EVCC features employee Jan Tenzer

Jan Tenzer introduces "Sweatin' to the 80's", her low-impact aerobic dance class inspired by her experience as a Richard Simmons instructor

Born in New York, Jan Tenzer grew up in Miami, Florida; always wanting to be another Carol Burnett-style entertainer. She traveled across the country, singing and dancing in the show band “Al Hughes and the Smiling Phases”. The band was short-lived, ending Jan’s dream of stardom.

Later, Jan found herself working as a bookkeeper for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. She commented, “I was eating three cinnamon cake doughnuts a day and ended up gaining 33 pounds! Exercise facilities in those days seemed to be just a place to show off your leotard. I wanted to go where people of all sizes and ages could exercise while feeling comfortable and accepted.” Jan found Richard Simmons’ Anatomy Asylum, and it changed everything for her. She worked hard, lost the extra weight and later became one of Simmons’ certified aerobics instructors, teaching the S.O.S. (starting out slow) beginner, intermediate and advanced aerobics classes. Jan described Richard Simmons as, “one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met. He specialized in making everyone feel as though the class was just for them. Laughter was always part of the experience.” Jan incorporates those same ideals into all the classes she teaches at the Estes Valley Community Center.  

In 2003, Jan and her husband, Neil, purchased a home in Estes Park. Jan soon began teaching friends and tourists the many line dances she had come to enjoy throughout the years. Now, sixteen years later, Jan is still teaching her favorite line dances including the Boot Skootin’ Boogie, Cupid Shuffle, Cowboy Hustle and Uptown Funk at the Estes Valley Community Center on Sundays at 1 p.m.

Beginning on September 3, Jan will be adding to her dance and exercise offerings with a new S.O.S. Richard Simmons-inspired 80’s aerobic dance class at the Estes Valley Community Center on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1—2 p.m.

No registration required, just a $5 drop-in fee.

The photo inset shows Jan in her Richard Simmons teaching days, and now, thirty years later.