Tag Archives: Aerobics

Random Memories of Germany-Aerobics Part 3

23 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Another fun thing was that the high school coach learned that I was teaching aerobic dancing, and asked that I come to several of his classes and demonstrate the program.  Our Karen was NOT impressed!  When I asked why she didn’t want me to do that, she replied, “Mom, you are in your SHORTS!!”  Most embarrassing to a high school student!  But I went anyway.  I was in pretty good shape at that time of my life, and during the demonstration, I mentioned that the kids could still be in good shape, as I was, at age 40!  They were astounded!  Karen later told me that one of her classmates asked her if her mother was 40?  So that classmate had been in one of those classes.  We had one dance that was relatively repetitive, and quite easy to learn.  I had the students line up and we danced it back and forth.  Then I had them dance it turning on each repeat.  Then I had them form a large circle (facing each other) and dance it around.  So much fun!  Later, the coach said that he wished he could get his basketball players to dance like we were doing.  It would give them rhythm and make them lighter on their feet, which some of them needed to be better basketball players.

One thing sort-of related to those classes, was that I had to walk from our apartment (just outside the base gate) to the classes on the base – summer or winter, rain or shine, sometimes in the snow.  And I carried my big boom box with me.  In warm weather, I was in my shorts and T-shirt.  In winter, I wore boots and my heavy coat – all the while, carrying my boom box.

Somewhere along the line, I was asked to demonstrate our program to a joint German/American group.  I thought it would be something that appeal to the Germans.  So when it was my turn, I started with “ich habe nur ein bisschen Deutsch” (I only have a little German).  That brought some laughs – so then I stated that “and so I will speak in English.”  More laughs.  I described our program, our steps, what we were doing was exercise, but was made more fun with the dance.  I then asked for volunteers from the audience to join me on stage and performed our easiest routine.  Later, as I watched a square dancing group,

Credit Bill Lites – Bill and DiVoran on the right, in their square dancing finery

I realized that all the “instruction” was done in German, but the dance calls were in English!   WOW!  Why couldn’t our program reach the German community the same way – instruct the teaching of the steps in German, but “call” the actual dance routines in English.  We left Germany before we could suggest that to the teachers who followed us.  I think it would have been a great connector between the two countries.

Credit Pixabay

We usually had one week off between sessions, to find new music and perhaps some new steps to those songs.  After a few sessions where the dedicated students were bored with my teaching the old, standard steps to the new students, I decided to use those between-session weeks to teach the old steps to the new students.  That way, when the official session began, only any new steps to teach were taught to all the students, and we could proceed with the routines.  That worked out quite well.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Aerobics Part 2

16 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

When either Joanne or I went on a vacation, the other partner took over all the classes. I remember one day I instructed and danced four classes – I usually only danced two classes per day!  After the third class, I wasn’t sure I had the energy left to do one more class – but I must have gotten a second wind, and flew through it!

At one point Joanne told me that her students didn’t like me – the way I did the routines.  Joanne and I had a very different way of instructing the dances.  As it turned out, my students didn’t like Joanne, either!  So the next time I taught one of her classes, I told them that, because Joanne and I were so different – I asked her students to “listen with your good ear, and I’ll try to be clearer with my instructions.”  By the end of the time I  filled in for Joanne, we were all okay with each other.

I remember one of Joanne’s students – who was a friend of mine from our church – dancing with a cast on her foot!  She’d had bone spur on her heel and had surgery to remove it.  She said the cast just gave her extra weight to pull around, and she thought it just gave her more intense exercise!  Never saw anything like it!  She was able to keep up with the class, too.

In this particular type of aerobic dancing, we always started the routine on the right foot.  I didn’t find anything unusual about that.  However, there was one student of mine who just really had a hard time with the steps.  I couldn’t figure out what the problem was, nor how to help her…until she approached me one time with “were you ever in the marching band?”  That solved the problem – marching bands always start on the left foot.  You know…”left…left…left right left…”

There was one time when I was holding a class in the gym – and the power went out.  I had my boom box plugged into the wall unit, so that was a problem.  However, There was a door from the gym into a small “store” within the same building.  So I just yelled for the ladies to keep either jogging in place or doing some of the steps, and I ran to the store and purchased some batteries for my box.  I was able to get them into the box and start up the routine essentially where I left off.

And along that vein – Joanne taught one of her classes in a small gym in another part of the base.  She said she thought the gym manager didn’t want her classes held there, so she was convinced he turned off the power every single class.  So when I filled in for her there, I was ready!  I had the batteries in my boom box, and when the power went off, I just unplugged the power cord from the box and continued on with the batteries.  I don’t think the manager was very happy with me!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Aerobics Part 1

9 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

In thinking back to our times in Germany, I am reminded of the years that I taught aerobic dancing.  I have written about this previously, but there are some small details that I didn’t mention.

For instance, we had not been in Heidelberg for very long, when we attended a party for the Weather Wing (my husband Fred, was a meteorologist), and we were introduced to the men and women Fred would be working with there.  One of the wives mentioned that she was going to be attending a new aerobic class in her housing building the next week.  Well, always being interested in exercise, that peaked my interest.  When I asked if there was room for “one more” in the class, she said, “come on!”

I had heard of the Jackie Sorensen® program of exercise – aerobic dancing – literally days before we left the States for Europe.  So when I went to the first class, that was the aerobic dancing program Joanne was teaching.  I had never done any dancing in my life, but was intrigued by the concept of “dancing” as a form of exercise.  I fell in love with the class!  I am a fairly coordinated person, so I took to the steps right away.

After dancing with the group for a few months, Joanne said she needed a partner, as she couldn’t handle all the classes that people wanted.  She chose me to be her partner.  

And so, we set out to make our program as good as possible, naming it “Heidelberg Aerobic Dancing.”  This was our color and logo.

The classes were held either on the military base itself, or in the space above some of the housing units.  For example, we lived on the third floor, and the “space” above our apartment was just empty space.  At one time, I held a small group of classes in that space.  Since it was above our unit, we were disturbing no one else in the building.  I usually held my classes either in the gym, or in the ballroom of what they called “the Casino”…essentially the Officer’s Club on the base.  That particular class had about 50 women in it – we danced most of the dances in a double circle.  It was an evening class, and I actually think I enjoyed that class the most – the women had to face each other and get acquainted.  And usually the women who attend this class were those who worked during the day, and this was their way to get some exercise as well as let off some stress.  It was loads of fun. 

The classes I held in the gym were three days each week.  The man who managed the gym reserved that time for us, and would sit and watch us dance.  He said it was amazing to watch the new-comers learn the steps and eventually we were all doing the same steps at the same time.  The classes in the Casino were only two nights each week.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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