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Life’s passion is sharing, teaching dance

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Jean Dain Waters has been shared her passion for fitness and dance with


for over 35 years.

Having studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Centre de Danse in Cannes, France, as well as the Joffrey School of Ballet in New York City, among other places since 1975, she has trained over 5,000 students in various disciplines of the Fitnastics program. 

During a recent interview, I could see her sense of poise as she floated about the room, with a beautiful flower tucked behind her right ear, and passion in her eyes as she spoke of her students and her preferred location of instruction.


She shared photos of her specific poses, all which seemed to have personalities of their own. A beautiful floral-lined patio may be one location she enjoys on her own time, but when she is with her students, she is in the Plummer House Ballroom. 

Her business, "Fitnastics," consists of dance exercise classes, stretchercise, Tai Chi, Yoga and line dancing. These programs are for those 16 through 80.

Fitnastics Dance Exercise is a cross training total workout which creates a longer and leaner body. 

"It capitalizes on lyrical, rhythmic motion rather than fast percussive movement yet still meets current aerobic guidelines,’’ she said.

Each class offers a stretch warm-up from head to toe, a classical ballet bar for posture, balance and leg strength, weights for upper body strength, easy, fun dance routines for a great cardiovascular workout and floor work on mats for flexibility and toning of all body parts. Waters wants her students to leave feeling exhilarated, not exhausted.

Stretchercise combines yoga and pilates movements for a toning, strengthening and sculpting workout. Pilates exercises, which are structured around the body’s "powerhouse,’’ (the central region comprising mainly of the abdomen, hips, lower back, and buttocks), and yoga (a series of physical postures and rhythmic breathing) have a similar focus. These special stretches provide energy, lower stress levels and help prevent osteoporosis. 

These are considered low impact exercises and can be modified if there are injuries that limit a student from full range of motion. 

TaiChi-Yoga is a series of slow meditative movements meant to reduce stress, increase vitality, and enrich the quality of life. This class begins with a yoga warm-up and progresses to Tai Chi postures. 


Line dancing provides an excellent and safe amount of aerobic activity. Each dancer will have specific foot patterns and move in lines and circles. No partner is necessary to participate. Six or seven line dances are taught until everyone has their confidence, such as the hustle, push tush and slap leather . 

Most classes are 8-10 weeks long, meeting once per week for an hour. Line dancing is a two-week session. A drop-in rate is established for those who want to try a class, and cannot commit a two-month series. 

For more information, the email address is

Shelly Greenfield is an athletic trainer and writer in Rochester. Fitness Matters features the fitness stories of area residents. To offer a story, e-mail


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