Jacki is the originator of Aerobic Dancing, the complete fitness program that combines the health and toning benefits of jogging with the fun of dancing. In addition to choreographing over 150 routines a year for her programs, Jacki is the President and founder of Jacki’s, Inc., headquartered in Lightfoot, Virginia.
Jacki has a broad background in dance, including tap, ballet, modern, acrobatic, Hawaiian, and jazz. While working on her Bachelor’s degree, Jacki discovered that she had a particular talent for teaching non-dancers. She later applied this ability to Officers’ Wives Club classes and teaching all forms of dancing to dependents on various Air Force bases.
In 1969, Jacki was asked to develop a fitness television program for Air Force wives at a base in Puerto Rico where her husband Neil was stationed. Based on her own fitness, she invented the concept of combining dance with aerobic exercise for the program. She choreographed a set of vigorous dances to lively music, and Aerobic Dancing was born!
When the Sorensens moved to New Jersey, Jacki introduced the first Aerobic Dancing class at a local YMCA. Within three months, one class of six grew to two classes of 25 students each. The program rapidly expanded to other YMCAs, Bloomfield College, and Seton Hall University. Later, Jacki developed StrongStep, which uses a step to increase lower-body resistance. Today, Jacki’s programs are offered throughout the United States, Japan and Australia.
For six years Jacki served as a clinician for The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. As a fitness professional for over 40 years, she has played an active role in helping others become physically fit and has lectured extensively on health and fitness to groups throughout the world.
In 1985, Jacki was awarded the first Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Dance Exercise Association (IDEA) and was inducted into the Club Industry magazine’s Hall of Fame a year later. She has been recognized by the American Heart Association, Special Olympics, and United Cerebral Palsy for her contributions to these groups. On March 18, 2007, she was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in Minooka, Illinois.
A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Jacki has performed post-graduate work in exercise physiology at California State University in Sacramento and Seton Hall University in New Jersey. She has also been an elementary school teacher.
Jacki is the author of two books, Aerobic Dancing and Jacki Sorensen’s Aerobic Lifestyle Book. She has also choreographed and produced several Aerobic Dancing records and three aerobic videos.
Diamond Pin Award – American Heart Association
Lifetime Achievement Award – International Dance Exercise Association (IDEA)
Club Industry Hall of Fame
Legends of Aerobics – City Sports Magazine
Individual Contribution Award – Association for Fitness in Business
Special Olympics Contribution Award
Contribution Award for Women’s Fitness – President’s Council on Physical Fitness
Healthy American Fitness Leader – U.S. Jaycees
New Horizons Award – Caldwell College
California Women’s Leadership Award – President’s Council on Physical Fitness
National Fitness Hall of Fm