The Jazzercise Knights of Miami Springs

Jazzercise, the workout from the 1980’s that combines dance, strength and resistance training, is alive and kicking in the city of Miami Springs.

Monday through Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m., Brenda Knight and her daughter Tatiana Knight teach Jazzercise classes at the community center. 

In 1981, Knight took her first Jazzercise class and decided to get certified as an instructor. She ran a class at the city’s recreation center for ten years and then opened her own fitness center in Hook Square. When Hurricane Andrew hit, Knight closed her fitness center and has been hosting her classes in various locations around the city.

“I went back to renting facilities,” said Knight, “Anywhere where there is a place to gather, I’ve pretty much been.” 

Her husband, Ray Knight, has been a big supporter and has danced on television with Judi Sheppard Missett, who created Jazzercise in 1969. 

“I’ve been supportive of my wife and my daughter in their career choice for many years,” he said. “I used to be a student myself.” 

Tatiana Knight, who was certified in 2002 when she turned 18, has Jazzercise in her blood. She currently teaches a class in Doral, but still helps her mother in Miami Springs and used to teach the kids class at the community center.

“We have pictures of my mom pregnant with me doing shows,” she said, “I just tell people I’ve been doing it my whole life.” 

With the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, this family-run business has been through some hard times. From March 2020 through June 2020, Brenda Knight had to close her business. She racked up a use fee of $1,200 even though she could not teach her class. Her previous contract, signed in April 2018, is in its final renewal year and she’s been trying to reach a new agreement with the city.  

“Frankly, I do it because I love it,” she told city officials, “So I just ask you to work with me.”

On April 8, she reached a new agreement with the city. Officials agreed to waive the use fee and any other corresponding late fees. The contract also states that her new use fee will be based on the number of participants in the class rather than being fixed monthly.

“I think she’s made a reasonable request,” said her husband, “As far as the use fee for the months she couldn’t work.” 

Although Brenda Knight does not make a lot of money from her business, she has provided this service to the city and its residents for years. 

“It’s not really a profit-making business for me, I only have four people taking my class right now,” she said, “but Jazzercise makes my life better.

Justin Mendiola is majoring in communications, with a specialization in journalism. He was an ambassador for the Miami Marlins for four years and loves the visual arts.