3 Generations of Jazzercise in the Press

More than 50 years after its beginning, Jazzercise remains as popular as ever. Today, Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett and daughter president Shanna Missett Nelson welcome Skyla Nelson to the business. Newly-certified 18-year-old Skyla has followed in their footsteps by certifying as an instructor, bringing the $100 million dollar fitness empire to a whole new generation of women.

3 Generations of Jazzercise in the Press
Carlsbad, CA, December 18, 2020 --(PR.com)-- Jazzercise, the first-ever dance fitness franchise founded by Judi Sheppard Missett in 1969, is still shaking things up over 50 years later; offering outdoor, digital, and livestream classes amid the pandemic. Misset’s daughter, Shanna Missett Nelson, has served as president of Jazzercise, Inc. since 2010, and in 2020, Missett’s 18-year-old granddaughter Skyla Nelson certified as a Jazzercise Instructor becoming the third generation in the now-solidified family business. With a recent feature on NBC’s The Today Show and a feature article in People Magazine, Jazzercise is poised to introduce the $100 million dollar fitness empire to a whole new generation of women.

Missett started Jazzercise with a single classical jazz dance class. Her “aha moment” came when she strategically decided to turn her students away from the mirror while teaching. “I learned that, for them, it wasn’t about learning dance. It was about having a dancer’s body and enjoying the fun of dance,” explained Missett.

Missett trained her first instructors in the 1970’s and the business franchised in 1983. By 1984, Jazzercise was declared the “2nd fastest growing franchise” behind Domino’s Pizza. Jazzercise was exploding in popularity, and Missett traveled to perform at the 1984 Olympics, the 1988 the Super Bowl halftime show, and countless athletic and dance events all over the world.

Today, Jazzercise boasts three generations of Missett women building the brand. Shanna Missett Nelson became a certified Jazzercise Instructor while in college, and now serves as the company’s president. “What’s so important about Jazzercise is our community,” explains Nelson. “You can have someone in their sixties taking class next to someone in their thirties and everybody is getting what they want and there is no judgement. That has really been part of our secret sauce. And keeping it fun!”

Misset’s granddaughter and Missett Nelson’s daughter, 18-year-old Skyla Nelson is a newly certified Jazzercise Instructor, and she’s here to show that Jazzercise is for all ages, not just the generation of headbands and shiny spandex from the eighties. “I look back to when I was ten years old and I would invite my friends to classes. I never felt out of place as a ten year old, and I still don’t feel out of place as an eighteen year old.” remarks Nelson.

“Some people still think leg warmers and leotards when they hear Jazzercise, but we left the 80’s behind a long time ago,” adds Missett.

Today, the company boasts 8,500 franchisees in 25 countries, over 200,000 customers, and an annual revenue averaging $100M per year. Now, with three generations of strong women at the helm of the brand, Jazzercise is ready to connect with the next generation.

You can see Jazzercise’s Today Show segment here, and in People Magazine’s December 28th issue, on newsstands on December 18.
Jazzercise, Inc.
Allison Stabile