outreach for Centegra Health Systems and Comprehensive Urologic Care in Barrington. All of this was occurring while Kara was choreographing musicals for community theater companies in the area.
Kara came to be a part of the Jazzercise program fairly recently. She took her first class in 2017 after a close friend of hers had been hounding her to give it a try. After taking one class, she was hooked and loved everything about it. It was so much fun that it didn’t even feel like exercise. Shortly afterward, Kara knew that she wanted to become an instructor. She gave herself a year to see if it was really what she wanted, and during that time, her passion for Jazzercise did not wane; it only grew stronger! Kara became an instructor in 2018 and ended up taking over classes in Barrington and Wauconda in January of 2020 when the former owner retired. Then, in August of 2022, a dream came true when she became the owner of the Jazzercise Palatine Fitness Center, a location that has been going for well over 20 years. It’s important to note that when owners retire or switch occupations, they usually remain as an instructor or even as a customer. This change of ownership is a kind of passing of the torch. One of the first things that attracted Kara to participate in Jazzercising was that the instructors and customers were so welcoming. It was so much fun. There was no pressure to be perfect; only to do your best wherever you were on your fitness journey. She saw results quickly and felt a strong desire to help other people find this fantastic program and experience it first-hand themselves. Her goal was, and still is, to help change people’s lives for the better.
The difference between Jazzercise and some other fitness programs is that it sets itself apart due to the variety present in the exercise routines. For a fitness program, Jazzercise also contains some of the best music around. There is no “canned” synthesized music, and all Jazzercise music includes top 40 ballads, which are very popular with a wide range of customers. It can be extremely motivating to dance to great music, and at the Jazzercise Palatine Fitness Center, guests have the incredible opportunity to experience choreography that is fresh, current, and properly reviewed for safety. New music and choreography are provided almost every month, and new routines are incorporated into class on a daily basis. There are also over nine different class formats to choose from. Most people who try Jazzercise stay with the program for approximately seven years, which is above average in the fitness industry. However, in Kara’s experience, most customers stay with the group for much longer, sometimes even decades! Due to the variety of fitness routines that Jazzercise provides, customers don’t seem to get bored very easily, and as a result, they do not plateau in their commitment to remaining active and healthy.
Another reason Jazzercise is different from other fitness programs is the vibrant community that it fosters. Instructors and customers are very welcoming and inclusive. It’s easy to walk into a Jazzercise class for the first time and not feel intimidated. Since people remain with Jazzercise for years, strong friendships often form as well. On many occasions, Kara has even witnessed customers rallying to support others who are experiencing difficult periods in their lives. This form of support is not commonly found in other exercise programs and close social groups.
One of the things that Kara believes is important to communicate to members of the Inverness community is to remember to invest in yourself. Invest the time and money into a fitness program. Exercise can greatly contribute to taking care of one’s physical health, but it can also strengthen and enhance the positive aspects of one’s mental health. Finding the right exercise program that works is crucial, and making sure it is fun also helps to encourage an individual to keep going back, making a noticeable change in their life. Finally, staying healthy allows one to live life more fully and to be more present for important life events that are priceless.
Business Contact Information:
Jazzercise Palatine Fitness Center
1294 E. Dundee Road
Palatine, IL 60074