Photo by Zach SparksAs owner of Crofton Jazzercise, Dawn Scalza has added classes, instructors (two are not pictured) and a touch of amity to the facility. Members will celebrate the two-year anniversary of the current location on October 20.
Fitness And Camaraderie Mesh At Crofton Jazzercise
One hour can yield enough time to watch a TV program, finish half a game of Monopoly or reflect on the seven natural wonders of the world. But students at Crofton Jazzercise use an hour more productively by engaging in a workout that presents physical, emotional and social benefits.
“A lot of people find the gym to be a boring place to work out because music motivates them,” explained Dawn Scalza, owner of Crofton Jazzercise. “Our members come for the social aspect, and many of them have made new friends. But the physical transformations are cool, with people getting off blood pressure medications, lowering their cholesterol and getting good checkups from their doctors because of the exercise here and the fit level they’ve reached.”
In 1969, Judi Sheppard Missett created the dance workout that infuses elements of resistance training, Pilates, yoga and kickboxing. Scalza took over the Crofton branch nearly five years ago, quitting a full-time consulting job for a more flexible schedule that allowed spending time with her kids. Two years ago, she moved to a bigger studio on Route 3, which allowed her to add more classes for a variety of ages.
“When people hear Jazzercise, they think of the ‘80s, legwarmers and their grandma’s workout,” Scalza observed. “But we’re the number-one dance fitness program in the country because young people enjoy it too. A lot of retired ladies come to my morning classes and go for coffee afterward. At night, we have working moms come in, and we have a large group of teenagers.”
Scalza has seen her student population rise from 70 to 125. Crofton Jazzercise has 11 instructors and 33 classes, including two new ones – yoga and personal touch. The latter is a small-group strength training that focuses on form, endurance and boosting metabolism. The Crofton mom also offers classes for Girl Scout troops and teens.
“Every Friday night, we have Junior Jazzercise Team Dance,” she revealed. “I’ll teach choreography, so it feels like dance class, but we also talk about nutrition, so the girls can get proper eating habits early on. At the end of the six- to eight-week session, the parents will come in and do the routine.”
The friendship culminated between students, instructors, friends and neighbors during those workouts transcends the building’s walls. Crofton Jazzercise members contribute to numerous charities, including Komen Race for the Cure, occurring this year on October 20 in Hunt Valley.
“This will be our second year participating in the Komen Race, and last year, 29 of our students ran or walked, which helped us donate $4,500,” Scalza highlighted. “October 20 happens to be our two-year anniversary, so it works out that we’re doing this two-year anniversary weekend celebration with special classes on Saturday, and then we’re doing the race on Sunday.”
Crofton Jazzercise also helps House of Ruth, a Baltimore-based nonprofit for female and child victims of domestic abuse. The humanitarians at the Crofton mainstay participate in a coat drive during November with five other area Jazzercise facilities, and are doing a used yoga mat drive for the homeless, which will be held in Linthicum around Thanksgiving. In the spring, Scalza’s crew will start a new project in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity, in which students will go to Annapolis or Baltimore to build homes.
“The community has been good to us, and we’re a small local business, so we want to give back as much as possible,” Scalza said with a smile. “The Komen Race is near and dear to us because everyone knows somebody who has had breast cancer. Since we’re mostly women-based, we try to give back to the churches and House of Ruth.”
During its existence, the Crofton business has evolved by serving more charities and adding supplementary classes. Once she enrolls 25 to 50 new students, Scalza hopes to expand her current space or open another location in Crofton. It’s a reachable goal because the exercise routine is accessible to virtually anyone, and the atmosphere created by the Jazzercise owner and her instructors is hospitable.
“I have an 80-year-old woman who comes five times a week,” Scalza noted. “It’s something every level can do. It doesn’t matter your shape, your size or age. We will cue the low-impact and high-impact options so everybody is successful.”
Jazzercise Crofton Fitness Center is located at 1119 Route 3 North. For more information, call 443-223-4779 or visit www.jazzercise.com.
Update: To raise money for their 5K team, Crofton Jazzercise will hold three special classes on Saturday, October 19. Participants can take any or all of the classes that morning for free in exchange for a donation in any amount to the 5K team. Classes will be held at 7:20am (Rise and Jazzer-Shine, a body sculpting and kick it to your core class), 8:20am (Cardio Combustion, an hour-long dance class to nothing but Pitbull and FloRida) and 9:30am (Shake and Shimmy, a regular cardio/strength training Jazzercise class with a burlesque feel).