WWL>Topics>>4-24-14 3:10pm Angela: with Jazzercise founder Judi Sheppard Missett

4-24-14 3:10pm Angela: with Jazzercise founder Judi Sheppard Missett

Apr 24, 2014|

Angela talks with Jazzercise founder Judi Sheppard Missett.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Once again take a love of dance and a love of fitness and put them together and you have jazz -- size. That is exactly what our guest created 45 years ago. But Judy Shepard missed it didn't just build a fun way to exercise to music. She built an international empire with almost 8000 franchisees. Jazz -- science teachers are holding 32000 classes a week in 32 countries. Judy Shepard missed that story is one of smarts and creativity. And after 45 years it's a story of evolution. And endurance. And it is incredible to me too because I truly. Was one appear early -- -- think Tom is so much it's so nice to be here I'm so happy to be back in New Orleans -- -- so energetic and thriving in. I just love that because we've done many of them this year. And it just thrilled mean to come back and see how. Wonderfully everybody's doing time preparing and thank you for coming back and thank you for coming. When it wasn't so good salary if we did that too we have had to cheer cheer people -- I wanna go back in time. Two you're beginning and you were a dancer right I yes well. I actually started dancing professionally when I was fourteen. And then I went on to college in northwestern university in Chicago and continued to dance professionally help my mom and dad paid for that expensive tuition you know and and. That was planned IE eight I started also teaching him as I was performing with the dance company and I was teaching in this studio owned by the company's director. And I'm his teaching dance classes pretty strict jazz dance classes and I noticed. That I had a lot of women in class and they would come in and they would. Venture off and I wouldn't see them anymore and that bothered me so I I talked to a few of them and they simply Judy you know we've really. Love dance and and you know we love your class but. It just was a little difficult it was a little too disciplined we don't wanna go on and become professional. We just wanna go from a size ten to a Nader -- six or whatever it is. And that was my lightbulb he'll -- off hop element and I thought all okay cell. I made it simpler I basic and dance but I turn people away from Amir I became their -- And on. Made it fun and gave them positive encouragement. And the first plus I had fifteen people and then I had thirty and then they had sixty and the third class in the room when old anymore and I. I knew I was on to something and so that was in that was in Chicago. And so my husband actually at the time isn't a news reporter TV reporter for CBS. In Chicago and on. We decided after him doing that for about five years that that he we've won in Maine to California to be with his. Parents and his family. And so we premium to Southern California and that's when everything just went gangbusters for what I was doing because. You know California's the body beautiful state and people are so open. To my program and what I had been doing and I continue to work professionally in the theater. And still teach this class but then as things have ball I had so many people -- mean it teach in so many facilities. That I just. Got out of the theaters and and started just teaching. Until. I lost my voice. Pentagon -- and I I lost my voice and gotten on chills on my vocal -- Because I was teaching thirty classes are so. A week. Which isn't the healthiest thing to -- -- and that was without a microphone. Yes man -- of course she had not just yes. And and it well in Imus the first. Really fitness teacher to use a microphone and but I did it out of necessity. I mean here's a doctor said you know you gotta change something -- you know you're you're gonna lose your voice totally. And he's tonight. Think you need to let go of some of those classes too so I thought OK well -- I just closed the classic answer what do I do in. I didn't want to do that so I trained five. Women who had been with me in California for a few years and had dance backgrounds to do that is doing. I'm really organize organize to Angelina I had all my choreography notes written down everything so I could share that with them. And in fact the woman who -- those notes. Later became our chief operating officer I mean it's a story of evolution you know. And on and so we were often running -- and then before I knew it had a thousand instructors. And you know they were moving to other parts of the country. And and that was in the early eighties and then I needed to it to do something I had to either make them employees are make the franchisees. Because week. -- they -- independent contractors because I was I was dictating a little bit too much what they needed to do. To -- for them to qualify and that class vacation so I thought well I want him to be franchisees. Because I want them to feel an ownership. In that in their own business which they all did so we were the first fitness organization ever -- franchise and then. That was in the eighties and -- so many first for us in the eighties that was a decade and just first you know week. The first to do large scale fund raisers. For different charities and organizations. And we did many here in the -- lots of fun and and we were the first of course to franchise we opened our first jazz -- size apparel division. -- opened our -- and and on the Austrian