This Wonder Woman Invented Dance Aerobics: Jacqueline Faye Mills

I didn’t think anybody ever invented something like this,but they eeh..eeh did. To my amazement as I looked for a phenomenal person from history to inspire me with fitness, I immediately find Jacqueline Faye Mills! Just her name makes me think twice but her story is so powerful, you might want to check it out on Wikipedia.

Jacki is fondly called Jacki Sorensen and married to Neil A Sorensen. After all these years, she looks amazing! You ever wondered why America has the best cheer leaders? I got my answer here because I didn’t have the mother of Aerobics.

Jacki Sorensen is the American originator of aerobic dancing, popularly known as aerobics. She got her Inspiration from Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper’s 1968 book on aerobic exercise. She started with creating for women an aerobic dance routine to music in 1969 in Puerto Rico, teaching U.S. Air Force wives. She expanded this concept into a teaching method and studio franchise, Aerobic Dancing Inc., that rose to 1,500 locations and 4,000 instructors teaching 170,000 students in 1981 at its peak.

She studied recent exercise publications including Kenneth H. Cooper’s 1968 book Aerobics, which recommended jogging for a healthy heart. Sorensen took his Cooper test and scored “excellent” even though she had never jogged. She realized that her dancing was an equivalent exercise to jogging. She wrote to Cooper and he encouraged her, saying her idea of a dance-based exercise was better, since jogging by itself was not interesting enough for most women to maintain a steady regimen. He recommended that she administer his test to her students, to see how far they could run in 12 minutes.She later said that Cooper’s book “changed my life… Dr. Cooper was saying that Americans don’t know what fitness is really all about. They’re worrying about the little muscles in their inner thighs, when they should be worrying about the most important muscle – their hearts.”

Sorensen reassured her students that they would not be judged by their performance or their style. She avoided large mirrors so that the students could feel the exercises internally rather than be distracted by external appearances. Classes were conducted with Sorensen facing away from the students, allowing them to soften the more challenging moves without being scolded. She tested her students regularly to check pulse rate and breathing, and all of them improved after 12 weeks.

Agreeing to the request of Air Force producers, she put together a television show called Aerobic Dancing on a TV station in San Juan, recording eight broadcasts per visit. She found that her students reduced their waistlines though did not usually lose weight.

She is called the “mother of aerobic dancing”, and rightfully so for turning her passion into a great powerful historical achievement and inspiration to all women and mother’s struggling with their talents and skills and feeling not so appreciated.

Jacki Sorensen Faye Mills served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports for six years in the 1970s, and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by that body in 2012. In 2020, she was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame.

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