Community and Friendship through Jazzercise
This blog post was contributed by Advocacy and Development Intern Frances C.
When you hear the word jazzercise, the first image which probably comes to mind are grainy videos from the 80’s with bright leotards, tights and knit leg warmers. What you might not think of is the community and friendship which is born out of these workout classes. Stephanie Schaub, owner, and instructor of Pennington Jazzercise has firsthand experience of this.
How did you become involved with YWCA Princeton?
In an interview led by Jessica Kaschak- Rice, YWCA Princeton’s Donor Engagement, Grants & Events Manager, Mrs. Schaub spoke about her involvement with YWCA Princeton. Mrs. Schaub has been with the Pennington Jazzercise since 2015, and in 2017 she started to become involved with the YW. At the time, Mrs. Schaub went to an informational session and became inspired to work with the organization. Melanie Hoffman, the current VP at large at YWCA Princeton, approached Mrs. Schaub and asked whether she would like to host a free jazzercise class which would help support the Burke Foundation Early Childhood Center.
Why did you decide to partner up with YWCA Princeton?
“It just seemed to be a natural fit. I run a business which is predominantly women, very women focused, women run, women instructors… so to partner with the YWCA I think it happened organically.”
Mrs. Schaub spoke about how the YW’s programs, especially the Breast Cancer Resource Center, had interested her from a community standpoint. She noticed that the YW reached people from all areas and walks of life and felt she wanted to be part of that community and connection between people.
A few years ago, one of the jazzercise instructors at the Jazzercize Pennington was diagnosed with breast cancer and was going to the BCRC regularly. Mrs. Schaub and her team decided to hold a raffle fundraiser in that October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, to show their support of their friend going through breast cancer treatment. The instructor was asked where she would like the funding to go, and she decided to send it to the BCRC.
How else has Jazzercise Pennington impacted our community?
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Mrs. Schaub held online jazzercise classes. In addition to helping people remain active during lockdown, it was also a way of continuing the sense of community which exists at the jazzercise classes, and of course also at the YWCA. In fact, Jazzercise Pennington recently hosted a fundraiser class to benefit the BCRC during Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
“There is a very strong sense of community. Jazzercise Pennington has been around for thirty years, so some of these women have known each other and been exercising together for a really long time.”
This is, of course, a massive impact on the community!