Judi Sheppard Missett – Back In the 80s
If you’ve ever been into that unique little slice of culture where fitness meets dance then you probably know (or maybe even love) Judi Sheppard Missett. Sure, listening to music while you break a sweat is common, but what’s about going one step further and totally merging the two? Missett is the mastermind and creator of Jazzercise, which is the archetypal coupling of pop music and working out.
While she was in university, Missett started teaching dance. Her program was pretty rigorous. She noticed that a high percentage of new students ended up dropping out pretty early on. She then came to the conclusion that a lot of the students that came to the class were just looking to have a little bit of fun, and her class was too serious. She switched everything up, and it worked! The whole gig was transformed into a fun, musical workout class.
Judi Sheppard Missett – Today
Today, the Jazzercise method has become tried and trued, and Missett, now 76, is still actively running the derived company (called Jazzercise). Also, she still dances and teaches. So she’s not just sitting on the couch (which she views as her company’s only competitor) and racking in the boatloads of money Jazzercise generates, she’s completely still involved in every aspect of the enterprise.
Jazzercise is bigger than most people sometimes realize. Some reports suggest that in the 80s, at the height of the workout craze, the Jazzercise franchise was a big as Domino’s Pizza. Today, Jazzercise is just as huge as ever, with global cumulative sales over $2 billion! Missett plans on passing the franchise to her daughters eventually, but for now, she’s still dancing away.