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Aerobics, Jingle Bells Mix in Fitness Instructor's Christmas Class

Three decades of dancing to Elvis and Sinatra brings joy to dancers

Fitness instructor Carol Baumgartner brought her choreographed Christmas aerobics routine to the Madison Community House for the 30th year this December.

Baumgartner, the former dance director at the Madison Area YMCA, came up with moves to some of the Christmas favorites: Elvis “Blue Christmas,” Jingle Bell Rock, Ricky Martin’s Ay yi yi It’s Christmas and other holiday selections by Frank Sinatra and John Lennon.

For 29 years, a group of women known as the “Joy ladies” got in the Christmas spirit with the conga, kick ball change and cha-cha-cha wearing silver bells on their sneakers and dancing with Santa hats.

“It was always great fun,” said Madison resident Ros Seneca.

This would have been the first year without the routines had it not been for Joy Mercer who sent an email to "Miss Carol" imploring her to bring back the Christmas classes.

The Madison Community House gym was reserved for several weekday nights with classes running from 7 to 8:15 p.m.

“It just wouldn’t be Christmas without this,” said Mercer, adding that other dancers are welcome to join the class.

The routines are a combination of several disciplines that Baumgartner has studied and received certification including aerobics and Pilates.

“The class is only $5,” said Baumgartner. “You will pump up your heart rate for a general aerobic workout, but we do plenty of stretching and flexing. It’s a great way to build up energy during the busy holiday season.”

Thursday is the final scheduled Christmas aerobics class. The Madison Community House is located at 25 Cook Ave. For more information call 201-274-9771.

—Jamie Duffy

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