the first platinum video and a very -- the first gold album ever in the history according. You know industry and then. We did the very first large scale convention fitness convention and we had 6000 people. That I got to teach him one class is -- together with like teaching and my hometown but everybody was there act you know I just in and visualizing that because I've been part of those fundraisers that Japan I know you have -- parks and there's a thousand people all -- -- saying -- yeah it's just. You've hit the nail on the head you made it fun yes you made it fun and you'd sweat right and you needed to sweat out and you felt good. Well that was the idea you know and that's we still do that today. Of course things have changed a lot over the years you know because. That's what you do in your attitude to growing and move forward and every year's been so good for us and that's because we do growling because I do believe and change. And I do believe that it's important issue. You know listen to what's going on in the industry and and and learn about the science of what we're doing and then adapt my choreography to that which of course. I still do other choreography so -- -- now we do in addition to dancing we -- strength training. We do. Circuit training classes we do. Kick box classes you know others many of variety. Based. Things within our regular program and we have a kids' program we have a light program. For people but that need a little bit less strenuous. Worked out and down. Well the interesting thing today as well we're kind of fighting is the fact that we've been around as you said for 45 years. But people think are still the same as we were in the Jena. And you know what we wouldn't and then we wouldn't still pretty carefully hadn't changed and we art that same program we're. Much different and still. A lot of fun. That's the bottom line I want everyone to stay with us we're gonna continue to talk and I wanna hear about because I think that what -- saying is absolutely correct. If you could not changed in the -- nine innings 2000. -- -- size wouldn't be what it is answer I have done this evolution that's very very important organ here more on that and more about how all of a sudden. A dancer from Chicago becomes you know really an international business woman stay with us. Very very happy to have Judy Shepard missed that who is the founder of jazz -- size as our guest for this hour. Your story is wonderful in Europe your person your dancer and then morphs into you see the need. For women who just want to exercise and have fun and you create jazz -- size. But if you'd kind of made the leap from I needed extra people for example. Lost boys two I have a thousand teachers -- saying all of a sudden you saw this ends. Big business well I don't know off by Saab Saturn are not as solid today that you. I just kept doing what I did well you know and and it was fun. And Weaver reaching out to so many people and I had so much positive feedback. From people who were in class on my gosh I feel so much better. I'm off my medication and this is a lot cheaper than going tonight there is something else and much are fun. And on and it was it it was those kind of things that really motivated me and more and more people wanted to become instructors and so. I thought well why not just branch out and you know the interesting thing fortuitous. Home video recorders and cameras came out on the market now my husband and a background and broadcasting. And I did to actually in in rated TV won my majors at. Northwestern and so. On the we bought out. Video camera we've got some recorders pretty soon our living room is filled with. Recorders everywhere because he was -- These videos which we taped in our backyard this was in the beginning the dog would walk through -- now. But we taped all the choreography so then we can send it out to our instructors who were various other parts of the country. And that ventured out certain level of quality because it's very hard to translate. Choreography off the written page but when you see it you know you know what you're supposed to be doing so. We did that and that really enable that growth because then other people who had moved on to Ohio or Texas or whenever. Dade and -- teaching classes and people in their classes wondered to become instructors. So. Mean that's how we started to grow and then those people open more classes and because we have the video application we were able to. You know give them the the choreography as well and maintain that quality. And and that was my thing on how do you maintain quality. Would you make periodic checks. Oh yes how classes work yes we did that on and and then. Week eventually built in structure of district managers. -- around the country who -- in charge of certain districts and who would maintain that quality. Why you know going monitor people and help them that they needed help or praise them that they were fabulous. Today we have a whole quality initiative. And we have a hole and and structure of quality coordinators. Who that's that's their job they they are also instructors but. They're at a high level of instruction and so they go to evaluate. Our other franchisees -- our instructors and and help them. With maintaining at a higher level of quality so on the it's you know it's it's a hole. -- system and it's it's working nicely I must say and I have to ask them because. You still choreographed is still teach I do well do you really run a major corporation. Yes but you know. I do but