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More Women Are Finding Ways To 'Jazz' Up Their Workouts

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CARY — Exercise fads come and go, but there is one routine which has 25 years of staying power. The popularity of Jazzercise is soaring in the Triangle.

With three children, Julie Lagaly does not have time to take a breath in the morning until she walks through the door of her exercise club. Her daily Jazzercise class is a big release.

"I've done it for four years here, and I love it. I love it," Lagaly says. "It's the only time I have to myself."

Jazzercise started in California in the late 1970s, and now, it is international. Ginny Gardner, franchise owner and instructor, says her Cary group boasts 300 members, and it is growing every day.

"We have doubled since last year. We've had to open up new space because we've gotten so big," she says. "Personally, I cannot think of anything else I'd rather be doing than this."

Those who participate in Jazzercise on a regular basis say it is about a lot more than just fitness.

"Every friend I have now, besides my neighbors, I met at Jazzercise," Lagaly says.

"This is our family, and this becomes a family," Gardner says. " We go out to eat together, we have baby showers and wedding showers. We become very involved with one another's lives."

Tammie Cunnien and Gean Anson met at Jazzercise, and now they are the best of friends.

"I came on a Tuesday with them, and then I came back on Wednesday, then I came back on Thursday," Cunnien says. "I wanted something where I didn't have to belong to a big gym with lots of people coming in and out."

"I was new to the Triangle, and this is where I made my first connections," Anson says.

Members say it is also more fun than aerobics and more likely to keep them coming back.

"I've done aerobics and I've never stuck at it. I've never done it for more than a few months. This is good fun," says Jane Simpson.

The Cary Jazzercise group offers 15 classes a week. The prices range from $7 for an individual class up to $50 for an unlimited monthly pass.

Unlike gyms, there are no annual dues or sign-up fees, and you can quit and rejoin at any time without paying any penalties.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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