Who is doing Jazzercise? (Oh, yes, there's video)

A good friend of mine lives in a small town in Wisconsin. It's the kind of place where the Piggly Wiggly closes at 4 o'clock and where you'd never find a public bus or 24-hour treadmill factory where people are working out at 2 a.m. It's no surprise that she trained for a charity event by pounding out hours walking on the shoulder of the two-lane highway near her house. But when she told me she was into Jazzercise, I was honestly shocked.

Maybe it's because she transcends small-town-ness for me with her sassy style and adorable haircut and loud liberal opinions. Maybe it's because she's not one of my mom's friends and doesn't wear a leotard. Whatever it is, my Jazzercising friend is challenging my stereotypes of who is grooving to the music to stay in shape.

To make matters more perplexing, my friend has been teaching Jazzercise for several years. And loves it. Swears by it. Encourages me to give it a go. So far, I've been way too wrapped up in my ballet-bootcamp and Thai massage-Pilates-ab attack sleek, trendy combo classes at midnight to take the leap.

She and her friends and classmates clearly aren't the only ones already sold on Jazzercise. There are reportedly 15 million students in this country and 20,000 classes taught a week. That's a lot of sweating with the not-so-oldies and a real accomplishment for an exercise program that's been around since 1969.

The Jazzercise folks swear that you can burn up to 600 calories per one-hour session, which is admittedly pretty compelling. Plus, I have to say that this video makes it look more fun than the days of doing step aerobics to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Look at these guys! They think they're in the club. This is not the enthusiastic Jazzercise student I would have picked out of the class.

Are you someone who is sold on Jazzercise? Or is too hard for you to get past the outdated stereotype to give it a try?