I have soul much help you know one of the things I say when I speak to business. Groups is. One of the things you have to have our. It is it group of people around you people who lift you up. You know people that bring you up to another level and -- you can bring them to another level. And when you have any negativity. That -- ago. In my whole career to have those wonderful folks those team players that are just awesome. And and we have a great time that are corporate headquarters we have a lot of fun it's a real family feeling in culture there. And on the so I you know I I I'm I could not do without that team I could not and and I would never say. Ever that it was all me now with that said yes I do that choreography. I teach four classes a week and love doing that but I have to say. Speaking of family and have a beautiful daughter. And she is president of gestures eyes she also teaches. She's got a great business head on her shoulders probably better than mine. And on just does. A phenomenal job and she has two daughters so I have two granddaughters and they're -- beautiful dancers cellmate. Man. One of them -- district manager for southern Californian and the answers senior business analysts so. The year. Contribute a great deal you know I just I'm just listening to you though. From the dancer in Chicago to the need for the business analyst yeah it just is a fantastic everyone stay with -- we have to break for the news. Which is a lot today but to stay with this we're gonna continue our conversation with Judy miss -- Judy Shepard missed one activist. The founder of jazz are sizes are very special guest this hour and and it's fascinating listening to how you began. Equally interesting how you have continued ends and that is Paramount to any business tasks is to keep evolving so. And I probably still have my sweat -- and out my shocking pink spandex now but we don't do that and we don't have that anymore and now I will have to give those up but those are -- going to -- But see the concept of as exercise has changed. And right hands right -- -- -- let me backtrack it one of the reasons I loved it is because. As an individual I function better in a group -- some people like to -- by themselves cannot motivate myself. I love the motivation of the group right great leaders but it's also the person next who's sweating and exactly. Fun and laughter yes. You captured that and yet. Other than that there are now other kinds of exercise the crossed it sure all kinds of things that sounds like you're integrating. Some of those things in two. She draws a person like. Me right right well you know there's -- a thread that's the same which is it's always got to be fun and it is dance based. And very musical lots of variety which we always have had. Very cutting edge music which we've always had that all remain sustain that. You know as we evolve through the fitness industry and science tells is certain things that we need to do. I would change that choreography so. Now all. We we're we're in LE you're gonna have fun that you don't work I mean it sufficient and you burned 600 calories in a class oh my god I'm finding out how we if you're up there in your work and it. We -- strength training we use resistance to being -- we use resistant smalls. Of course waits. Lots of power moves within the choreography. And so it's it's it's a good. Great work now we do a class called fusion. That's -- circuit training type of class we do a class called strike that says. McCarty a box class. Another one that's called -- or the just focuses on the court. Throughout the a row make part their cardiovascular park but also with the strength training a lot of court training. Com and then we do something called strength sixty which is all strength training her strength 45. Sixteen minutes 45 minutes depending on you know but the schedule allows and it's all string training. And it's hard hitting and but yet it's fun and we still maintain that wonderful class. Feeling so that you have that's freedom corps and you get to know people in your class and me become friends with them and they motivate you to keep -- on the back as much as we do you know encourages. Yes very much so right -- but yes today we're very caddie mention extremely competitive. And and -- all of -- out. Our customers owning their own power in their own strengthen and knowing what they can do it -- they can't do and and and being able to accomplish that in class so that they have a healthier lifestyle. And so that they feel healthier and their better for themselves. They're better for the people they work quit for the people that they love. In all the self esteem is elevated when you when your -- and you're healthy. And and and that's that's what we're all about that's why I started missing kept going with. It you know and it's interesting because we are sometimes to self consumed I think on appearances -- teacher but. The push toward hell yes and and that is the the most important thing and yet. We still in our area could we just -- shown on this and the greater nuance area we have the third. Highest obesity rate alliance. And kids. And -- -- and the tragedy of yes yeah because it's just stepping off on the wrong. I was -- -- if that is a heartbreak and it's -- but even though intellectually. We know what we should -- should not be eating right and that we should be moving her right right. You know how do you motivate somebody to take that first class and yeah you won't make a fool out of yourself you won't get elected