Dancing Queen

Last summer my friend Jenny mentioned that she goes to Jazzercise classes. I giggled to myself, picturing people dressed up in leotards, wearing braided headbands and legwarmers dancing to Let’s Get Physical by Olivia Newton John. Last time I heard about Jazzercise was probably sometime in the 80’s, so it the thought of it was stuck in that decade as well.
Later that month, my cousin Kelly mentioned to my that she did some babysitting at the local Jazzercise center. Childcare peaked my interest. I had to check it out. I had heard it is much more like dance than aerobics. This might actually be a match for me.
I mean, I aspired to be on Soul Train when I was younger. I was convinced I had to go to a school like where the kids in FAME went to. I LOVED to dance. Ask any close friend of mine what happens at a wedding when the song Footloose comes on. The people at the wedding inevitably form a circle around me while I break it down like Kevin Bacon. I am pretty sure they are laughing at me, but I like to imagine they are moved by my incredible knowledge of 80’s dance moves.
With all of this in mind I was still a bit apprehensive of trying Jazzercise out, but I had to go once and see for myself.
I walked in and they greeted me like they had known me for years. No one was in a leotard and legwarmers, so I must have looked pretty darn silly. But they were nice to me anyway. The music started and I was able to keep up okay. I only bumped into people a few times. Then people started cat calling. Whoo HOO! They would scream. I mean really, are they that excited to be exercising? It made me uncomfortable.
The instructor started talking about how beautiful we all were and how happy she was that we were there. I didn’t even know what to do with that information, so I just looked down…and slammed into the poor woman dancing next to me. I am pretty the people in charge were going to ask me not to come again because I was injuring everyone around me. But they didn’t.
Now it is 7 months later and I am hooked. I drank the Kool Aid and became a tried and true lover of Jazzercise. I now go to get my daily dose of motivational speaking while I dance away to a huge array of music, new and old. And yes, I even make the cat calls.
With this healthy choice I am happy. I have yet to change the way I eat, but we all need to take baby steps towards our goals, right? This recipe is a baby step towards lighter eating.
Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars
from November 2008 Cooking Light
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons orange juice
Cooking spray
1 1/3 cups dried cranberries
3/4 cup sour cream ( I used light)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring until moistened (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. To prepare filling, combine cranberries, sour cream, granulated sugar, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spread cranberry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

One thought on “Dancing Queen

  1. Kathy Reichard

    Jenny sent me this post and, of course, I laughed out loud. I laughed even harder when I was on my way home from Jazzercise and heard Footloose on the radio!!!


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