Jazz Hands Ready for Exercise and for Giving Back

Katherine RivardNPF Blog
The men of No Quarter Shanty Krew singing outside in the sun at New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
— Joe Stolarick/NPS

At New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, live jazz, park ranger programs, and a tour of some of New Orleans’ most important jazz history sites have music fans, well, jazzed. Whether you’ve always wanted to visit the J&M Recording Studio or learn more about musical icons like Louis Armstrong, this park offers plenty of ways to learn about the city’s unique jazz history. Visitors to the park can also find meaningful ways to give back, in addition to the many activities focused on staying active.

Getting Fit through Guided Programs

A group of people sitting on yoga mats in front of a man playing the piano at New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
National Park Service

Each month the park offers an updated schedule of events, including fitness focused activities.

Grab your yoga mat and head to the visitor center to take part in a free Jazz Yoga class, complete with live meditational jazz piano.

Jazz Bounce Aerobics allows you to take a group calisthenics class set to the jazz iterations of local brass bands and jazz artists.

Experience Pilates in a whole new way when you try Jazz Pilates – a mix of traditional Pilates and dance movements set to the recorded music of major jazz composers. 

Or try learning traditional dances from another culture with the assistance of live music and a helpful dance expert (read: a ranger). African dance, the Congo Square, Salsa, or Cuban Rueda de Casino dance are just a few of the types of dances that have been offered in the past.

Looking to really break a sweat? Try Brass Band Cardio and Core Workout to get your heart pumping. All you need is an exercise mat!

Volunteering in the Park

The park updates its website with available openings in the visitor center (such as administrative support) and also suggests visiting NPS’s volunteer page for additional opportunities. Other positions may include helping to deliver calendars or working at the nearby nature preserve to help with field trips and other tasks.

As the park shares leadership with Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve, volunteer coordination spans across the two parks.

If you’re excited to volunteer at the parks, park rangers suggest reaching out. Once a volunteer’s availability, interests, and skills are known, staff work to ensure that each volunteer has a fitting role, believing that volunteers do their best when they have a job they love.

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park was also the first park to participate in the Trails + Rails program in 2000. This partnership with Amtrak provides train passengers with insights into the public lands and areas they pass by on their journeys.

Volunteer guides assist by bringing props and maps onboard and explaining the history of passing areas and natural resources. Today, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is just one of many parks that participate in this exciting program.

Without the help from volunteers, the task of preserving our natural lands and teaching others about the ways to take advantage of our parks would be nearly impossible.

Take a fitness class at a park near you to try something new, and find a way to volunteer using your skills and talents. Whether you’re getting active or giving back, there’s no wrong way to #FindYouPark/#EncuentraTuParque!

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