via. Fabulous dancer yeah I don't. Now and you know nobody's in the class judging. Right you know where where they are ten. Motivates you and and the people in the class are there to help you -- -- they're not judging you and saying -- line better than her. Now nobody it says that. They're all in there together and you can go -- on pace I mean it there's. Energy hair. And and you build your own strength but -- you can collect your own pace and start out. You know maybe not hot anger in of that and then gradually. And in a little bit more of the impact at a higher level weight one go from five pounds to six to seven you know. That kind of thing -- all those scenes are available and -- mace people acting with in class feel a lot more comfortable because they know. There's that opportunity and it's challenging but it's not so challenging that you call home in the next -- those or you can't get out of -- I mean I try to balance of choreography. So that. -- you don't you're gonna feel those muscles but it's not going to be Seoul. Intimidating to you that she will never come back because. Michael is that you feel successful. In one of -- I'm I want people to have that success. I don't London feel like. Well I can't Judas snow I'll never do so we're gonna take another break the woman gonna come when we come back we're gonna -- success. Because she is among the most successful women. Businesswoman in this country and she's here for that reason I am back -- Well again we're talking with Judy Shepard missed -- two was the founder of jazz are size 45 years ago now and 32 countries. Up 7800. Franchisees. It's a big business. And it's a wonderful business because you're helping people ultimate guy and and you know I'm helping women become. Businesspeople Jess and I love the fact that that I am doing that I'd love that the you were here in town for the women's president's organization -- with -- yes on the board I'm on the board of directors it's a great organization. It was founded by Marsha Firestone. -- a Ph.D. and and did lots of innovative things with in the business communities and decided they're mean to be an organization for women who were error. Blossoming in there in their businesses so. All the women who are in the organization I think there's 18100. That are in the organization we have about 820. Year for the conference. She you have to have a business it's worth two million dollars or more. On action -- some great figures here all these people within the women's presidents' organization. Generate nineteen billion dollars in aggregate revenue a year. And they employ a 145000. People. I think that's awesome we're creating so many jobs -- about jobs at some aunts and -- incredible. And two out of every three businesses started today are started by women. Did you know that it's not known by now it's it's you know I think. Entrepreneur is really is kind of the great equalizer yes and you know we have. All these women have the opportunity to. Do whatever they want to do and they can and they will and NR and they are and I believe. That women are better bosses to -- come out and say I just. I think we have the capacity needed to be compassionate and caring. But we also receive things we have vision and I think that makes for. Developing a business that will be -- special it it will be one I have always believed that. When you. Are in business and community also need to be part of that community and to. To lean forward to reach out to give back to make a difference in that community whatever you're doing. So com. And I think most women feel that way and and do that IC data at the conference all the things at these women are doing to give back. And to make a difference within their community it's just taken them and it's part of what you do. So. You know and and tonight. They are hosting. And event. Four fifty women the fifty fastest growing women owned businesses in the country. And -- they range from. Manufacturing. To health care. Two jewelry. Two aeronautical. Engineering companies it's just amazing. The gamut and -- and the variety of things that. Women are doing today and they can do it all construction. Every limiting those fifteen must. Want to meet you. As somebody who blazed a major trail well. Thank you in an industry but for women in business yes I yes I I. Enjoyed meeting many of them and their trail blazers and their own right you know. And and those stories that they that they tell and things that there. Creating and doing. We have keynote speaker. Yesterday. Pain food is her name she's from China. And and that things did she injured as a child through the cultural. Revolution and then. How she was able to pull herself up and leave China and come the United States and get a degree at the University of New Mexico. And and and get the degree in computer science and she had no idea as she was a writer in and that was her her interest but. Someone said well you'd need to do that and she -- -- so recently. She sold one of her company's her. Lot of money and it was computers software and now she's working in. 3-D. Training with computers which is an amazing unbelievable. Field and biologist. You know changed the way we'd make so many things and and she was a pioneer so. You know there's. Always hope now is the story is -- yeah I want everyone to stay with us we'll be right back. I wanna thank god Judy Shepard missed it so much. There are 300 classes judge -- size classes in our area go to jazz -- sized dot com you'll have a ball thank you so much.