Wellness Wednesday: Spotlight on U-Jam Fitness®

Last week someone asked me, “So, how many different classes do you teach a week, Joanne?”

I had to think and count to myself and came to the conclusion that I teach A LOT of different classes a week – 7 different types and 14 sometimes 15 classes a week.  They range anywhere from Kickboxing to Barre Classes, Boot Camps to Group Barbell Classes, Bollywood & plenty of other dancing in between!  My brain is always on overdrive & constantly thinking when it comes to my job, but I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way!

So, I’d love to share my perspective on one of the classes I teach & why you should try it out!  After all, it’s now February, if you haven’t started on that fitness boat yet this year, nows the time! 

Today I want to highlight one of the dance fitness classes I teach:  U-Jam Fitness®.

I went to train for U-Jam in 2013 and got certified in 2014 when I was pregnant.  I have been teaching classes ever since and even taught up until I was 38 weeks pregnant.  (I ended up having Dahlia at 39 weeks!)

How I got certified?

 (The photo below  was taken at our two-day u-Jam certification training.). In order for me to become certified, I went to the 2-day workshop, took an exam, got certified in teaching group exercise from ACE (American Council on Exercise) and made a video of myself teaching 3 routines to at least five people.  There is a lot that goes into starting and preparing to teach.

Not only that, but to ensure I keep my group exercise certification, I have to get continuing education credits to keep it going.

 What is it?

U-Jam Fitness is an athletic urban dance fitness workout that combines dance & high energy music for a workout that is bound to get your heart rate up, your body moving, and make you work up a sweat — all while having FUN!

We dance to all genres of music from Hip Hop, Pop, K-Pop, Dancehall, Reggae, Salsa and everything in between!

Believe it or not, U-Jam was created right here in the Bay Area in 2010 by Susy C., a San Jose Native.  She was one of the first Zumba® master trainers for Northern California & then starting creating her own choreography that everyone also loved!   So, she decided  to start her own cardio fitness program, U-Jam.

What’s different about it?

The choreography is definitely fun & different in this class and true to the style of the genre of music paired.  Also, what I love is that the choreography is standardized.  So, if you come to my class or someone else’s class in another state, the moves stay the same with every song played – each song has it’s own choreography.  This helps someone like me who teaches many classes to learn the dances instead of coming up with my own choreography and I’m OK with that.  I have so much to think about already that it’s nice to be a student and also teach as well!

Also, this class is catered to everyone with different dance & fitness levels.  You could also burn up to 1000 calories in one class! 

Class Structure?

The class is broken down as follows:

  1.  We always start with a Warm Up (~12-15 mins.) which includes usually 4 songs that do the following:  increase core temp. & heart rate, focus on isolations, focus on lower body, & lastly, work on cardio!
  2. Next, we get into Moderate & High Intensity Cardio Songs
  3. Then, we get into a Toning Song which focuses on muscle work
  4. Next, we get back into more Moderate & High Intensity Cardio Songs
  5. Lastly, we start to slow it down with A Groove Jam to slowly drop the heart rate
  6. and Finally, we finish off with a Slow Jam to drop the heart rate even more and focus on light stretching & breathing.

The class is very structured and is a complete workout with interval training included.

Favorite Song(s) to Dance to?

I love any of the dancehall/reggae songs, but one of my favorites is “Make it Bun Dem” by Skrillex & Damien Marley because we get to hand tut in the dance 🙂 Also, I love any of the K-Pop dances, they’re so much fun to dance to like “I Am The Best” by 2NE1
Ready to try a class?

U-Jam has expanded all over the country!

Search here to try a class in your area:  http://www.ujamfitness.com/#!classes

If you are a Genentech employee, come and try my U-Jam class every Tuesday at 6pm, Wednesday at 11am and Thursday at 6pm.

I’d love to have you in class and dance with you!

Here is a photo of one of my special events I held!


Cheers & Jam on!


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