Julie Gause and Maria Lunak get a kick out of dance exerciseSpending time together is a workout for Julie Gause and Maria Lunak. Several days each week, the mother and daughter alternately teach or attend each other’s Jazzercise classes at the The Y in Grand Forks.
By: Ann Bailey, Grand Forks Herald
Spending time together is a workout for Julie Gause and Maria Lunak.
Several days each week, the mother and daughter alternately teach or attend each other’s Jazzercise classes at the The Y in Grand Forks.
Gause began teaching Jazzercise nearly 25 years ago, when Lunak was 9-months-old. Gause, a Grand Forks Public Schools enrichment teacher, was invited to her first class by a teacher friend.
“I never stopped, except to have kids,” she said. Her mother even participated in the class up to the day one of her brothers was born, Lunak noted.
Jazzercise, founded in 1969, is a workout program that is a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and cardio box movements, according to the Jazzercise website. Movements have to be taught exactly as Jazzercise choreographs them, Luank and Gause said.
When Lunak, now 25, was growing up, Gause often practiced her Jazzercise routines at home with her and her four siblings.
“Sometimes, we would use soup cans for weights,” Lunak recalled.
Exercise is fun
When Lunak was 16, she started taking Jazzercise classes. Seven years ago, at age 18, she was certified to be a Jazzercise instructor. Her mom, 51, is her mentor.
“I like to watch her teach. I just strive to be as good … She’s been my inspiration for fitness in my life. I just knew growing up fitness was important.”
Jazzercise is a full-body workout that they both enjoy, Lunak and Gause said.
“You feel well-rounded,” Lunak said.
“It makes me feel happy. I like the way it makes me feel, and I like the way it makes me look,” Gause said.
And it’s fun, besides, she and Luank said.
“My biggest gauge is, it’s the fastest hour I’ve ever done,” Gause said. The two Jazzercise to energetic songs such as “Born This Way,” “Moves Like Jagger” and “Country Girl.”
The women typically teach four or five classes a week between the two of them.
“People know that we love what we do, we are passionate about what we do and that shows through,” Gause said.
On a recent afternoon at The Y, a woman walking by greeted the mother and daughter and then told them that she was going to try a new class.
“But it won’t be as much fun,” the woman said, apologetically.
Besides good exercise, women in the Jazzercise class enjoy the friendships they develop with Gause and Luank and with each other.
“It’s become a network, we support each other outside of The Y,” Gause said.
But today, Mother’s Day, mother and daughter will be inside The Y teaching and attending Jazzercise.
“I’m teaching, and she’ll be here,” Gause said. “Some years, I think maybe we should take Mother’s Day off, and then I think that’s something we should do for ourselves.”
Reach Bailey at (701) 787-6753; (800) 477-6572, ext. 753; or send e-mail to email@example.com.