Jazzing it up with English teacher Emily George

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Photo by: Francisco Castaneda

English teacher Emily George leads participants in a Jazzercise class after school. George is passionate about the class and enjoys using movement as a way to unwind. “I do the aerobic moves and tell them [through the] microphone what to do next. It’s set to songs on the top 40s charts] and we just do any sort of dance moves or plyometric moves, and things like that.”

Story by Ashlan Brooks, Online Editor-in-Chief, Print Managing Editor

Heart pounding and chest heaving, English teacher Emily George moves her body to the beat of the music playing overhead, instructing the 10 women standing in front of her to do the same. She’s teaching a Jazzercise class, one of the many she’s taught every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, for the last three years. Jazzercise is a group exercising technique that focuses primarily on anaerobic and aerobic conditioning and achieving a healthy body through movements to music. 

“It’s really the only exercise that I think is fun enough where you can work out every day for an hour, and you don’t feel like it’s a chore,” George said. “It’s like dance aerobics.”

George first moved to Pittsburg five years ago so her husband could teach at PittState and found that she missed her former Jazzercise studio.

“I started teaching [Jazzercise] at the Presbyterian Church downtown for a couple of years,” George said. “Then I got a couple of instructors under me to teach more classes for me and we opened up a studio next to Typhoon.” 

This studio is where Geroge instructs participants who pay the signup fee of five dollars per month on how they can use dance to improve their physical health. For unlimited classes per month, an adult participant can pay 40 dollars, but students are only 20 dollars — minors are one dollar per class. All new members get one free class to see if they like it. She offers classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 4:30 pm and on the weekends, but more classes are offered by other instructors. 

George argues the benefits that Jazzercise has had on her teaching at PHS. 

“It only enhances my teaching,” George said. “If you routinely do some sort of aerobic and strength training activity, then it gives you more energy.”