Any athlete, no matter the sport, can agree that in order to be an athlete you have to be in your top physical shape. As a dancer, the same saying applies. Why do you think most of the NFL line men take dance classes in their off season?! For coordination and being able to move quickly! As a Jazz dancer we have to be in our top physical shape. Not only to maintain a healthy looking figure but to have a healthy body so we can perform to the best of our abilities. Games require a lot of energy to get through and take physical strength and stamina. Try sprinting, jumping up and down and dancing all while in costumes with a smile on your face!
I have been dancing for 17 years and while being a Jazz Dancer, this is the easiest for me to dance. Why?! Because I am in my best physical shape I have ever been in! We Jazz dancers have a secret weapon, our trainer, Neil Anderson from GPP Fitness. Neil has been the Jazz dancer’s trainer for a couple of years now. And his workouts WORK!
GPP Fitness is located in Centerville, Utah and the first time I went I was a little hesitant. I have always been used to going to gyms with the big, fancy machines. Whereas GPP looks like a warehouse with the old school weights, tires, rowers and an adult version of the monkey bars. But that’s GPP’s point exactly, the old stuff works. The basics give you the best results! Neil’s philosophy is not only to be the healthiest “YOU” but to be mentally healthy as well, and living an active life promotes that! And whatever your needs, if you are just starting out, training for a marathon, or a dancer, GPP can accommodate certain workouts to specifically help you meet your goal! The way that they do it is workout classes. If you can’t make it to his gym he puts his workouts for that day on his website. With links to GPP’s YouTube page to show the specific move if you don’t understand it. Because I am a student and live a busy life most days, when I don’t have practice and can’t make it to his gym I do the workouts online. The workouts can range 20 minutes to an hour. But the key is to know you are not competing with anyone else, only yourself. From doing these workouts I have seen muscles I never knew existed and my energy and stamina levels have increased immensely! I promise they can work for you too!
If you get a chance head up to GPP or check out the workouts online! This stuff works and you will see results soon!
I especially love the Jazz Fit games because of the routines we do (I loved the one with the Bear!) but because we help promote fitness. Here are some pictures of our Jazz Fit night!
I hope everyone’s Holidays were happy and safe! Us Jazz girls had an amazing Holiday season!
As a team we celebrated the Holidays by going to dinner for one of our practices before Christmas. We went to El Matador in Bountiful, which is a Mexican restaurant with some delicious food. We were definitely the loudest group there! We started off by eating and then got into the gift exchanging. For the gifts we each had to bring a white elephant (gag gift), and a present for our secret sister.
Our “secret sister” is a girl on the team, whose name we drew at the beginning of the season, that we secretly give gifts to, mainly their favorite treats, clothes, etc. My secret sister got me the perfect gift! It was a homemade diet coke “Christmas tree” with different earrings as the “ornaments”! It was my two favorite things, diet coke and jewelry in one! Fun fact: I drink at least 5 cans of Diet coke a day. We then did our white elephant gifts. We started youngest to oldest and had to go pick a present from the pile. There were the funniest gifts! I got these light foam sticks, which lit up in different colors. Some of the best ones were a “white trash” beauty kit that had Doritos for tanning, fake hair and some other hilarious things to go along with it. Some girls gave some old antiques that you wonder how they made, or purchased. There was a fake stuffed duck that looked so real it was scary! I gave a big cane that that was filled with bubble gum. We had some pretty good laughs at the gifts but mostly at the girl who was opening the gift’s reaction! After that we were given our presents from our coach, Jan. She gave us a Jazz jersey and a Jazz tee shirt- that we are now wearing to practice in before the games! It was such a fun party and a great way to start the Holidays.
Over the Holidays I spent time with my family and caught up on some much needed sleep and relaxing! Christmas time is the biggest time of the year in my family, as I am sure for many of you as well! We have some pretty cool traditions in my family! My parents do 12 days of Christmas for my brothers and sisters and my nieces and nephews. So the 12 days before Christmas we get a present, or go to dinner as a family. It’s the perfect way to countdown to Christmas! I wish everyone had an exciting Christmas and I hope that everyone has a happy and prosperous New Years! And I hope that the Jazz have a successful rest of the season! Happy New Years!!!
P.S. The very last picture in the post is from a couple weeks ago from the Jazz- Spurs game when Mo Williams scored the last second deep three pointer shot! Sam, one of the other dancers, just found it for us! I thought it was HILARIOUS because our faces capture the emotions right before Mo was about to shoot perfectly!
Practices and games have been so much fun! We have been learning new dances each practice and have some very fun themed dances coming up! The whole experience has been very rewarding. But, the most rewarding part of being a Jazz dancer has been the charity appearances. I have had the most amazing experiences with the charity functions I have been able to attend. The Jazz puts a huge focus on giving back and reaching out to the community.
The first appearance was The Taste of Utah at The Grand America Hotel at down town Salt Lake. This charity gala was for Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that affects almost 30,000 children in the United States. It was our job to sell raffle tickets for prizes that were being auctioned off! It was so cool because the Jazz had donated so many things to be auctioned off. There were shoes signed by the players, jerseys and tickets for the games! One of the most coveted items was a signed basketball by legendary Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. It was so amazing to be apart of such an amazing event representing the Jazz and raising money for a disease that affects so many.
The next charity appearance was at Primary Children’s hospital. This appearnce has been a tradition for the past 30 years for the dancers, players, bear and coaches to go and visit the children and had out toys. I was.paired up with another dancer and the Bear to go around and visit room to room. We handed out small basketballs and posters to the kids. It was so much fun going with the bear because the kids LOVED him. He was getting on the beds with them, running around and scaring the hospital staff! Every child kept on saying “that silly bear! He’s crazy!” The kids were so excited to see some of their favorite players. And kept saying “Go Jazz!” It was such a rewarding way to spend my afternoon and help those kids feel a little bit better.