Dancing Queens: The Jazz Dancer


Michelle Spencer, 34
Architect and design consultant, Chicago

"After I had my baby, my legs felt big and my arms were flabby," Michelle recalls. "Everything had shifted." When a dance studio opened in her neighborhood a year ago, she resumed the jazz classes that had helped her sizzle through high school. "The discipline of ballet, the abandon of hip-hop—that's jazz," she says. Within a month, she felt more svelte. "I called my friend and said, ‘You know what? My big legs are no longer big legs; they're strong legs.'"

Since then, dancing has not only helped Michelle lose her 7 stubborn postbaby pounds, but it's also injected more heat into her marriage. In fact, she and her husband have added a date night to their monthly schedule. "We've fallen in love all over again," Michelle says. Jazz has also helped her cope with the stress of her son's terrible 2's: "When he's crying because he can't get the candy he wants, it doesn't bother me as much." What's more, Michelle doesn't even notice that she's getting a great workout three times a week. "Dancing is so much fun, it's easy to stick to it." For that hour, "nothing else matters. I walk out of class feeling complete."

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